Of course, €550 is a lot to spend on a desk lamp. But if you plump for Dyson’s latest Lightcycle Morph, you get more than just looks.
This is easily the most flexible, innovative, useful desk lamp I’ve ever used. You can see why an artistic or design professional would prize it: you can do things with this light that just aren’t possible with anything else on the market.
I’ll go through the reasons why below, but two – in particular – stand out.
The first is its physical positioning abilities. The Lightcycle Morph uses a combination of wheels and hinges to make it as dominant or discreet in its physical presence as you want. Its extendable arm has its own midway hinge, allowing a much, much higher variation of positions (because you can double the arm back on itself or at an angle out another direction). This means, apart from anything else, that you can place it almost anywhere on your desk and it will rarely ever get in your way.
The second big productivity dividend is its swivelling, rotating light. You see, not only does the arm of the light have a hinge for flexibility, the light stem does, separately, too. This allows the light stem to be twisted 180 degrees either way, meaning you can ‘point’ the light in any direction, at anything, without adjusting the position or shape of the lamp.
While those on higher salaries than me might think this useful for illuminating their walled art from time to time, my extra application is for something more lockdownish – video calls.
I use the Morph Lightcycle as a second (or third) light when on Zoom, Teams, Meet or Webex calls. I simply twist it around, point it at one side of my face and adjust the strength and temperature of the light. (Call me a stickler, but I think that lighting is important on video calls; a fuzzy, soupy orange hue does a person no favours when it comes to first impressions around professionalism.)
On top of these two positioning trump cards, the Lightcycle Morph has a delightful little trick where, if you double the extendable arm back on itself (via its central hinge), a magnet at the top of the Morph’s main spine clicks into place and lets the light illuminate the central, perforated column of the lamp from the inside.
This makes a lovely bit of mood lighting, while changing the function of the lamp altogether: you can see how, in a small apartment, this would make it a really decent all-purpose table lamp. It’s a clever, intuitive bit of design that is the mark of a real engineering house like Dyson.
The central light on the Lightcycle Morph is an LED lamp that has an output capability of 860 lumens and an LED life time, according to Dyson, of 181,000 hours.
Obviously, I can’t attest to whether this is accurate for the Morph. I will say, however, that I have had issues with Dyson lamps’ LED light longevity in the past. On a previous CSYS model, it was nowhere near 181,000 (or even 18,000) hours, despite big claims as to how long it would last. But Dyson is pretty good on customer service and gives a five-year guarantee on the parts.
Like its predecessor lamps, the Morph has two slim touch bars at the top of the lamp that control lighting strength and temperature (blueish ‘cold’ to yellowish ‘warm’, from 2700k to 6500k). Like its predecessor, it also has an activatable sensor that detects when you’re close to turn the lamp on (or off when you’re not).
It also has a lot of additional smart settings and controls. For example, one button lets you set the lamp’s lighting temperature and strength against a combination of the available light and the time of day (which the Morph know once it’s paired to Dyson’s Link app via your phone). There are also special modes for relaxing (much warmer tones), ‘study’ and ‘boost’ (which gives an extra 20pc for around 20 minutes).
There’s even an age setting, which purports to subtly adjust the lamp’s output (in ‘study’ or ‘relax’ modes) according to what’s best for people of your vintage. (Older people need more light, the company says.)
Being a €550 lamp, it has an accompanying app (Dyson’s multi-purpose Link app, downloadable from both main app stores). This is well executed and lets you toggle between settings, above and beyond the buttons and touch controls on the Lightcycle Morph itself.
One last point about the finish and look of this lamp. As you’d expect from Dyson, it resembles something of a cross between an architect’s aid and a futuristic prop. It has a brushed, matte metallic silver finish on most of it, with the exception of the lighting and touch-control elements, which are white and feel more plasticky (and show fingerprints up a bit more). The perforated, grille-like main spine isn’t especially pretty, but that will be a matter of personal taste.
It’s 52cm high and has a circular, heavy bass that’s about 20cm across and is fairly sturdy. There’s also a useful little USB-C port on the main upright spine of the light, for any phone or gadget you want to (slowly) charge.
It was easy to put together, with the only real assembly being the attachment of the base to the main spine.
I’ll say it again: €550 is a lot to spend on a desk lamp, or €700 if you want the 1.25m standing floor model.
But this is a real treat for your desk; it is unexpectedly useful, intelligent and flexible.
Reviewed: Dyson Lightcycle Morph
Pros: unparalleled flexibility, high-quality finish