We’ve gotten our hands on the Dyson Lightcycle Morph that has just arrived in Malaysia for testing to see if an LED lamp that costs as much as an upper-tier smartphone is worth the money. Here’s our Dyson Lightcycle Morph review after putting it through its paces.
What is the Dyson Lightcycle Morph task light?
To recap, the Dyson Lightcycle Morph is the second generation smart LED lamp that made its global debut last year in Europe and the US. It has just been launched in Malaysia several weeks ago at the time of this writing and we jumped at the chance to field test their latest offering. Its predecessor, the first Dyson Lightcycle was launched earlier in 2019 and arrived in the same year on our shores.
The older Lightcycle and the newer Lightcycle Morph are functionally similar in terms of the quality and customisability of their LED lighting but the newer Lightcycle Morph improves things with a more sophisticated 3-point revolve mechanism that lets you maneuver the light fixture around for more precise angling of the light beam and the option to use it in a host of different ways that include employing it as as ambient or indirect lighting.
It also has a unique feature where you can shunt the light beam into its stand, which has hundreds of tiny perforations to use it a soft ambient light with an appearance that’s a cross between a lava lamp and a lightsaber.
To offer direct illumination, the Lightcycle Morph incorporates six LEDs, three of them cool white and three of them warm yellow with the collective ability to serve up to 850 lumens of brightness using 11.5W with a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of at least 90/100.
On average, 450 lumens are needed for a typical desk lamp tasked for reading and writing duties while precision tasks that require intricate work and more focus like building a model or fine needle work will need on average a much higher 800 to 1,000 lumens of brightness.
For the uninitiated, CRI is an indicator of how faithfully a light source is able to show colours that are true to life in comparison to natural daylight.
If you’re a traditional content creator like a painter, graphic artist or modeler working indoors, this is considered essential and with a CRI of 90/100, the Lightcycle Morph is able to illuminate colours close to what you see under natural sunlight.
For the average user who just needs enough light indoors so they read a newspaper or to stop them from stubbing a toe in the dark, this sounds like an insane amount of overengineering for a desk lamp but as with all things Dyson, there’s a reason for all this and the Lightcycle Morph has been built to last a lifetime.
Officially speaking, Dyson has rated the Lightcycle Morph to be able to last for over 60 years of usage which is astronomical by any measure of the word.
Unboxing the Dyson Lightcycle Morph
Getting the light out of the box is a relatively straightforward task. Our Dyson Lightcycle Morph review sample is the desktop version which means it has a shorter stand.
The floor standing version has a stand that stretches all the way up from the base all the way to about waist height while maintaining the same micro perforations all along its length for the Morph’s unique ambient lighting mode.
Functionally speaking, both the floor and desktop versions emit the same light intensity and quality so you’re primarily paying for the increased length of the light emitting stand. The flexible 3-point revolve mechanism for both models are identical.
The various components all arrive nestled in cardboard trays and assembling it isn’t very hard though the base is heavy which you’ll have to hold up one-handed halfway through assembly.
You essentially pop the light and stand which is one complete piece into the base, add in an additional plastic piece to lock the stand into place and then finally plug it in.
The plug point terminates in a UK-style 3-pin plug and sidles under the stand through a neat cutout to hook up directly underneath the light stand itself. Beyond these components, there aren’t any other optional bits and bobs in the box beyond the obligatory user and quick start manuals.
What do lumens and Watts mean for lighting in the Lightcycle Morph?
In terms of measuring the brightness of LED lights which have recently grown in popularity over the older incandescent bulbs that have been in use for decades, manufacturers now tend to use lumens (or lm in short form) which is a direct indicator of how bright a given bulb is.
Previously, older incandescent bulbs typically labelled their brightness in Watts which is a measurement of electrical power used to light it up. The more watts an incandescent lightbulb had, the brighter it is.
Seeing as LED lights are way more energy efficient than the older incandescent bulbs were and thus need less Watts to produce an equivalent or even brighter amount of light, Lumens have now become a preferred and more accurate measurement of how much light is emitted from a bulb regardless of how much juice or Watts are needed to power it.
The Lightcycle Morph is more than sufficient for the task with up to 850 lumens of light on paper that’s double the brightness of your average off-the-shelf desk lamp and bright enough for you aspiring Gundam gunpla model builders out there.
