A short guide about finding the perfect connected bulbs

Sales of connected bulbs have exploded in recent years, and that will not stop with the prices that are falling more and more in this area. If you  want to have a smart home, this product is much more than a gadget, provided for you to choose a suitable and reliable model. This buying guide is here to help you make your selection among the best-connected bulbs of the moment according to your budget!

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Philips Hue White Ambiance

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Philips Hue White A19

Philips Hue Smart Dimming Kit

Price: $148.99

Price: $49.94

Price: $34.94 

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Advantages


Quality of light 
Ease of installation 
16 million colors

Advantages


Value for money 
Energy 
saving Connectivity

Advantages


Unbeatable price 
Simple but effective 
Ergonomics


Disadvantages


Price


Disadvantages


Installation 


Disadvantages


Reproduction of colors

Which connected bulb to choose?

Let's analyse the top 3 of the best products from the market:

  • Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance
  • Philips Hue White and Ambiance
  • Philips Hue White

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance: the best connected bulb on the market?

It is undeniable that the Philips brand is ahead of its competitors in the smart lighting market, thanks to a complete and well-controlled technology. The connected bulb Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance is the flagship of the brand in the high-end including its 16 million colors, and ability to synchronize with music or video games to offer you a unique atmosphere in your home. Focus on the strengths and weaknesses that have been identified on this product.

👍 The strong points

✔️ The color spectrum: With 16 million colors, you have plenty of room to change the mood and atmosphere of your room. The Hue Gen 2 that controls the light bulb has preset mood programming, but you can personally set the scene with the color themes available in the app. In addition to color, you have the right to swing the white from a warm temperature to a cold temperature.

✔️ The quality of the light: As we mentioned before, the connected bulb Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance offers different temperatures of white. But it should be noted that the values taken of 2693 K and 6458 K are quite exceptional and dazzling. In addition, the CRI (color reproduction index) of the bulb is evaluated at 93.1 in warm white mode and 85.3 in cold white mode, indicating rather rare values for blisters.

 ✔️ The ease of installation: Philips has opted for the Wifi connection and the ZigBee for the control of this bulb Hue White and Color Ambiance, unlike other manufacturers who have bet on Bluetooth. Its installation is very easy, because it is enough to connect the bridge on the sector and with the Internet box, to download the application Hue, to screw the bulbs then to begin the configuration by pressing the button of the bridge. The application then guides you step by step to progress in the installation.

✔️ Sync mode: With third-party apps, you can expand your viewing experience by syncing your light to the beat of the music you're listening to or the mood of the scenes in your video games. Also note that the Hue Gen 2 bulb control app is compatible with Hue Tap and Hue Dimmer Switch remote controls as well as the Hue Sensor Motion motion detector.

✔️ Compatibility: In addition to the Hue Gen 2 build application and the Hue Tap and Hue Dimmer Switch remote controls, Philips' Hue White and Color Ambiance connected light bulb can be controlled with voice control, including Apple's via the app HomeKit and Amazon's via Alexa.

👎 The weak spots

✖️ The application: It must be said that the application Hue Gen 2 which manages the bulb Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance is quite complete, that it is in terms of control, programming, functionality, but also in the ergonomics and the simplicity of the interfaces. However, it is noted that the application requires too many updates, due in particular to the optics of Philips to enrich and improve your experience on the use of Hue bulbs.

Do you like Philips Hue White Ambiance? Get it now from Amazon: Philips Hue White Ambiance



Philips Hue White and Ambiance: the best quality / price ratio of the moment


The Philips Hue White and Ambiance is not a connected bulb color, in fact, the luminaire only offers white as a mood color. But given its many qualities, such as its selling price, Wifi connectivity that opens it to several control technologies, the excellent IRC it has, both in hot and cold light, as well as its capacity to save energy, this connected bulb offers a quality / price ratio very interesting compared to all these competitors. Discover without delay the characteristic points of this lamp.

👍 The strong points

✔️ Energy Saving: Measurements have shown that a single Philips Hue White and Ambiance bulb can provide you with up to 122 lux, which is a very good level of brightness, while at this value it consumes only 6.4 W of energy. It is therefore very economical in terms of energy while offering you at the same time a perfect and homogeneous brightness.

✔️ The Hue Dimmer Switch: The Philips Hue White and Ambiance package includes a connected ZigBee remote control that, in addition to the on and off function, features 5 preset light scenes. This remote is very convenient especially for children, because it allows them to control the bulb without using a smartphone.

