Monday, 23 January 2012

REVIEW: Book Light - Paperback LED Light Panel by positiveideas

Bookaholics who tend to stay up late at night reading but have a partner who shares the room must surely understand the all-too-common dilemma of having to switch off the lights so your partner can sleep, but dammit you're just about to get to the good part in your novel but you don't want to get out of bed and continue reading in the living room.

The solution would of course be to get a nice book light, one that illuminates enough for you to enjoy your reading, but not pervasive enough to bother your pesky non-reading partner.

I've been married quite a while now. So it goes without saying I've been wanting a really good book light for some time. Getting a book light had become more crucial after little Sophie was born. I wanted to read in bed but neither the wife nor the baby would shut up and go to sleep when the lights were on.

I scoured the internet for a solution and discovered the LightWedge, a really nifty device that, like it's name suggests, is shaped like a cheese wedge. The "cheese wedge" is actually a transparent piece of quality plastic panel which is fastened to a black spine. The spine is equipped with several LEDs that shoot out light which the plastic cheese wedge then spreads all over the surface of the plastic.

It would be positioned neatly over the page of the book and illuminate the whole page with equal light. The product garnered quite a number of good reviews. It looked like the perfect thing for me. Unfortunately the price that it was asked for was a bit too rich for my blood: approximately RM130.

I forgot about it and considered getting one of those cheap clip-on lights instead.

But then several years later as I was browsing MPH bookstores, I discovered a cheap knockoff of the LightWedge, called the Book Light. I considered buying it but I decided to wait a little bit and check online for reviews.

Unfortunately, nobody really reviewed it or I couldn't find someone who actually reviewed the damn thing because when you give your product such a generic name, it makes it impossible to find in Google. So I forgot about it for a while until just before Christmas of 2011 when I found myself at a Christmas MPH sale in Putrajaya (ironically selling mostly Islamic books). The Book Light was offered for RM25 so I thought, okay, why not.

You've read this far, so I'll reward your patience by getting to the point. The Book Light is a piece of crap that isn't even worth the admittedly well-designed packaging it came in.

Reasons why I hate the damn thing so much:

1) The quality of plastic is shoddy. When I bought it, I made sure to take the Book Light out of the box to see if there were any scratches on the surface of the plastic panel. I didn't see any and was pleased that the manufacturers had sealed the panel with a protective layer of sheet plastic. But when I got home and turned on the light to test, the all too obvious scratches and deformities of the plastic began to make itself apparent. There were wavy patterns and a multitude of tiny scratches all over the panel, which annoyed me to no end because it distracted from my reading.

2) The LEDs kept flickering. Any light that flickers is bound to give anyone a headache. It wasn't because of the batteries either. The Book Light didn't come with its own batteries (no wonder it was so damn cheap) so I bought fresh new batteries just for the device. And speaking of batteries...

3) It uses three AAA batteries. What kind of moron designs a device that uses THREE AAA batteries? Batteries aren't sold in threes, they're sold in twos so when you need to buy batteries for the Book Light you might end up with more batteries than you need. I wouldn't cared as much if it were AA batteries as I usually have quite a lot of those in the house for other devices (e.g. Wii remotes and clocks).

Packaging (front)

Packaging (back)

The Book Light (unlit)

The Book Light (lit)

The Book Light, while lit in the dark. Notice the scratches.
Are there any redeeming qualities about the Book Light? I would say none. I did get one benefit out of it though. There was a blackout recently in my area and I used the Book Light to light up my face which amused Sophie immensely.

I would have loved to give you a background of positiveideas, the delightful company that came up with the Book Light but it seems their rather useful website has been hacked, leaving us with just this charming message:
Hacked by RKH | Hoax Trojan | DSRsysGR | E404 | Loading Fr | Alb Dragon |
As a book light, the Book Light is worth less than guano, because you know, bat shit is kind of useful. As a tool that lights your face up like a phantom, it does better.

My recommendation: do not buy.


  1. I was just about to buy it. Luckily I read your comment. Better safe my money for a better one. Thanks for the honest comment. Huh...BADLY NEED A GOOD BOOK LIGHT!!!

  2. Do you know where can I get the lightwedge book light? I'm malaysian in KL. Hope you can suggest...

  3. A good book light I can recommend is the Energizer Book Light, which costs RM30. I cant recommend the book wedge as I dontthink its sold inMalaysia anymore.

  4. Dear, Ted.
    I was searching for booklight on the net when I found your blog. Thank you for recommending the Energizer Booklite. I bought one and am really satisfied with it.

    1. Glad I helped! The Energizer Book Light really is a great light for reading in the dark. Had it for 3 years now and still going strong. I did change the batteries last year though.

  5. Nice post


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