Light bulbs have become so efficient now that you can get a pretty bright one without spending a lot of money. However, there are also some smart bulbs that although cost more, they also bring a lot of features to the table as well.
If you are looking for a smart bulb that you want to install in your home, do read further to find out the best smart light bulbs in 2020. Illuminate your home the way you want it!
Why Smart Light Bulbs?
Before anything else, there is always this question of why you need to install smart light bulbs as opposed to regular LED bulbs. If your purpose of getting a light bulb is just to illuminate your house, you can do away with regular LED bulbs. In fact, you can buy them for a very cheap price and it does the job really well.
However, smart light bulbs provide convenience, as well as features that you might not need right now but are definitely welcome nonetheless.
For instance, such light bulbs would allow you to remotely control them, so even if you’re not at home, you can easily turn them on or off using a compatible mobile device.
You can also set them to turn on depending on specific times (which you can set using a companion app).
There are just a lot of great features that smart light bulbs provide over their regular counterparts and if you have the money, I do recommend getting some for your home.
Anyway, without further ado, here are some of the best in the market:
Best Smart Light Bulbs in 2020
1.Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19
The best smart light bulb kit, in my opinion, is the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 starter kit. At $199, the price is steep but it is warranted. Let me explain.
Included in the kit are 4 smart light bulbs along with a hub that allows you to control so many different parameters of each bulb. This includes color, geofencing, light tunability, and so much more.
It works really well with Smart home technologies such as Google Virtual Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Nest, IFTTT, etc.
Among the smart light bulbs you can find on the market, this starter kit has the most vibrant colors. You can change it to emit any color you want by using its companion app.
Speaking of companion apps, it is vital that you first update its firmware as it helps patch security vulnerabilities, while also adding new features as well.
Although its price tag is definitely one of the most expensive, every dollar you spend on the Philips Hue A19 is worth it.
2.Yeelight Smart LED Color Bulb
Although the Philips Hue is the best light bulb out there, it is quite expensive and not a lot of people are willing to spend that much money on a smart light bulb kit. If you want the budget option, I suggest that you get the Yeelight Smart LED Color Bulb.
At $36 per light bulb, it is quite an appealing option for many users that want to transition to the smart home ecosystem.
It works really well with a lot of different smart ecosystems, including Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Virtual Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and so much more.
Installation is easy because it doesn’t require a hub at all. The setup process can be done entirely using its application and you will be run through a series of steps to complete the entire thing.
The Yeelight is one of the brightest light bulbs out there and you can program it to turn on or off depending on what time of the day is.
By using its application, you can switch to any type of color that you want. This color tuning feature is great, especially if you are thinking about throwing a party inside your house.
It is worth noting, though, that if you intend to use your iPhone to control the light bulb, you will have to purchase Apple’s HomeKit separately. But, it will work with your other Yeelight products, so the purchase is okay given its flexibility.
3.Sengled Element Classic A19 Kit
Another affordable smart light bulb worth considering is the Sengled Element Classic A19 Kit. This kit contains a smart hub and two light bulbs which is a pretty good deal if you ask me.
Its 800 lumens of brightness is plenty enough and the bulbs can last up to 25,000 hours of operation so you can use them extensively for years and years.
There is also a companion app that you must download to complete the setup process. It is compatible with both Android and iOS ecosystems so there will be no problems with compatibility at all.
Although it can support some smart home services, it is only compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Virtual assistant which may put off some people from buying this kit.
Still, its peak brightness coupled with the fact that you get two smart light bulbs and a hub along with the kit makes this a really good alternative for the budget-conscious.
4.Wyze Bulb A19 4-Pack
All of the previous recommendations allow you to tweak its color to your liking but because you can do that, they are priced higher than other lighting kits. If you are okay with smart light bulbs that only have tunable whites, then the Wyze Bulb 4-pack option is the right one for you.
What does ‘tunable white’ mean? Well, you can use its companion app to change the intensity of white to whatever you like.
For example, you might want cool white in the morning but you also want to set it to a subtler shade during the evening. It doesn’t change to other colors, but this tunability allows for subtle mood lighting, especially during nighttime.
It doesn’t come with a hub which makes installation so much easier. Of course, you want to tune its parameters using its application and it will run you through the entire process to set things up.
