The Ergohacks Verdict
This is possibly the weirdest review I’ve ever written. When I saw the Gogo lantern my first reaction was confusion. At first sight, the plastic bucket seems a really weird idea. A bucket that has LED’s built into the base and…. a solar panel? Why would anyone do that? It’s a good question and after a couple of weeks I have to admit if you just want a light it’s not the best answer and it’s certainly not the best bucket you can get. So what is it?
The Gogo consists of two rigid plastic rings with a flexible plastic skin between them – a collapsible bucket. On top of this is a hoop handle and the bottom is clear plastic. So far so normal but the bottom turns out to be double skinned. The second layer is a plastic disk with LED’s that shine up through the base of the bucket. Flip the bucket over and you see the solar panel on the base that can charge the LEDs. Twist the base and the disk pops out and you get a waterproof solar-powered light. This light can be used as a freestanding disk, can be hung from the included lanyard or stuck to a metal surface with the integrated magnet. The light is controllable by the large single button in the middle of the disk or triggers when it hits water or the magnet encounters metal. There are three modes – on, bright on and SOS.
So what is it good for? The first two applications are as a bucket and light. As a bucket, it does reasonably well holding around two and a half litres of water. We did discover as a collapsible bucket it was somewhat vulnerable to being pushed from the side or top when full but with a little caution, this isn’t a big issue. Used as a light it works well when hung from a solid surface – the LEDs point up and then bounce out through shaded bucket sides making it a decent lantern.
A product like this cries out for thinking of novel uses and we’ve found a couple over the past two weeks. Fill the bucket with water then light it and you get a lovely ripples of light on the ceiling. Pop the light by itself on the edge of a cabinet and get an extra workshop light.
The Gogo bucket is a weird product that shouldn’t work but does. The combination of bucket and light does not seem sensible but works better than I expected it would. Around the home it’s an interesting novelty and I can see the emergency utility in having a solar powered light available but it starts to shine camping. We took it with us on a recent trip and it did great duty as a lantern, bucket, play thing and as a light to find the way to the loo in the middle of the night. If you’re a camper with kids it’s well worth considering as a collapsible lantern that does more. Recommended.
Buy it from IndieGoGo and currently in preview +
Price: ± € £ $39 Earlybird or $45 Regular (£30 or £35). Extra shipping and customs fees do apply.
Included: Bucket with integrated light, USB to propriety charge cable, cloth bag, neck lanyard
About Yoanna Yao
Yoanna Yao is listed as the Indiegogo sponsor of the Gogo but the site does not list any more information about her previous work. The team also includes Owen Zhang who was involved with the Glovax gloves we reviewed last month and Meltpartners Outdoors which is an association of outdoor brands.
- Removeable base
- Charge indicator that indicates full charge, charge under 80% and low power.
- Multiple modes: 60 lumen, 120 lumen or SOS
Product dimensions open: 15cm diameter by 18cm height. Not including handle
Product dimensions folded: 15cm diameter by 4cm height with handle attached.
Capacity: 2.5 litres
Colour: Orange Blue or Green with frosted or clear sides. Printed logos also available.
Waterproof: IP67 – this translates as up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. In short, it’s fine to dunk the light to fill the bucket but it wouldn’t work as a permanent underwater light
Maximum weight contained: 5KG
Release date: July 2017 for August Delivery
Charging: Solar or USB
Input: 5v 0.5A
Battery Size: Not stated.
Made in China
Warranty 1 Year but be aware as a Chinese based Indiegogo that the regular advice of buyer beware applies and that you should always pay with a credit card.
The Gogo comes partially charged and can be recharged in sunlight or via USB. The solar cell seems to work reasonably well – we were able to get enough charge to last an evening on the standard setting by hanging it in the sun in the garden for the day. The USB port achieved full charge in just over three hours on a standard wall charger. It should be noted that the charging port on the disk light is not a standard microUSB but rather a propriety circular port and hence you’ll want to keep a close eye on the included cable.
We based our Ergohacks Verdict on 3 weeks of tinkering, testing and using the Gogo Bucket kindly provided by Gogo. This article was first published on 25 June 2017.