Mobile LED lights in practice: Olight Obulb Pro is too expensive and Philips Hue Go doesn’t last long

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Battery operated lights are a beautiful thing. Completely independent of the position, rooms can be illuminated with atmospheric light or the balcony or the barbecue can be decorated with beautiful light sources in the evening. The market for battery-powered lights is now large. In addition to the private sector, which is dominated by rather unknown manufacturers, there is also a professional market. For example, restaurants are important customers for battery-powered table lamps.

For this notebook test, we decided on a lighting system that could most likely pass as a lantern. The Olight Obulb Pro (58 mm high, 65 mm diameter, 105 grams) is not a flashlight or a classic table lamp. Rather, they can be set up flexibly and hung up anywhere using magnets or accessories. They had to compete against a classic: *.

In terms of price, both are roughly on the same level of 50 to 60 euros (~$54-65, street price). But since we bought two of the Olight Obulb Pro for test reasons, the set is of course twice as expensive. The price is somewhat dependent on the distribution channel. If you buy the Obulbs directly from Olight, you will get many discounts. But the most important thing is that you can also buy the lanterns without a charging cable. On Amazon, however, the Obulb Pro offer is greatly simplified*.

Notebookcheck bought the Obulbs directly from Olight. One was a Halloween set that included a “costume/cover” for it, but no charging cable. The other device was purchased with the standard charging cable.

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Olight magnetic charging cable

Reducing unnecessary duplicate charging cables is extremely handy, but unfortunately they are proprietary. The lanterns are charged via a round magnetic plug, which has a USB-A plug on the other side. Anyone who has several products in the Olight universe will know this handy connection cable called MCC, which makes it even easier for the lights to achieve IPX7.

The big disadvantage of the plug: If you lose or misplace the cable, you can no longer charge the lights. And when the manufacturer goes out of business, you get a bigger problem.

The battery-powered Hue light from Philips doesn’t have this problem. However, it still needs a barrel connector for charging. If in doubt, these can be found in the aftermarket, provided the voltage and current are correct.

An entire room can be illuminated

When it comes to lighting, the Obulbs show their best side. In the basic setting (without the app, more on that later), the lanterns cannot light up a room, but serve as an excellent mood light that also allows for some creative arrangements. Then the balls last for several days. We have tried this with different light colors and even the interplay. They usually last two full days.

However, the interplay, whether flowing color changes or powerful steps, is uncomfortably hectic. The colors change too quickly, and unfortunately this cannot be adjusted.

At maximum brightness, the obulbs approach the range of room lighting and should be positioned accordingly. An example is a home emergency light that sticks to the fridge thanks to the built-in magnet. Even ceiling lights with a lot of metal can be used as a base. Both hanging and side mounted, the magnets hold securely.

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The Halloween kit is fun. A rubber cover was included in the scope of delivery, with which the lamp can then be hung up as a ghost – without magnets.

Not the best color representation on Olight

The color representation of the balls is not convincing. You can’t see individual LEDs, the diffuser above the sphere does a decent job, but some shading can be seen inside the sphere. In addition, colors such as red or green appear unclean. No comparison, for example, with the very small Fenix ​​​​CL09, which delivers very clean-looking colors. Unfortunately, this cannot be captured with the camera. Smartphone cameras in particular fail and sometimes show completely wrong colors. This is only marginally better with a Nikon Z50. For sample photos of the CL09, see our Apple TV and Homepod Mini hotel review.

The obulbs, on the other hand, do very well in smartphone cameras, but also in the Nikon Z50. Incidentally, this is an effect that is also known from televisions. Displaying red brake lights from cars well is still a challenge in terms of correct display. That hasn’t changed with HDR either.

Philips Hue Go consistently delivers better results here, albeit with a different approach. Color choices are definitely limited. The Hue Go, for example, does not produce clear yellow. Blue also seems kind of weak. It is also annoying that the LEDs shine through on the side. The highlight of the Hue Go is of course the Cozy Candle mode. This simulates the flickering of a candlelight, which is perceived rather subconsciously. The light can also be integrated into the Zigbee system at home. That’s not possible at all with Olight’s Obulb Pro. The powerful Hue app is well known, so we won’t go into it here.

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App control with quirks and interesting features

With the Obulb, on the other hand, this is a special feature. These self-sufficient little lights rarely have app control. However, the app has numerous flaws. While pairing is very easy, further operation is fraught with hassle at times.

Speaking of special, the coupling can be transferred to another smartphone via QR code. We successfully transferred control from an iPhone 12 to an iPhone SE without re-pairing. After that, both smartphones functioned as controls via Bluetooth – remote control is actually not possible at all.

Once the lanterns are paired, the brightness and light color can be adjusted via the app. In addition, the lanterns can even be switched on and off in groups. However, light color and brightness cannot be set for all lights in the app. Rather, activating a group loads the last state of each individual light.

Unfortunately, the desired light concert cannot be saved. The group function does not seem well thought out. Also, the app sometimes fails to connect to the lights. Then the lanterns must first be activated manually. We suspect that the Bluetooth function will become dormant after a while.