I’m incredibly picky about lighting. In my apartment, overhead lights are a criminal offense punishable by hard time in ambience jail. Under prolonged exposure to fluorescents (I’m talking the skin-disintegrating kind you find at a dentist’s office) my will to live plummets faster than Bitcoin after the Tesla man tweets.
Given that adversity to all lighting not explicitly soft and warm, viral products like this sunset projector lamp, which have been dominating ads across Instagram and Facebook, easily bypassed my bullshit detector and shone through to my innermost targeted ad mark. There was only one way this could go...
I needed to test this projector lamp out — and not just because I require the glow of a yellow/orange light bulb to survive — but because this thing is seriously everywhere, which means other lighting sticklers, home improvers, or anyone incidentally sponging up Instagram ads in the past six months might be considering buying one.
Before I start critiquing this thing, let's lay out exactly what I (and I think most other people) want out of the viral sunset projector lamp:
1) To look at least somewhat like a sunset.
2) The lamp itself should look aesthetically serviceable.
3) You absolutely do not want it to burn your house down.
With those criteria laid out...
Is it shocking that the pictures in the Instagram ads I was served don’t exactly match reality? Not really. Is it slightly disappointing? I think my rhetorical question setup here says it all, though I will say that coupled with a color-changing smart bulb I have screwed into a lamp in my living room, I was able to get some pretty cool shadows on one of my fake plants, which is great if that’s something you’re really itching to do.
As far as lamps go, this is pretty much the minimal design standard to meet the description of “lamp.” Most of its parts, aside from the metal hinge that tilts the bulb up and down (mine came slightly bent), are made of fairly basic plastic, and the base is a mysteriously hollow chamber obscured with a thin piece of foam.
I’d be negligent not to mention how freakin’ hot this thing gets, and I’m not just talking about the bulb. After 10 minutes of projection, the plastic case housing the bulb itself almost becomes too hot to touch. I’m not going to flat-out call this lamp a fire hazard, but I’m also not entirely comfortable saying it’s not a fire hazard.