USB Lighting

Started by EBuff75, February 24, 2024, 04:38:18 PM

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EBuff75

USB-powered lights have come up a few times in other threads and I thought it was time that we had a thread dedicated to them.  I've got a number of these myself that I've picked up for various reasons, ranging from those decorative "fairy lights", or strings of cafe lights, plug in "bulbs" for providing area lighting, or even miniature circuit boards with LEDs on them that go directly into a USB socket. 

USB plugs themselves have become ubiquitous and more and more items in my house are starting to use them (clocks, lights, fans, etc.).  USB-A is good for up to 18w of output and USB-C is currently good up to 100w.  However, there is even more power coming, with the USB-IF (same format as the type-C) going all the way up to 240w!  Who knows, maybe we'll start to see even more electronics switching over to use USB instead of regular wall sockets.
Information - it's all a battle for information. You have to know what's happening if you're going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

EBuff75

JacobsParts 6 LED USB Portable Keychaing Lamp (dimmable) – 5/5

This was really just something that I'd been curious about for a while, but it turned out to be surprisingly good, especially for the price.  I paid $8, but that's for five of these little lights.  The reason I picked the JacobsParts version (there are a ton of similar lights) because they had good ratings and they're dimmable and can be turned off (many of them don't have these options).

Front and back, compared to a US quarter.
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These things are tiny!  They're about 1.6 inch long, just under .5 inch wide, and about 1/8 inch thick and weigh 0.1oz.  It's really just a small circuit board, with all of the components exposed, which does raise questions about long term durability (but at $1.60 each, I'm not sure that it really matters).  There is an opening through the end where it can be put onto a keychain.  The back of the light is touch-sensitive.  Touch once to turn on/off.  Touch and hold to scroll up/down on the output.  It is also reversible, so the orientation of the USB-A plug doesn't matter, as this can go in either way (it has contacts on both sides of the board).

They're rated at 1-watt, but I measured anywhere from 1.3w to 1.5w on the highest output, and that was consistent for all five of the lights.  On the lowest setting, it was between 0.12w and 0.15w, so right around 10% of the max.  Since I bought the warm white (3000K) version, it's possible that the daylight white (6000K) would measure differently.  The light does get a little hot on high, but cools off within seconds after you turn it off. 

I don't have a lumen meter, nor is there anything posted about what the output is.  The LEDs are just exposed, with nothing to focus the light, so it spills out 180-degrees.  Okay for area lighting, but not great for focused light.  Most LEDs are in the 70-100 lumen per watt range, which would likely put this in the 100-150 lumen range on high, or 10-15 lumen on low.  On low, that would be on par with a single candle (which is about 12 lumen).  I would compare them to the light on my cell phone, except that they're actually brighter than my phone!  From about 3ft, I measured 51 lux on high and 5 lux on low, if you prefer those measures.

Basement bookcase with only this light on high to illuminate, from about 5-6 feet away.
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The one big caveat with these is that they draw so little power that some USB power banks won't stay on.  I ran into this with several of my power banks, particularly the newer ones.  Older power banks (at least the ones that I tested) didn't have any problem with it.  The draw on these is so low that they should be able to run for many hours on even a small power bank.  E.g. a 5000mah power bank should last for 16+ hrs on high (that's assuming a max draw of 0.3a / 1.5w)

So what's the use case?  Well, you can put one on your keychain to always have a small area light with you.  I tossed one in my EDC bag and put one more in each car.  They're tiny and weigh next to nothing, but provide a surprising amount of light in a pinch (I was able to dimly illuminate my entire basement rec room).  Just a fun little light, for those times when you might need one.
Information - it's all a battle for information. You have to know what's happening if you're going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Moab

I've been looking at these in Aliexpress. Have not compared specs. And reviews in Ali I don't trust that much. Unless its all terrible reviews.

They are very cheap though. These are not the best prices on Ali. Search one you want by name and you'll find the cheapest price. And select the Choice filter for free shipping of you place a $10 order.

