Rated 3.2 out of 5 by 10
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by GaryDoug Too many issues
I wasn't sure about this device but requested it anyway. Seems like an interesting concept: Control the light with your phone. When it arrived, I was surprised to feel how heavy it is for a light bulb, but that is not a problem with me. I suspect there is a transformer inside to convert the power down to LED levels. I usually open up these products to analyze the contents, but this one seems to be sealed up too well for that.
The first thing I noticed was the lack of detailed instructions, including a list of capabilities. Minus one star for that. This isn't a video game where you are challenged to discover how it works. And where are any instructions? If you look closely on the back of the box, there is a 3-step instruction list "Screw in the bulb, download the app, and pair it with the device" and next to that 180 degrees out of alignment is the web site url "ilumi.co" You read that right, ".co" not ".com". I suppose it costs $5 more to reserve the .com address or maybe someone is sitting on it. There are much more detailed instructions for using the app on the web site, but there is no user manual as such. So, no downloading a manual to read at your leisure. And no way to learn this without an internet setup.
On to the app.... Not too good. The requirements include some that the device must support Bluetooth 4.0/Smart and Android 4.3 or later, if your device is Android. That limits the use quite a bit. Minus another star. One of my 3 year old phones does not have the capability even though it is Android 4.0 with regular old Bluetooth. Fortunately my newest phone has both B/T4.0 and Android 4.4. Bluetooth 4.0 must make this much more reliable I thought. I thought wrong. I tested the app with the light being only about 5 feet away, so that should be close enough. The app is as unstable as any I have seen. The switch control rate varies all over the place from almost instantaneous to several seconds. And the on-screen controls are intermittent as well. Another thing, no matter what I tried, I could not get a yellow light, only orange or green. I tried the light show to music part of the app. This changes light colors and intensity with the music played on your device . At first it appeared to work well, until I noticed that it was not synced with the music and was not keyed to the music either, i,e, specific colors did not match the main pitch of the music. It was just random switching and was the same no matter the type of music played on the phone. Sometimes the light would freeze for several seconds or more, even though the music continued. Minus a 3rd star. After playing with this light for over an hour I stopped, convinced I would never use it again. I may be wrong.
This light has some interesting one-of-a-kind features and is very bright, but is not ready for "prime time" yet.
June 2, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by mixmox very easy set up
I have used a couple of smart light systems and this one is also generally good.
Setup was very easy. Screw it into a light socket, download the free app (I used Android). I switched BlueTooth on and opened the app. It searched for and found the light and connected to it.
It also decided to update the firmware on the light which took a while but when done the app informed me that other lights will pick up the firmware from this light and I would not have to update others from my tablet. Good.
The app interface allow one to control the color and intensity of the light as one would expect. One can also group multiple lights into 'rooms' and switch them all on or off together.
The app also allows one to select and modify a number of 'experiences' that control the lights.
As with other systems, when first powered on they go to high intensity white, no mapper what they we set to before. I wish there was an option to make them remember their previous setting so that they can use that the next time they receive power. I would then only have to muck about with the app if I wanted to tune them to something different.
After adding two lights to the app, I did have some issues if one of the lights was not energized because it keep looking for the 'missing' light.
One of the experiences allows the light to pulse with music being played from the mobile device. Don't expect the light to change exactly with the beat of the music though. It seems to correlate itself with the general speed of the music.
There is also a memory game in which you have to recall a sequence of colors emitted. Kids may enjoy that.
I am not sure yet if the mobile device has to be within range to have an experience work, which would be important for its vacation experience in which lights go on and off randomly..
Note: the light is HEAVY - weighing over a pound at nearly 18oz. This makes it unsuitable for an Anglepoise lamp that may topple over, but works well in Torchiere style lamps.
June 9, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by PopKim Easy to Use, Fun Features
Installation is easy and I had no problem finding the app and syncing the light bulb with my phone. This is a large light, but I tried it out in a bedroom to get a good feel for it. I heard that others had issues with the app and connectivity but I'm not sure if it's been updated since then or something because I experienced no problems like that.
The light was very bright and responsive and could change to any color you wanted. The violet was so distinct that I even saw a hint of a black light effect on the oranges in a poster I have.
There is a basic tutorial when you first install the app, but I wish it covered more. I had to explore and test things out still after I finished the tutorial. The modes are listed under "experiences" and feature a good amount of options. Torch uses your phone to figure out where you are and turn on and off only if you're in the room. Circadian changes the light to match your body's natural rhythms. Rise & Shine is like a light alarm clock and has different color themes to choose from. Simon is my favorite because it's such an unexpected addition. It's the memory Simon game where you repeat the lights that the bulb blinks onto a digital game board on your phone.
There is also a music setting that plays your iPhone's songs and has three different color modes to pulse with the music. For me, that's the weakest part of the app. I really was looking forward to that feature the most, and while it can get a good show going, it's hit or miss depending on the song so they should update it to make it more responsive and fun.
You can control multiple lights from your phone and tell it to remember which room each one is in. You can also set "scenes" which records the color and dim setting so you can easily bring it up again.
Overall I'm happy with this light, I've never had a "smart" light before so it's fun to have options to experiment with. I don't think this is something I would use all over my house and right now I think it features work best for my room, but if they fix up the music option it would be great in a larger space for parties.
