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Luminoodle Basecamp: because sometimes you need a 20-foot light rope

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Let there be noodle!

Image: Power Practical

I'll bet most of you have never heard of the Kickstarter darling called Power Practical, but the little Salt Lake City outfit makes some of the most interesting portable lighting solutions available. Power Practical got its start in 2012 before gaining some exposure, and Mark Cuban's attention, on the television series Shark Tank with its PowerPot camping pot that generates electricity while boiling water. It's this commitment to weirdly practical products that made me fall in love with the original Luminoodle light rope. Basecamp is Luminoodle on steroids.

What is it?

The original hang-anywhere Luminoodle light rope is available in lengths up to 10 feet and is capable of producing a bright 360 lumens of white light. Luminoodle Basecamp is twice as long and almost 10 times as bright at 3,000 lumens. It's also capable of producing 15 colors (including three white modes) of variable brightness and strobing that can be controlled in-line or via a wireless remote. Unlike other Lumioodles, Basecamp can't be powered by USB as it requires a 12-volt power source.

The Luminoodle Basecamp is in production after completing a successful Kickstarter in 2016.

The good

There are a ton of thoughtful design elements applied to the incredibly versatile Luminoodle Basecamp, much of which carries over from the original Luminoodle reviewed earlier. The integrated sliding magnets were able to hold the 720 gram (25.4 ounce) light rope to the steel frame of my terrace with ease, where it withstood the occasional torrential rains without issue. It was as if my multi-colored Philips Hue lights were installed on the outside of my house. I mainly tested it with the wall adapter which I was able to swap for an adapter to power from a car socket. If you want full portability then you’ll need a 12-volt-capable battery like that big ass battery from River, for example. I also tested the Basecamp above the kitchen cabinets for a lovely indirect lighting solution I'd consider making permanent.

Luminoodle Basecamp is really, really bright at full volume — easily capable of illuminating a VW engine block for anyone living the #VANLIFE. Thankfully, all the modes and colors can be controlled via an in-line remote directly on the rope, or via a rather crude but perfectly functional wireless remote.

The bad

Basecamp loosely coiled around utility loop.
Photo by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

The only minor complaint I have comes down to an aesthetic one of personal taste. While the rope itself is 20 feet long, it should not be confused for a 20-foot rope of light as several of the marketing images would suggest. Instead, the Luminoodle Basecamp looks like lots of really bright individual LEDs spaced inches apart, with a bit of luminous bleed along the length of the translucent noodle. I'd prefer 20 feet of uniformly diffused light. I'd also like a pony.

Should you buy it?

Yes. The Luminoodle light ropes sold by Power Practical come in a variety of lengths, lighting modes, and prices to serve almost any need. Luminoodles start with basic 5-foot model for $19.99 and cap out with the 20-foot Basecamp for $89.99. If you have a big space to light and crave versatility, then the Luminoodle Basecamp should be on your short list to buy.