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Hello and Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that 2007 has been kind to you so far and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the year!
I'm ashamed to say that it's been a while since I've written a review - so I started thinking about what would be my first review of 2007... And I've decided to make it something a little bit different…
LASERPOD ORB BASE STATION
I originally read about this product on a gadget website named www.firebox.com (who I hasten to add I have not as yet purchased anything from although they do look very good).
So… I know that you're probably asking yourself:
"Laserpod? What on Earth is a bloody 'Laserpod' when it's at home then?!?"
Well… at home would be correct. You see, a Laserpod is a new and innovative lighting device that allows you to have a very relaxing and otherworldly lightshow in the comfort of your very own home!
The Laserpod range is the brainchild of lighting artist Chris Levine (who has created lighting for the band Massive Attack right up to a hologram portrait of the Queen!) and Mario Testino - a fashion photographer who has snapped some of the most famous people in the world.
Imagine if you will the effect of a lava lamp… Nice relaxing blobs of… whatever… but somewhat limited in size and scale… limiting the awe it can create. Not a problem with a Laserpod! Imagine the organic feel of the lava lamp unleashed onto a much grander scale and you're on the right lines of thinking. There are quite a few different models of Laser pod (which currently fall under two different varieties - Original and Galaxy) at the point of me writing this but the general idea is the same for them all.
The model I have is a black Laserpod Orb Base Station (of course!) and consists of a surprisingly small (Dimensions: 158 x 158 x 216 mm apparently!) plastic tubular base which has an orb that can be tilted and turned at the top of it. I'm probably over-simplifying how this remarkable gadget actually works, but at the top of the orb is a clear plastic domed cover which compliments and completes the perfect orb. Under this plastic cover is an indented area which is very shiny reflective silver - not unlike the area that surrounds a bulb in a torch.
"A torch?!? Whoopty-doo!!!" I hear you shout! But before you think that's what the Laserpod is like then read on to find out the truth!
At the bottom of the hollowed out area in the orb is a class 2 red laser and three bright LEDs (blue, red and orange) which then shine directly on and through a small spherical cut-glass crystal that slowly revolves. The effect achieved by this combination is nothing short of calming (under the right conditions of course… I recommend total darkness and some soothing classical music).
A quick note on the class 2 laser that I have just discovered that may prove interesting and useful for the safety of anyone who may either consider buying this product or even already has one:
I have always made a point in not looking at the red laser that is diffused through the crystal and projected onto the ceiling etc due to general knowledge that lasers can cause eye injuries (some of which can be permanent) and have advised others to avoid doing so too…
However, having made a Google search for what different classes of laser actually mean, I happened across the Health Protection Agency website where you can find out what laser class 1, 1M, 2, 2M, 3R and 4 mean.
The definition of Class 2 laser is as follows: (Please note: Only the following two paragraphs that fall within the quotation marks are from the HPA website and are not written by myself)
"Class 2 lasers are limited to a maximum output power of 1 milliwatt (abbreviated to mW) or one thousandth of a watt and the beam must have a wavelength between 400 and 700 nm.
A person receiving an eye exposure from a Class 2 laser beam, either accidentally or as a result of someone else's deliberate action (misuse) will be protected from injury by their own natural aversion response. This is a natural involuntary response that causes the individual to blink and avert their head thereby terminating the eye exposure. Repeated, deliberate exposure to the laser beam may not be safe. Some laser pointers and barcode scanners are Class 2 laser products."
So it would seem that the laser based within the Laserpod does not carry the risk of eye injury. This of course is a relief to know in itself though I will still not be making a point at staring at it if I can help it! Still… at least I've learned something new there!
For further information on classes of lasers, visit the HPA website:
Now that we've found out a bit more about the laser on the Laserpod, let me finally get back to trying to describe the effect produced by the combination of the laser, LEDs and rotating crystal!
The light that is thrown from the Laserpod onto (in my case) the ceiling resembles in some way images of nebulae or galaxies in space. The light from the three LEDs split into their individual colours - blue, red and orange - creating an effect which can resemble light on (or under) water, clouds or even smoke but there are some areas where the colours of light slightly blend - producing very subtle patches of colour (purples, for example).
The light from the laser fragments into quite a few pin-pricks of red light that slowly appear and disappear like little stars among the cosmic clouds while other small reflections from the laser can be a little fainter but travel faster which gives the experience a little more depth.
My only (very slight) grumble about this is that the laser isn't white or light blue (if that's possible) as that would have given the dots of light a much more genuine look of stars… but I guess they used a red laser for a reason and as I said, it's a very small niggle in an otherwise lovely little product!
The Laserpod Orb Base Station retails normally for around £39.95 (check out the official website at www.laserpod.com) although I picked my on up on eBay for about £30.
Is it worth parting with £30-£40 of your hard-earned dough though? That really all depends on where you stand with lighting devices that are… a little unusual.
The Laserpod is certainly different. When I bought my one, I honestly didn't quite know what to expect as no amount of pictures or videos you might see of it in action can substitute actually being there to see it perform live. It was with some trepidation that I switched it on for the first time… and I can say that it is a very attractive light show which is a nice little bargian considering the relatively low price.
I'm sure you won't be disappointed in the Laser pod - as long as you don't expect the entire grandeur of the heavens to unleash themselves into your room!
When I announced to my better… no… my other… erm… okay, okay… better half (you see? I like breathing!) that I was contemplating buying a Laserpod having read about them on the net, she went into her usual "Why must you waste yet even more money?!?" cobblers (so much for me liking breathing!) and she temporarily convinced me otherwise.
Of course, the advantage of not yet living with her was that having discovered one going even cheaper on eBay, I thought "Well… What the hell?" and bought it. I did however 'fess up to "her indoors" about me buying it just to prolong my lifespan somewhat!
The funny thing is that having spent Christmas and New Year at my lovely gal's pad, I decided to take the Laserpod with me (after she asked "Do you want to bring your laser what-sit thingy with you?"… well how could I say no to that? I LOVE it when she gets technical! WOOF!) and she was surprisingly yet suitably mesmerised by the effect of the whole light and cloudiness of it all.
When a friend of hers appeared on New Years Eve (or should I say Hogmanay?) with her daughters (as well as a few other souls who passed through and subsequently vanished prior to the arrival of 2007 due to having "real" New Years parties to attend) my girl crowed "Have you seen the ceiling in the back room?!?" which is where we had set it up as another outlet to help the reveller(s) chill out if they got to hot near the real coal fire which was also another chill out treat!
What followed upon the pilgrims' viewing of afore-mentioned ceiling were a few little gasps and mentionings as to how pretty it all was etc. I guess though that if you're looking for anything else other than my raving on as to how cool the Laserpod is… then bear in mind something else:
If it can win around my good lady (who lest we forget initially thought the whole thing would be a pitiful waste of money) then perhaps it can do the same for you!
Many thanks for reading this!
Pictures of Laserpod Orb Base Station
The Laserpod in all its glory...
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