The home of a tech-savvy consumer is evolving fast. From the introduction of smart speakers like Google Home, Amazon Echo, and now the Apple HomePod, consumers are putting down their smartphones and are now talking to digital assistants. While it’s great to order something online hands-free or get your burning questions answered immediately, people are looking for more direct interactivity with their household. TP-Link has now entered the market with their own line of Smart home products to satisfy these consumers needs, beginning with the lightbulb.
Retailing for $65 CAD per colour-changing bulb, the TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb (Model # LB130) has a lot to prove to justify its hefty price tag to most mainstream consumers. Starting with specs, the Smart Wi-Fi Bulb achieves a brightness of 800 lumens, features a light appearance range of 2500K-9000K from warm to cool, and acts as a 60W equivalent. The big sell for expensive lightbulbs like these are their large life expectancies of up to 23 years and their miniscule energy costs. In the case of the TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Bulb, these products will cost homeowners a meager $1.32 annually on their energy bill if used 3 hours a day. Compared to standard lightbulbs, the savings can be anywhere from $3-5 per bulb annually. It’s an interesting tradeoff for consumers to consider. Obviously standard lightbulbs are dirt cheap, but if the energy bill is bleeding your wallet dry, making the switch to premium lightbulbs could be a smarter investment in the long run.
Setup is as simple as screwing in a lightbulb and downloading the TP-Link Kasa app onto your smartphone. The TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Bulb can only be paired via a 2.4 GHz connection and is easy to configure using the Kasa App. The app serves as the base of operations for all of the user’s Smart Home TP-Link products and feels intuitive to navigate. Each bulb can be titled and given an icon to represent where it is located in the home and each bulb can also be programmed separately for different light schedules. While some people may be disappointed that this colour-changing bulb doesn’t feature any RGB lighting effects like pulses or breaths, the impressive colour range is still accounted for to create any sort of mood lighting the user desires.
The biggest disappointment for smart speaker owners is that the TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Bulb doesn’t feature enough interactivity within the commands. While the speaker can turn the lights on or off, and adjust brightness, they can’t change the colour with a speech command. The user is still required to use the Kasa App to accomplish this.
Overall, I can’t recommend the TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb as the definitive choice for homeowners. While having a colour-changing spectrum is nice, realistically users won’t use the range daily and will instead just stick to basic white and yellow light. The much superior value for consumers offered by TP-Link are their Dimmable Smart LED Bulbs (Model # LB100), which knock off $30 CAD per bulb and still offer all of the energy savings along with Kasa App functionality and smart speaker compatibility.
A retail version of this device reviewed was provided by the manufacturer. You can find additional information about CGMagazine’s ethics and review policies and procedures here.
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