Published on March 4th, 2014 | by Greg
LightAir IonFlow 50 Surface: Ionic Purification Gets Pretty
Ions. They sound scientific, complicated, mysterious. And there’s nothing like modern technology to offer a cure for the very problems that modern technology creates. Today’s product is an ionic air purifier, distinctly different from the many-filtered, HEPA varieties. This one doesn’t have any fans, doesn’t make much noise, but sure does look beautiful thanks to Danish design and blue glowing lights.
The LightAir IonFlow 50 Surface even has a cool name. One of the only models we’ve seen that claims to be ozone free, the company also touts it’s low power consumption and filter-free nature, saving you money over time compared with traditional models. You’d be right to be a bit skeptical- it might sound too good to be true. It’s certainly easy to setup and use, with no moving parts, though you can’t really change the light much unfortunately which makes it hard for bedroom use.
We tried it in a variety of different environments- around cigarette smoke, pollen, allergens, and odors- and don’t have expensive testing gear to detect particles and particulates. We do have cats, and cars, and fumes though, and we confess that the IonFlow didn’t seem to do much, even in a closed room. If you got close to the unit, you could smell a change in the air, or feel one, even in a blind test. But beyond this fairly small region, we could not detect much change. There were not a substantial amount of particles adhered to the unit itself or any significant increase in dustiness either, and certainly the LightAir folks don’t claim to function in the same way (or on the same problems) as other air cleaners. Without fans, it’s hard to see how the IonFlow could operate effectively in even a small room- and any charged particles can easily adhere to your TV screen or walls and stick around.
Overall, we really wanted to love the IonFlow 50 Surface, and it’s sleek good looks and simple, low-noise operation. But at nearly $300, online and in stores, you expect more than a slick conversation piece. If you’re looking for an ionic air purifier, then this is certainly one of the most attractive, and we believe their ozone statements. For those in need of a solution for allergens or smoke, this might not be the best bet.