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Six of the best lighting gadgets

By Polly Weeks

Published 15/10/2015

Firefly Portable Laser Lamp
Firefly Portable Laser Lamp
VARV Table Lamp

The clocks go back on October 25 and while the evenings will get darker earlier, turning on these lights will be positively illuminating.

Go dotty

Firefly Portable Laser Lamp, £39.99, from

This gadget may be small, but it packs a punch. Perfect for adding a magical touch to your garden or adding atmosphere at a house party, it will light up your space with hundreds of small but powerful green laser dots. They reach far and wide, up to 100ft in fact, but still use barely any energy: less than one watt of power. Plug it in using the supplied adaptor, or alternatively, make it portable and power it with four AAA batteries. It's splash proof but obviously you wouldn't want to keep it outdoors for a sustained period of bad weather.

Brilliant bulb

PLAYBULB Colour, £79.99, from

Gone are the days when light bulbs just kept the dark at bay. There are now plenty of high-tech options and the PLAYBULB Colour is particularly good. It does, of course, provide light, however, unlike traditional bulbs it comes with an app which allows you to switch through a range of colours. If you're having a party set it to flick between different tones or just stick with a hue that suits your mood. The bulb also comes with a Bluetooth speaker to play music - perfect if you have rooms which are tight on space and you don't want another stereo/speaker on display. On top of that, you can set a timer and be woken up by both music and light. You might shirk at the price, but when you consider you're getting an alarm clock and speaker included, the cost seems a lot more agreeable.

X marks the spot

VARV Table Lamp, £50 and VARV Floor Lamp, £85, from

Swedish furniture giants Ikea have turned on the tech with their VARV light range. To the outside eye they are simplistic lamps - available in table and floor versions. Straightforward to put together, it's easy to replace the bulb and the soft, white material on the shade creates a lovely glow. So far, a normal lamp. However, these lights can also charge your phone. About half way up on the larger model, you'll find a small table which has a cross on it, pop your phone on and it will wirelessly charge your smartphone. On the desk version you'll find it on the base. Use the accompanying USB port to charge an additional phone at the same time. A simple idea that makes life that little bit easier.

Sound the alarm

Bush Wake Up Light Alarm Clock, £19.99, from

At £19.99, you could be forgiven for thinking this bedside lamp doesn't come with much gadgetry - you'd be wrong. The LED lamp allows you to pick mood lighting and change between the colours green, blue and purple. To run alongside this there's a clock, an FM radio - with the option of pre-setting 10 stations, and it also comes with AUX In and USB port so you can play your own digital music files through it. Requires one button cell battery.

Feel secure

Evo SMD Pro Solar Security Light, £59.99, from

If you want to improve your home security without adding to your electricity bill, this is the light for you. Motion-activated, it's powered by a solar panel that even works in grizzly British winters. Just place the panel in a sun-filled spot and attach the light up to five metres away (that's the length of the cable between the two), then you're all set. When it detects motion - up to 12 metres away - the light will shine bright for anything from 10 seconds to nine minutes, just preset the amount of time you'd like it on for. This is a great gizmo that's easy to set up and will help you feel safe - and find the keyhole - when you're returning home in the dark.

Dance away

Olixar Bluetooth Water Dancing Speaker LED Table Light, £49.99, from

This LED lamp comes with an adjustable neck and has a powerful light, but that's just the start. Connect it to your smartphone via Bluetooth and it will act as a speaker. Press "M" on the base and as your music plays, bright-coloured streams of water will shoot up in time to the tunes. It comes with an in-built microphone, so you can take calls through it, and it also comes with a slot for SD cards, Aux in and a USB port. One thing to take note of, the language in the manual isn't completely clear - it's obviously been translated and they've missed out a few words here and there, but the light is so simple to operate, it's not a major problem.

App of the week

NASA App, free from iTunes and Google Play

If you look forward to the winter months because you get to spend longer looking up at the night sky, you'll love the NASA App.

Use it to keep up to date with their images and videos, as well as news on their current missions - there's even countdown clocks for them.

Top 10 bestselling apps

1. PewDiePie: Legend Of The Brofist, by Outerminds Inc.

2. Tweetbot 4 for Twitter by Tapbots

3. Plague Inc by Ndemic Creations

4. Minecraft: Pocket Edition by Mojang

5. The Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers by TSO (The Stationery Office)

6. Hocus by Yunus Ayyildiz

7. Fantasy Premier League 2015/16 - Official App by Premier League

8. Storage Hunters UK : The Game by UKTV Interactive Ltd

9. Theory Test for Car Drivers UK - Driving Test Success by Focus Multimedia

10. Facetune by Lightricks Ltd

Belfast Telegraph

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