“ Brand: Zzzzoolight / Type: Night light „
If you are a bit of a sucker for cute animal-themed items and you love great, clever design, this review could cause you to take leave of your senses and spend much too much money. You have been warned!
My Zzzoolight cat table lamp was bought from the 'members only' website Achica.com for the slightly shocking price of £46.75 including postage. The cheapest I've found it anywhere else is £65 and for that 'bargain' price you have to make the darned thing yourself from a flat pack kit. Why do I say the price is shocking? Because at its most basic it's little more than a cleverly bent and cut sheet of polypropylene (plastic) and a light fitting. However, in the eye of the beholder it's so much more than just bent plastic and I take my hat off to the genius designer behind the Zzzoo light range.
Achica.com was introduced to me by a fellow review writer. Foolishly I didn't wait for her to send me an invitation or we'd both have saved a tenner off our next orders. I was suddenly faced with page after page of tempting goodies and then I saw the cat and fell in love. I'm not really supposed to be the target market for this item as it's intended as a rather large night light for a child's room - in effect, a light that's gentle enough to not stop you sleeping, hence the zzz of the name. I have no children and my cats are not afraid to sleep in the dark but when I saw that cute little 'face' I had to get one.
Zzzoolights are the creation of a designer called Ramin Razani who has been inspired by his love of origami. The lamps are made by an Italian company called Officina CREA. When it seems like all our electrical items come from China or Korea, I can kind of understand that the prices are higher for a product made in Italy. You can buy the item flat packed for self assembly or fully assembled - thankfully mine was the latter or it would probably still be in the flat pack box waiting for me to get around to making it. The range of animals available includes a fish, bear, penguin, cow, giraffe and elephant and they all share the same design genius and heart tugging cuteness of my cat. Your problem is unlikely to be finding one you like and much more likely to be choosing the one you like best.
~Me and my Mog~
My cat arrived just a few days after I ordered it which was a surprise as I'd expected Achica to take a long time. I opened the box and was instantly impressed. My intention had been to put it away for one of my husband's Christmas presents but I couldn't wait. I wanted it glowing in the corner of the room as soon as possible.
Having bought the fully assembled cat lamp meant all I had to do was plug it in and let it do its stuff. The plug, thankfully given the Italian origins, was a proper UK 3-pin plug and the cable was about two and a half meters long which was long enough to not need to restrict myself too much about where I put it. The bulb inside is a mere seven watt energy saving 'compact fluorescent' bulb so it's not going to break the bank if I leave it on but it gives off a pleasant glow. It's not an intensity that I would say you could read by, but it's a comforting and atmospheric type of light. Ours is currently in our living room at home but I'm going to move it to my flat where I stay when I'm at work and where I need a light that's on during the evening and night time to disguise that I'm not there a lot of the time. At just 7 watts, I won't have to think too much about the impact on the electricity bills. Hey if I left it on for a hundred years or so I might even get back the money I paid for it in savings.
It's allegedly 'child proof' and hopefully 'cat proof' too, though I have to admit the cats have shown no interest in it at all. From a safety perspective, the lamp does not get warm when it's in use and is designed to be unbreakable and for the bulb to be shatterproof. The construction complies with various European and International health and safety directives.
If you're used to normal sized nightlights, then the Zzzoolights may come as a surprise because they're quite substantial. Although it's of very lightweight construction, my kitty stands almost 12 inches (30 cm) tall from his paws to his pointy ears, is approximately 9 inches (22 cm) wide at his broadest point and is about 6 inches (15 cm) deep.
Pointed ears have been fashioned by cutting the plastic whilst round holes were cut for his eyes which glow brightly with a white light when the bulb is switched on. The more gloomy yellowy light in my picture is the fault of my camera and not the lamp. The nose, whiskers and mouth are created from cuts in the plastic. The whiskers in particular are rather impressive. He stands on four solid little legs but the cat is pretty much all head and no body - he's been on the cat food rather too much. Stylistically it looks nothing like a cat but is instantly recognisable as exactly that. Good design can communicate the essence of cat without the need for realistic recreation of form.
~Hunt your Kitty~
If you fancy one of these, prepare to settle down for some serious googling to track one down but if you just want to have a look at all the fabulous designs, many are available on the website www.zzzoolight.it My lamp is classified as a table lamp but there is also a collection of wall mounted lights available and if you really want to push the boat out, they have mini lamps which change colour when you clap your hands.
Although this wasn't a cheap lamp and might seem rather expensive for what's just a bulb and some bent plastic, I love it and think it's worth every penny I paid and more. If Achica ran another promotion on these I fear I'd end up buying another one - I have my eye on the cow.