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The first gen bulbs (what are available right now) have a maximum brightness of 600 lumens - similar brightness to a 50-watt bulb. The second gen bulbs will have an increase to 800 lumens, which is in-line with the amount of light that 60-watt bulbs produces - however these aren't available quite yet. See More
Philips has released the Hue API, allowing individual developers to create their own apps that utilize the Hue bulbs. These apps are often more robust than Philips' own app, letting lights change color in sync with music, flickering whenever you get a tweet, or can change colors to reflect the stock market. The possibilities are nearly endless. See More
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The colored RGB lights can only achieve 50% brightness on their own; after 50% white LEDs are also turned on to achieve a very high total brightness. However, mixing white light with colored light will dilute the colors so that red light at 70% brightness will look more washed out than red light at 50% brightness. See More
To achieve their high brightness, the Lifx need more diodes than other LED bulbs, which means that they get hotter. To help deal with the heat, there are more heat sinks which adds the weight (they weigh 10.4 ounces each). Despite the heat sinks though, they still run a bit warmer than other LED bulbs. See More
Ion is traditionally an audio company, so it isn't really surprising that they managed to create a product that offers good audio quality. These won't provide the same boom as dedicated speakers, but they'll do the job for most tasks. It should also be noted that these don't need a wall plug - all the power they require can be taken from any regular light socket. See More
The bulbs are connected through the WeMo Link which is a central hub, which then connects to your phone. It adds cost to the setup, but thankfully you only need 1 to control a large collection of WeMo Links. This hub doesn't have any wired connections - it plugs into any ordinary wall power outlet. See More
Equipped with a motion sensor to automatically turn on the light when somebody walks in, as well as an ambient light sensor to determine how bright the light needs to be, the BR30 are some of the smartest bulbs out there. They are currently some of the only bulbs that work on their own without needing to be controlled by a phone or remote. See More
The hub needs to be plugged directly into your router, adding one more thing cluttering the likely already busy area. This also means that you have little choice in the placement of the hub, while other systems have a wireless hub that can be plugged into a wall socket in a closet or somewhere else where it will be hidden from sight. See More
The app is where you can make changes to the lights. While they aren't RGB, they do have adjustable color temperature as well as an automatic mode which uses a blue-ish hue in the morning, and a warmer hue closer to evening. You can also manually set the color temperature if you prefer. You can schedule alarms, as well as 'night mode'. If the bulbs detect motion while in night mode, they will illuminate dimly (around 5% brightness) instead of blindingly bright. See More
These lights have a hard time adapting to certain activities. For example, if you are reading and being fairly still, the lights will think that the room is empty and turn off automatically. Because of the learning ability, in the future sometimes the lights will think you are reading and stay on even if the room is empty. It's a tricky situation, but it could be fixed through future updates. See More
At 600 lumens, these bulbs are 25% dimmer than most other bulbs. This will make illuminating rooms - the primary function of light bulbs - a bit more difficult although not impossible. The bulbs may not be sufficiently bright to simply replace existing bulbs...you may need to add an extra lamp or lighting fixture to provide the same amount of light or deal with a slightly dimmer room. See More
While the app contains everything needed to make the most of the smart bulbs, it places features inside menus where you wouldn't expect to look. For example, one of the sections is called "Lab" where you can find the Colorful, Game, Music, and Night Light settings. The timer button is a different color, is located below the other buttons, and has a square outline. There you can find the expected settings suitable for a timer section. See More
Bluetooth has its benefits, although it only has a short range. You need to physically be near the bulbs in order to change their settings, while other Wi-Fi bulbs (or bluetooth bulbs connected to a Wi-Fi hub) let you control your lights from around the world as long as you have an internet connection. See More
There are 3 bulbs that are part of Ilumi's lineup - the regular A19 LED bulb which replaces a regular 60-watt bulb, BR30 Flood LED bulb which offers more light ideal for track or recessed lighting, as well as an Outdoor Flood LED which is similar to the indoor flood light, but it has been treated to be weatherproof. See More
Two headlining features of the Ilumi are slow to react - Music Sync should change the color of the bulbs along with any music that is playing, however it lags behind and doesn't respond well. The same can be said for the Torch Mode which is supposed to turn on your lights when it senses your phone is near. See More
The Ilumi works with Google's Nest Thermostat as well as IFTTT (If This Then That - an app and web service that lets you automate actions based on variables...it works like coding, without needing to know how to code). This allows for cool things like flashing the bulbs when you receive a call or text, turning on the bulbs when they sense your phone is near, etc. Ilumi is also planning on opening its software to developers in the near future, allowing for even more unique uses, however that hasn't happened yet. See More
The 430 lumens brightness of the Elgato Alvea is almost as bright as a 40-watt bulb, but not quite. These lights will be very expensive to use as primary light sources, as you'll need many of them to sufficiently light up a room. They are really only cost-effective as accent lighting. See More
