"Luci Light" Lantern review.

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Seeker, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Hey guys. While on vacation in NY recently, my cousin said "hey... got a lantern for you to take along on your canoe trip." I'm thinking 3lb Coleman or something. No. He hands me a piece of round plastic with a button and solar panels on one side and says "buddy of mine is working for this company... they're trying to provide cheap light for the developing world, and he gave me a couple for free. So take it, try it out, and let me know what you think."

    I don't have any in-use pics, but my wife and I did set it up inside my Whelen lean-to and it worked great... plenty of light to play cards by, cook, eat, or just see what you're doing, without throwing "too much" like a headlamp or gas lantern sometimes can.

    There is a 3-way switch on top (red button in the pics). Push once, low power. Twice, high power. Thrice, strobe. Fourth time, off.

    There are two plastic straps that go across the diameter of both ends (you can see them in the pics). They're cheap, tacked on like any vinyl would be, but adequate. I ran a bungi cord through the one on top, to hang from the Whelen, and it was fine.

    The thing sell for about $15 online and I saw them for the same price later on at an Eastern Mountain Sports retail shop.

    Here's the website for those interested. The "charity" and "technical" side both have their own tabs. https://www.mpowerd.com/

    Finally, here are some pics of a second one my cousin gave me, still in the box and just opened (I left the original one in NY w/my second set of gear).

    Top of box. It's 5" wide. Speaking of measurements, it weighs 4oz.
    IMG_8083.jpg

    Inside the box, there's a blurb on what the charity does.
    IMG_8084.jpg

    Bottom view of light, showing 10 LEDs and the blow-up valve (12 o'clock position).
    IMG_8086.jpg

    Side view. It kinda sits at 3/4" to 1" by itself, but you can squeeze it down to 1/2".
    IMG_8087.jpg

    Top view, showing solar panels and red on/off button.
    IMG_8088.jpg

    Laying on its side. It is 4.25" tall/thick when inflated, and the light is on in this picture. There is a nice diffusion of the light. You can also see the thin handle coming off the bottom. The one on top is the same.
    IMG_8089.jpg

    Overall, I liked it, will use it again for canoe trips, and would recommend it to others. On my own light backpacking trips, I might not take it just because I have a headlamp, but this would sure be nice to read or write by, and I would definitely use it in place of a candle lantern, were I tempted to take one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  2. adktrap

    adktrap Tracker

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    That looks sweet.
     
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  3. Mtnfolk Mike

    Mtnfolk Mike Supporter Supporter

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    These lights are great.. We have been using one for the last few years.. They're lightweight, inexpensive and just plain cool..
     
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  4. Smokey Radley

    Smokey Radley Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Great timing. Thanks! Just ordered one for my next canoe trip.
     
  5. T MAC

    T MAC Old Squid Supporter

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    About a year ago my wife bought a couple of these lights and I was kind of skeptical of them. Upon checking them out they have proven to be a very inexpensive and great light. They seem to be well constructed and are holding up well and make an amazing amount of light. We use them for camping and for emergency light options. The lights are safe to use as there is no flame, etc. like when using candle lights or lanterns. I would say they are worth checking out and are not that expensive. Try one as they are pretty awesome.
     
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  6. Crazysanman

    Crazysanman Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    I've had one for about a year. I really like it.
     
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  7. Ravens Watch

    Ravens Watch Curmudgeon Supporter

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    how long does the light last?
     
  8. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Oh. Sorry... Good question.

    Packaging says "8 hours full charge time", "12 hours max light on bright setting", and "One year stores 4 hours light max." I think that's Chingrish for "if you store the light for a year, the charge will deteriorate to holding 4 hours of light."

    Of note, the two normal settings are "bright" and "super bright", so 12 hours is on the lowest setting.

    Mentions 65 lumens, and 10 square feet of illuminated space too. Warranted for a year.
     
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  9. HerbAndWoods

    HerbAndWoods Tracker

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    So you never actually used one?

    I would like to know if you can actually read by it. And how long an hours charge lasts? I live and camp at the 45th parallel and north, which greatly attenuates the potential charge from solar products. Additionally, getting 8 hours of sunlight, especially under a tree canopy, in winter can be tough. How is this thing superior to an oil lantern or wind-up flashlight? Or a headlight with solar-charged batteries?

