Personal Air Coolers: The Way Forward or Just a Gimmick? Evapolar EvaLIGHT Review
There are a number of different situations where you might need to bring the temperature around you down a notch, but a traditional or portable air conditioner just isn’t an option.
Perhaps floor space in your accommodation is too limited to allow for a large freestanding unit, or you have irregular sized windows and can’t find a model with a suitable hose kit.
Or maybe you’re a student spending long hours studying in a stuffy library and need some cool air to boost your brain power. Or an office worker who’d like the temperature a bit lower than the rest of your colleagues.
If so, you may be interested to hear about a new generation of devices touted by some as an alternative to central and window air conditioning systems.
They’re called personal air coolers.
These are typically small devices which work by cooling the air directly around a person, as opposed to reducing the temperature inside a whole room.
But just how effective are they really? Are they something which can replace traditional air conditioning as we know it? Or are they best used in conjunction with other forms of cooling?
In this article we review the EvaLIGHT Personal Evaporative Air Cooler and Humidifier by Evapolar.
We’ll take an independent look at exactly how this device works and what customers have to say about it – both good and bad. For some people this may be the ideal solution they’re looking for. For others it may not be a worthwhile purchase.
Read on to find out who we would – and wouldn’t – recommend this unit for.
Or click to a link in the table below for quick info if you’re a bit short on time today.
- 1 Who Are Evapolar and What’s Their Mission?
- 2 How Exactly Does the Evapolar EvaLIGHT Work?
- 3 Operation and Maintenance
- 4 What Kind of Temperature Drop Can You Expect With the EvaLIGHT?
- 5 What We Like About the EvaLIGHT and Who We’d Recommend It For
- 6 Who We Wouldn’t Recommend This Unit For
- 7 Conclusion
Who Are Evapolar and What’s Their Mission?
Evapolar are relative newcomers into the world of air cooling devices.
Founded in 2015 and funded by crowdfunding donations in excess of $1 million, the inspiration behind their products appears to be the idea of creating personal microclimates, rather than using lots of money and energy to cool down large spaces when that may not in fact be necessary.
So, a greener, cheaper and more tailored approach to keeping cool – essentially it’s about creating your own individual cool zone wherever and whenever you need it.
How Exactly Does the Evapolar EvaLIGHT Work?
Unlike central air conditioning systems where some modifications to your home will be required, or portable units where you’ll need to vent a hose out through your windows, the EvaLIGHT uses a very simple design to help bring down the temperature around you.
There’s no fiddly installation required – you simply fill up its removable water tank, plug it in to a power supply, switch it on and you’re good to go.
The EvaLIGHT Personal Air Cooler chills the air using the principles of evaporative technology.
The water in the tank helps to turn hot, dry air into cool, moist air. The unit also features an evaporative pad which is made from a non-toxic, inorganic material which the manufacturers have branded ‘EvaBreeze’. This particular material lends weight to the EvaLIGHT’s green credentials as it’s fully biodegradable, and it’s also designed to prevent bacteria from taking root inside.
The EvaLIGHT is sometimes referred to as having 3 functions in one unit.
As well as cooling the air it also humidifies and purifies it at the same time, meaning the air in your immediate vicinity should be healthier to breathe and contain less airborne contaminants.
In terms of energy consumption the EvaLIGHT consumes 10 watts, so usage is low and shouldn’t cause your electricity bills to sky rocket.
Operation and Maintenance
The EvaLIGHT Personal Evaporative Cooler measures in at a very nifty 6.7 x 6.7. x 6.9 inches and weighs just under 2.9lbs.
The control buttons are located on the top of the cube. From here you can control the fan speed, the brightness of the built-in light, and the color of the light. There’s no remote control though so operation is manual, nor is there a timer function.
The unit works via any USB power supply, giving you a variety of different ways to power it – for e.g. laptop, power bank, or just a regular plug outlet.
Maintenance-wise there’s nothing to be done other than to refill the water tank as required and replace the evaporative pad at regular intervals.
Evapolar suggest that the EvaLIGHT personal cooler will operate for approximately 4-6 hours before it needs to be refilled. The pad cartridge will probably need to be replaced between 2-6 months, depending on individual usage and humidity conditions.
Replacement cartridges are retailing in the region of $39 at the time of writing, so do just bear in mind there will be an ongoing financial outlay at regular intervals while you’re using the device.
If you decide to place the unit into storage during the cooler months of the year just take a few moments firstly to drain off any leftover water.
What Kind of Temperature Drop Can You Expect With the EvaLIGHT?
Probably the most important question on the mind of anyone considering the EvaLIGHT is exactly how much it will reduce the air temperature by?
Can a device that’s really compact – up to 10 times smaller than an average air conditioner – pack enough of a punch to make it a worthwhile investment?
