While many of the products we review here are readily available to purchase and operate without a license, we always recommend hiring a qualified electrician to install and demonstrate their use.
In some cases, improper use and installation may result in a breach of insurance. Even worse, you could be putting yourself or your family at risk as an incorrectly installed electrical device could start a fire. So, don’t risk it - seek the services of a fully licensed electrician instead.
Have you ever noticed how pristine the lighting is in museums? From the fixtures to the beam angle, color temperature and CRI rating, it’s expertly designed to do historical artifacts and great works of art justice.
Well, with their ML200 Plus Wireless Picture Light, Method Lights - a lighting company with an arty twist - is bringing museum-grade lighting to the home.
Whether paintings or photographs, prints or originals, the ML200 puts the spotlight on the art on your walls, ensuring you can always appreciate the full splendor of the craft.
But this light is by no means inexpensive, inspiring hesitation in prospective buyers, including myself; however, recently, I took the plunge and bought one. Was it worth the investment? Read on for my comprehensive review.
Method Lights ML200 Plus Wireless Picture Light At A Glance
Method Lights is a genuinely intriguing company specializing in, well… specialist lighting. Their products are aimed at both art lovers and the artists themselves, and because of the specificity of this niche, they charge a premium, and the ML200 is one of their most expensive offerings.
It’s a wireless light that you mount above your most prized pieces so that they remain a focal point of your decor, even when the lights are dimmed for a social event or a cozy night in.
- Adjustable beam angle
- Variable color temperature (2500–7000K)
- Smooth dimmer
- CRI 95+ makes color pop
- Easy installation
- Presets make switching vibes easy
- Decent battery life
- Awesome remote control
- Timer function
- Extendable charger sold separately (and it’s not cheap)
- More timer options would be nice.
- It’s expensive
Where Can I Purchase The ML200 Plus Wireless Picture Light?
Method Lights ML200 Plus Wireless Picture Light Buyers Guide
The ML200 installation process is easy for DIY novices, but you are going to need a drill. First, you have to remove the baseplate by pressing a central latch, and stick the double-sided adhesive tabs on the outside of the plate.
Next comes placement, but before you install, quickly check the light is working with the remote.
Keep the light turned on while placing it on your ceiling, as it will help you figure out how far from your picture it needs to be for maximum impact. To install the ML200, press it against the ceiling so the sticky tabs hold the plate in place while you pull the body of the light away.
The base plate acts as a drilling template, guiding you through two passes. Next, use a screwdriver to insert toggle bolts into the drill holes. Finally, reattach the body of the light to the mounting plate, and voilà; you’ve just boosted the aesthetic appeal of your space 10-fold!
One last thing… as it’s a ceiling mount, you’ll need a stepladder.
The ML200 Picture Light has a pretty effective lithium ion battery. It’s sophisticated, but not so advanced as to limit self-discharge.
Even when turned off or set to standby, the battery steadily runs out of juice, which is why Method Lights recommends charging the ML200 up at least once a month.
Not only does this keep it performing well in general, but it also extends the overall battery service life, so it’s a guideline worth following.
As we’ll discuss in more detail a bit later, the ML200 has variable luminosity, and the rate of battery discharge is equivalent to the brightness setting you choose.
During my early tests, I found that max settings gives you about 25 hours of intermittent daily use (not constant), while the lowest settings extend that charge to a whopping 250 hours of intermittent daily use. Moderate settings balance out at about 125 hours.
Now, I know 25 hours sounds pretty poor for a light of this price, but it’s insanely bright when maxed out, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll want or need to use it in this manner.
The Charging Process & Cycle Life
Charging a ceiling or high-wall mounted wireless light poses something of a dilemma… it’s up there, and you’re down here.
The obvious solution is to use a stepladder to retrieve the light so you can connect to the adapter, but it’s a pretty irritating thing to have to do, besides, I borrowed my stepladder and had since returned it… so what now?
I decided it was about time that I started adulting and bought a stepladder of my own, but then I discovered that Method Lights sell an extendable charging pole especially for the ML200.
I then, however, found out that I could buy a ladder for pretty much half the price of the pole, so that’s what I chose.
The ML200 Plus takes 8 hours to fully recharge, and a smart system prevents overcharge beyond that duration. According to Method Lights, the ML200 lasts 50,000 hours of normal use or 500 charge cycles — whichever comes first.
Here’s where I really think your money goes when you invest in the ML200. Unlike most other more affordable wireless lighting options, the remote control that arrives with the ML200 is amazing!
Almost all functionality is accessible with this thing, from timers, to color temperature, to luminosity. It’s simple, yet powerful, and - to put the icing on the cake - it’s well-built, so you won’t be forking out for a replacement any time soon.
If I’m being really picky, I’d like to have seen some directional control on the remote, but alas, you have to aim the bulb manually up a ladder.
Color Temperature & Rendering
The color temperature is adjustable from a super warm 2500K to a chilly 7000K, allowing you to set the right mood and illuminate your favorite works in just the right hue.
In terms of color rendering, I was a little skeptical at first, as LEDs are typically not so great in this department, and being that color is such an important part of art, it really is a make-or-break aspect of the design.
Thankfully, though, the Ml200 bulb is CRI 95, which is generally classed as an exquisite rendering score, and it shows! My print of Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhone looks fantastic!
The yellow of the stars in the sky and the streetlamps reflected in the lake POPS like never before, as do the white highlights, and even the countless shades of blue that make up the vast majority of the piece seem well defined.
The ML200 has variable luminosity between 140 and 560 lm, which essentially allows you to choose between a buffer light that augments a piece of artwork, all the way through to blasting it with the brightness of a typical overhead.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want something in the middle, as this tends to benefit the art and the battery life.
I haven’t got a bad word to say about the dimming function. Via the excellent remote, the ML200 offers silky-smooth dimming throughout its entire luminosity spectrum — no jarring increments!
Combined with the variable color temperature, you can completely alter the mood of the artwork and the room as a whole in seconds.
Adjustable Beam Angle
One of the low-key AMAZING things about the ML200 Picture Light is the adjustable beam angle, which may seem boring, but it’s a true rarity in a light fixture.
It allows far more flexibility during placement and installation, as you can control how the light softens (or doesn’t) over a certain distance.
Using this feature you can also choose to highlight the picture alone, or the general area with the picture as a focal point, which can really beautify the room as well as the art.
I was pretty excited about the timer function, but while it is handy, it’s not as fleshed out as I’d hoped. You get two options: 3 or 6-hour auto-shutdown. This is one area where any wireless LED light with a companion app will be far more advanced.
I’ve saved the best till last! The ML200 actually allows you to save two custom presets that you can trigger with dedicated buttons on the remote, saving you time when implementing your favorite vibes!
My presets are a cool, bright, and focused daytime setting (museum style), and a warmer, softer evening setting. I also really appreciate that each custom preset can have a different timer, providing truly effortless operation.
The Final Verdict
There’s no way around it… the ML200 Plus Wireless Picture Light is expensive. For the same price, you could probably outfit your whole room with an epic Philips Hue array, but no amount of color-changing LED bulbs would bring your art to life like this Method Lights offering.
It’s a high-performance light with deep customizability the likes of which you rarely see even across the high-end LED market, and it fills a very specific niche, scratching an itch no other company can.
Am I a little disheartened that you have to buy the extendable charger separately for an extortionate price? Absolutely. In my opinion, that should come free with the light, but overall, I’m very happy with the light itself.
Do yourself a favor and the masterpieces in your home justice — pick up the ML200 Plus!
I give the Method Lights ML200 Plus Wireless Picture Light 4.2/5