Top 9 smart LED bulbs
(Source: TechAdvisor October 28, 2015)
Smart lighting is the first step to make your home a smart home. Here’s 11 best smart LED bulbs and best smart lighting, as per TechAdvisor.
Philips Hue is a remote-controlled lighting system for the home that uses standard screw-fit lightbulbs that can be adjusted with the help of a smartphone app. The brightness, colour and timing, all can be controlled. You can set your lights to come on at preset times, or when you approach or leave the home, and even entirely remotely over the internet when you’re miles away.
With the system set up, you can have three bulbs in the same room or set in different rooms, although many of the preset lighting schemes use complementary colours so work best with the three bulbs in view together.
Avea is a smart LED bulb you can control with your iPad or iPhone (Android is not currently supported). In fact, you can control up to 10 of them from a single iDevice, creating different mood lighting for every room in the house.
This 7W LED screw-fit bulb has a class A energy rating. You can set a static colour or choose from one of seven themes, which slowly flow through preset colours. The Avea also functions as an alarm, turning on at a scheduled time.
Belkin Wemo LED Lighting Starter Set
Belkin Wemo doesn’t change colour to suit your mood; it is a replacement for existing 60W incandescent bulbs, or the energy saving fluorescent equivalent. The kit includes two bulbs: you can choose between bayonet or Edison Screw varieties. Each is rated at 800 lumens, which may not be as bright as your old-school incandescent, but it’s still impressive compared to many competing LED bulbs. You also get a Wemo Link in the pack, which acts as a bridge between the bulbs and your Wi-Fi router.
You create ‘rules’ for the lamps to work and these can be for them to turn on and off at sunset and sunrise, or at times you choose. They can be individually named and controlled, and you can even set a dimming period so the lamp fades in to your set brightness over a few minutes (or even up to 30 minutes). You can also define a sleep period, so the bulb will turn off after a set time, just like a TV or radio. We like the ability to dim the lights, too – and at set times.
Olixar Light Beats Bluetooth Speaker Bulb
A Bluetooth speaker and a light bulb aren’t things you would normally put together, but it’s a combination that really works. Olixar’s Light Beats Bluetooth Speaker Bulb is a very cool gadget, but not unique. Also see the MiPow Playbulb and Sengled Pulse below.
The beauty of pairing light bulb and speaker is that, provided the light is turned on, the speaker is fired up and ready to go. There’s no fiddling with buttons, and no need to charge the speaker or plug it into a wall outlet. You just grab your phone or tablet, connect to the Olixar Speaker Bulb over Bluetooth 4.0, and are instantly ready to blare out music, podcasts and audiobooks from the ceiling.
1byone Smart LED bulb
Much like the MiPow Playbulb Color listed below, the 1byone Smart LED Bulb is an LED lightbulb with a built-in Bluetooth speaker. Unlike the Olixar above it will change colour as well as playing music. 300 lumens is roughly the output of a 20- or 30W halogen lamp so it’s not bright enough to light a room.
It’s intended more for mood lighting. Compared to a more expensive colour bulb such as Philips Hue or LIFX, and most dedicated white lamps the ‘white’ setting is very cold and bluish. There’s no easy way to get a warm white hue, and even the oranges and yellows are quite weak in comparison to better quality bulbs.
Lava BrightSounds portable Bluetooth Speaker and Smart Lamp
Smart lightbulbs are the latest addition to the smart home, but what about when you’re away from home? We love this Lava BrightSounds smart lamp and portable Bluetooth speaker, and reckon it’s one of the best gadgets you’ll take camping this year.
Okay, so the Lava BrightSounds is not a mains-connected smart bulb like the other examples in this round-up. But it’s dimmable, portable, waterproof, rechargeable, takes phone calls and plays music, and it does use an LED bulb, which makes it longer-lasting and more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. All that makes this the smartest lamp we’ve ever seen. It’ll also make a great addition to a kid’s nightstand, able to allay their fears of the dark and play them lullabies as they gently fall asleep.
With a lithium-ion battery inside, this Bluetooth speaker and smart lamp can offer up to eight hours of music playback, or up to 10 hours use as a lamp, all off a three- to four-hour charge from empty. You can also use it while it’s plugged into the mains.
LIFX is a Wi-Fi-enabled multicolour LED bulb that is controlled via an app on your smartphone. It’s reasonably expensive, but many will find it worth the outlay, offering up to 16 million colours and brightness to rival a 75W incandescent bulb. LIFX claims each bulb lasts 27 years and, like the Elgato Avea you can control multiple bulbs, set an ‘alarm’ and soon will be able to dim the lights.
Tabü‘s Lümen is a Bluetooth 4.0- rather than Wi-Fi-connected bulb, which operates at up to 30ft via a mobile app for iOS and Android. You can control up to 10 of these smart bulbs from a single device, and the company claims each will last 30 times longer than a traditional bulb and use five times less power. Tabü Lümen lets you control colour and brightness, set a gentle wake-up alarm, and the Lümen will also notify you of incoming calls.
Pulse from Sengled is another Bluetooth speaker bulb like the Olixar Light Beats, but with a JBL multi-channel speaker within it is quite a bit more expensive. You do get a pair of bulbs for that price, however, and these JBL bulbs are dimmable.