 ✔️ The Hue app: The Hue White and Ambiance bulb is associated with an application developed by Philips itself, the Hue. Simple, intuitive, easy to learn, this application is a real success and allows you to manage up to 50 bulbs, control them and configure them as you wish. You can also control your light remotely, simulate your presence in the house, schedule alarm clocks and routines.

✔️ Connectivity: Philips remains on the Wifi technology for Hue White and Ambiance bulb control, because it allows to offer more possibilities on the control interfaces of the bulb. Indeed, it is compatible with Apple's HomeKit if you only have devices running iOS, but also with Alexa Amazon so you can control the device vocally.

👎 The weak spots

✖️ Installation: The installation of the Philips Hue Pack White and Ambiance is not very complicated especially in terms of connection. By cons, because of the bridge, it takes a long time, especially when the automatic detection of bulbs connected to your home. You may even need to enter the serial number of the bulb manually if the bridge can not locate it in the room.

Do you like Philips Hue White and Ambiance? Get it now from Amazon: Philips Hue White and Ambiance


Philips Hue White: the best cheap connected bulb 


If you want to learn about connected lighting, opt for a complete product, but not expensive. What's better than the Hue White from the Philips brand, the current leader in terms of connected light bulbs. It is an excellent product, offered on several bases, but especially compatible with most current ecosystems. Discover one of the must-have of the current market for connected light bulbs.

👍 The strong points

✔️Energy saving: Beyond the very affordable price of Philips Hue White, this connected bulb also makes great savings in terms of energy consumption. Its maximum brightness is estimated at 177 lux for a consumption of just 8.9 W. So you have plenty to enlighten you in a living room, because the latter requires only 100 to 200 lux of brightness.

✔️ The application: This is the strong point of Philips Hue products, having the most complete connected light bulb applications of the moment. So you can control the light of your house on site or remotely, play on its intensity, simulate your presence, "sniff" your presence by geolocation to automatically turn on the selected lights, and also program specific atmospheres during the day.

✔️ The quality of the light: The Philips Hue White bulb diffuses a solid white light, in a temperature only hot. The measurements show that this temperature is in the right average (2800 K) with a CRI (Color Reproduction Index) slightly below the reference standard (82). The rendering is brilliant and provides a pleasant atmosphere in the day and a cozy atmosphere in the evening.

✔️Ergonomics: If you want to taste connected lighting, do not hesitate on the Philips Hue White lamps, although not a bulb connected without bridge. Indeed, their installation and use are very simple. Ditto for the application associated with them, which offers easy handling and excellent ergonomics.

👎 The weak spots

✖️Color reproduction: If a CRI of 90 indicates good color reproduction, the Philips Hue White connected bulb is slightly below this value with a result of 82 for a warm white temperature. The few color irregularities that you can distinguish are hardly alarming.

Do you like Philips Hue White? Get it now from Amazon: Philips Hue White


What is a connected bulb, how does it work?

Connected objects are all the rage and the light bulb has not escaped the trend. Indeed, thanks to this new technology you can control the lighting of your home from a smartphone or by voice command and leave out the switch that has been doing the trick for decades. But how does a connected bulb work? Here are some lines that could enlighten you!

  • Operating mode

If at first sight the appearance of a connected bulb differs only slightly from that of a conventional bulb, this is not the case for the operating principle. A connected bulb is like a simple bulb with a Wifi or Bluetooth module that allows it to be connected or paired to a smartphone or tablet, and controlled via a dedicated application.

But this kind of lighting is not only controllable with applications, there is also called HomeKit, which allows you to use voice assist to relay your orders. This is the case of the connected bulb Apple, connected light bulb compatible Google Home or light bulb connected Alexa, a voice service present in the cloud.

  • The options of a connected bulb

Smart lighting typically uses a mesh network, with each bulb connected to its nearest neighbor via a wireless network. Everything is controlled by a hub and connected to a router. Finally it is linked to your smartphone or tablet.

Systems then admit light control even in the absence of home, anywhere in the world, others can use location data to automatically turn on the light depending on your location.

In addition to the simple on-off function, you can have intelligent control, which adapts the lighting and its color according to the weather, the climate, your provisions and your desires. There are even hybrid versions like the Music Connected Lightbulb, which can both play your favorite tunes and put a bright ambiance to your home.

 

How to install a connected bulb?

Here's how to install a connected Wifi bulb. In this example, we will use the Hue product from the Philips brand, which remains a reference in terms of intelligent lighting.

