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Sauce LightWasher



Sauce LightWasher
Color Kinetics, 'Sauce' consumer products, price $29 from the Glow Bug

Last Updated: 01-09-02


Color-changing Light



The Sauce LightWasher is another of a whole new line of brand new products from Color Kinetics, makers of the famous C-series color changing architechtural lighting fixtures and the original Sauce LightWand.

The LightWasher plugs directly into a 120VAC outlet, and splashes your wall & ceiling with ever changing colors while using just 3 watts of power - less than half the power used by an ordinary nightlight!



The LightWasher comes in an attractive, but once again difficult to open retail blister pack. Remove the LightWasher from the package, and (to steal a phrase from a popular TV commercial), plug it in, plug it in!!

The LightWasher has five different modes (four actually do something) and several effects you can apply to each mode. To access these modes, just push the button.
  • Color wash - smoothly cycles through the rainbow.
  • Random color - flashes random colors on your walls.
  • Fixed color - the LightWasher stays a single color of your choosing.
  • Dimmer - the unit glows a whitish cyan color that can be set to a brightness of your choosing.
  • Off - Turns the unit off.

Press the button once for color wash, twice for random, three times for fixed color, four times for dimmer; the fifth press turns it off.
Once you have a mode you want, rotating the small wheel on the front of the case changes the effect on that mode. The changing of an effect is announced by the light very briefly winking off, this lets you know to be ready to quit turning the wheel when you reach an effect you like, or continue spinning until your desired effect does come up.

The single button/wheel combination is the next logical step, and makes it easier than ever to get the fixture to do *just* what you want.
No rows of confusing DIP switches to mess with either.



Since the LightWasher plugs in, there will be no discussion about batteries.



This is an interesting and eye-catching little light.
Plug it in anywhere you want some color in your life: the bedroom, bathroom, living room, den, hallway, or wherever you have an outlet and a need to be creative.
Do you have a dull dorm room? Put one or two of these in there and say goodbye to your dreary surroundings for good.
Liven up parties and holidays, perk up that colorless can, or spice up that dreary, windowless kitchen like so many of us apartment dwellers have.

Since this is not meant to be a portable product like a flashlight, some of the "punishments" they receive will not be bestowed upon the LightWasher. Treat this guy as you would a nice nightlight, and it should reward you with many years of cheerful, colorful lighting effects.

The LightWasher uses 6 LEDs (2 red, 2 green, and 2 blue) to illuminate your walls & ceiling. A transluscent plastic cover spreads and diffuses the light so the colors mix properly.

NOTE: The light appears less effective in this DAYLIGHT photo; it is more pronounced after dark.

One feature I like is that you can adjust the various effects with the small thumbwheel or dial, rather than having to push & hold in a button.
This wheel allows you to dial in - exactly - the specific color you want (in Fixed Color mode) and the exact brightness you want (in Dimmer mode).

When the light is first put in Dimmer mode, it is at full brightness. Spinning the dial either way dims, reversing the direction of spin brightens it back up. YOU can choose how bright YOU want it, and not have to settle for just two or three "factory" settings.

When the light is set in Fixed Color mode, use the wheel to change the color to whatever suits your fancy. Did you just spin the dial too far and miss your color? No problem - just spin it the other way a bit and the light "backs up". (It also behaves this way in Dimmer mode). You don't have to cycle through every color again with this handy wheel at your fingertips.


For Color Wash and Random Color, the wheel adjusts the speed of each effect; you can make the colors change faster or slower to suit your wishes. With these two effects, it does not matter what direction you turn the wheel; the effect will change the same way regardless; but it IS speed-sensitive, so you can give it a fast spin and not have to wait like you would with a single-button control.


TEST NOTES:

I just received this eyepopping toy, so testing (and fun) is currently in progress.
They come in several cheerful body colors, including transluscent purple, transluscent orange, transluscent red (all with "sparklies"), and a sleek matte black finish.

These are for INDOOR use only. As with any nightlight, plug them in only in an exposed outlet, not one covered by curtains or bedclothes.

NOTE: The entire line of Sauce stuff is expected to show up in stores (test locations) this month (July 2001). Here is a list of places stolen off the Color Kinetics websites where you might find Sauce:

REI 800-426-4840
Hot Topic 800-892-8674
Claire's Accessories 847-765-1100
Chiasso 877-244-2776
Glow Store Inc. (Spencer Gifts chain) 866-469-2259
Longs Drug Store 808-625-5211
National Record Mart 412-276-6200
SFMOMA Museum Store 415-357-4035
The Ultimate Taxi 970-927-9239

UPDATE 10-23-01:
All Sauce products are now available at amazon.com. (Link opens new window)

Sauce Lightwands only are now available at:
ToysRUs.com, (which is amazon.com with a different label)
RadioShack Stores under the brand name "MetaMorph"
Discovery Channel stores.


UPDATE 01-09-02:
Test unit was destroyed after being plugged into a dimmer circuit. Apparently, the altered AC waveform causes a resistor to overheat and burn up to the point of charring, probably taking some other parts along for the ride. So it's probably not a good idea to run this or any other AC-powered Sauce product on a dimmer circuit.



Any updates related to this review will be posted as they happen.




PROS:
UNIQUE, bright enough to see in most lighting conditions (though it is more effective in a dark area), good looking case, easy to learn & use.

CONS:
Not waterproof, so steer clear of sinks, tubs, and toilets. Use the same care as you would with any AC powered appliance. :) CANNOT use on a dimmer circuit.


                PRODUCT RATING:

                DURABILITY: 8
                BRIGHTNESS: 8
                USEABILITY: 7*
                BATTERY LIFE: N/A
                BATTERY AVAILABILITY: N/A

                OVERALL SCORE: 43

              * Cannot use on dimmer circuit


Sauce LightWasher * WWW.CKSAUCE.COM



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