Mathmos are adventurous with their lighting products, sometimes unleashing products that might be considered novel, but the Mathmos Bump lantern could make its way into any home as a serious lighting product serving its purpose as a genuine handheld LED lantern and sparking colourful lighting flare into rooms to boot.
Design & Build Quality
Bump is a well made product, all visible materials are hard plastics, with the exception of the metal handle. The lantern is surprisingly weighty at 1.1kg, which we believe is intentional so it stays firmly placed on surfaces. Aesthetically all the contoured circular transparent panels that form the shape of the Bump, create an organic and pleasing shape to look at. We did notice that the Bump lamp is actually mildly similar aesthetically to the Jellephish Mood Lamp we reviewed last year, which is more expensive and didn't have an inbuilt battery.
How It Works & Modes
To change from one mode to another you don't need a remote or to sync the lantern to your iPhone, you simply bump the bottom or top of the light, hence its name. A reasonable tap on the top or bump of the base against the floor will cycle through the modes. One bump turns the lantern on to display a bright white light, another bump dims the white light to 50% brightness, a third bump initiates a colour changing sequence and a fourth bump turns the lamp off. A mild annoyance we experienced was that on occasions, due to the placement of where the Bump was resting, it can activate itself to change mode. For instance, we had ours sitting on the floor on its charging base and every time someone walked past it, the vibrations caused the Bump to jump to the next mode in the cycle.
Battery Life & Portability
The Mathmos Bump isn't a lighting product that's intended to be sat in one place. Because it has an inbuilt battery (giving a respectable 8 hour battery in bright white mode and over 27 hours in all other modes from our usage), a carry handle and a splash proof exterior, it can be moved around easily and safely, and this also allows us to take it outdoors where we have plenty of bright white light to shine the way forward, serving genuine practicality. In pitch black darkness the Mathmos Bump looks unworldly, but with regular indoor lighting it can certainly still be enjoyed.
Colours & Brightness
When set to colour-changing sequence then green, purple, blue, orange, red, white, pink and yellow are exhibited: it's an ambient affair. You cannot select one static colour from the assortment, but this kind of functionality could have taken away from the simplicity of the control method. The brightness of the coloured light mode is lower in comparison to the bright white light mode, but we think this can be excused as Mathmos probably want the richness of the colours to be vivid, without too much brightness saturation diluting them.
The colours look artful, with juicy transitioning demonstrated from colour to colour, that we found to be a calming and relaxing presence. All colours, including the bright white light emitted, subtly illuminate each circular panel, creating an enthralling mood light that's very fitting within some of our more contemporary rooms, but the Bump looks great just about anywhere. The inbuilt battery encouraged us to move the Mathmos Bump lantern frequently around indoors. In particular, we found ourselves using it as a lantern in dimly lit areas, as a corner light and as a bedside table light when in the dimmer 50% white light mode. In such placements it is convenient to dock the lantern onto its slim charging station.
Mathmos have attempted to create a modernist interpretation of the traditional lantern with the Bump, and have done a fantastic job with this solid bold design notion in every sense. Using low energy consuming coloured LEDs it adds a spark of playfulness, but the bright white mode yields purposeful practicality, illuminating a room satisfactorily if the electricity goes out, or leading the way when outdoors in the dark.