    I've seen these before and they always looked like a landfiller, a first-world toy with zero recycle potential and a very limited useful life and only novelty in it's favor. I'd love to know if it is actually worth purchasing and carrying.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  10. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Re-read my original post, please... I was given two... one was used for 3 days. The other came home in the box.

    You CAN read by it. I didn't leave the light on all night though, as I'm pretty comfortable in the dark.
    Have no idea how long it goes on an hour's charge. I grew up at about the 43rd parallel, and even in winter, the 8 hours of daylight would be adequate to recharge the light fully. So maybe it's not for you.
    It's 4oz... last full lantern I hefted was about 2 pounds and smelled oily. Last lantern/lamp I burned oil in only lasted about 12 hours on a tankful. Have never used a windup flashlight or solar powered headlamp.

    I personally think it's worth owning two, one for here in LA and one for Upstate/Adirondack NY.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
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  11. 2stoves

    2stoves Scout Bushclass I

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    I have had my Luci light for about 2 years now and am impressed but perhaps your uses are different than mine.

    I now have 1 in each of my 2 hurricane kits. I pull them out for a day each month, set them in the sunlight while I do the rest of my maintenance around the house (run the generator, clean the dryer vent, run the sump pump, etc) which takes about 3 hours. I put them away until the following month when I rinse and repeat. I have never had one be "dead" when I power it on and in fact tested them the first couple of times. They both burned on low for more than 6 hours with one lasting 8 hours with no charge beyond what was in them from the previous month.

    I have one that lives in the family camper. I charge it the same as the 2 in my hurricane kits. Yes, I can read by it at night but have never ran it beyond 4 or 5 hours without charging it. Will it last 8 hours on low? I don't know but figure it is as good as the two in the hurricane kits.

    I have one that is in my day kit. I use it when hiking and for quick overnights. So far it has worked every time I have asked it to and I don't do anything to charge it beyond just letting it set in the mesh pocket of my day bag so the sun can charge it as I hike. Worth noting is I also have a pocket EDC light with me so I am not completely dependent on the Luci light.

    In fact in all cases I have a secondary source of light should I need it but so far, I have not ever needed to use anything but the Luci Lights.
     
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  12. Angus McGunnigl

    Angus McGunnigl Scout

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    Cool. I see they have a slightly smaller one called the EMRG. 2.5 oz.
    very interesting and 10 bucks. Gonna get one.
    Thanks for posting this.
     
  13. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks, looks cool. Those that have had them for a while, how is the 'recharging life'? After a year, does it recharge fully?
     
  14. Ravens Watch

    Ravens Watch Curmudgeon Supporter

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    I see Shug is carrying one (or a knock off one I think it is) now, hangs it from his ridgeline. Looks cool. Thanks for posting it.

    And I still wanna know if you can read by it???? :4:
     
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  15. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    I was given one as a gift. At first I was skeptical but I have to say they are pretty handy lights. My head lamp died on a night hike and I attached it to a walking stick and hiked out using it. Really worked good. Great for around camp.
     
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  16. Ravens Watch

    Ravens Watch Curmudgeon Supporter

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    On Amazon one of them shows as being able to be used as a hand held flashlight specifically. Maybe a good multipurpose tool.
     
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  17. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Aha... I see thou art a verbal connoisseur... and both a curmudgeon AND a smart-a$$...

    Tis only one pig, and I am already in the sty... thou needn't dirty thy own finery as well.

    but thanks for your support. :4:
     
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  18. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Just an update, spurred by another thread. I've had this for just about a year now, and it's still in good shape.
     
  19. Haggis

    Haggis Supporter Supporter

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    Out of curiosity I just weighed one of my UCO lanterns at 7.5 ounces, a candle at 1.8 ounces, and a Luci light at 4.5 ounces,,, (your mileage may vary),,, 1 lantern and 1 candle will weigh more than 2 Luci lights,,, even if I can't charge my Luci lights I think I'm ahead carrying them rather than candle lanterns, or some other options,,,

    I'm north of 48, we have short days and long nights in winter,,, and I'm a Luci light convert,,,
     
  20. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Yup... held my tongue for a year, knowing eventually it would work out... "thanks for your support."
     