Dyson Lightcycle Morph Review – Specifications
The Dyson Lightcycle Morph comes with the following official specifications and prices for Malaysia. Bar the difference in height between the floor-standing and desktop versions, there are no other subvariants of the Lightcycle Morph.
|Price||RM2,499 (desktop version), RM3,799 (floor version)|
|LED lifetime||181,000 hours|
|Colour Rendering Index (CRI)||90 or above|
|Standby power consumption||<0.5w|
|Light output ratio||80%|
|Average lux level||1,546lx|
|Colour temperature docked (Kelvin)||1800 – 3,400k|
|Colour temperature undocked (Kelvin)||2,700-6500k|
|Light output||850 lumens|
|Size/Weight||523 x 414.4 x 200.2mm/ 3.5kg (Desktop version) | 1,250.6 x 465.1 x 301.6mm/6.5kg (Floor version)|
Dyson Lightcycle Morph design and setup – Most enlightening
Our review unit comes in a stylish shade of matte black though you can optionally get it in white as well. The finish itself is fingerprint resistant which is a blessing as you’ll likely be moving the light armature itself quite a bit as you use it throughout the day.
To date, it’s taken Dyson close to 5 years and needed 90 engineers to create it and it shows in the intricacy and robustness of its design. The base itself is weighted and rather heavy at over 3kg; necessary as it acts as a counterweight for the whole light stand assembly.
Attached to the base is the ambient light stand itself which has hundreds of tiny holes – all 16,740 of them to emit a soft ambient light once you dock in the armature to the stand.
Interestingly enough, the base of the light stand has a USB-C port with 1.5A charging that lets you slow-charge a phone or laptop.
It’s a thoughtful feature to have though USB-C to USB-C charging cables aren’t common yet except on super flagship phones like the Galaxy S21 series. Having a USB-A port and wireless charging would have been fantastic but it doesn’t really affect its raison d’etre.
The 3-point revolve mechanism itself is arguably the most well crafted aspect of the Morph that consists of two 34cm long-interconnected pieces that let you rotate the whole affair almost 360-degree radius around the stand itself. The tip of the mechanism itself houses the LED lights along with a series of touch sensitive controls.
You can also rotate the light end aka the ‘Intelligent Optical Head’ as Dyson calls it almost 360-degrees as well so you can aim it straight up to the ceiling if you deign to do so. What really makes this a marvel of engineering is that the entire mechanism is so smooth and so well balanced that you can maneuver it around with just one finger.
In order to ensure that the LED’s last over six decades, Dyson has integrated a unique copper heat pipe into the mechanism that shunts heat away from the LED lights and ensures it continues working at top efficiency over its lifespan.
Two touch sensitive sliders at the top let you control the intensity and the warmth of the light from a deep yellow akin to sunset that won’t affect your night vision to an intense, cold white light akin to broad daylight for precision work.
The underside also hosts a series of sensors that toggle three important modes. The first is a ‘daylight resync’ button that lets you automatically change the light intensity and brightness based on where you are located on the planet and time of day.
The second button activates a motion sensor that turns the light off if it doesn’t detect motion for five minutes to save on power. Last but not least is an ‘auto brightness’ button that adjusts light output constantly so that if background light suddenly changes, the light output is adjusted so that it remains at a constant level.
Assembly aside, the toughest part to setting it up is perhaps pairing it with the Dyson Link app though in actual fact, it’s a relatively fast process.
Once you set up an account with Dyson, you then input the location where you’ll be using the Lightcycle Morph, select a few simple settings and you’re done.
Dyson Lightcycle Morph Malaysia: Performance – Let there be light!
Since the pandemic hit, I’ve been primarily working from home, repurposing an unused store room as a home office. Needless to say, the situation isn’t perfect and I’ve kludged together a modest setup with a laptop, a study desk with an accompanying chair and an old LED reading lamp.
There isn’t much natural light where my desk is located and even in the daytime, things can get pretty dim as the nearest window doesn’t even get direct sunlight except in the evening.
After sundown, the lamp becomes a necessity for visibility as there’s no overhead lighting at all. I deployed the Lightcycle Morph into this mess on my desk and over the course of a week, I noticed subtle but tangible improvements in my workflow. After two weeks, it proved its worth.
One of the interesting questions that the Dyson Link app asks you is your age on setup. This is on account of an interesting fact – the older you are, the more light you need. According to Dyson, a 60 year old needs 4 times more light to see versus a 20 year old.