  • Checks

In general, when you buy a Philips Hue pack, you have a few bulbs, a Hue bridge that can handle up to 50 bulbs at a time, and necessary cabling (network cable and adapter). Check that the base of the bulb fits your electrical installation.

  • The installation

Screw in your Philips Hue bulbs and turn on their switch. Connect the Hue bridge to your Wifi router, then turn it on by plugging in the power supply. Normally, your bulbs should turn on automatically, while your connection bridge is going to be waiting for configuration.

  • Control via an application

First download the appropriate application with your smartphone (Android or iOS version). Install it, then zap the small feature overview, but immediately enter the application configuration and connection bridge. Normally, Hue bulbs are automatically identified by the bridge. You can then customize their names to easily find them in your home.

Then browse the application to get an idea of everything you can control regarding your bulbs (on-off, intensity, color, preset moods, programming ...). Remember that the HomeKit application (iOS compatible) allows you to vocally control the switching on and off of your lamps.

  • Control via a home automation box

Hue bulbs also have the option of being controlled by a home automation box thanks to their API (application programming interface) open. To do this, simply activate the Hue bridge search on your box.

Which connected bulb to choose?

The technology of the connected bulb is still recent and it is sure that it will continue to grow in the years to come. It is therefore not surprising that many brands offer their own version of the concept, so much so that it is currently difficult to choose the product that best suits the real needs. To help you sort, here are the main features to consider when buying a connected bulb.

  • The base of the bulb

This is the first thing to look at, otherwise you will have a bulb that is not even suitable for your electrical installation. Indeed, there are several formats of base. While the most common is the E27 (27 mm screw cap), we can still find models of E14 connected bulb (with a 14 mm screw base) generally used for desk lamps.

As for the pin base, you can have G4, G9 and even a connected bulb GU10, compatible with modern ceiling lights. For older installations however, there is the B22, a bayonet base, or the R7S as the halogen models. Suffice to say that you have the choice, even if among these formats, the E27 remains the reference .

  • Connectivity

Intelligent lighting is generally controlled in 4 different ways, either by an application via the operating system of a smartphone, or by a universal remote control, or by a connected assistant (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant), or by a box Automation.

So that these interfaces can control the lighting, the bulb must then have a Wifi connection or a Bluetooth connection. Some models require the use of a bridge (Gateway - Bridge) to connect to a box, but there is also connected bulb without bridge. If you have to choose, take the bulb that adapts to a larger number of applications and home automation not to be chained by a single technology as well as it is.

  • The color spectrum

The majority of connected lamps have a wide range of colors. While some offer only 5 to 10 colors, the most sophisticated can offer a much wider spectrum of the order of 16,000 to 16,000,000 colors If you already have pre-installed colors in the application, know that this function can totally be personalized.

The faithful reproduction of a color, however, depends on the CRI of the bulb (Color Rendering Index). This index can range from 0 to 100, and is measured using the Color Monkey probe. Be aware that for a lamp, a value of 90 is a reference.

  • The intensity of the light

Of course, you will not need the same amount of light on every room in your home. The connected bulb gives you the possibility to adjust the intensity of its light. Usually, its global and maximum brightness, expressed in Lux, is well indicated on its technical data. But to be simple, the higher the intensity, the more light provided by the bulb will be powerful (knowing that one can read comfortably at 500 lux).

The angle of diffusion also influences the intensity of the light. The closer it is, the more light that the bulb produces will be concentrated and alive. Opt for an angle close to or greater than 180 ° if you want to light an entire room.

  • Functionalities

Some bulbs incorporate ancillary functions, such as the presence of loudspeakers to broadcast music at the same time as light, the presence of cameras to include surveillance, but also smoke detectors to enhance security, broadcasters perfume to highlight comfort or Wifi amplifiers to strengthen the scope of the connection. It's up to you to judge which functions are really useful to you.

The whole point of a connected light bulb also lies in the fact that it is very energy efficient. Indeed, a well-lighted connected bulb consumes up to a quarter of the useful energy to an incandescent lamp or a halogen lamp, in particular thanks to the LED technology on which it is based.

  • The price

The price of connected bulbs generally varies between 30 and 200 €. Always check at purchase if the Hub useful for communication with the smartphone is included in the pack or outside of it. Indeed, the purchase of a Hub not provided can increase the price of the bulb.

Anyway, considering the durability and especially the energy saving achieved by a connected bulb, it is really worth it.

 

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