Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lighted Lifestyles Review

In the winter of 2009, with my one year hooping anniversary on the horizon, I began my search for the perfect LED hoop. At the time I was spinning a friend’s Heady Hoop and was less than impressed with the quality. I’d already sent it off for repairs after the lights inexplicably died. It was also large and cumbersome with a distinctive rattle. It broke a second time around New Years. So while I’ve known folks who have happily used their kindly priced Heady Hoops for years, I needed something different. I wanted the craftsmanship promised by high-end hoop makers like PSI and Harmony, but couldn’t justify that much money. Then I remembered some spinners I met in Columbia, Missouri, that fall. “Hadn’t they told me they made LEDs?” So after asking around online, I rediscovered Lighted Lifestyles.

My Lighted Lifestyles hoop is 38” with 24 LEDs in blue, green, and UV purple. I chose solid lights, because the strobe LEDs make me really dizzy. While the purple is a little dimmer than the other lights, the hoop as a whole is very bright. It’s still heavier than a regular hoop (of course), but feels very compact. There’s no pull caused by unevenly spaced, loosely packed parts. Nor is there any distracting rattle. I love, love, love, my hoop! Kurt and Misty (who no longer works with the company) were both very helpful. They answered my questions in detail and even drove the hoop to me so I had it for the holidays. My only regret was choosing an internal switch. Over time, the frequent opening and closing wore the connector loose and it became a challenge to close the hoop completely. Once it opened at the wrong end of the connector and pulled the hoop’s “guts” out about an inch. A couple days later--9 months into the hoop’s lifespan--it died.

I was seriously disappointed. After spending over $100 on tool, I expected at LEAST a year without problems. However, Kurt immediately offered to repair the hoop and explained he’d since phased out the internal switch design because of problems like mine. In about a week my new hoop arrived in the mail. I’d scaled down to ½” tubing to reflect my growing fondness for smaller, lighter hoops. The external switch is more accessible than the original switch and is actually sunk down into the hoop so it’s flush with the outer surface. Thus no switching off or breaking mid-spin--my two original worries about external switches.

Once again I’m happily slinging multi-colored light. I’ll keep everyone updated as my remodeled hoop ages.

Spinning a friend's luminous white Lighted Lifestyles hoop at Zenfest.


  1. Hello,
    Thanks for writing this review. I was looking at other reviews too to buy my first LED Hoop, and for something affordable (around $100... not high like the PSI ones), I thought Lighted Lifestyle was my top pick. I was doing more researched and I heard that Misty has her own website (EternityHoops.com), and you know anything about that? I checked out the website and they both seem very similar. Do you know why she doesn't work for Lighted Lifestyle anymore? I'm just torn on where to buy it from because there are pros and cons for both websites. Like for Eternity Hoops, you can get 24 LEDs on a hoop for $100, where as you would get 24 LEDs on L.L. for $110. But there are no reviews for E.H., but many good reviews for L.L.

  2. Van: I'm not sure why Misty left Lighted Lifestyles. However, a couple weeks ago on Hoop City I read about a gal who ordered from Eternity Hoops on Ebay and ended up having to get a refund through Paypal, because Misty completely stopped communicating with her after a delay (waiting for parts) stretched into weeks. I'm not sure who wrote that, but if you search the www.hoopcity.ca forums for "eternity hoops," I bet you can find the original post. With that in mind, I would recommend Lighted Lifestyles, though from what I understand the design for the hoops themselves are the same and were originally created by Misty.