This is a special post for quick takes by angelinahli. Only they can create top-level comments. Comments here also appear on the Quick Takes page and All Posts page.
1 comment, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

June 2023 cheap-ish lumenator DIY instructions (USA)

I set up a lumenator! I liked the products I used, and did ~3 hours of research, so am sharing the set-up here. Here are some other posts about lumenators.

  • Here's my shopping list.
    • $212 total as of writing:
      • $142 for bare essentials (incl $87 for the bulbs)
      • $55 for the lantern covers
      • $17 for command hooks (if you get a different brand, check that your hooks can hold the cumulative weight of your bulbs + string)
    • 62,400 lumens total(!!)
  • Here are the bulbs I like. The 26 listed come out to $3.35 / bulb, 2600 lumens, 85 CRI, 5000k, non-dimmable. This comes out at 776 lumens / $ (!!!) which is kind of ridiculous.
    • The only criteria I cared about were: (1) CRI >85, (2) Color temperature of 5000K, and then I just tried to max out lumens / $.
    • These are super cheap. @mingyuan seemed to have spent $300 on bulbs for their last lumenator. They had a stricter CRI cutoff (>90), but the price difference here means it might be worth considering going cheaper.
    • I don't understand if I am missing something / why this is such a good deal? But IRL, these are extremely bright, they don't 'feel' cheap (e.g. are somewhat heavy), and don't flicker (as of day 1).
    • They aren't dimmable. I wasn't willing to pay the premium for the dimmability — TBH I would just get another set of less bright lights for when you don't want it to be so bright!
  • To set up (1-2 hours):
    • Set up the command hooks, ideally somewhere kind of high up in your room, wait an hour for the backing to dry.
    • Plug in the switch, and then plug the wire into the switch. Run the wire through your hooks.
    • Screw in the bulbs. With this brand of wire, you have to screw them in with a lot of force (more than you would think). I kept the switch near me, and periodically checked if all the lights turned on as I went along.
    • Set up the lantern covers (you could do this in parallel with the bulbs).
  • I initially used a couple older bulbs at my house instead of entirely using the MAXvolador ones throughout to save money, but I'm probably going to go back and replace all the older bulbs with the above product (it's just so much brighter!).