Product Type: Other Brands in Homeware
Newest Review: ... puffing. We were both fed up, me with his sighing and him with the light, so one day when I saw the really tiny book light in WHSmith, I b... more
Illuminating the Night With Stylish Light
The Really Tiny Book Light
Member Name: Hishyeness
The Really Tiny Book Light
Advantages: Powerful, lightweight, highly practical, stylish and excellent value for money
Disadvantages: Possibly a bit too strong. Struggles with thicker books.
On a Thursday afternoon in November one of my most epic searches finally came to and end in the most unlikely of locations. In the Christmas stocking filler section of our local garden centre, nestled amongst other little gadgets and gizmos, I found "The Really Tiny Book Light".
Let me get something straight from the get go - it wasn't as if I was searching for something perfect - I just wanted a serviceable book light to allow me to read at night when my wife preferred to go to sleep. However, my quest for a reliable book light stretches back three Christmases and two birthdays and I have a pile of rejects and failures that would justify a car boot sale table all by themselves.
So it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I took this little gadget to the cash desk, hoping it would finally turn out to be "the one". At its RRP of £6.99, it seemed a worthwhile gamble and my confidence was boosted further by a little sticker proclaiming it to be the "GA Gift of the Year 2008" (not that I had any idea what that meant at the time - I had to look it up - "GA" is the Giftware Association (http://www.ga-uk.org/) and this product was also awarded a "Highly Commended" in its category for 2009 as well).
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
The Really Tiny Book Light (RTBL) is made by a specialist gift company called That Company Called IF (http://www.thatcompanycalledif.com) founded in 1996 and based in North Yorkshire. The product comes in a trim, form fitted plastic box and is available in various colours (Purple, Pink, White, Orange, Green, Grey and Blue). The only instructions you need are printed on the box, but the product is intuitive to use.
I plumped for the orange version. The housing is in hard plastic, with a matte finish and is hinged around halfway along its length. It is extremely lightweight and takes three tiny LR41 batteries to power its strong, slightly hooded LED light which sits in the middle of a small reflector which amplifies the beam. The whole hood get-up is vaguely reminiscent of the "neck" of the alien spacecraft in the "War of the Worlds" films.
The batteries are covered by a slide on/slide off battery cover at the bottom end of the unit, and all you need to do to get going is to remove the cover and pull out the insulating tape that keeps the batteries from working while in storage. It's the ability of the unit to use such small batteries that contributes to its light weight and form factor and makes it stand out from competitors.
A small switch at the bottom of the unit, labelled "light", allows you to turn it on and off with a pleasing little click. The RTBL is really quite attractive to look at and has been built to an excellent standard. Although it is quite small, it feels very durable and robust. The clip on the front of the base attaches to the back cover of your book and as the unit is very well balanced, it keeps quite stable.
The RTBL is currently available on Amazon for £7.69 from various marketplace vendors and I have also seen it at John Lewis for its RRP.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
The RTBL is a triumph - at least from a design point of view - but the real proof is whether it does the job for which it was so elegantly designed. The simple answer is yes - it is without doubt the best book light I have ever used - but it does have one or two limitations.
Firstly, while the clip is perfect for paperbacks, it does not sit proud of the unit far enough to deal with hard back books in equal comfort. When attached to a hard back, the clip looks worryingly strained, so I compensate by clipping it to the first few pages instead. The downside is that the back of the unit, which holds the battery, is sandwiched between the front cover and the inside of the book, making the book a little awkward and uncomfortable to hold. In addition, you lose the stability which makes it such an excellent solution for paperbacks.
Secondly, the light is actually quite bright. Although the throw and the angle are much better than using a tableside lamp, the glow is actually quite illuminating - but I account for this by reading on my side, so my body acts as a shield to keep the light spill to a minimum. The upside is that it's a very handy mini-torch, which makes night-time checks on the toy strewn floor of my toddler's bedroom much less of the hazardous pastime than it used to be. I have also used it to illuminate the back seat of our car during dark hours to be able to find and fasten my daughter's booster seat belt.
Lastly, its effectiveness depends on the size of your paperback. I am currently on the last few pages of a six hundred page thriller and find that the head of the lamp doesn't quite stretch far enough, casting a glare onto the page rather than illuminating it. However, moving the RTBL from the front cover to the back cover seems to solve this issue most of the time.
Despite these three issues, on balance, the RTBL is a brilliantly designed and executed piece of kit and a real steal at its RRP. It is, without doubt, worthy of its accolades and makes a fine solution for reading in dark places, especially when conventional lighting is not an option (for example, where it risks incurring the wrath of your other half). It would make a perfect stocking filler for Christmas, and despite is minor limitations, is a cracking bit of engineering. As they say - good things come in small packages.
© Hishyeness 2009
Summary: The ultimate book light and a perfect stocking filler.
More reviews in the field of Homeware
- Waterman Hémisphère Essential Ballpen
- Stanley 0-TR250 Heavy Duty Staple Gun
- Boux Avenue White Chiffon Scented Drawer Sachet
- Wilko Everyday Value Bathroom Toilet Brush & Holder
- Bloome Plug-in Air Freshener
- Lakeland Swirly Toilet Roll Store
- Tesco Value Plastic Cups
- PestBye Advanced Rat and Mouse Repeller
- Dulux Bathroom Paint
- Scentsy Fizz Warmer