These little lights promise a no-nonsense operation for little cost, but how well do they light the way?
Is the Aura going to change your life? No. But, it's a solid product with a beneficial return on a modest investment.
Where To Get It
At the $13 MSRP for a pack of 4, it's hard to find reasons to disregard these lights. The purchase is so small, and the imperfections so insignificant, that the Vont Aura is an easy recommendation. Following the review, we will keep using ours around the office because they really do provide a great Value is the low light situations of our facility at night, or when filming.
The Design of the Aura is mostly sound. The light itself is slightly shielded to diffuse it, rather than providing a bright light. It can be plugged into the top outlet and the light shines down, or the bottom outlet and the light shines up. Both work well, and do not produce more light than desired. It also does not cover the other outlet, which is important in a bathroom.
The sensor is pointed straight forward and away from the LED itself. For the most part, this prevents the nightlight from detecting its own light, so it doesn't get confused. This Functionality is not infallible, however, and occasionally causes the light to blink.
The body is also slightly set off from the wall. This may seem like a small thing, but it can be really beneficial. In my bathroom, I drape a USB cable over top to keep it off of the counter. It may not be the intention in the design, but it is beneficial none the less.
There is almost nothing to learn about the Vont Aura. The light simply plugs into the wall and mostly operates on its own. The area that does require some learning, however, is on placement. In our experience, as well as based on comments on Amazon, improper placement of the light can cause undesirable results. In our experience, being close to a shiny counter occasionally causes the light to turn off because it detects its own light. So you might need to experiment to find the the best location for the light to make it work as expected.
The Build Quality is fairly high. The majority of the seams between pieces are solid and smooth. There are no parts that pose a potential risk for scrapes or cuts, which is a positive. However, on all four of our units, the bottom joint is not completely flush. The two pieces are set apart ever so slightly, leaving a point of motion. Under most circumstances, this is not going to cause a problem, but it could expose the electronics to water if used in a bathroom.
Generally, the Vont Aura functions very well. It is bright enough to provide guidance light while not being so bright that it is distracting at night. The built-in light sensor is also really nice, preventing the light from coming on if the room is already bright. If the room has a window, this means the light will be off during the day. If it doesn't, it still means that the light will turn off when you turn on room lights.
As mentioned under Learning Curve, there is a slight issue with the light sensor. The exact cause is not entirely clear, but sometimes the light can flicker. After some testing and research on Amazon, it appears that the cause is the sensor. It occasionally picks up its own light, causing it to turn off. Then, once it is off, the sensor sees no light and turns back on.
By moving the light in the room, we were able to eliminate the issue. We also managed to solve it by placing a towel on the shiny counterto eliminate light reflecting back to the sensor and causing the flicker. If you're creative, you might also be able to adjust the sensor's sensitivity to reflection with a custom cover, but moving the light is probably easier.
The weight of the Aura is not terribly important, as it is designed to be plugged in and left in place. However, the device is notably light weight. While this may not make a large impact at home, the light weight light makes it a useful choice for travel. It also means that there is little possibility of damage to the wall outlet from weight.
The light is also impressively small. Since there is little needed in the way of electronics and no moving parts, the entire device has a tiny footprint. That not only makes it good for travel, but has other positives. The smaller body means it's not in the way and doesn't cover the other electrical outlet.