I am always looking for new tech for our house. I love all the gadgety things you can get now, for ages now I’ve been after a smart bulb or two. I just really liked the idea of being able to control the lights remotely and have some fun colours as well. So when the guys from TP-Link got in touch to see if I would like to review their Smart Bulbs of course I said yes.
TP-Link’s LB130 Smart Bulb, creates ambient lighting with colour changing hues and adjustable brightness and light appearance from soft white (2500k) to daylight (9000k).
I love that you don’t need a hub, the bulbs connect directly to your home Wi-Fi. You literally plug them in and follow the instructions in the app. It is so simple and I had two set up in around 15 minutes.
The bulbs are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, this for me was vital, as I love my Google Home Mini and basically want to connect my entire home to it. In fact I actually want to get some more of the mini devices for other rooms in my house, but that’s another post for another day. Also important to me was IFTTT integration so that I could really get my bulbs working for me.
So far, between TP-Link’s Kasa app (available on iOS and Android), IFTTT and Google Home my bulbs are doing some great things.
The Kasa App allows me to set a variety of timers so the bulbs turn on and off when I want, in whatever colour I want. So the bathroom for example turns on at 4pm at 100% brightness in a deep blue colour, it’s L’s favourite, so as soon as it starts to get darker the bathroom is lit and bath time is now so much fun! At 8pm the brightness drops to 52%, so we can see to brush our teeth but it’s not going to dazzle L if he gets up to use the bathroom. 10pm the light is set to automatically drop to 5% brightness and a slightly less dazzling shade of blue. We can all see to use the bathroom at night but it doesn’t disturb anyone’s sleep.
The Kasa App also allows you to create scenes. So with the press of rather pretty button you can get the house set up as you want. Coming Home will turn both my bulbs on, so the house is ready and welcoming. Dance Time will see our bedroom turned bright pink, L loves dance time. Movie Night will dim the lights. You can set up so many scenes and do what you want with them.
Using Google Home I can turn the bulbs on and off in whatever room I want. Handy if I’ve just sat down and realised the house is still lit up like Christmas. I can change the colours as well. Theoretically I can turn the scenes I have set up on, but thus far that just confuses my poor Google lady.
IFTTT allows me to combine the Smart Bulbs with the other tech in my house. So when my Nest Protect shows us as being away from the home it will automatically turn the lights off. Or if the Nest Protect emergency alarm goes off, both lights will turn on bright red. If my Blink Camera detects motion at the back of the house, my lights will turn on when I have that function enabled. So if we are out of the house and it’s turned on and someone goes round to the back of our house, which why would they, then my lights will turn on, that’s got to be a deterrent!
The list goes on with the cool things I can make them do and I keep on discovering new things.
There are two things I would like to see the Smart Bulbs do that they don’t, or I have been unable to find the function.
Silly as it may sound I would love some form of party function, so the lights toggled between different colours and flashed a bit. Definitely silly, but could you imagine the fun I would have with L?! It would be awesome.
I would also like a wake up function. For us it is unnecessary as both Husb and I use our Lumie Bedside Lamps for this, but when you have smart bulb, a smart bulb that has a circadian function, it would be nice to see it used to its fullest without having to programme it in.
The TP-Link’s Smart Bulb circadian function automatically adjusts the colour and brightness to match the daylight throughout the day, which is fab, especially if you are working on a computer from home, trust me. But as an alarm, it’s not gentle!! You want to wake up at 6am and the light just turns on, imagine if you wanted to wake up at 6am and the bulb gradually brightened, that would be fab. You can programme it to do this using the schedule but I just think it could be easier.
I like that from the app you can monitor the bulb’s energy consumption, it’s not something you would check everyday but it is a useful feature and compared to an incandescent 60W, the LB130 Smart Bulb reduces energy use by up to 80% without compromising on light quality and being a lot more fun.
With a RRP of £44.99 these bulbs aren’t too expensive and because you don’t need a hub, the bulb is your only cost. The bulb uses a standard size screw fitting but comes with a bayonet adapter in the box, again the standard size.
Eventually I would love to see TP-Link make these bulbs to fit all size fittings, without the need for an adapter. I understand that as a cost saving measure this is the reason you can get them for the price you can, but the adapter, if you need to use it as we do, makes the bulb really quite big.
Mainly though, I want to see them make different sized bulbs as I love how it all works, I love the app and the ease of use and I want 4 halogen style bulbs for the kitchen, three for L’s room and 6 candle sized bulbs for the living room. Oh and another 6 candle bulbs for the hallway.
Honestly, if they made them, slowly but surely I would replace every bulb in the house with them. As it stands I’ve only got my side lamp in the living room I can fit another TP-Link in, and trust me, I will be.
To give you an idea of how much I love my new lights, as soon as they were fitted I messaged my husband and sent him off to Dunelm on his lunch break to buy a new lampshade for the bedroom. I felt our uplighter just wasted all the coolness of the bulb, now we have a pretty grey shade with a cut out pattern, just to maximise the bulb’s prettiness. I did manage to stay away from the crystals, though there was a moment there when it nearly happened.
You can buy the bulbs from Amazon and find some other fab TP-Link products there too. I’m really so impressed, this is such a great product.
I love how everything works together and how my Smart Home is making my life easier one gadget at a time. I’m really enjoying adding more and more products that work together so well.
Disclosure – we were gifted our bulbs in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.