Review: Luci Explore from MPOWERD (2020)

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Through my participation at The Dyrt forum and app, I was offered the chance to review the Luci Explore. This is a combination solar powered light and Bluetooth speaker.

The Luci Explore charging on the picnic table during the day.

Review

I used this light in several situations to test it out. Since I tend to travel in the southwestern states, there’s plenty of solar power to make this light shine. On a scale of 1 to 5, I rate the Luci Explore as a 4. The app is where the Luci Explore falls short for me, and my rating reflects that.

Pros
  • The light is lightweight and compact. It’s enough to provide light for a picnic table outside or gently light up an area inside a tent or RV.
  • Once it’s fully charged, the standard light (without moods and shifting colors) is enough to keep going for a long time. I accidentally left the light on during the day, and it was still going strong overnight. I usually set mine at around 40% brightness, so it may be shorter depending on brightness level.
  • It survives (and still works) in light winds. I tested this in Amarillo, which is billed as the windiest city in the US. I left it on a picnic table during 8-12 mph winds, and it stayed put while still working. However, if there are wind gusts, it will get blown off. I’d recommend putting it in a safe place if wind gusts over 20mph are expected. Even though mine did get blown off a picnic table, it still charges and works as intended.
  • A USB charging cable is included, and it fully charges the Luci Explore in 5-6 hours.
  • The speaker is good in close proximity, up to about 5 feet.
Cons
  • The app (for me) falls short.
    • I’m not sure if the original app was for a different phone OS (I’m using the latest iOS on my iPhone XS Max), but the placement of some of the UI elements means I’m repeatedly stabbing sections of the app trying to get the feature I want. The UI elements are too close to the top and edges.
    • While the Moods are cool, I wanted just a little more guidance. How many colors can I use? Can I set the transition time myself?
    • It also seems as though the app does not remember the previous brightness level if you turn the light off, so you end up having to reset to your preferred brightness level.
    • The battery level percentage is not real-time. I’ve checked it to find 54%, and a few minutes later, the light was no longer on. I’m not sure why it isn’t updating correctly.
  • Due to the compact and lightweight nature, this item could easily disappear or be stolen if left outside unattended.
  • It takes 19-25 hours for a full charge using solar.

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