Lemon alert: Naturalight Smart Lamp D20 (and some shoddy customer service to boot)

I really didn’t want to write this piece, but as you’ll soon see, The Daylight Company, maker of the Naturalight Smart Lamp D20, left me no choice. (Regal Engineering, the seller, also shares some of the responsibility. We’ll get to that in a bit.)

Several years ago I saw other fly tyers using the Smart Lamp D20 at the shows. I liked the way it looked, so in January 2016 I bought one through Regal Engineering. For two years it worked fine. Sometime in 2018 it began a pattern of sketchy behavior; some of the light colors (warm, cool, and daylight) would suddenly switch intensities, even though I had not touched a switch. By early 2019 the functionality was down to a single color and intensity, and in December 2019 it stopped working entirely. As in dead. No light. Nothing.

Call me old-fashioned, but I expected a heck of a lot more for a $100 lamp. What a lemon!

Lemon

So early this year I went to the Regal site, the place where I’d bought the lamp,  and filled out their customer service form, explaining the problem. I was thanked by the robot and was told that someone would get back to me soon.

Or not. No response. Nothing. So I contacted the manufacturer. I spoke with a very polite customer service agent who told me that since there was a two-year warranty, there was nothing she could do. She offered me the chance to speak to her supervisor. Yes, please, I said.

What ensued was a highly frustrating exercise in futility. I explained the situation, and stated my position: if you make a good product, you should stand by that product. $100 is a lot of money for a lamp, and it should work properly for more than two years, don’t you think?

(Lacking a recording, I will paraphrase the responses.) Well, if you had come to us earlier, we might have been able to do something, but now it’s four years later and the warranty is only for two years…

Wait a minute…it didn’t start to malfunction until after the warranty expired…so what does it matter that I’m coming to you now?

If you had come to us earlier, we might have been able to do something, but the two year warranty has expired…

Whoa. I just said that it didn’t start to crap out until the third year. You’re telling me two things that are contradictory.

You bought the lamp from Regal so you should have gone to them when the problem started…

So basically it’s my fault? You’ve made a substandard product and now you won’t stand behind it. You don’t know me, and that’s OK, I don’t expect you to, but you should know I have a website and Instagram and well over 1,000 readers. So I’m going to write a story about this, and you can choose one of two narratives: One, you made a crappy lamp, but you value your customers and want to do right by them, because customer satisfaction is your ultimate goal, so you fixed the problem. Or two, you made a crappy lamp, and the warranty has expired, and that’s tough noogies for the chump who bought it. I mean, I can’t believe you’re not even offering to replace it or look at it or give me another at a reduced rate…

The D20 is no longer made, so we can’t replace it…

~

There was more, but suffice to say you’ve got the gist. And so, with Option B being chosen, here we are.

I did a little research, and according to Amazon reviews, I’m not the only one with a bad D20 experience. If you take my review out the equation, half of the reviews are negative. I’d end it here, but Regal needs to take a little hit. Frustrated with the lack of action from the Daylight Company, I reached out again to Regal. Again, no response. Very disappointing.

So: don’t buy this lamp. Don’t buy anything from Naturalight or Daylight Company. Save your money for products made and sold by people who stand behind their work and value their customers’ satisfaction.

And now, I need a good, strong, portable, DURABLE fly tying lamp. Suggestions?

 

 

25 comments on “Lemon alert: Naturalight Smart Lamp D20 (and some shoddy customer service to boot)

  1. Nat says:

    At 65 years old my eyes are just not as they were. have done well with the one from Peak, and i have had this for about 5 years and its still good.

    • Steve Culton says:

      I’ll check it out. Thank you.

      • Karl Rentzheimer says:

        I bought this light at the 2018 NJ fly show. Got it home and tied that night. It was great! By the end of the first week it began acting up.By the end of week 2 it would only turn on to the lowest setting. Contact the fly shop I purchased it at the show and they refunded my money. I know of other who had problems. $100 and junk.

      • Steve Culton says:

        Thanks for this, Karl. It’s really disappointing to hear, and I can only hope that given the company’s attitude that many people see this and spend their money elsewhere.

  2. Sorry. I can’t agree. I can understand your frustration but what do you think “two-year warranty” means? By your logic, it should mean at least four years. There’s product development logic that goes into establishing a warranty period and a price. The cost of the warranty is built into the price. $100 actually doesn’t strike me as terribly expensive for a lamp so a two-year warranty seems reasonable. Expecting free repair or replacement after four years does not. Perhaps you should have read all those reviews before you purchased your lamp.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Disagree away, it’s all good. The bottom line is that the lamp is a lemon; the company won’t agree that it’s a lemon; and I will never buy another product from this company again.

  3. Steve says:

    Ott Lite works for me!

  4. Mayson Neel says:

    THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP. IS THERE A FEATHER I CAN SUBSTITUTE FOR SNIPE? I CAN’T AFFORD IT. I CANNOT DUB THE SQUIRREL AND GINGER WITH THAT GOAT. IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE DUBBING I CAN USE? THANK YOU, MAYSON NEEL

    >

  5. Dave Studeman says:

    Pro Workbench light With fixtures is my light of choice for my stationary bench. Folds up pretty small if you want to travel with it. Price really varies under different brand names. Amazon Prime and Summit Racing have the best price. Only had it for a couple months but love it so far.
    For travel, I bought a small foldable light from Bed Bath and Beyond. Has multiple intensities but doesn’t have the daylight adjustment. Paid $30 bucks for it, almost 5 years ago. Does the trick!

  6. Mike says:

    Truly sucks!
    Planned obsolescence, build it to last a short period of time and hope they buy it again.
    Sounds like a frustrating experience, I would go it one step further.
    I would find a phone number for regal and call them.
    Let them know they are o partnered with a lousy company.
    Be well
    Mike

  7. Bob Dibble says:

    Bought a Ott Lite desk model with a flexible arm, 18 watts I think, at the local Joann Fabrics store, works perfect, switch broke after three years, threw it in the box, exchanged it for the same no questions asked. It’s usually discounted 40% plus find a coupon for another 20% off.

  8. Stuart Van dorn says:

    I recommend Ott light. I have a ten year old one, and not only is it an excellent light, it’s durable and has been knocked off my table several times and still works. Also it’s color correct so if you photograph a fly, yep, it’s not yellow or too blue.
    They also make a number of different types. So visit their site. They too are pricey but if you call them, they stand behind their products.

  9. mark franze says:

    Thanks for the heads up.
    I am also looking for a light but haven’t found a satisfactory one.
    Good luck

    ________________________________

  10. Jefferson Kolle says:

    I always complain to manufacturers about their crappy products, and they usually make good. Sounds like u got a crappy product from an equally crappy company. Too bad

  11. William A Giokas says:

    https://peakfishing.com/products/tools-extras/ptl/ Another light to consider. Scott at the Bear’s Den sells them get his opinion.

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