Aside from tuning the color temperature, you also have the ability to integrate the light bulbs with your other smart home devices as well.
For instance, if you have security cameras installed, you can place Wyze bulbs near it and have it shine light whenever it detects any movement within the camera’s vicinity.
Seriously, the only downside to this product is the fact that it doesn’t change to any color other than different shades of white and that’s it.
The Wyze Bulb A19 is a full-featured, tunable white kit that is perfect for people that want to get their hands on their first set of smart light bulbs.
5.Sengled Smart WiFi LED
Price: $12 per tunable white bulb, $25 per multi-colored variants
Sengled is a company that prides itself on producing high-quality yet affordable smart light bulbs. The Sengled Smart WiFi LED has a lot to offer and it is priced differently depending on the colors that you want.
If you want a tunable white bulb, you only have to spend $12 for each piece. If you want the multi-colored variant, you need to spend a bit more but not by much at $25 per bulb.
That being said, it works right off the bat which means that you no longer have to rely on a hub. This makes it so much easier to install and all you need to do is tether it using the company’s app and you’re good to go.
Although it does integrate with popular smart home ecosystems, it only supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
It is not as feature-rich as others but it does have a respectable list of things it can do for the price.
6.LIFX A19 1100-Lumen Smart Light Bulb
If you want a really bright smart bulb where you can also tweak its colors (up to 16.8 million colors to choose from), then the LIFX A19 is for you.
It is quite expensive at $49 per bulb but its wealth of features kind of justifies the steep price tag.
Aside from the fact that you can change the bulb’s colors, you can also dim the lights as well using its app.
The bulbs can integrate with all smart home ecosystems so you shouldn’t have a problem using your preferred service.
Because it doesn’t require a hub for operation, installation is a breeze and you can even place it anywhere you like (so long as you have a compatible receptacle).
Its long lifespan of 22.8 years and the fact that it outputs 1,100 lumens of brightness makes this a really good choice for people that want flexibility and smart bulbs that have a rich feature set.
7.Philips Hue Go
If you want a smart light bulb with no prior installation required, then the Philips Hue Go is the ideal one for you.
It is basically a portable light source that you can put anywhere you like. Its brightness peaks at only 300 lumens but it is enough to illuminate one part of your room really well.
You have the option of changing the bulb’s color to your liking and you can just use its companion app for that.
This smart light bulb can also integrate with your other smart home devices as well and it can be controlled using Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Virtual Assistant.
Although they are not actual light bulbs that you have to install yourself, they are filled with smart light bulbs nonetheless.
The Nanoleaf Canvas is the perfect lighting kit if you want to have fun lights anywhere inside your home. The kids will surely love this and so will you!
Included in the kit are nine square panels; each having their own smart light bulbs. Because the bulbs are already pre-installed, you need not worry about setting things up at all. You just place them wherever you want and that’s it.
You can customize and get a hold of its features by integrating it with your preferred smart home technology but you also have the option of using its official app as well.
What I really love is the fact that it can be synchronized with the music that you are playing in your android smartphone or iPhone which is a really nice touch.
The only thing that might deter people from getting this one is the fact that it is one of the most expensive smart lighting kits on the market.
But hey, if you have the money, why not get a fun lighting kit, right?
9.Maz-Tek Plug-in LED Night Light
If you just want an easy to install a smart light bulb with no hassles, this next product is for you. To have this up and running, all you have to do is plug it into an electrical outlet and that’s it.
You can set its parameters by using its physical controls or you can use its application to remotely control its features if that is what you want.
It is rated to last up to 20,000 hours which means that this product will last for many years to come.
This smart lighting kit also has built-in sensors so that it will automatically dim itself down when there is ample lighting and it will also turn itself back up whenever it detects that it is nighttime.
10.Lifx Mini White
Most smart light bulbs would have to be installed in fixtures and pre-built receptacles but what if you want to put it inside your night lamp, for example? If that is the case, the Lifx Mini White is a great choice.
For just $19 per bulb, you get an eco-friendly LED that can last up to 22.8 years with moderate use.
You can use Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant to control the lights, and thanks to its cloud technology, you can even control it even if you are not at home.
