Product Review: Luminoodle



 We recently picked up a Luminoodle from Power Practical. Our ARB 1250 awning could use a bit more "permanent" lighting, so we decided this would be a perfect chance to test it out and write a review!

First let's go over the manufacturer's specs.

  • 180 Lumens of light for the 5ft version (360 Lumens for the 10ft)
  • USB powered with a 2.5w rated input
  • 133g (5ft version)
  • Nylon carry bag doubles as a lantern bag to diffuse the light
  • IP-67 rating
  • Includes 3 ties, magnets, utility loop, carry bag and the Luminoodle itself

At the time of this blog, this product has a 4.4 star rating on Amazon and can be found anywhere from $19.99 to $29.99. Be prepared to spend a little bit more at your local outdoor store compared to online.

The LED strip comes in a premium zip-lock type bag that feels and looks like a matte finished Mountain House packet. It's nice if you're someone who doesn't necessarily want to throw away more boxes and could still be packed away neatly if you decided to keep the packaging. We did not, like most of our new goods and gadgets, I quickly discarded the wrapping and was pleasantly surprised. A nice white tote bag was packed full of goodies from Power Practical and even a discount card on future purchases. 

The bag is a drawstring type, but feels like it will hold up quite well without loosing any of the barrels. 3 reusable straps and the light all fit perfectly and you don't need to be a Tetris master to get them back in. The light strip itself comes pre-wrapped around the utility mount. Which seems to be made of high quality plastic and has enough holes to mount it pretty much however you want. 

 The strip itself is extremely light and has nice rubberized feel to it and gives the impression it should up for a long time. So let's find out! 

I do not recommend this at all, but being IP-67 rated for 1 meter of water up to 30 minutes, it should be able to handle this no problem. Also, funny enough we have no puddles near Seattle right now, so the sink will have to do.

Luminoodle Test Review

As you can see in the image above, the light strip worked as advertised. I even held the end underwater for 5 minutes to ensure that the rubber cap had done what it was supposed to. No water seemed to leak inside the strip and it worked perfectly. You can also see the color of the light pretty well in this photo. The surrounding sink and water give it a slight blue tint after diffusion. In reality it has a pure white temperature to them. 

Before taking them out on a trip, we tested them to see how they worked with our battery bank. We have a "MyCharge Adventure" rated at 10,050 mAh and 37.2Wh.

This pack ended up powering the 5ft Luminoodle for just over 12 hours, before it started to flicker on and off. I'm guessing neither has much circuitry built-in to cut themselves off at a certain voltage drop. But 12 hours realistically gives us several days of use unless we use the noodle for security and just let it run all night. Even then, we could probably get 2 days of use out of it before needing to charge the powerbank again. 

Using the noodle at night was easy, the white color makes it much easier to find in the dark and setup. The included straps easily hold it's weight and can be tightened to hold it tight against whatever you want, horizontally or vertically. It gives off just enough light to illuminate underneath our awning at the back of the FJ. Not so much as to blind you every time you walk up to it, or if you look at it by accident. This is not meant to be a spot light, so it's nice having a dedicated light source just for illumination and nothing else. The color is clean and does not wash out anything, like your stove or gear that you are trying to prepare ad dig through. It's probably one of the most comforting style of lights I've ever used. 

Would I recommend this light? Yes, definitely. It's not very expensive, durable and easy to pack. It's also very night to have a dedicated light just for lighting a portion of your campsite. Compared to a lantern, that someone can move around or use as a flashlight. I like having gear that serves a specific purpose, so you always know where they are and that you have enough equipment. This fits that bill perfectly. I definitely would not use this as lantern alternative or a flashlight, as there is not enough light. That being said, the battery life and easy on the eyes power level is perfect for it's intended use. 

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