Ten One Design is known for some useful Mac and iOS products, like the Blockhead that changes the orientation of your MacBook power adapter and the Mountie+ that transforms the iPad into a second screen for a Mac, but it's newest product, the Stella MacBook Power Cord, is perhaps the company's most interesting accessory to date.

Stella features a built-in LED that activates whenever it senses a faint electrical field next to an electrical receptacle like a power outlet, resulting in a bright light that comes on whenever you go to plug it in.

stellatenonedesign2
The idea behind the Stella is to provide a bit of light when attempting to plug your cord in while it's dark, which, admittedly, is not a situation that most people are likely to encounter on a regular basis.

Stella snaps onto a MacBook's power adapter where the extension cable would normally go, essentially replacing the standard Apple extension cable (or short prong portion). The part of the Stella that connects to the power adapter is white and it looks rather similar to the regular extension cable, so there are no surprises there.

stelladesign
The cord of the Stella is made from a nice, flexible braided material that looks great and is a less unwieldy than the Apple branded extension cable. The cable itself is 1.8m long, like the Apple extension cable.

I don't use an extension cable with my MacBook Pro power adapter because the USB-C cable is generally long enough for most places where I need to plug in, so I do wish that there was an option for a set of light up prongs sans extra cable.

stellatenonecord
Ten One Design accounted for extra cord, though, with a handy bi-directional slide out clip that can hold the additional wound up cable in place. There's so much cable that it doesn't work well on the 29W/30W MacBook adapter, but winds up nicely on the larger 87W MacBook Pro adapter. Because the cord is flexible, it stays wound up neatly.

The Stella website says the cord was designed with the 85/87W chargers in mind, wrapping around them eight times. It also works with the 61W chargers, but you'll need to wrap it around an additional time or two.

stellawinding
The plug part of the Stella is grooved and shaped in a way that's simple to grip, and it comes in either blue or aqua. The plug is smaller than the plug of the Apple extension cable, and it is two pronged instead of three pronged. It also takes up less space than a MacBook power adapter without an extension cable, so it's a good way to save outlet real estate if you have a lot of things plugged in.

The Stella's LED is located right above the two prongs, and in my testing, it reliably lit up every time it was next to a power outlet, providing sufficient light to find the outlet's holes even in the darkest room.

stellaplugled
It starts lighting up when it's about a foot away from the outlet, which seems to be an ideal distance. Ten One Designs says this distance can vary, though, depending on the strength of the outlet and based on factors like the material covering the outlet.

Stella also lights up near other devices that are plugged in, so you'll see it light up if it's located near your MacBook, your toaster, your TV, or anything else. It needs to be in close proximity, though, so I never found the LED to be irritating.

stellaplugled2
I didn't run into any issues with Stella failing to light up, but Ten One Design says that if you hold it sideways against a receptacle it will always light up, which can be useful in situations where an outlet has low signal.

stellapluggedin
Once plugged in, the light on the Stella goes out within a few seconds, so it's not going to keep shining in a dark room.

stellapluglitup
Stella is compatible with all MacBook chargers, 10W and 12W iPad chargers, and PC laptop chargers, though there are different editions for PCs and Macs.

Bottom Line

Ten One Design's Stella is neat, but it's something of a novelty. At $34.95, it's rather expensive when you can just use the flashlight on your phone or a light switch.

Stella is undeniably useful when you might want to plug in your MacBook cable with the lights out, but I can't imagine that such a situation is a regular occurrence for most people.

Apple's USB-C MacBooks don't ship with an extension cable anymore, with Apple instead selling them for $19. Stella is priced at $34.95, which means it's a $15.95 premium over what you can get from Apple.

Whether that's worth it for the braided cable and the built-in light will depend on your needs. If you work in the dark a lot or travel often, the Stella is potentially worth the upgrade, but if you're not moving your power adapter on a regular basis, it's probably not worth the extra cost.

Ten One Design has said that it plans to license Stella technology to other manufacturers, so it's possible we may see more useful applications in the future with the light up functionality perhaps added to power adapters of other types, such as those meant for iPhones or iPads.

How to Buy

The Stella MacBook Power Cord can be purchased from the Ten One Design website for $34.95.

Note: Ten One Design provided MacRumors with a Stella MacBook Power Cord for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Top Rated Comments

OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
37 months ago
Total number of times I've needed to plug my MacBook Pro in in the dark: 0

Total times I'd need a $35 device to do so: Never
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hortod1 Avatar
37 months ago
The wall socket is over 100 years old. How on earth we've managed this long as a society without this clearly necessary and life-altering gizmo is truly unfathomable.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SBlue1 Avatar
37 months ago
Is this an ad or a review? I am missing some pros and cons so it looks like this is an ad trying to look like a review.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LarryNyquil Avatar
37 months ago
$35 and it doesn't even include a grounding pin?

I realize it's not STRICTLY necessary but come on...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Digital Dude Avatar
37 months ago
I purchased it as soon as I saw it here on MacRumors. As a power-traveler, I often struggle to use the brick alone in some hotels or older homes I visit.

1) The wall receptacle internal prongs are so worn out; the weight of the Apple brick won't stay connected and drops to the floor.
2) In other cases, the wall outlet is behind some non-movable object whereby I can't reach the wall receptacle with the power brick.

The fabric covered AC cable is longer than the Apple version and is more pliable, so it's easier to stuff in my small cable accessory bag. As for the light, I didn't think it would be bright enough to be of any value, but I was wrong. The price compared to the Apple cable, required that I forego a second Starbuck's drink for 2-days.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Koodauw Avatar
37 months ago
This really seems like a proof concept product, not one that has actual use.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
General Apps Messages

All Three Major U.S. Carriers and Google Adopt Rich Communication Services, But No Sign of Apple Interest

Tuesday July 20, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
For the last several years, Google has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. RCS is designed to replace SMS, the current text message standard, and it offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file sizes, better encryption, improved group chat, and more. Verizon today announced that it is planning to adopt...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
macOS Malware Feature

Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Wednesday July 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by
A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature teal

AirPods 3 Mass Production Said to Kick Off in August

Tuesday July 20, 2021 8:40 pm PDT by
Mass production of the third-generation AirPods will kick off in August, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. They will reportedly join a number of other products such as the iPhone 13 lineup and redesigned MacBook Pro models as launches coming before the end of the year. Renderings of rumored third-generation AirPods design Rumored launch dates for the third-generation AirPods have...