It is compatible with both Android and iOS ecosystems so all smartphones should be supported without any problems.
The small form factor of this product ensures that you can easily install it in your favorite lamp.
Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes
Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.
It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.
Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?
One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.
The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.
You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.
Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.
The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.
I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.
Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.
An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.
So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.
3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.
I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.
To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.
The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.
You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.
Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.
Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball.
For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.
You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.
You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.
Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.
The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.
You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.
Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?
Apple Watch SE Review- The Apple Watch to Get for Most People
People would always assume that if a product comes from Apple that you need to spend quite a bit of money compared to its competitors. For the most part, that is actually true, but not for the product that I am going to review today.
In this article, I will be talking about the Apple Watch SE. Find out why I think this is the Apple Watch to get for most people.
The Apple Watch SE is set to be an entry-level smartwatch by Apple, but this is by no means a ‘cheap’ product as it does come with features that are also present in the Apple Watch 6, for example.
Its design is quite similar to the Apple Watches of old which is actually a good thing. The familiar look will make people who’ve owned those watches feel quite comfortable when using the newer model.
You basically have two size options to choose from (40mm and 44mm) and the screen is big enough so that you can utilize its functions more readily than other smartwatches that you can find on the market.
When you are going to buy this thing, you get to choose which strap you want to get along with it. The default strap uses nylon fiber which is not only comfortable but can also be used as a daily watch without getting ‘too gimmicky’.
The other option would be for you to get the ‘Solo Loop’ variant which is essentially a strap that conforms to your wrist- kind of like using a rubber band.
If you are going for the Solo Loop straps, it is important that you get the right fit as its fitting options are a bit limited. You have 9 choices to choose from but you will have to measure your wrist just right in order for you to get a relaxed fit.
Don’t worry, Apple’s website provides you with some guidelines to help you get the exact measurements.
Other than that, you have the watch crown situated on the right side of the watch which feels good whenever you use it.
One of the big differences between the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch 6 is that the former doesn’t have an always-on display. This is to be expected, given that this particular model is the more affordable one.
I have the 44mm version and its display has a screen resolution of 368 x 448 which should provide you with adequate screen real estate to enjoy the watch’s features.
The display is no slouch because its brightness can be turned up automatically whenever you are outside. In other words, outside visibility is not an issue at all.
The Apple Watch SE is perfectly suited for casual use and for those that want to have an active lifestyle.
Just like its bigger brother, this watch also has new activity-tracking options for functional strength training, core exercises, dance, and cool down. The last one is great for people to have an idea of how long they should perform static stretches after working out to provide their muscles with an optimal way to start recovery.
This smartwatch also has GPS and I’ve used it to calculate the distance after taking a couple of minutes to run. It is relatively accurate and I am pleased with it.
You do have a step counter to give you a rough estimate of how many steps you’ve taken during the course of the day. It is somewhat accurate, but there are more accurate watches out there.
It is interesting that the Apple Watch SE comes with the new WatchOS 7 preloaded which means that you do not have to do some manual updates once you receive the unit.
Keep in mind that because this watch is a stripped-down version of its more premium counterpart, there are no ECG and Sp02 sensors that can be found here, but that is a fair compromise, in my opinion.
One of the biggest features that I really love about the new operating system is the sleep tracking capability.
You can set a specific time when you usually sleep and if it is that time already, the watch will not only dim its display but will also make sure that notifications that you may receive at the specified time will not disturb your sound slumber.
Although the company doesn’t encourage you to completely believe in the results that the watch gives you (because this is not marketed as a bonafide medical instrument), I find it to be quite helpful nonetheless.
If the watch detects that you haven’t had enough sleep, it will provide you with some helpful tips to improve the quality of your sleep the next night which is pretty nice.
Another unique feature here is the hand-washing reminder. Every time you wash your hands, the watch will use its sensors and microphone to tell you if you’ve washed your hands for 20 seconds or not.
If you’ve finished earlier than the said time, the watch will notify you to continue. This ensures that you kill the Covid-19 virus, as well as other pathogens that might prove to be dangerous to your overall health.
The Apple Watch SE’s battery life is probably its biggest downside. It is rated to last up to 18 hours, but if you are using the GPS or the watch’s other features quite a lot, you will get less than that number.
