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Brightening the World with an LED Face Mask

Art made of light and lasers
During the winter holidays, I usually emblazon my house with Christmas decorations and show it off by having a party. Unfortunately, I can’t celebrate by having a party this year due to COVID-19. Therefore, I have decided I will become the Holiday decoration by getting an LED mask!

Was the LED Mask a Good Idea?

Before I buy an item, I like to get multiple uses out of it. I feel like I’m wasting my money if I only can use it once. Yes, technically, I would use it once a year when I decided to become a human Christmas ornament during the winter holidays; however, an LED mask would be great to wear during other holidays like Nowruz, Halloween, Diwali, and New Years. It will also be great to wear during occasions, for example, birthdays, weddings, and dancing practices.

When the sun goes down, and I want to brighten my night, it’s excellent for biking or walking, so vehicles and other road users can see me easily. When I’m wearing it, I don’t have to worry about the bus driving past me and not stopping, or getting hit by a car when I am walking on the side streets.

I thought it would bring more cheer to 2020 since this year doesn’t have the best reputation. I also had in mind that it might inspire people to wear masks more often during the pandemic if it was fashionable and functional.

The Positive Attributes

I like this mask because it has seven different colours and several different settings. I can have any of the seven colours on, have white flashing, or have colours flashing after one another at different speeds. The battery is chargeable and comes with a USB cable (but no plug).

The USB port is located on the mask’s side, and I like how small it is because it looks just like a tag. When it’s fully charged, it lasts about 10 hours, and the charging time is about 2 hours. A great feature is that it comes with a filter and filter pocket, for additional protection.

The mask has adjustable ear straps, and the nose area has a built-in metal piece for customizing to my nose’s shape. The colour of the straps matches the colour of the LED fabric, making it look stylish, and it covers most of my face. The LED fibre optic lights in the mask don’t get hot, it’s not heavy to wear, and it’s safe (meaning it won’t electrocute you). The lights last about 20–25 years, which is great because I paid about $20 CAD for the mask, so I am getting my monies worth. There’s also a six-month warranty, so if it’s defective or breaks soon after getting it, you can get a replacement! Finally, the mask is (surprisingly) washable! It comes with instructions to ensure you don’t damage the electrical components when cleaning.

Unmasking the Negatives

There are some features about the LED mask that I do not like, and the main one is that the mask doesn’t cover your chin. This is my preference, though; I like to wear my mask where it’s half a centimetre down from my eye to under my chin. Also, the mask is stiff and a bit thick, resulting in having gaps on the sides, which air can escape from. I don’t want that to happen because there might be droplets when I’m breathing or talking. The droplets can travel to other people, and I want to protect them and myself. I also find the filter quite small; I wish it was the same size as the mask. Another problem is the washing, which needs to be done very carefully by hand. This is time-consuming. You can’t get the USB port wet, or it may stop working entirely.

Another issue? The lights aren’t replaceable. If they go out sooner than expected, there isn’t anything I can do (maybe if I had an electrical background I could fix it, but I don’t). Lastly, since it’s winter, cold air will be on the outside of the mask, and warm air from my breathing will be inside. What does that make? Condensation! I’m worried droplets from the condensation wil enter the USB port and damage it. To ease my worries, I would probably wear another mask underneath it to protect it from moisture.

Should I say Goodbye to the LED mask?

Overall, I like the mask. I think making it a bit longer would improve the design, but everyone’s face has a different shape, so it may fit someone else perfectly. When I bought it, there was only one size, but if there were different sizes, then that would greatly improve the quality. I would say this mask is leaning towards the fashion side a bit more than the function due to the gaps on the sides. In the end, will I keep this mask? Yes, it’s fun and has great qualities. Still, I’ll double up with another mask, one a bit more protective. I like to cover 75% of my face, not just 60%.