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  21. weaselrunner

    weaselrunner Tracker

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    Have 3 of em. Love the things....
     
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  22. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter

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    Been eyeing these recently. Thanks for the review!
     
  23. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    They have a "coming soon" outdoor version:

    "Outdoor 2.0 is our newest and most versatile Luci light yet. With more light settings, it's brighter than ever and longer lasting than the previous generation of Luci Outdoor. The new adjustable bottom strap lets you attach Luci anywhere without needing an extra hook. Just as lightweight, waterproof and durable as ever, it collapses down to just 1 inch, giving you plenty of room for all your camping, hiking, climbing, kayaking or do-anything gear. Completely solar powered, Luci Outdoor 2.0 keeps you out of the dark, no matter how far off the grid you go.

    Highlights

    2 straps: adjustable bottom strap/fixed top strap • lasts up to 18 hours • 4 modes: low, bright, super bright, 1 sec flashing • 10.8 cm height, 12.7 cm diameter, 2.5 cm collapsed • charge level indicator • no batteries needed - just the sun."


    I should add, I need to get one of these for storm work!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
  24. Subawoo!

    Subawoo! Tracker

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    I have three of them two large and a small and have used them for going on 3 years here.
    I love them.
    Small, lightweight inexpensive and easy to use.
    Certainly easy enough to read by.
    I put a small length of paracord and an S-biner on mine.
     
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  25. Kevin A.

    Kevin A. Scout

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    We have one of them and it's absolutely pivotal to get the kids to sleep in the tent. Throw it in the sun during the day, up in the storage loft net thing during the night and leave it on low. Provide a great amount of light to see the kids and them to see if they get up. Much better than digging around for a flashlight or lantern just to check on the little one, find his pacifier/blanket, someone has to pee, etc.

    They work really well and we are planning on getting at least a few more. One to store on a little used window sill for an emergency light along with sprinkling them through our kits.
     
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  26. Foulwind

    Foulwind Guide

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    The lamp claims " No additional batteries needed" so does it use AAA or AA rechargeable's if so how hard are they to get to if they ever fail?
     
  27. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    No batteries visible... just a solar panel, and probably some sort of flat "hearing-aid-like" battery hidden inside somewhere... it's thin, whatever it is.
     
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  28. Tennessee

    Tennessee Guide Supporter Bushclass II

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    I just saw this. Pretty neat. The last time my buddy and I went camping, about a month ago. he had brought two of these with him.
     
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  29. Nonc-Tobe

    Nonc-Tobe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Stopped by wally world today,yep you guessed it! 14.99 in the camping section...Now the proud owner of 2
     
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  30. 138zacvining

    138zacvining Feral bearded man Hobbyist Bushcraft Friend

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    I have had mine for over a year now and love it . Puts out a good amount of light . I use it mostly for hammock camping, last trip it rained most of the night and it was nice to have . Being that it is waterproof it was nice to not have to worry
     
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  31. snapper

    snapper Scout

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    I've had mine for almost a year now and really enjoy it when I bring it along; which is generally family trips since I already carry a lighter headlamp for backcountry solo trips. About 2 weeks ago I hung mine up from the ceiling of a 4 person tent that held my wife, 2 grandsons and me. All of us read by it's light for about two hours and it never lost any brightness or intensity. I've heard that some people have an issue with the light's longevity but so far I haven't had any issue. YMMV.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

    snapper
     
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  32. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    re longevity, my cousin did accidentally leave his on while stored in his pack and ran it all the way down... said it didn't recover after that, so maybe that's normal with rechargeable batteries... I don't know.
     
  33. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    I'm planning a camping trip this weekend and you all have me thinking of upping and buying one of these now!

    I'm a real fan of red lights, as I don't get to sleep well with any kind of white light, and (shh.. don't tell anyone) I think my husband might find some comfort in a bit of light for overnights.. soo.. I wonder, based on this post, if anyone knows of a similar tool that has a RED light?
     
  34. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Huh... I just looked on Amazon for this.. and the smaller one includes a red SOS flashing setting.. That's a shame that it doesn't have a regular constant on red setting.. I'd be all over that!
     
