At a Glance
- Daylight cycle functionality
- 60-year bulb life
- Potentially fragile
The Solarcycle Morph is beautiful, smart and versatile. But for three lights in one, it’s still expensive.
Dyson’s Solarcycle Morph was originally launched as the Lightcycle Morph. So if you see reviews of the Lightcycle Morph, as it’s still known in countries including the US, you’ll know it’s the same product.
It’s a successor to the Lightcycle, which is now called the Solarcycle. Except in countries where it isn’t.
Confused? Don’t be. In fact, the part of the name to be aware of is the “Morph”. That’s what separates the Solarcycle/ Lightcycle that we’re reviewing here from the earlier product.
Morph denotes its versatile qualities: you can use it as a task or reading light, an ambient light or a spotlight. And it has a fresh design that moves away from the industrial, task-light look of the original lamp to a more universally appealing form.
To see what we thought of the original Solarcycle/ Lightcycle, check out our hands-on review.
Just to add another layer of difficulty, the Solarcycle Morph comes in two forms: a floor and a desk lamp, which share the same design and feature set. We’re reviewing the floor lamp, which is the larger and pricier of the two.
It’s simply designed and beautiful in a way that grows on you the more you look at it. You might think it looks tubular and rather plain as you get it out of the box. But the more time you spend with it, the more lovely it gets, until it starts making all of your other stuff look lumpy and old fashioned.
It’s 125cm high over a round base, with a long, jointed arm that you can position wherever you want. In fact, as the arm can swing 360 degrees on a horizontal plane and the lamp can turn 360 degrees on a vertical axis, you can point it at whatever you want: your book, a piece of artwork on the wall, the desk. And you can change its brightness and the whiteness of the light to suit its function.
Because of this, the Solarcycle Morph is really several types of lamp in one. It can be a reading light. It can be a task lamp. It can be a spotlight. And then, if you swing the bulb back over the perforated metal central column, it locks in with a magnet and illuminates it, transforming it into a muted, ambient light.
Via the app, you can also set it to mimic the natural daylight cycle.
One of the claims for the Solarcycle Morph is the lifespan of its LED. It should last 60 years, with eight hours of use a day, without dimming or suffering from colour fading.
Among the most interesting things about Dyson products are the engineering stories that brought them into being, like the fact that the Airwrap harnesses the Coandă effect, and the cordless vacuum cleaners retain their suction thanks to their cyclone technology. In the case of the Lightcycle Morph, the key to creating the un-dimmable 60-year LED is a couple of drops of water.
Heat damages and discolours LEDs, so Dyson has added a few drops of water in a sealed tube next to the LED. As the water heats up, it cools the LED, then evaporates, collects at the top of the tube, condenses and runs back down to protect the LED again. (This is exactly the sort of fascinating design story that you should never bore your guests with when they come over and point at your Dyson lamp.)
Obviously we can’t test the 60 year promise but as it seems unlikely that anyone would shell out £649.99/$849.99/€749.99 for a lamp on the strength that they’d never have to replace a bulb, it seems moot.
It’s easy to put the Solarcycle Morph together. But I’d advise thinking about where you want it and assembling it there.
There are three main components to it: the (heavy) base; the column; and the power cable that attaches underneath. Once it’s set up, it’s unnerving to move it. Partly this comes from an awareness of its extravagant price and partly because its flamingo-like construction seems quite fragile.
The floor-standing Solarcycle Morph is definitely not a child-friendly lamp. In fact, if you have young children, I’d advise you to go for the desk model and keep it well out of reach, or consider the floor lamp a distant future purchase. The central column looks invitingly like the sort of thing a toddler would try to grab and hoist him- or herself up with, but I’m not convinced that either child or lamp would come out well from such an encounter.
The Solarcycle Morph’s USP – like the Solarcycle before it – is its daylight setting, which mimics the cycle of natural daylight and thus promises to make your life in proximity to it more pleasant.
Choose your location in the app and it will recreate the cycle of light outside: waking you up in the morning, helping you to focus during the day and helping you to relax and go to sleep at night. This means you can schedule it and use it as a light alarm.
There are apparent positive psychological and physiological effects to lamps that mimic natural daylight. While we can’t confirm any positive health outcomes to using this or any other daylight lamp, what we can say is that if lockdown taught us anything, it’s that being stuck inside all the time is horrible and does no-one any good.
Reading or working next to the Solarcycle Morph is very definitely enjoyable, to the extent that once you get used to having it nearby, you’ll definitely miss it. In my case, this was more down to the fact that I could get the light just right for reading or working, rather than for the daylight setting.
There’s nothing more annoying than a smart device you can only control via the app. Realistically, we’re not all as organised as brands make out and sometimes – in spite of scheduling and remote access – we still end up running round the place 10 minutes after we should have left, switching off lights.
Wisely, Dyson has added controls to Solarcycle Morph itself. As well as the large on/off button above the lamp, there are two clever slide controls next to it, on top of the light arm, that allow you to choose the intensity of the light and its whiteness simply by running a finger over them. Along the side are keys to switch on the daylight setting, turn on the auto brightness and motion sensors.
The auto brightness takes the ambient light of the room into account and will adjust the intensity of the lamp to compensate. The motion sensor is a power-saving feature that’ll switch off the light when you’re not using it. Bear in mind that if you’re sitting very still and reading, you might occasionally need to wave an arm around to keep it switched on.
The app is handy and you’ll need it to set up schedules and daylight settings and adjust brightness and colour more precisely. But the fact that you can do everything you need to on the light itself speaks to a more realistic way of living. Other family members and guests can control the light settings without having to download the app.
Like all Dyson products, the Solarcycle Morph uses the Dyson Link app. A lot of the time, when reviewing apps, I say that it’s easy to use or difficult to navigate. It’s rare that I say that an app is beautifully designed but in the case of the Link, it really is.
There are a lot of options to control your lamp but they are simply laid out and only one click away.
You can either opt to synchronise your light with the local daylight settings, opt for one of the pre-sets such as Study, Relax, Precision or create your own mode (adjusting the white to yellow balance and brightness) and add it to the pre-sets.
There are also options to configure your lights settings, so you can change the daylight mode to your location and add your age so that the light is customised to you (older people appreciate a brighter task light, for example).
As you’d expect for a connected device, you can also schedule times for it to switch on and turn on auto brightness and motion sensors.
Price and availability
The Lightcycle Morph is the best lamp I’ve ever used. And that’s because it does so much. It can be any type of lamp you want, instantly.
But what it can’t be is in several different places at once. If you’re considering buying it, it’s worth thinking about how and where you’ll use it. If you want it to help you wake up in the morning and chill out at night, it makes sense to have it in the bedroom. But would you also use a task lamp or a spotlight in the same place?
Before you invest, make sure you want one very expensive lamp that can do everything, rather than two or three that are perfectly suited to a single job.
To see other smart light options, have a look at our round-up of the best smart lights we’ve tested, including light strips, bulbs and decorative lights.
Dyson Solarcycle Morph/ Lightcycle Morph floor lamp: Specs
- Colour temperature: 2700-6500 K
- Average Lux level: 1,546lx
- LED life time: 181,000 hrs