The Luminoodle Light Rope is a versatile, interesting approach to multi-use outdoor lighting. With bright output, long battery life, a number of mounting options and waterproof housing, the Luminoodle works well in most situations. Some design elements, like the lack of an on/off switch, do cause it to fall a bit short in the field. But, at $19.99 for the Light Rope alone, it makes for a fun purchase.
The Luminoodle LED Light Rope comes sealed in a brightly colored foil bag.
I tested the 5 ft. Luminoodle, it also comes in a longer 10 ft. version. I was provided a Power Practical Lithium 3400 battery pack for my tests. It’s important to note that the Luminoodle doesn’t come with a battery pack unless you order them together. The unit does work with any USB port or universal battery pack. As far as I can tell, Power Practical no longer sells the Lithium 3400 battery pack separately but does offer the Lithium 4400 battery pack, which I did not test, on their website for $29.99.
The included nylon ripstop bag is incredibly useful, not only for holding the Light Rope, mounting ties, utility loop and battery pack but also for acting as a lantern when the Light Rope is powered and stuffed inside. The strong, thin fabric of the bag diffuses the light allowing it to cast a powerful lantern-like glow.
The Light Rope itself comes with few accessories, just a reel to roll it up with and three mounting ties. There are magnetic sliders built on to the unit that helps in some mounting situations, but the ties are the primary mounting option.
The Lithium 3400 Battery Pack comes with a micro-USB charging cable, a magnetic sleeve and a utility loop. The battery pack has an attached lanyard as well.
The battery pack has a textured aluminum housing and a rubberized tip.
There are two ports on the battery pack, a standard USB output port and a micro-USB input port for charging. There is a small indicator light next to the input port. A blinking red light indicates the battery is charging, a solid red light means the battery is fully charged, and a solid blue light shows that the unit is powering something else.
The Luminoodle Light Rope has a reversible USB plug which was a handy addition and was really appreciated when I needed to connect it to the power source in the dark.
As soon as the Luminoodle is connected to a USB power source, it turns on. This made using the unit a bit problematic at times, which I will get to shortly.
The battery pack’s magnetic sleeve allows you to attach the pack to any metallic surface along with the Light Rope.
This magnetic sleeve is similar to the ones on the Light Rope itself. The magnets were not as strong as I would’ve liked. I can’t see using this attached the inside of a car’s hood as is suggested on the website.
A more effective way to attach the Light Rope to anything is with the unique mounting ties. Although, this mounting option has its own challenges.
The ties are bright orange with nubs that allow you to adjust the length by pulling them through a small loop at the end of the tie. There is a larger loop to pull the Light Rope through.
The silicone casing of the Light Rope makes it a little difficult to handle and pulling the unit through the ties and then spacing the ties properly with the magnetic sleeves on the rope was frustrating, especially in the confines of a backpacking tent in the middle of the woods.
As I mentioned, the unit powers on as soon as it is connected to a power source. The Light Rope is very bright, which is great for some uses, but not all. On the unit I tested, there is no dimmer or on/off switch.
The only way to turn off the unit is to disconnect it from the power source.
So after much difficulty hanging the Light Rope exactly how I wanted it, I realized that once I turned it off by unplugging it, the USB end of the rope and battery pack would just be dangling there, difficult to find in the dark.
I found myself reaching for my trusty EDC flashlight a lot while trying to use the Luminoodle, which kind of defeats the purpose, but it may just be that I need a few more field tests or I have yet to have a problem that the Light Rope will solve.
The Luminoodle Light Rope is definitely fun to use and I’m sure there are more effective uses for it, I just didn’t find it incredibly useful on this particular outing. The fact that it’s waterproof is great, up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, although that doesn’t apply to the battery pack, so the usage there is again limited to just being weatherproof, which is still a great feature. At $19.99 for the Light Rope without a power source, it is definitely worth picking up.
Light Rope Specifications
- Length: 5 ft. (1.5 m)
- Light Output 180 Lumens
- USB Input 2.5W (5V,0.5A)
- Weight 133 g (4.7 oz)
Lithium 3400 Battery Pack Specifications
- Capacity: 12.5Wh (3350 mAh @ 3.7V)
- Input: Micro-USB 5W (5V,1A)
- Output: 6W (5V,1.2A)
- Weight: 4.2 oz
- Dimensions: 3.25 in x 0.9 in