  35. Kevin A.

    Kevin A. Scout

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  36. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    What if you found a reddish plastic shopping bag (can't think of a store offhand that has that color) or a bread bag or something like that to put a regular one in, as a filter?
     
  37. T MAC

    T MAC Old Squid Supporter

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    Glad Wrap makes green and red colors for Christmas goodies to be wrapped in. I believe with some feminine encouragement this may work?
     
  38. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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  39. winterlover

    winterlover Supporter Supporter

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    I LOVE the LUCI lights, had mine (2 of them) for a year now, and have been very pleased. I used one as a signal light on a kayaking trip, set it up on high setting on an island bluff so friends who were arriving after dark could find our campsite. They said they could see the light from over 2 miles away.
    The light lasts all night on low setting, at least 6 hours on high. Plenty of light to read by or do camp chores. Light enough for backpacking. Waterproof and they float! For me they are perfect.
     
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  40. Skotelawe

    Skotelawe Guide

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    Not sure how I missed these but definitely thinking about picking up 1 or 2 to stash in the emergency kits.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
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  41. Edgeman

    Edgeman Scout

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    Bought one about a month ago for ~$16, and I bought my second last week for $5 at a "going out of business" sale. Love these lights!
     
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  42. perdidochas

    perdidochas Scout

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    It's sealed up--it's at least rainproof, so you can't get to the batteries. If they fail, you get a new light at about $15 at Wal-Mart.
     
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  43. adkwalker

    adkwalker Guide

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    How funny is it this post came back around just bought my first this week lol had it on my dash for 8 hours while at work and it gave me max light for both nights I used it in a lean to it works as well if not better then a candle lantern and no fear of bang it with my head !!!!! I will be picking up a few of the small ones for car kits . I bought the clear original.
    Kevin
     
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  44. Haggis

    Haggis Supporter Supporter

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    Recharging Luci Lights on a recent several day canoe trip. We tied one to a tree at night, and directed the beam across camp; let it burn all night then charge all day. The other light we hung in the tent for playing cards. We didn't use a flashlight or candle lantern.

    Last September, on another canoe trip, we had a bunch of these Luci Lights and tied 3 of them to trees to burn all night,,, absolutely amazing gadgets.

    image.jpeg
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017 at 12:36 PM
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  45. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Glad to see this @Haggis... thanks for the input.... I'm still using mine too, about 15months now, I guess, since my initial review... I think the Luci Light is now a permanent resident of my pack.
     
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  46. oathkeeper762

    oathkeeper762 Bushbum & PT Wanderer Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I picked up a couple a year or so ago and really like them. I use one on my ridgeline in my hammock and keep the other charging on the dash of my truck. I don't think they live up to their lumen rated specs but they are just right for light reading in my hammock and as a utility light to locate misplaced items that are hiding in/under/around my top quilt.

    I saw my local Wally World had them in the camping section he other day for $9.99.
     
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  47. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    used one on last weekends campout
    worked great, limited use in tent 1 charge lasted me through the weekend still on same charging level 2/3 lights as when i started
    am glad not to lug around my 4d powered lantern anymore
    only thing i would add is there are different specs for the $15 version often found at walmart to the $20 version found at better outdoor shops
    company donates cheaper versions around the world i believe that is the version places like walmart sell for $15
    $15 version weighs 4 oz and has 50 lumens and 12 hour battery life
    $20 versions weigh 4.4 oz has 65 lumens and have 18 hour battery life
    only gripe, a slight gripe is wish on/off button was easier to see/find. its flush with top panel so really guessing where it is
    a slight dimple on it would really help find the on button in the dark
    i highly recommend such a light over standard lanterns
     
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  48. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    I have a similar light by a different brand that my wife bought me a couple of years ago. I love it and use it as my primary light for my hammock.
     
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  49. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have a clock radio with the control buttons all flush with the top... wth!? how do you find the off button in the dark without resetting the time by accident? For that, I used a small wad of "fun tack"... makes it easy to find.

    Applied to your Luci Light, get a piece of duct tape, stack two small pieces, cut them out into a small dot, and mount them on top of the switch so you can feel it better.
     
  50. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    Great solution, I've had the same issue on my light.
     
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