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out!
$2.35 26%OFF | One / 5pcs 0.2W USB LED Bulb Book Light For Laptop PC Powerbank Night Lamp Mini Pocket Card USB Power LED Night Light
https://a.aliexpress.com/_mqDYSNY

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out!
$2.91 20%OFF | 5Pcs/lot Portable Mini 5730 USB LED Light 5V Touch Sensor Dimmable Night Light for Power Bank Computer Laptop PC Table Lamp
https://a.aliexpress.com/_mOcjPk6

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out!
$1.19 64%OFF | 5pcs Mini Pocket Card USB Power LED Keychain Night Light 0.2W USB LED Bulb Book Light For Laptop PC Powerbank Night Lamp
https://a.aliexpress.com/_mKZl5Z8

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out!
$2.40 36%OFF | 5 Pcs USB LED Plug Lamp 1W Super Bright Eye Protection USB Book Light Computer Mobile Power Charging USB LED Night Light
https://a.aliexpress.com/_mObNQ2w

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out!
$0.86 | Mini USB LED Car Light Ambient Night Light Decorative Neon Lamp Auto Interior Atmosphere Emergency PC Mobile Power Charging
https://a.aliexpress.com/_mr3wWdu
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

EBuff75

Quote from: Moab on February 24, 2024, 04:54:34 PMI've been looking at these in Aliexpress. Have not compared specs. And reviews in Ali I don't trust that much. Unless its all terrible reviews.

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out!
$2.91 20%OFF | 5Pcs/lot Portable Mini 5730 USB LED Light 5V Touch Sensor Dimmable Night Light for Power Bank Computer Laptop PC Table Lamp
https://a.aliexpress.com/_mOcjPk6
Those appear to be the exact same ones I reviewed above.  I found what appear to be the same things listed under multiple names / sellers on Amazon.  I looked at a few options similar to the others you listed, but haven't bought any of those yet.
Information - it's all a battle for information. You have to know what's happening if you're going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Moab

I think this is the cheapest listing for your model. $1.99 for 5pcs. And free shipping. I like this model because it's 5 LEDs.

(*Remember you have to click thru and select the exact one in each listing that you want. Before you'll see the real price. The first price you see in search results is often for a smaller or lessor item. That is included in a group of items to choose from. That isn't the case with this listing.)

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out!
$1.99 85%OFF | 5PCS Touch Sensor Night Light Mini Lamp USB Plug Lights 5V Pocket Card Book Reading Table Lamp For Power Bank Computer Laptop
https://a.aliexpress.com/_msGD3ES
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Crimson_Phoenix

Does anybody make/recommend some USB powered light bars that can be both white or red? Something I could run off my battery bank and hang off the wall in the event of a prolonged blackout or hang in my tent?
Nowhere is a very big place to get lost.

Raptor

#6
Quote from: Crimson_Phoenix on May 04, 2024, 12:53:33 PMDoes anybody make/recommend some USB powered light bars that can be both white or red? Something I could run off my battery bank and hang off the wall in the event of a prolonged blackout or hang in my tent?
White ones are easy to find. So are red ones. That said I have not seem any that switch color.

On my boat i use usb strip lights that do change color with a remote. These will provide ow level white light and red for nighttime running.
https://www.amazon.com/XIAOOHO-32-8ft-Bedroom16-Million-Control/dp/B0BY7YGWXT/ref=mp_s_a_1_19?crid=JYYBI1LSFJII&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.TuqB0x698cH8_srSV2i8cRvL4ftZG-Llau2RHYgoRE_m06gJIVFqI62Q2QOZ1vmGatHKzvRsHathbQdvn6qHiY9fXeIx_MFuZneVrk5K3wJzKT9ZTFTzFElhhZLTp4-dKVUi0RpXJsrqeZTlNU5ALKi0WrPkpWxhcUF5-BGyolfri4v1YiOBV3OibHRnBJGSyvPmEy0LHBc4O6R46y0z3w.ZfifStu8KJnIOWlC5k4ResgUhLN7sJFMTSKRr5MNWCc&dib_tag=se&keywords=usb+strip+lights&qid=1714848832&sprefix=usb+strip+lights%2Caps%2C374&sr=8-19



https://www.amazon.com/LIGHUFEIC-Flexible-Energy-Saving-Bathroom-Sleeping/dp/B0CLHBPG25/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?crid=1L5T50IA3RO7O&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.t-yKkuY1wwItcuLHEjx2UP1_GSNmHpV8Gho3kBZvVB3nrC5C6t-dLIzW39QPYCAxKWTrTMi3KQ0_u1diPK0rAUY_dR1DNp5Ob_GClzjPvV1VbIYmaeFy7GLmSGaRpvjFoomxr_5e2bUKnLORKzQTNL0hNqGhF_0Hmi0GOKs93NbxGGxwVTq-B3gLU6P7G9ALZKdMLo5HQ3N1nNNK-0s48w.IalQTMj2u_9o7nxBFujo-IJjRM1LOBGaV-ZGq3lNBkI&dib_tag=se&keywords=usb+12v+led+screw+in+light+bulb+red&qid=1714849337&sprefix=usb+12v+led+screw+in+light+bulb+red%2Caps%2C324&sr=8-4

Folks you are on your own...Plan and act accordingly!

