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Kikkerland Solar-Powered Rainbow Maker
|Price:||$29.10 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Model: 1588 (Formerly 1588S)
- Window-mount rainbow maker that casts rainbows around the room
- Solar panel powers the unit to revolve and refract light in all directions
- Genuine Swarovski crystal creates maximum rainbow effect
- Great for cheering up a room; enchanting for adults, children, and animals
- Comes with suction cup or wire hanger; measures 6 by 1 by 2 inches
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Thanks to clever engineering and a beautiful Swarovski crystal, the rainbow maker from Kikkerland uses the sun to fill a room with rainbows. Like an active piece of art, the piece revolves when powered by direct sunlight, catching and refracting pretty bands of color. An enchanting piece for children and pets, the rainbow-maker adds cheer to any room and brightens up an interior. No batteries are necessary, and the piece includes a suction cup and a wire hanger for easy mounting. A great gift idea, versions are also available with heart and double crystals.
Top Customer Reviews
I saw one reviewer who said the single crystal unit worked fine, but the double unit was underpowered and would barely rotate in bright sunlight. I don't find that to be the case at all, mine rotates even when the sun is partial obscured by clouds. As I write, it is late on a winter afternoon in New England with the sun low in the sky at 60 degrees off perpendicular, and my double unit is still running. I experimented and found it would even run when the solar cells were illuminated from the back!
Minor negatives --- Compared to the one big bright solar spectrum a 4" prism will throw on the wall, the spectrums from this thing are pretty small and dim, though the compensation is that there are many of them and they sweep around the room. When the sun is at the right angle, you have to expect that some of these 'rainbows' are going to pass over your eye, so you get a little flash now and then. It's more complicated than a prism or radiometer, so it's probably not going to live as long.
For those interested technically its solar panel is 4 cm x 2.5 cm = 10^-3 m^2 and looks to be five (1/2 V) cells in series. Since the power of bright sunlight is 1,000 w/m^2, if inexpensive solar cells with efficiency in the 5% to 10% range are used, the output power available to drive the DC motor would be 50 to 100 mw, or 20 to 40 ma @ 2.5V.
update --- It's now nine months since I put this on a window using the vacuum sucker and it's never fallen off! Still works fine too.
update2 --- Well after two years, it's showing its age. One crystal broke off when it fell and the gears are now sticking. I just ordered a replacement.
More technical--- When my new one arrived, I took apart my old one to look at the motor, which still works. (I am a motor control engineer.) The motor is not a DC motor with brushes, which is good as brushes wear out. It is a brushless AC PM (permanent magnet) motor that a finger test shows will spin in either direction (at roughly 200 RPM). The 2.5V from the solar cell is converted to AC by a tiny circuit board mounted above the coil. The board's active component(s) is covered by glop, but it is probably a single IC clocked by an external crystal, which seems like overkill.
I bought the product pre-winter and received... maybe a months usage where it would only have sunlight for maybe an hours time in the afternoon. Popped on a window with direct sunlight a week ago... It spins MUCH slower than it did before and it shakes which pre-winter it was pretty darn smooth. The new placement the product is angled just right and is receiving more sun/heat than the pre-winter usage. And a day ago it was NOT spinning, but after a slight forced twist... began once again. The panel was toasty hot << demonstrating sun exposure.
Contacted Kikkerland - Apparently the product has a mere 6 month warranty. My order was 8 months ago. Cannot send me a new panel to swap out with the existing one either. Sad day. In fact this review is post receiving the news.
If you want a temporary light spectrum fix - this will not disappoint. As for durability and warranty - my review stars reflect my feelings in that regard.