Natural light has always been a problem in our home — most of our windows face south and we have overhangs that prevent sunlight from coming in. Combine that with dark wood flooring and trim, and you've got yourself a recipe for living spaces that always seem to need extra light.
This is especially a problem in our living room, where we have zero overhead light and limited outlet space. When I got the opportunity to review the Dyson Lightcycle Morph lamp, I went in with high hopes that the device could re-shape our home's atmosphere. Ahead, details about the product and my honest review. (While I did receive the Dyson Lightcycle Morph free of charge, this in no way influenced my opinions of the product.)
What Is the Dyson Lightcycle Morph?
Like Dyson's other innovative products, the Lightcycle Morph is multifunctional and boasts impressive engineering. On the surface, it's a lamp (available in both floor and desk models), but its construction and settings aim to provide you and your home with the ample benefits of natural light. Jake Dyson, engineer of the Lightcycle Morph and son of the company's namesake, explains: "Our aim was to challenge the fundamental conventions of contemporary artificial lighting and find a solution. So we developed a light that tracks natural daylight and intelligently transforms for different uses — providing the right light, at the right time, precisely where it's needed."
How Does It Work?
What you get is a rather futuristic-looking perforated metal cylinder that sits atop a circular base, with an arm at the top. When the arm is closed, the cylinder illuminates to provide ambient lighting. Swivel the arm out, and it transforms into a task lamp that feels like a powerful flashlight you can position (it rotates 360 degrees) to create different lighting effects.
From there, you can program (either manually via the controls on the lamp or through the connected app) two main settings: the brightness of the light and the color of it (which varies from a harsher white, which is more like daylight, to a warm glow).
But the main draw of the Lightcycle Morph is its intelligent programming, which adjusts according to the time of day — a bonus it claims can support your well-being. (It can also be calibrated for your age: "As we get older, we need up to four times more light," Dyson explains.) On the Synchronized setting, in the daytime, the light feels whiter, and gets brighter/warmer as evening sets in.
For those truly interested in adjusting the light settings to suit their mental wellness, there are some interesting modes you can program it to: Study Mode "surpasses recommended levels for studying and regulates blue light exposure in the evenings"; Wake-Up Mode "set[s] your light to switch on and brighten gradually for a more natural wake-up environment."
I placed the Lightcycle Morph floor model in the back corner of my living room. What I love about so many Dyson products is the easy and intuitive set-up — it's almost not worth mentioning because I had the whole thing up and running in about five minutes. For the first week or so, I selected the Synchronized setting — that's the one that automatically adjusts to the daylight. During the day, I didn't find that the Morph's illumination made my room feel much brighter, nor did I notice any improvement in my well-being as it related to light, despite spending most of my working and post-work hours in this room. The lamp did feel more useful when the days were shorter, at the beginning of spring, as around the early evening there would be a nicer equilibrium of light as the daylight waned and the Morph increased.
These days, I tend to run the Morph manually, adjusting the brightness and color to suit my needs — and almost exclusively in the evening. For the most part, I'll swivel the task lamp to bounce off the ceiling or a wall on a warmer color setting and the effect is a fairly powerful yet calming overall lightscape that fills the room. When I'm watching TV, I'll flip the task lamp over, so the perforated barrel illuminates, which is just enough ambient light for movie time.
I do love that you can leave it on the Synchronized setting or set up a lighting program so that when you're not home, you always have light on. And for a single lamp, it can truly accommodate so many different setups and purposes.
Yet I have a few hangups about the Lightcycle Morph. The first is just on a personal, aesthetic level — this is a very sleek and modern piece of equipment and it's just hard to work into a decor scheme that isn't contemporary or minimalist. Second, it just didn't seem to improve my mental or physical health — at least, I noticed zero effects during the daytime. It made me wonder if, actually, my home has more natural light than I'd thought and perhaps this would really be suited more to folks living in dense, urban dwellings. And the third issue some may have with this product is the price. The desk Morph will run you $649.99 while the floor model is $849.99. Now, if you're looking to invest in a light for your office (and I feel that this is the room best-suited for it) that you will truly never, ever replace (because lord knows Dyson products last and last and last), then it's worth the investment.
Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.