The app is able to tell the Lightcycle Morph just how much light a user needs and in my case, I apparently didn’t have enough in my workspace and where I previously needed to squint with my dinky old lamp, the Lightcycle Morph was able to cast out an even flicker-free glow that made reading text both in hardcopy and onscreen a more relaxed experience.
The ability to angle the light fixture in any direction and also alter the intensity and colour of the lighting on demand made for a real game changer. There’s no flickering and the light even on the weakest settings is still bright enough to read and work by as a reading lamp which is its primary function.
With the ability to angle the light fixture any way I saw fit, I tested it by angling it upwards to the wall as ambient lighting and it worked marvelously, brightening up the room with an even light.
The ambient mode where you dock the light into the stand itself makes it emit a softer glow throughout the length of the stand without messing with my night vision as it filters out blue light, making it ideally suited as a night light.
Where the Lightcycle Morph earns its eco-friendly credentials is the fact that it’s not only Energy star compliant, it is also able to intelligently turn itself off if it doesn’t sense motion for five minutes.
Granted, it does happen when we’re fixated on reading a page or two of text when it inadvertently shuts off but a simple wave of the hand turns it back on. More importantly, this feature eliminates wastefulness especially if I forgot to turn it off when leaving the room.
Over the course of my Lightcycle Morph review, I found that its myriad features offered subtle quality of life improvements, gradually becoming the cornerstone of my home office setup which is somewhat poetic from a certain perspective seeing as light, or rather good quality lighting ought to be the cornerstone of any effective work setting.
While I didn’t quite appreciate it at first, thinking it as ostentatious frippery, I gradually found that its ability to deliver customisable lighting with the ability to swap colour warmth and intensity on the fly as well as its exceptionally flexible armature grew on me across the two plus weeks I was testing it.
Over time, my old desk lamp which had watched over me hammering out hundreds of pages of text since the MCO hit lies forlorn in a corner, the inevitable technological detritus of superior technology like how a shiny modern Tesla supplants a horse-drawn wagon.
Dyson Lightcycle Morph review – Is it worth buying?
As far as performance is concerned, the Dyson Lightcycle Morph does what it sets out to do – delivering superior, consistent light that is customised for your age and current geographic location. It won’t immediately improve your productivity overnight but its subtle array of quality of life improvements will contribute to it over time.
Of course, that still leaves the biggest problem – it’s price tag. The Dyson Lightcycle Morph costs quite a bit more than the average LED desk lamp with the desk version costing RM2,499 while the floor standing version clocks in at a substantial RM2,999. To date, this is so far one of the most expensive LED lamps in the market.
To put things into perspective, the average LED desk lamp on Shopee costs about RM150 or so with the cheapest costing about RM30 or so, coming in different form factors, light intensities and build quality.
The price seems to be a flying Godzilla kick to the wallet, but the fact remains that the Lightcycle Morph doesn’t cost that much if you take a long term perspective as its cooling system means that it will continue working for 60 years. If you divide the cost over the years, you’re literally paying cents per day – 0.11MYR to be exact – for bright, quality lighting for most of your life.
The Dyson Lightcycle Morph is indubitably an innovative and premium lighting solution that breaks new ground that no other brand has attempted before. It’s not for everyone but for those who appreciate and need quality lighting – all the more so seeing the fact that we’re mostly working from home these days – it’s less of an expense and more of an investment.
If you are looking to upgrade your home office to the next level and invest in the quality of your lighting , the Dyson Lightcycle Morph is the definitive choice.
Dyson Lightcycle Morph review unit courtesy of Dyson Malaysia. Available for purchase online at all Dyson experience stores nationwide and online at the official Dyson online store at https://www.dyson.my/dyson-lightcycle-morph-desk-light-white-silver
Dyson Lightcycle Morph
Dyson Lightcycle Morph
It may not seem obvious but the quality of lighting when you work at home is one of, if not the most critical thing when it comes to being productive. Incongruous as it may seem, the clean, consistent and customisable lighting from the Dyson Lightcycle Morph compared to other table lamps is like trying to compare a biplane to a Harrier VTOL. If you’re looking to seriously invest in and enhance your productivity, the Dyson Lightcycle Morph is an absolutely essential addition to your home office.
Exceptionally flexible armature to adjust angle of lighting
Beautiful ambient mode
Highly customisable lighting from warm to cool on demand
Tight integration with app
A wireless charging pad in the base would be nice
Fast charging support in the USB-C would be awesome