The app isn't confusing at all. It gives you 9 dynamic lighting options to choose from, such as magic hour (simulates a sunset), northern glow (simulates the northern lights), and cozy flames (simulates fire). Each of these has an option to adjust the intensity, although instead of just adjusting the time it takes to move from one color to the next it also changes the colors. For example, the Cozy Flames turn green-ish instead of the regular red with yellow and orange bursts. See More
While most smart bulbs let you pick from a color picker, for solid colors the Elgato Alvea has 7 to choose from (blue, green, orange, purple, red, white, yellow). Each shade is then adjustable in both brightness and shade, however it would have been much easier to just use a color palette like most other smart bulbs. Also, while the nine dynamic lighting options are easy, they are the only dynamic lighting you can achieve. You can't set up your own dynamic color palette. See More
Robots is an easy to use automation tool that lets you take control and create your own recipes for your bulbs to follow (flash blue when you receive a text, flash red when the door opens, etc). Shortcuts are also supported - you can setup a cluster of lights to all enter a pre-determined mode with the touch of a single button. Also supported is scheduled lighting - you can have the lights dim near bedtime, and start to illuminate in the morning to help ease the sleep process. See More
Through the app, you have access to many lighting modes. From 'disco' which pulses in-beat with the music to timers and configurable color pallets to even selecting a color by using your phone's camera and looking at an object, these lights seem to have it all. See More
This bulb has a dedicated white LED, however you cannot use the white LED and turn on another LED to give it a splash of color - its either in RGB mode or pure white. You can attempt to re-create white using the RGB LEDs, and customize the color that way, however it is not possible to use all 4 LEDs at once. See More
Because they use Wi-Fi, these bulbs can be controlled from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. That means that you can turn your lights on from work if you are expecting a delivery, you can turn them on while you're on vacation to deter buglers and more. Also, it's convenient. You can turn your lights on at home when you leave from work, or by tapping your phone to a NFC tag (if you use third party software and set it up beforehand). See More
Instead of a typical RGB setup, this uses RGBW LEDs. That is, there is a red LED, a green LED, a blue LED, as well as a regular white LED. This allows for more natural whites - regular RGB bulbs try to mix a white color by turning all 3 LEDs on but depending on where you are standing you may be closer to the red LED, so the light will look a bit reddish. The dedicated white LED solves any potential issues. See More
Because of its heft and bulk, it may not fit into some lighting fixtures. It is 5.1x3.1x3.1" and weighs 8.8oz (half a pound). Smaller flexible desk lamps might not be able to hold that weight, or fit the bulb. Even larger appliances may not be able to house it, depending on the specific appliance. See More
Linked above is the classic bulb style, but Osram offers a few different products that fall into its Lightify family of products. These include an RGB flexible strip of LEDs (really cool desk/counter/home theatre accent lighting), and two other cheaper bulbs that don't offer RGB lighting (one has adjustable color temperature, the other doesn't). See More
Once you get the Wink App working, controls for the bulbs are simple. Whether you are modifying one bulb at a time, or grouping them to adjust many all at once, the controls are simple and work fairly well. Automating bulbs is just as easy - from basic scheduling (turn on in the morning, off when you go to bed for example) to recognizing when your phone is near and turn on by themselves. If you want to go deeper, you can use the Robots feature, which allows you to craft your own automation recipe and dip into external triggers. See More
Between installing, registering, and connecting, the setup process is very slow and buggy. Even once connected, changing the colors or settings takes longer and appears more choppy than competing bulbs. Updates can fail to install properly multiple times in a row (even with restarting your phone and unscrewing the bulbs). See More
To access any smart features, you will require a hub. There are different hubs available, with more to come. Currently there is the Link Hub ($30) which will handle lighting, or the Wink Hub ($50) will be able to work the lights as well as other smart home systems. There's also the coming-soon Wink Relay ($300) which will have a touchscreen and act as a wall mounted smart hub. See More
The GE Link requires 12 watts to produce 800 lumens - the TCP LEDs and Belkin WeMo provide the same lumens at 11 watts and 9.5 watts, respectively, and the Philips Hue provides 750 lumens using only 9 watts. The GE Link is one of the most inefficient RGB LEDs available, however it is still many times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. See More
While other Smart LED bulbs can dim right down to 0.5% of their total brightness, the GE Link will only go down to 10.2% brightness before it turns off. While this is still fairly dim, it would be nice to have an even larger range to make transitioning to bedtime more effective. See More
180 lumens won't do much good in terms of lighting (for comparison, regular bulbs produce about 800 lumens - the Oort bulb provides less brightness than the typical refrigerator light). This is really only effective as a supplement to an existing lighting solution as mood lighting, and not a regular bulb replacement. See More
With a range of only 12m, don't expect to control your lights from far away. The good news is that the bulbs work together in a 'mesh' configuration, meaning that as long as you are within range of one bulb (and the other bulbs are in range of each other as well), you can control all the bulbs. See More
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