Friday, June 19, 2015

Ikea LJUSA LED Flashlight Review

Been meaning to pick up this flashlight for a while. Almost did a few weeks ago, but I hesitated at the thought of having another item sitting around gathering dust. Curiosity ate away at me. A flashlight that didn't need batteries? For about $5? Sign me up?

I did not buy the LJUSA flashlight for any specific purpose. The item was purchased out of curiosity. It was found in the kid's section of the Ikea store and website, so my impression was that it was meant mainly as a toy. However, a battery-less flashlight does have a theoretical, non-amusement related, application or two. One potential use could be in the event that one's primary, battery powered flashlight has run out of batteries. And then there's just not having to worry about buying batteries if one doesn't plan on using a flashlight very often -- maybe in an emergency? How well does the LJUSA work for these applications? No idea. I haven't tested it and have no idea how reliable it is over the long-term or in emergency situations. It's just a toy, to me, that might come in handy at some point.
Ikea LJUSA Flashlight In the Box
Ikea LJUSA LED flashlight, hand-powered - USD$ 4.99 (CAD$ 5.99)

Overview of Ikea LJUSA LED Flashlight
Ikea LJUSA LED versus Maglite Solitaire LED

It was packaged in a cardboard box. More specifically, it had a cardboard shell with openings. This left the button, the head of the flashlight (side with the lights), and the crank on the back exposed. Removing the cardboard shell exposed a fully intact and assembled flashlight.

Assembly Time:  5 minutes?

Unpackaged Ikea LJUSA Flashlight

The LJUSA stood on its head pretty well unless I knocked it over.

Expandability / Customizability
Goes great beside a second LJUSA flashlight?

How was it?
The first thing I did was press the on/off button to see if there was any power left. There was, but the light was very dim. Not sure if someone played with it at the store, if the capacitor had some residual energy left from quality assurance testing, or what.

Following the instructions provided with the LJUSA, I cranked the lever and pressed the on/off button. What I gathered from the instructions was that 30 revolutions would produce 90 seconds of light. With the unit I got, there were a few caveats. The big one was that cranking it slowly -- maybe one revolution per second -- did not appear to charge the flashlight as the light produced was still very dim after I tried that. I thought it may had been broken or that the dim light was the best it could do. Turning it back off and cranking it faster resulted in a much brighter light.

Run-Time of Flashlight
I played around with the LJUSA to see how long the light would last depending on the number of cranks. The results were interesting and somewhat puzzling. In summary, I tried to discharge the battery until the light was really dim, and then I cranked it a certain number of times. The light was then turned on and left on for about ten minutes before repeating with a different number of cranks -- 10, 15, 20, and 25 cranks were tried. This was a rough, casual test, and definitely not scientific, so I wouldn't consider these reliable results.

Anyway, I found out that the lamp was fairly bright for about 1 minute at 10 revolutions, and this time increased gradually to about 2 or 3 minutes at 25 spins. Each time, leaving the lamp on for 10 minutes still did not result in any of the three LEDs turning off completely. There was at least a bit of usable light at the 10 minute mark -- in a very dark room, I could still make out letters if the lamp was held within a foot of the object. The brightness seemed to gradually fade from the moment it was turned on. No distinct phases of brightness were noticed.

I didn't try to crank it past 30 times at once because there didn't seem to be any documentation about it being okay or not. With a limited understanding of electronics, not doing something to potentially break it seemed like a good idea.

Ikea LJUSA versus Maglite Solitaire LED

Color Temperature
The product page on the website said that the color temperature of the lamp was supposed to be a warm white at 3000 k. I didn't have a meter to determine the exact temperature, but the LJUSA appeared to produce a much cooler white light. It didn't look like any of the three 2700k, warm white LED light bulbs I had used for over a year. The temperature better resembled my MAGLITE LED Solitaire.

Again, I didn't have a meter to measure the brightness. At what I thought was peak brightness after 25-ish cranks, the LJUSA's brightness appeared to be less than my MAGLITE LED Solitaire. Documentation for the MAGLITE suggested that it was 37 lumens. However, the battery wasn't full, so it was probably less than that.

For CAD$ 5.99, the LJUSA was a fun and useful toy for me -- fully grown adult. Not sure how appropriate it would be for its target audience of children in terms of fun or safety. I'll try to update this in the future to say if it's still working or not.

More Ikea Product Reviews


  1. Thanks for your valuable review. I am searching this.

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