The Best Kit for Hogwarts - Bar None
This is by far the best set specific light kit available – bar none. For context, over the past year and half, I have purchased 24 different light kits from Light My Bricks, Lightailing, Bricks Max, Brick Loot, Vonado and Brickstuff. The quality of Brickstuff's lights, components and effects boards are far and away the best available of all.
If you are simply looking to light up your Castle, any one of these companies will provide what you need, but in each case you will be compromising what you will achieve with the Brickstuff kit. Let me first provide a brief summary of what I have observed regarding the products from each company.
(1) Brick Loot – their product is generally good but all lights are pre-installed in pre-set strings that end in numerous USB connections. This becomes a challenge in properly hiding wires, especially with regard to the power side. The lights are not quite as bright as LMB or Brickstuff.
(2) Light My Bricks – Generally the highest quality next to Brickstuff. They do not use any pre-installed lights. Instead, they use individual lights for everything with the same wire connection in all circumstances. The benefit of this of this over Brick Loot is that you can connect all lights into a single circuit so you can end with a single USB connection. They also use a number of special effects and RGB boards that work fairly well. Because they use the exact same wire for all lights, gathering and hiding wires can become a challenge when a large number of lights are used in one area.
(3) Lightailing – Very similar to Brick loot but quality is not as good. Again, the use pre-installed lights with numerous USB connections.
(4) Bricks Max – This is Lightailing’s version of LMB with lower quality lights and wires. It is a cheaper copy of LMB.
(5) Vonado – This is another copy of LMB and the cheapest quality components and wires by far.
I previously purchased the LMB Hogwarts kit and installed it and made many upgrades to try and accomplish some of the things the Brickstuff kit already does – but Brickstuff does so much better. Attached is an exterior photo of each kit. Photo 1 of the exterior is the Brickstuff kit. Photo 2 of the exterior is the previous install with Light My Bricks. The interior picture is the Brickstuff install.
As I said before, the LMB kit is very good, but Brickstuff exceeds it in every way. The lighting conditions of the two photos are not identical and it is difficult to observe the many differences, so let me highlight some for you:
(1) The lanterns outside all doors use the flicker effect in Brick Stuff where they are only constant lights for LMB.
(2) The RGB lights for LMB are all connected in a chain wire that is impossible to hide. They do not cover all of the rock formation and do not have the same special effects that Brick Stuff has added such as fire or sparkle effect. Moreover, numerous wires are collected in the castle courtyard and cannot be hidden.
(3) LMB does not light up the exterior courtyard outside the main hall or the clock;
(4) LMB does not light up the top spires. Moreover, you will see groups of wires at the top of the tower that are not hidden for LMB as well. Brickstuff's are hidden perfectly.
(5) LMB does not have the random turn on and off effects of the various windows as Brick Stuff
(6) The lights outside the main hall are very obvious in LMB and are gathered in the back building not hidden at all. Brickstuff wires are not noticeable at all because they are pre-installed using an extra thin wire for this purpose. Look closely at photo 2 and you will see the wires are gathered in plain site at the back of the castle.
(7) On the interior, Brick Stuff has numerous additional lights and effects LMB does not have.
a. Brickstuff adds additional overhead lights in the Great Hall that can be turned on and off via remote;
b. Brickstuff lights the Chamber of Secrets door
c. Brickstuff adds special lighting effects to the snake chamber
d. Brickstuff lights the classroom
e. Brickstuff lights and adds special features for the key room
f. Brickstuff adds intensity and random lighting features for the Erise mirror effect that changes the entire feel as opposed to a standard flicker effect
g. Brickstuff adds flames in the common room and a light in the library
h. Brickstuff adds a light in the cauldron with special effects
i. Brickstuff allows you to turn the light on and off in the second hall via remote as well.
j. The interior lights in the main tower are much brighter than those used for LMB and can be turned on and off via remote.
(8) ONLY Brickstuff allows you to light the boats, Whomping Willow and Hagrid’s Hut. This adds so much to the model and the wires are very unassuming .
(9) Only Brickstuff adds sound.
In sum, I was quite pleased with the LMB set previously and they sell a quality product. That said, I had no idea how much better the lighting and experience could be until I installed this set. The wires are hidden much better, the effects are incredible and this is the best my model has ever looked. It will continue to be a showpiece for me for some time.
I truly believe this kit does the most to complement and improve a specific model I have seen. Rob has done a great job.
I cannot say that spending extra money on the more expensive kits is always worth it. Many times the added effects are hard to notice or not obvious. For this set, however, all of the added benefits are apparent at all times and spending the extra money here is a no brainer. It is worth every extra penny and no other kit available provides an experience that is even close.
PS – Rob is great to work with if you EVER have any questions.