Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
Flasks were never this much fun in my chemistry class
on 25 December 2007
I'm not sure exactly what devilish trickery this thing uses to work, but work it does and very well at that. Looking and feeling for all the world like a flask you might have used in chemistry class, the Air Switch 1 is a frosted glass lamp a little under 30cm high that contains a screw fitting candle bulb (supplied) linked to an infra-red sensor inside. After placing the lamp in its desired location and plugging it in, it will go through a couple of minutes of calibration time, during which it will adjust itself to the conditions in its new home. After calibration is complete, passing your hand over the top of the lamp switches it on and off, holding your hand over the top and raising or lowering it brightens or dims it - all very clever.
The light given off is dependant on the bulb you use, which can be up to 40W, but the real point of this isn't so much to illuminate your home as it is to amuse yourself and to amaze guests. Waving your hand around like a loon to activate and adjust the light takes a bit of getting used to, and you do have to be precise with your movements for it to work, but once you get the hang of it you'll want to commission Mathmos to fit air switches to all your lights. All in all, well worth the money for the fun factor alone.
Update: My Air Switch packed up on me after less than 2 months' infrequent use, it seems due to a fault in either the infra-red sensor or the switching circuitry. Mathmos were very apologetic and sent me a replacement switch unit within a few days, although I got the impression that maybe mine wasn't the only replacement they had to send out. Of course I may be wrong and mine might have been an isolated incident, but it seems that the Air Switch could have a few issues that need sorting out before it becomes a truly care-free product. Even with this unfortunate breakage, my initial review score stands, at least partly due to how quickly and painlessly Mathmos replaced the broken unit.