Listen : Audio version of this article
As IoT devices take the forefront of the mobile revolution, the market is flooded with first generation IoT products from various manufacturers. While choice is always a good thing, the presence of so many offerings can tend to confuse the IoT enthusiast who is looking to get his smart home up and running.
For this exact reason, we have come up with one of our unique segments: the IoT Buyers Guide for 2016. Here we will discuss individually about the various components that make up a smart home and do a comparative study to figure out the best product in any particular segment.
Today, we are kicking off the segment with smart lightbulbs. One of the basic and cheapest components of the connected home, the marketplace has been flooded with connected bulbs from various companies, to the very well known Phillips to the new entrants in the lighting Industry, Elgato!
#1. Phillips Hue (Price:199.99$)
- Possibly the best alternative among all of the other 5 contenders out here, the Philips Hue scores major brownie points as it is compatible with multiple platforms including Amazon’s Alexa.
- There is not much of a con in here except that price point of 200$ and the fact that rooms look better when lit up by a trio of these bulbs!
#2. LIFX (Price: 59.99$)
- The LFX bulbs are one of the brightest of the bunch and have an excellent feature where the intensity of the light can be synced to match the time of the day.
- Along with its steep price, the LFX app for Apple Smartwatches leaves a lot to be desired so iOS users might want to stay away from this one.
#3. Belkin Wemo (Price: 81.64$)
- The Wemo App allows you to set custom rules that allow you to automatically light up different areas of your house depending on the time of the day or activity you’re involved in.
- Unlike most of the other smartbulbs that are available in the market, the Wemo is limited to only having white illumination.
#4. Elgato Avea (Price: 39.95$)
- 10 of these bulbs can be controlled at once from a single iPad or IPhone making complex visual patterns easy to achieve once you’ve a bunch of them setup around your house.
- The app is still not available for Android users which makes it a no-go for people who prefer to use Google’s Mobile operating system.
- The 1byone Smart LED includes Bluetooth speaker functionality into the compact form factor of a light bulb which makes it ideal for mood lighting.
- It cannot compete with full on coloured Lights like the others mentioned in this list either in terms of colour warmth or illumination intensity. The poorly translated Chinese App may also prove to be cumbersome for some users.
And with that, we come to the end of the top 5 list for Connected Lightbulbs for 2016. While each among the top 3 excels at being IoT devices as well as providing illumination, they can burn a hole in your wallet if you’re looking to replace your entire home lighting setup with IoT-enabled bulbs.
For the first time user on a budget, it’s better to start with the lower end of the spectrum and if you feel like Connected Lightbulbs are something you’re willing to invest in, you can always traverse up the list!