I bought into TikTok’s sunset lamp trend—here’s my honest review
Pretty? Yes. Worth it? Eh.
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TikTok has made its way onto many of our phones and, as such, Gen Z-approved trends have become more and more mainstream. In addition to dance and flexibility challenges, the popular app has catapulted everything from Amazon’s booty-accentuating leggings and innovative sink attachments to life-changing meal prep decks and Maybelline’s Sky High Mascara into the spotlight. While all of these things have obvious utility, other viral TikTok products aren’t quite as straightforward. Namely, the newly popular sunset lamps that project, well, an illumination that resembles a sunset.
Naturally, being the dedicated product tester that I am, I knew I had to get my hands on a sunset lamp to see if they’re really all they’re cracked up to be. After all, they’re visually stunning but is there any more than meets the eye?
What is a sunset lamp?
First things first, what is a sunset lamp, and why are they getting so much hype on Gen Z’s favorite social media platform? In short, they’re colorful projector lamps that mimic the serene appeal of a sunset.
To find out if they’re useful for anything aside from aesthetics, I ordered the Lucakuins Night Light Projector Led Lamp from Amazon.
While this particular sunset lamp doesn’t have thousands of glowing reviews (the product just hit the scene, after all), it is one of the few that I found that offers a pretty cool-toned projection, as well as options for warm colors that other sunset lamps offer. And, being someone who’s drawn to pinks, blues, and purples, I knew that this one would be more up my alley—especially if it turned out that sunset lamps aren’t useful beyond appearance.
According to the product page, the light is designed specifically to create ambiance in your home (or to serve as a fun photoshoot accessory, which makes sense considering its demographic). Despite standing on a pedestal and boasting 90-degree rotation, it claims to be sturdy and won’t knock over when adjusting. All important things, as I imagine a light crashing down would do the opposite of setting the mood.
That’s it though. That’s all the product description says. It’s a pretty light that adds ambiance and can take photos to a whole new level. Which begs the question: Is it worth nearly $30? And, moreover, is it worth all the TikTok hype?
What it’s like to use the sunset lamp
One of the best parts about the sunset lamp is how easy it is to set up. No assembly is required, you just stand it where you want it, plug it in, turn it on, and adjust the rotating head until you like where the projection ends up.
The light itself is operated by an easy on-off click button and features a black base and black cord (which, for whatever reason, is on the front of the lamp when it’s standing straight up, so it’s unavoidable), both of which offer quite the stark contrast to the bright light the lamp emits. Since it looks best operated in the dark, both of these things aren’t noticeable and don’t mess with the vibe.
Cords and stands aside, once I had the lamp set up and positioned how I liked it, I did, in fact, like the looks of it. Just like the picture that drew me to it in the first place, the lamp projected a pretty purple, pink, and blue “sunset” with an ethereal peach border that made it that much more dreamy.
This isn’t just some dim light, though. While one of the lamp’s alternate descriptions is a night light, I found that its projection was far too bright for my preferred sleepscape. As such, I’d only wind down with the lamp at night but would click it off once I was ready to head to bed.
What I don’t love about the sunset lamp
As someone who tests dozens of products each week, I’m always paying the most attention to those that can benefit my routine the most. While this lamp is pretty and certainly a nice mood-setter—I bet it’d be great in a dark bathroom during a bubble bath—it doesn’t offer much more than that.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: How can you expect a light to offer more than just light. Well, I’ll tell you. My favorite lights in my home are my Casper Glow Lights (which help balance my circadian rhythm), my mint Anthropologie Juneau Velvet Table Lamps (which add undeniable style to my living room), and my Kate Spade Floral Watercolor Ceramic Table Lamp (which creates a bold, colorful statement on my entry table). Notice what all of these lamps have in common? They offer more than just the literal light they emit. And since the sunset lamp isn’t exactly pretty when it’s off, I simply can’t say the same about it.
Is the sunset lamp worth it?
If your sole goal is to find a pretty light source that you plan to turn on at night and tuck out of sight during the day, then yes, I’d say it’s worth it. If, however, you’re hoping that this lamp, which admittedly creates a gorgeous projection, will add a style statement to your space or will work well during the day, I’d say that you better hold off.
This reminds me: Despite how bright the projection of this sunset lamp is, when daylight is streaming through the windows, you can hardly tell it’s on. That’s perhaps one of the most surprising things about this little affordable lamp. While it may not seem to deliver on its promise of creating a post-worthy aesthetic at all hours of the day, once the lights go down and it turns on, it creates an illumination so lovely you might forget there’s no actual sunset outside.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.