Product: Mr Beams LED Home Power Outage Lighting System
Rating: Strong Recommend*
I've always loved living in older buildings. Of the five different apartments I've rented throughout the years, four were constructed between 1907-1922. Juxtaposing modern furnishings with period detailing is always a winning combination in my book. But the tradeoff of calling older architecture "home" can be living with the quirks of period details where electrical outlets are at a premium and as a renter, adding lighting can be difficult. That's where something like the Mr Beams lighting systems offer a viable solution without messing with any wiring...
We're already big believers in the the Mr Beams Anywhere Ceiling Light, an overhead lighting solution which actually provides usable light instead of the weak cheese, puny spotlights sold at Home Depot and other big box stores. The sensor light works without a hitch and the illumination actually reaches the recesses of the closet we'd long lost forgotten in the previous darkness prior to installing the unit overhead. After purchasing several other battery powered units, I'm not exaggerating when I say this ceiling light does the job of a wired unit.
Recently the folks at Mr Beams followed up and sent their latest new bit of tech, this one not so much designed for everyday use, but in times of emergency, when the power goes out and you need some light to guide your way over to wherever you stow away your candles and stash of emergency provisions.
The Mr Beams Home Power Outage Detector looks suspiciously like another technological accessory we know and love, doesn't it? But the mouse-like device is the centerpiece of a lighting system which wirelessly turns on various components in times when the power cuts out. The battery powered device is kept plugged in, charging; when it detects the absence of incoming power, it automatically turns on a bright LED light, followed by wirelessly turning on the backup light components throughout the house (systems range from 2 to 4 piece set, mixing ceiling lights and pathway lighting). And at any time, the control unit can be used as a remote and turn on the ceiling or pathway lights at the touch of a button.
Easy to use controls; one to turn additional external lights, the one beneath for flashlight function.
We haven't had a blackout yet, but we tested the unit by turning off the electricity using our fusebox. And as guaranteed, the backup lighting came on without a hitch, and the central remote unit permits use even when everything is fine and dandy with incoming power, convenient for occasional safety lighting (perhaps in a basement).
The system is priced higher than the cheaper (and cheaply) made units we've noted above from big box stores; construction of the detector is especially durable; the ceiling light and pathway lights are a little less sturdy in plastic quality (aka typical made in China casing). But with the extra features, it seems reasonable.
All in all, it's a fantastic system for someone like myself who wants to add additional lighting to an apartment or small home as a renter, but cannot add (or is not permitted) hard wiring. The emergency-on feature is a bonus, while the remote control illumination for daily or occasional use has come in handy, and in just 15-30 minutes, you can have a multi-lighting emergency system installed with nothing more than a screwdriver.
Pros: All units provide more than sufficient illumination, central remote unit is well designed (especially if you like the Apple Magic Mouse), wireless turn-on communication is handy during power outage
Cons: Price is a modest investment, construction of outer casing of both ceiling and walkway lights could be a little more durable, included instructions needs improvement (website is much better at communicating system).
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.