feature-packed smart bulb, intuitive interface, easy setup
Reviewed in the United States on 1 October 2018
First of all, the control app for this company's devices is great. I don't have a lot of experience with smart home devices in general, but I had no trouble at all setting up these bulbs and the interface is very intuitive. I was playing around with them using my phone within 5 minutes of opening the box. It interfaces easily with Google Home, with only a small degree of lag time, so I was also able to issue voice commands relatively quickly. I like when I don't have to fight with technology, and I definitely did not have to fight any step of the way with these light bulbs.
The light bulbs themselves have two settings, "white mode" and "color mode." The default when you set it up is white mode, and they are VERY bright bulbs, maybe equivalent to 100W incandescent, so if you're an idiot like me and you are looking at it when you flip the switch, it can be a somewhat jarring experience. One thing to note up front is that "color mode" is about half as bright, maybe equivalent to a 60W bulb. The first time I switched from "white" to "color" I was a bit surprised by how much dimmer it seemed in comparison.
"White mode" only has a single slider for brightness. This is, I suppose, to be expected. The color temperature is highly on the blue end, so the light is very artificial and institutional feeling, like overhead fluorescent tubes at a hospital. I like to use bulbs like this in rooms I need a lot of light, like the kitchen. Most of the time though I strongly prefer "soft" white to "daylight," and so it would be really nice if there was a way to switch between soft and daylight, or have a color temperature slide from 3000K to 5000K. Something which would temper the harshness. Of course, this is just my opinion; many people might strongly prefer "daylight" style light. The brightness slide reduces the brightness down to perhaps a 20W bulb equivalent amount of light, but doesn't change the overall color much; it's still very bright white even at dim settings.
The "color mode" I had a lot more fun with. As I mentioned, it's not nearly as bright as the white mode, which for me was a plus. The color selector is the form of a ring which covers just about any color possible. Obviously the color of the bulb doesn't match the color on the wheel, but you can get a very broad variety. There is also a saturation slider which gives you even more options. So in concert with my comment above about the white mode being too bright, I usually find a nice color of yellow and slide the saturation down to get more akin to candlelight, and it works nice in a floor lamp. Color mode though is obviously for accent lighting, it's not bright enough to reasonably expect to light a room unless you've got multiples.
Given that most overhead light fixtures have sockets for two (or more) bulbs, the utility of these bulbs is limited, unless you want to "temper" the light in the room with a complimentary color (for instance). They are really much better for table, floor, and accent lights with a single socket. In this application, the color mode is a lot more fun, and you have a lot more options with how you light your room. I can already envision applications for having different kinds of ambient light for watching movies, playing games, reading, etc.
There is a third feature associated with these, which allow you to create programs, as well as having a few preset color-changing programs, but I haven't played around with it at all. I can't exactly envision a use for this feature for myself, so I can't opine on them too much.
Overall though these things are a GREAT value, and have a LOT of features. I would hope that they'd be able to fit in a color temperature feature for "white mode" with a latter software update, but that'd be the difference between a 4 star and a 5 star product as far as I'm concerned.
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