While Divoom offers a diverse portfolio of products, the company has really come into its own with its “Pixel” lineup. These consist of fairly unique products that feature imaginative designs, a diverse set of features, and integration into their amazing, community-driven smartphone app. Where most of the products in that lineup feature the nostalgia-inducing pixel screen, there’s one in particular that stands out by not having one and that’s Planet 9 mood lamp.
Besides the immediately apparent unique design, this little product offers features that make it stand out amongst the RGB crowd. So let’s get right in and see what it’s all about.
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If someone were to ask you what you think Planet 9 was without its lights turned on, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell it’s a lamp and no one would blame you. As far as design goes, it’s a really unique little piece of hardware and probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Divoom embraced this sort of retrofuturistic theme for some of its products and Planet 9 is no exception. It’s like a cute little robot that can fit right into your bedroom as much as it can somewhere in your gaming setup.
Being only 13 cm tall and wide and coming in at 8 cm in thickness while weighing a mere 370 grams, Planet 9 is awesomely compact and portable. You don’t have to designate it to a certain room and can easily carry it around with you and place it just about anywhere you want. The rubberized feet will ensure it stays firmly in place and you even have the option to place it on a wall thanks to the little hole situated on its back. If you opt for the latter, however, keep in mind that Planet 9 is entirely made out of plastic so accidental falls have the potential to severely damage it beyond repair.
Now, let’s get into the main talking point of Planet 9 which is its heavily frosted curved front panel with 28 RGB LEDs sitting underneath in a circular pattern. These LEDs can produce a maximum brightness of 15 lumens which essentially translates to strong but not intrusively bright light. At max brightness, it won’t light up your entire room like standard lightbulbs but will instead softly illuminate it to create a certain mood.
Planet 9 has a color temperature ranging from 1600K to 6500K and while you can use it as a simple lamp with shades of white, it only comes into its own when you add some colors. Seeing as the front panel is curved and frosted to diffuse the lights, it will make them blend into each other to create an amazing light show. Each LED can display a different color on top of which you can even add numerous effects to create amazingly saturated animations.
Besides the main panel, other notable design features come in the form of two physical buttons. The top one is actually a knob that doubles as a power button and as a controller with which you can cycle between a couple of built-in animation presets. The one on the back is used to increase or decrease the brightness or turn on the microphone which will then make the presets respond to sounds and essentially turn Planet 9 into an awesome little music visualizer.
Like all the other Divoom smart devices, Planet 9 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and is best used in combination with the Divoom app. While the app segment for it is not as robust as it is for the devices featuring the pixel screen, it still offers a fair bit of customizability and additional features. Aside from being able to apply a single color and change the brightness you can use the app to easily create your own, custom lighting designs.
This entails assigning colors to each of the LEDs but also applying different effects and animations to them. The effects themselves don’t have any descriptions so you’re only left with a vague icon that doesn’t really tell you much. Luckily, the chosen effect will apply to the entire design instantly so you can easily test and play around with them in order to choose which one works best for your creation.
If you are feeling especially creative, you can just as easily create more complex animations with multiple designs that will successively play at the speed of your choice. If you just can’t be bothered designing something yourself – no problem. The app offers dozens of user-created designs that you can instantly apply to Planet 9 as they are or even customize them to your liking.
The app also has a few gimmicky features that aren’t very useful but serve as just a bit of fun. The Mixer, for example, is a soundboard of sorts where each sound played will make Planet 9 display a corresponding color or animation. While you’ll probably lose interest in Mixer after a couple of uses it’s a fun and unexpected addition to the device and definitely a neat little feature to showcase to your friends and family. Also in the not so useful category, you have a noise meter and the timer switch in which you can set the time at which Planet 9 will turn on or off.
On the more practical note, you have the alarm and sleep features. The former one is fairly self-explanatory and will cause Planet 9 to continuously beep while the chosen color will increase in intensity until it’s at full brightness. The alarm can be turned off by pressing the knob which is a nice little throwback to alarm clocks of old which also had a big “press to snooze” button on the top. The sleep feature on the other hand will simply turn the LEDs into a warm shade of orange which should help you fall asleep a bit faster.
One more surprising thing the Planet 9 can do is display notifications from the connected smartphone by flashing in a certain color. This includes things like receiving or missing a call or receiving anything from apps like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. What’s more, even though the default colors for each app are fairly appropriate you can easily customize and change them to any other color you like.
Finally, let’s talk about the battery. Planet 9 features a rather substantial 2500 mAh which will last you somewhere between 20 to 30 hours. This will depend on a number of factors like the brightness level and whether you’re using it as a standalone device or tethered to a smartphone. All in all, it’s a solid battery runtime and you always have the option to keep it constantly powered if it’s located near a USB port.
There’s also one last thing to mention in terms of battery which seems to be a running theme when it comes to Divoom products and that’s the lack of battery level indicator. Where the Divoom pixel devices at least had the vague pixel animation showcasing an approximate battery level, Planet 9 has absolutely nothing. It’s a real shame since I can easily imagine a few great ways the LEDs could have been used to effectively showcase how much juice you have left.