I will never claim to have all the answers. Depending upon the subject; I am also aware that I may not have all the questions much less the answers. As a result I am always willing to listen to others and work with them to arrive at the right answers to the applicable questions.

Moab

Quote from: Crimson_Phoenix on May 04, 2024, 12:53:33 PMDoes anybody make/recommend some USB powered light bars that can be both white or red? Something I could run off my battery bank and hang off the wall in the event of a prolonged blackout or hang in my tent?
I would search AliExpress. (The Amazon of China. A lot of us regular buy tons of gear and equipment from there for pennies on the dollar.) They have many very inexpensive led lights for various applications. I need red and white lights in my Jeep. And have found several. They sell a very cheap 2m led light strip for going on the back of your tv. That iirc comes with both 110 and 12v connections. And a tiny remote that can change it to any color. It was $2.16. I have one on my tv now. It's not outdoor rugged though. Just an example.

They also have every shape and size of led strip light you can imagine. In plastic housings that I'm sure could be waterproofed  One I am purchasing is a red/white 10 led array that straps to your roll bars. But I'm sure the individual unit is for sale too.

I think there is an AliExpress thread in Bargains and Deals. With a full description of best ways to search and buy on AliExpress. You want to use the daily free shipping with Choice.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Crimson_Phoenix

I suppose I can always do something like these, which can be daisy chained, and get creative with gel filters. https://www.amazon.com/iZELL-Cabinet-Lighting-Cabinets-Workbench/dp/B0BHWQ6NH1/ref=sr_1_7
Nowhere is a very big place to get lost.

EBuff75


Not a USB light, other than to charge it, but the Klarus WL3 has both white and red options.  I reviewed it in the work lights thread.  There is also a clone made by Sunrei that I mention in the review, along with the far more expensive competitor, the Fenix CL28R.
Information - it's all a battle for information. You have to know what's happening if you're going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Moab

Quote from: Crimson_Phoenix on May 04, 2024, 02:37:35 PMI suppose I can always do something like these, which can be daisy chained, and get creative with gel filters. https://www.amazon.com/iZELL-Cabinet-Lighting-Cabinets-Workbench/dp/B0BHWQ6NH1/ref=sr_1_7
You can get those on AliExpress for just a few dollars. If you don't mind waiting a couple weeks for shipping. 

I'll try to look on the app for similar items.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Crimson_Phoenix

Quote from: Moab on May 04, 2024, 06:11:39 PM
Quote from: Crimson_Phoenix on May 04, 2024, 02:37:35 PMI suppose I can always do something like these, which can be daisy chained, and get creative with gel filters. https://www.amazon.com/iZELL-Cabinet-Lighting-Cabinets-Workbench/dp/B0BHWQ6NH1/ref=sr_1_7
You can get those on AliExpress for just a few dollars. If you don't mind waiting a couple weeks for shipping.

I'll try to look on the app for similar items.

I've never used AliExpress and always worried about getting ripped off in a way I can never get a return or a refund. Are they generally trustworthy?
Nowhere is a very big place to get lost.

Moab

Quote from: Crimson_Phoenix on May 04, 2024, 11:01:00 PM
Quote from: Moab on May 04, 2024, 06:11:39 PM
Quote from: Crimson_Phoenix on May 04, 2024, 02:37:35 PMI suppose I can always do something like these, which can be daisy chained, and get creative with gel filters. https://www.amazon.com/iZELL-Cabinet-Lighting-Cabinets-Workbench/dp/B0BHWQ6NH1/ref=sr_1_7
You can get those on AliExpress for just a few dollars. If you don't mind waiting a couple weeks for shipping.

I'll try to look on the app for similar items.

I've never used AliExpress and always worried about getting ripped off in a way I can never get a return or a refund. Are they generally trustworthy?
Very. I've purchased $300+ items and .80 cent items. And about 50+ items in the last year. Not one problem. Don't use Temu or Wish or any of the others. To expensive and many ill described products. Alibaba is the parent company and supplies products to just about every company in America in bulk. AliExpress is there retail app.

Read my thread on them in the Bargains section though. Good tutorial using app, best prices and things to avoid.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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