Mirror, mirror – Simplehuman Mini Sensor Mirror
Unless your home is flooded by natural daylight or benefits from plenty of electrical help, putting on make-up, plucking or shaving on dark mornings can easily mean nicks and clown-like rosy cheeks. This is where a light-up mirror comes into its own. Fitted with a sensor, this pack-down travel sized mirror from Simplehuman illuminates on close contact and adjusts its brightness according to the environment, meaning you have a more natural finish. If you can bear the close-up, the mirror magnifies x10 so you can really get a true reflection of your face. To charge, you just plug it in to the USB, but the long battery span means you’ll only need to do this every five weeks or so.
Novel idea – Book rest
This gadget is all about killing two birds with one stone. Designed to perch on bedside tables, the small frosted glass lamp throws out a subtle, but strong, glow from the enclosed light bulb for bedtime readers. Once you’ve finished reading, simply rest your book on the top, pages down (larger tomes won’t fit). The low voltage means the glass doesn’t overheat, while the design ensures you won’t lose your place either.
Run on – Proviz Triviz Electroluminescent Light Pack
Whether you cycle, run or just want to be seen while out and about after dark, this light pack will ensure others are aware of your presence. If you don’t already have a Triviz bag or jacket to secure the pack onto, you can buy a harness to display it, either by fastening the harness over a small to medium rucksack or just wearing it on top of your fitness clothes. Once it’s on, it’s comfortable, and importantly for longer workouts, weighs very little at just 74g. Charged by USB, the lights come in three colours – blue, yellow and red – and are flicked on by the button on the middle of the triangle. On a test run, the constant mode (there’s also a steady flashing cycle and a fast flashing cycle) was my favourite, but all emit a good level of light.
It’s a dog’s light – Trixie USB dog collar
Walkies might not be as long now the cold and dark of autumn has set in, but your pooch can still get their dose of fresh air with a light-up collar. Designed with poor weather conditions and darkness in mind, the collar sits over fur, and is charged up via a USB port and perhaps more importantly, given the amount of rain we get, is splash-proof. There’s a range of light options available, from flashing to constant so your dog will remain visible.
Sleep like a baby – Aloka Sleepy Light
This gizmo will brighten up your baby’s bedtime. Using 12 soft colours, the LED lights work through a cycle which can be changed using the accompanying remote control. You can adjust the brightness – there’s four different settings and a dimmer – to your baby’s needs, as well as scheduling multi-coloured displays to help your little one sleep. Once your child grows out of the light sequences, you can use the white light on a fixed mode as a reading lamp.
Lighten up – WeMo LED Smart Light Bulb Starter Pack
Light switches are made redundant with this nifty bulb. By plugging into the Wi-Fi and using the app, you can control when the light goes on and off. Not only that, but you can add schedules so your lights pop on when you’re not in, giving the illusion someone is at home. The dimmer means you can drift off as the light slowly fades away, and best of all, not have to schlep out of bed to flick the light off.
App of the week – Flashlight, free, iTunes
Fumbling around the bottom of your bag for keys is much easier when you have a flashlight in hand. Enter then, the flashlight app. Super bright, the app also has an in-built mini map and compass to help guide you through the dark.