One of the advantages of working as a freelance translator (or other freelance professional) is the almost total freedom to determine how to work and when to work. Some translators choose to stick to a fixed schedule, while others work on a more ad hoc basis and fit their schedule to their lifestyle. For those professionals working a great deal in the evening there is the MySun Desk Lamp. In this xl8 review I evaluate this innovative desk lamp.
The importance of a great day-night cycle
Roughly a century ago almost all people mainly worked with their hands, awaking early, working hard and going to bed early as well. While these people, without doubt, had their own health problems, they were often too tired to stay awake for hours. The rise of other jobs, where people mainly use their minds instead of their hands (except for using a keyboard of course), and the introduction of smartphones and tablets with their devastating blue light has changed that. People are sticking to the displays of devices for hours, jumbling up their biorythm and causing their own distress during the night.
People are sticking to the displays of devices for hours, jumbling up their biorythm and causing their own distress during the night
The use of a display at night can have negative consequences for our sleep cycle in particular, making people fall asleep late and wake up as tired as the night before.
The lack of exposure to natural light plays a role as well. If we are living inside the whole day we simply get too little sunlight to stay healthy. That is where the MySun Desk Lamp comes in.
MySun Desk Lamp
The MySun Desk Lamp was created by Konrad Jarausch, who was looking for a solution for people working at their desks and therefore lacking the right amount of sunlight. Jarausch designed a desk lamp that may be the closest you can get to sitting next to a sun-filled window. Using LED technology, he created a product that enables us to see colors and details at their finest with true full-spectrum natural light. The MySun Desk Lamp automatically delivers daily and seasonal cycles of natural light.
In order to understand how the lamp works, it is important to know that natural light is not the same over the course of a day. In the morning natural light is cool, while over the day it becomes more and more warm. In other words, the morning light contains more blue light, whereas light at night contains more orange light.
The MySun desk lamp measures the amount of natural light and adapts its own light to it, so that the light at the desk is about the same as the light outside. By doing so the lights automatically deliver the cycle of natural light (cool/bright light during the day and warm/soft light in the evening). While there are more similar products at the market nowadays, the MySun desk lamp distinguishes itself by a ‘LED light engine’ which actively mixes six colors and a custom-built controller which is pre-set to your location before the lamp ships. This controller (a dimmer switch) includes a ‘real-time clock’ with a battery back-up.
People who are not happy with the pre-set location can use an optional app on their smartphone or tablet to set their own light temperature.
The MySun Desk Lamp automatically delivers daily and seasonal cycles of natural light.
Using the MySun Desk Lamp
So that is a lot of theory for something as simple as a desk lamp. Yet this information is very helpful as the MySun desk lamp does a magical job in changing with the natural light over time although this goes almost unnoticed.
During the test period I used the desk lamp mainly during the day, but the few times I used it at night were pretty impressive.
The MySun Desk Lamp offers an industrial design with a sturdy adjustable frame. In contrast to other desk lamps it does not have a base, but should be clamped directly on the edge of a desk. While that will not be a problem for many desk lovers, for me it was because of the traditionally machined edge of my partner desk. I was unable to get to grips with the vice-like clamp on the lamp and had to adjust it with some creative solutions.
Switching on the desk lamp is as easy as moving the dimmer switch. At the lowest position of the stepless dimmer the lamp already offers plenty of light so moving the dimmer switch to the highest position is not necessary. The light in the morning and over the day cannot be distinguished from the natural light outside my office, but the lamp still does a good job of making my surroundings visible. An added advantage is that the LED technology keeps the light from becoming hot, so the MySun Desk Lamp can always be touched without burning your hands.
Owing to the technology, the change in the light temperature goes unnoticed, which makes the desk lamp a silent but helpful companion (although the advantages are not as obvious as when the contrast between the desk lamp and natural light should have been more visible).
The warm light works in a calming fashion, enabling you to do some last tasks before going to bed.
At night especially, the MySun Desk Lamp is impressive. People who have used the lamp for a whole day and are used to the cool light see a striking contrast when switching on the MySun Desk Lamp at night: it offers a warm orange light, which is entirely different from the usual lamps people use. This warm light however feels very natural and does not consume energy by activating your body to act against its nature. The warm light works in a calming fashion, enabling you to do some last tasks before going to bed. Somehow the light works with the natural cycle of the body, not against it. After having used MySun Desk Lamp at night I was still able to fall asleep soon after.
Pros and cons of the MySun Desk Lamp
While the theory behind the MySun Desk Lamp offers many (scientific) explanations that should guarantee the health benefits of the desk lamp, the proof of the pudding is only in the eating. After having used the desk lamp for a few months I feel it really does a good job. However, that is only a feeling – without any scientific justification. It is nevertheless obvious that the changing color of the light improves my wellbeing instead of acting against it.
By design the lamp can be adjusted easily but only on an Y and Z axis, so it cannot be turned to the left and the right.
Mounting the desk lamp is straightforward. Personally, I would have loved to see the lamp shipped with a base, which would offer some further options for locating it. Now, the vise-like mounting of the lamp limits its positioning somewhat. On the other hand, the lamp can be mounted quite easily and a piece of felt prevents scratches and other damage to the desk. By design the lamp can be adjusted easily but only on an Y and Z axis, so it cannot be turned to the left and the right. The spring construction also makes the light positioning either high or low, which means there are limited ways to adjust the lamp in a certain spot.
Another drawback is the fact that each MySun Desk Lamp is pre-set according to the location of the user. For this review, a lamp was set according to my address and that worked well. For translators who re-locate to another time zone (not inconceivable) that could lead to problems however. An existing app could nevertheless provide a solution in that case.