Review: Power Practical – Luminoodle

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It might sound like a silly name, but the Power Practical Luminoodle is a serious product. I have a couple of other innovative pieces of kit from Power Practical: their power generating thermoelectric cook pot, the Power Pot XL, and the Practical Meter. The Luminoodle, however, is brand new and extremely innovative.luminoodle1

At heart, it’s pretty simple. Take a five-foot length of the flexible circuit, string it with 26 LEDs, give it a dual-sided USB power plug, and sheath it in a waterproof case. Unlike a handheld flashlight or dangling lantern, having a flexible string of LED’s means you can put a band of light where you want it and keep it there. More than that, Power Practical put a fair bit of thought into how you’d actually use the thing.

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The Luminoodle system can be hung or draped just as is, but with the addition of two magnetic brackets, one at each end, and a third on a sliding bracket that can be moved anywhere along its length, you have the ability to limpet-mine the strand to steel. They also stick to themselves, so you can form loops for wrapping or bundling it all up.

A cord loop at the non-charging end lets you hook and dangle the Luminoodle, and it also comes with four silicone NoodleTies which make it easy to lash the light strip to just about anything. They’re tough, easy to use, and can be doubled up to wrap around larger objects.

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Used in conjunction, these three attachment options let you quickly set up an area-effect lighting system that puts out a clean, steady white light. I opted for the 10′ strand Luminoodle which features 52 of those seven-lumen, 3528 LED lights, for even more light.


Power Practical offers a Lithium 4400 battery pack to go with them, but any other portable USB battery pack or power source works just fine. The five-foot Luminoodle uses 2.5 W (500 mA @ 5V), which means it will run for about 6 hours on the Lithium 4400 battery, the 10-foot length for around half that. That battery pack can also charge any USB device at up to 2A and has a built-in LED strip, making for easy Luminoodle setup in the dark.

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The LED strip is completely encased in a high-quality single-piece silicone tube and capped and glued with even more silicone to make for an IP67-rated waterproof light. IP67 means it can withstand submersion in water up to three feet, covering most activities short of skin to SCUBA diving. The battery pack isn’t waterproof, which curtails much sub-surface use beyond dangling, but I think it would work well strung along the hull of a kayak or skiff. The combination of the high-efficiency LED’s (which don’t produce much heat), the waterproof shield, and the spacing of the LED’s keep it a very low heat option for such a solid lumen output.

But it’s not a flashlight. If you want to cast light any further than a lantern, get a proper flashlight.

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By shoving the Luminoodle into its translucent rip-stop nylon bag, Luminoodle acts just like a lantern by diffusing light and spreading it around 360 degrees. My favorite attachment option though is those magnets. You can use the magnets to stick to the underside your car bonnet, a hurricane fence, or even the side of the shipping container you’re sheltering in. But sometimes strip lighting isn’t want you want or need.

The original Luminoodle is on sale here on their site, and they have a Kickstarter on the go for a new, improved, expanded Luminoodle, the Basecamp, plus a polychromic version, the Color. Check them out!

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Apocalypse Josh

Josh Orth is a second generation expat currently dwelling in the arguably civilized outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. He's lived in deserts, jungles and urban sprawls around the world and traveled/adventured into assorted inhospitable places around the world and has a keen sense of the speed with which the trappings of 'civilized Western life' can disappear. This has led him to begin writing about his interests and observations when it comes to the gear, skills and other necessities of self reliance of being equipped for whatever a capricious, occasionally indurate life might throw at him. This isn't by any means to say our eccentric friend actually longs for life in dystopia, but if he had to he might not complain. Read more by Josh at Apocalypse Equipped.


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2 thoughts on “Review: Power Practical – Luminoodle

  • March 27, 2016 at 8:35 am
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    Wow! Should have went to their page first. Price is quite reasonable, $40 for a 5 footer and Lithium 4400. Hell, I spend more than that on batteries. Thanks for this review, you just made them a sale!

    Reply
  • March 27, 2016 at 8:27 am
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    This looks like an interesting bit of gear. I have installed LED string lights for under-cabinet and under- counter lighting on several jobs. Not purpose made type, decorative type LED string lights. The types that are sold specifically as lighting appliances are WAY pricey. The decoratives are much cheaper and work just as well, and in some instances much better. This mobile system is quite intriguing, especially since it can work from multiple power sources. Going to their page and get one to checkout in “the field”.

    Reply

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