Well, the manufacturers reckon that it will quickly reduce the temperature of the air by up to 15 degrees, depending again on humidity levels. So, a significant drop from a unit that’s essentially the size of a large jewellery box.
But – and I really can’t stress this enough – the EvaLIGHT shouldn’t be thought of as a conventional air conditioner. It has a limited reach – 45 square feet, according to manufacturer’s guidelines, and a BTU rating of 1200.
If you’re looking for something to cool an entire room then this isn’t the unit for you. You really need at least a portable air conditioner with a reach in the range of 8000 BTU upwards, depending on your room size (you can read more about different BTU ratings and what they mean in our other article here).
On the other hand, if you need something that can cool YOU down, then this is most definitely a possible solution to consider.
What We Like About the EvaLIGHT and Who We’d Recommend It For
Current online feedback for the EvaLIGHT Personal Evaporative Air Cooler and Humidifier is somewhat mixed. Some customers have been a little disappointed with a few aspects of the unit (more on that in the following section).
But others have given it 5 stars and are full of praise for this little device, saying it has made a huge difference to their comfort levels and that it has been worth every penny of the price tag.
Here’s what we particularly like about this unit:
Sometimes it’s just not practical or possible to lug about a hefty air con unit or large fan, and for those times when you need a little extra cooling power round you this lightweight and compact unit fits the bill.
Ideal for trips away in your caravan, or for an extra boost of cool air at your desk while you work or study. No more arguments with co-workers or family members about what temperature you want your personal space to be! You can switch this unit on and surround yourself with cool, fresh air to your heart’s content.
Unlike some portable air conditioners which are cumbersome and not especially pleasing to look at, I think this little cube looks pretty smart and stylish, and will sit nicely in any space without taking up much room or clashing with your decor.
The addition of a light is also a nice touch, especially at bedtime if you’re not a fan of going to sleep in total darkness.
Doubles as a Dehumdifier
I’m always a fan of gadgets which have multi purposes, provided they do them all well of course.
In addition to cooling your personal air space the EvaLIGHT also doubles up as a dehumidifer, helping to remove excess moisture from the air. This can be particularly useful in helping to prevent potentially harmful mold spores from invading your home.
The dehumidifying function can also help to stop your hair and skin from feeling as dried out as it might do when relying on traditional forms of air conditioning.
Energy Efficient and Can Help Save You Money
None of us like paying any more for things than we really need to, and there may be times when running air con right through every room of your house is an unnecessary and costly exercise.
Nor is it always necessary to cool an entire room right down – a small area around you may be all that’s required to make you more comfortable.
The EvaLIGHT Personal Air Cooler allows you to do just that, and as it’s low on energy consumption it won’t break the bank on your electricity bills, AND is better for the environment into the bargain.
Who We Wouldn’t Recommend This Unit For
As with most things, with any positives there usually come a few small negatives, and these are some little niggles we’ve flagged up with the EvaLIGHT:
It’s Not An Air Conditioner In The True Sense
As we mentioned above, this really isn’t going to be suitable for someone who wants to cool down a whole room or a large space.
Instead, consider a portable air con unit with a BTU rating that will be sufficient for the size of the space in question.
Lacking In Additional Techy Features
If you’re someone who likes your gadgets packed full of techy features you may be a little disappointed by the lack of them with the EvaLIGHT. I
t’s very much a simple affair, with basic operating features and controls (although ease of use can also be seen as a positive too!).
That said, if you like the look and premise of the EvaLIGHT in general, then you may find your desire for more advanced functions satisfied by its new big sibling – the EvaSMART.
The EvaSMART model features a compatible app which allows you to remotely control the temperature of the outgoing air and fan speed, and view water level indicators.
It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as some smart-home platforms such as Apple Homekit and Samsung Smart Things.
In my opinion I also think that the EvaLIGHT could benefit from a timer so that you could perhaps stick it on in the lead up to bedtime, and then have the unit switch itself off once you’ve nodded off to sleep.
Our final point in this section relates to a small number of reported leakage issues. Some customers online have remarked that they’ve experienced water dripping out from their units.
This problem may perhaps stem from overfilling the water tank, or re-filling it before the indicator light has lit up. Several people have said that filling the unit before it’s required can over-saturate the inner reservoir, in turn leading to leaks. When they’ve stopped doing this the problem has then resolved itself.
Keeping the unit on a flat surface also appears to reduce the potential for any water to leak out.
To wrap up this article, my own opinion is that this relatively new concept of personal air coolers and individual cool zones is an exciting one.
There are of course situations where only full-out air con will provide the necessary relief. But for those times when you really don’t need to have it running at full blast then the EvaLIGHT by Evapolar may just be the solution you need.
Compact, quiet, stylish and portable – it gives large, noisy desk fans a run for their money, and might turn out to be the gadget you just can’t live without this summer!