It is also worth noting that charging time for this particular smartwatch requires 2.5 hours to complete. That is sad considering that the Apple Watch 6 only requires 90 minutes to be fully charged.
If you need to be using the watch’s features quite a lot, I suggest that you carry a hefty power bank with you at all times.
A lot of people love using Apple products because it has better integration with its ecosystem compared to other products on the market.
That being said, the Apple Watch SE is a great introductory product for people that want a smartwatch that does a lot of things.
It is a stripped-down version of its more premium counterpart but all of the useful features such as sleep tracking, more activity tracking, GPS, and others are present here, which means that it would still be a good purchase nonetheless.
And, at just $280, the Apple Watch SE is definitely what I would recommend for people that want a relatively affordable smartwatch with plenty to offer.
Apple Watch 6- What Are the New Things in Apple’s Newest Smartwatch?
Apple has unveiled the new Apple Watch Series 6 (or simply known as the Apple Watch 6) and it is the company’s new flagship smartwatch that brings with it some interesting features.
Today, I am going to be talking about this particular product so that you will have a glimpse of the new things that it can do. Do keep in mind that this is not an actual review of the watch but rather an interesting preview.
Let’s get down right to it: What are the new things that the Apple Watch 6 has to offer? Well, there are only two noteworthy additions and that is the new chipset, as well as the Sp02 blood oxygen sensor. Let’s talk about the latter first.
The new blood oxygen sensor was built into the smartwatch as a means of letting the user know his or her level of blood oxygen whenever they do certain activities, such as hiking, mountaineering, or any other strenuous activities that could potentially affect a person’s blood oxygen levels.
This is also certainly useful, especially since we are in the midst of a global pandemic that can affect a person’s respiratory system as well.
To utilize the said feature, all you have to do is download a specific app and wear the smartwatch wherever you go.
Provided that the watch is still tethered to your iPhone, it will provide you with some information about your blood oxygen levels. While it can do it passively, you can also get a reading any time you want.
To do this, all you have to do is fire the app, press on the active reading feature, and wait for about 15 seconds and the application will give you your current blood oxygen levels.
While this is an interesting feature, the app does tell you that all of the readings are meant just for general fitness purposes only and should not be used as a means of self-diagnosis or information that can be relayed to your physician.
Even though I understand that the watch is incapable of providing 100% accurate results, giving you a glimpse of your blood oxygen levels should remain helpful somewhat. The said warning just makes it appear that the feature is, to put it bluntly, just a gimmick.
Anyway, the new chipset that is placed inside the Apple Watch 6’s chassis should provide you with more power and probably better battery life.
One interesting side effect of the new chipset is that it can automatically adjust the display’s brightness if it detects that you are outside and the sun is shining brightly as ever. While it remains to be seen if this has a huge impact on the battery life of the device, it is interesting that the brightness level is much more powerful than in the Apple Watch Series 5.
Some tech reviewers deem the Apple Watch 6 as an iterative upgrade- both in the features and the design departments. That is because the new watch pretty much looks like its predecessor, albeit you are given some new color options to choose from.
I really like the new red-colored strap. It looks vibrant and lively and I am pretty sure that this color and aesthetic will be much more appealing than the others.
For people that want a subtler look, you also have the option to get either the black graphite variant or the blue aluminum case.
After speaking to an Apple representative, it seems that the company will also be releasing a gold version as well, though I think that the price of that thing is higher than the color options I’ve just mentioned.
The watch is still offered in 40mm and 44mm variants and you also get that always-on display that a lot of people really love about the Series 5.
The Apple Watch 6 is an iterative upgrade, in my opinion. It does provide you with a much better chipset and it also offers a new Sp02 sensor that could potentially be helpful to you more than others, but I don’t think these features would want people to reach for their wallets and buy this thing.
If you ask me, if you have an older Apple Watch Series 3, upgrading to the latest smartwatch just makes sense because it will be considered a huge generational leap.
However, if you are currently using the Series 5, the only reason why you’d get the new product is for its Sp02 sensor and nothing else.
The Apple Watch 6 is also the poster child for the new WatchOS so if you want to get a smartwatch that is already packed with the latest watch operating system from Apple, then it is probably a thing that you can buy today.
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