Sunday 3 November 2013

Cable and Cotton Product Review

   Cable and Cotton is an extremely simple and self-explanitory company. Strings of small white lights are really cute to have in your work station for a touch of whimsy in a practical sort of way, but Cable and Cotton's real business lies within the balls of wrapped and coloured cotton that fix onto the lights themselves. It's these coloured balls that really add the touch of personality. Your personality.
   There is a wide selection of pre-selected light coverings - glow, cotton candy, and wasabi, to name a few - that have been rather appropriately selected by the designers within the company itself. But you can also choose your own colours. What's brilliant about this is that there is no minimum or maximum number of colours you can choose. You can have all one colour, or one of each for example! And at no extra cost. Their pre-selected colours are there for those among us who can't work that well with colours. Don't think I'm being egotistic, but I was surprised to find myself in that category. Despite the amazing colours, I just couldn't put anything together myself.
   The lights cost £22.95, pre-selected or self-selected, for a string of 20 (£32.95 for 35 lights, and £42.95 for 50 lights - as you can see, they are cost-effective), and have a flat rate shipping fee of £2.95 for the UK, and £5.95 for the rest of Europe.

   These lights really are to die for. They're mains powered, so they're bright and powerful, even with their coverings which are tightly woven. Though the cotton coverings are made of cotton thread, they are very thick and stiff as well, and firmly retain their shape.
   Like I said above, I just couldn't mix my own colours - and I tried for a while - and instead settled on a pre-selected pack called Marshmallow, and I'll be honest, they are a wonderful mix that I couldn't have put together myself. Mine are a string of 20 lights, with 20 coverings and 2 replacement bulbs. I received 4 of each of the 5 colours, and as you can see from the image below, they weren't attached to the lights when I received them. This gives me a solid opportunity to arrange them however I want - in a patterned order, haphazardly, or in groups of colour. I chose haphazardly and I think it worked well ^^

   The lights are looped, meaning there is only one end. The cable goes from the plug socket, in a loop back to the plug again. It's a little odd but it does make for a nice light arrangement. As you can see, the lights are gathered closer together and aren't all hanging in the same direction. It makes it a little harder to loop them around things, so they may not work on trees, but they drape very nicely indeed. The balls measure about 6-7cm, and the length of looped cord (folded in half) from the first to middle light is about 140cm for 20 lights, with a 150cm cable from the last lamp to the plug.

   I had a little trouble getting the balls onto the lights, and the ball ended up crunching under the force. Once the ball is over the entire light, however, you can gently pull at the ball and it'll return to its original round shape with no damage. That was the only complaint I had about the product, but given how easily it was corrected (and it was mentioned in the instruction leaflet that came with it, anyway) I can say that the complaint is redundant.

   What I love the most about these lights is frankly how amazing they look when they're not on. I don't really like looking at fairy lights while they're turned off, they're more of an eyesore and don't offer much at all. At least while they're on they're adding a nice touch of Christmas whimsy to your area. But with Cable and Cotton, the colourful balls look just de-wait for it-lightful. Delightful. When the lights are on, the colours of the balls darken, and the lights don't carry the colour of the ball onto the walls or wherever the light lands, and instead remain white, but the balls themselves are lit up with a nice, colourful glow. As I already said, the lights are very powerful, so the coverings still allow a lot of light through. Also, the lights don't get too warm. I was a little concerned that the balls would get hot if the lights were left on for long periods of time, but I left them on for 3 hours, and I checked the warmth of the balls periodically, and noticed very little change.

   I also love how the Cable and Cotton website also actually show what the lights look like when on and off. All you have to do is hover over a picture of pre-selected lights and you can see them in both ways, which not only reveals the brightness and strength of the lights before you buy them, but also the difference of the balls, helping you if you decide to pick your own.

   Overall, they're a great product, safely shipped and packed, and with fast and, most importantly, affordable delivery. They're well worth the money, indeed.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

   If anyone's interested, the products shown along the shelves in the first two pictures include fox paintings by C Stotzer, a bat plush and monster plush, the patterns for both of which can be found in Grumble Cave Monsters, a little sheep plush by Wassupbrothers, a trilobite fossil plush by Weird Bug Lady, an illustration by Vivid Please, and a small cupcake stand by Oh No Rachio.


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