June 6, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Kellen Bright and effective
This light is very bright, and I didn't have any trouble with the tunable features. I was a little disappointed in the iPhone/Android requirement, that I couldn't use a computer or laptop with bluetooth (I would have liked to have controlled it from my always on computer).
The 85W equivalent is wider than a standard lightbulb, so ensure you're getting the right model, this one was perfect for fully lighting up a mid-size bedroom.
It's also really energy efficient compared to non-LED bulbs.
June 9, 2015
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by Aroyals Won't turn on and app keeps failing to update
Hate to write such a negative review, but this light bulb won't even turn on, much less do any of the cool features it is supposed to be able to do. I have tried five different locations, including two lamps, two overhead recessed locations, and a fan. The bulb just won't turn on. My app also keeps trying to do an update, then says fails every time. It did pair easily with my bulb, so the bulb is obviously getting power but won't turn on. Very disappointed.
May 23, 2015
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by beau4u Wheres the APP ?
Well this seemed like a cool product , but I have tried several times to download the APP on a Mac desk top, Lenovo desk top, a Samsung phone and two different Kindle Fires. Well at least the bulb works when I plug it in. After the frustration wears off I will try again. OH , in most cases , apps from goggle play can't be installed on computers. I gave a "good" quality rating only because the bulb does work and is bright.
June 8, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Mark Easy and Customizeable Lighting!
This Bluetooth light bulb works in any standard light socket in any home. You are able to adjust the color, as well as dim through the app on your phone or tablet. The best part is that it can be synced with music to turn any room into a party. Great brightness and easy to use!
June 3, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by jred Remote controlled RGB light that can put out any color
The short description is that these ilumi bulbs are RGB bulbs (see the description below if you don't know what this means) that are programmed via Bluetooth from your smart iOS or Android device. Whether the features are worth the cost is what you will have to decide.
There are a couple of features that distinguish these from other smart LED bulbs I have used: First, rather that using just white LEDs, these bulbs have red, green, and blue (RGB) LEDs, which allows them to put out virtually any color. Think of it as being able to put out any color your TV can put out, which can range from multiple colors of white (quite "warm" to very "cool") or soft colors to extremes like vivid red, magenta, or purple. You can program both brilliance (how bright) as well as the color. This type of RGB lighting is used commonly in club and theatrical lighting, but this is the first I have seen where these abilities are brought into the home.
The second thing that makes these different from other smart bulbs I have used is that the bulbs themselves are smart: rather than having a central wireless hub of some kind that controls the bulbs, these bulbs have the programming and "brains" in the bulbs themselves, so no central controller is needed. Further, these bulbs are advertised to talk with each other, so while you have to be within Bluetooth range of the nearest bulb (typically 30-50 feet), from there the bulbs can talk with each other. So in theory, you could place a string of bulbs 30 feet apart, and you could still program and control bulbs hundreds of feet away as the programming from your phone gets relayed through the bulbs from near to far. (Note that I don't personally have enough bulbs to test this, but I have no reason to doubt the manufacturer on this.)
One advantage of these smart bulbs is that you program default settings into the bulb itself. With the other "smart" bulbs I own, if someone flips a light switch accidentally or if there is a power outage, all the bulbs come back on at full brilliance and stay in that state until the next scheduled signal is sent to them (which could be many hours if an outage happened while I wasn't home). With these ilumi bulbs, you can program the default color and brilliance, and that is what they will turn on to when the power switch is turned on (or when the power comes back from an outage).
There are some limits to the control app you should know about. (I used an iPhone, so I haven't tested the Android flavor.) First off, when I read the description that these are color-tunable from 2000K-8000K, I figured I could set an actual numeric color temperature. You can't (at least in today). You can choose from 6 predefined shades of "white" (although 2000K is quite yellow, and 8000K is quite purple), or you can use a color wheel to choose any color you want visually, but you can't set a specific color temperature. (I had hoped to use this feature to decide what color temperature of "normal" bulbs to use in rooms, but I can't do that.)
Another limitation is that while you can program automatic on/off or scene changes (go to any color/brilliance at any given time of day), you can't program them to automatically go on or off at moving targets like sunrise or sunset. (My other "smart" lights do allow this.) So if you wanted security lights to go on at sunset or off at sunrise, you can't automatically do that with these bulbs.
I do know that ilumi is working on a new version of their app, so some of these features may be added in the future. But as of now (July 7, 2015), neither of the above 2 features are supported.
There are other "Experiences" (modes) that I didn't play with much: Music sync (pulse your light to the beat), Vacation (simulate being home while away), Circadian (lighting to support your body's natural rhythm), Simon (Play simon says with light), and Torch (light up where you are, turn off when you leave). I did try Torch, and didn't have much success. It's supposed to turn on a light when you approach with your phone, and turn off a bit after you leave. (Think of it as an electronic motion sensor to only have lights on when you are in the room.) But I never got this to work reliably in my first couple of tests, and wasn't interested enough in it to put in further debug effort.
These bulbs do have at least 2 notable costs to them. The first is the price tag: These cost way more than white LEDs (including other "smart" ones I have worked with), so you'll have to decide if the RGB colors and other features are worth the money to you.
The second cost is power. This 1100 lumen bulb is rated at 17 watts, and ilumi claims these are the most energy-efficient RGB bulbs out there today. Several years ago 17 watts was pretty typical for an 1100 lumen white LED, but now you can find many that use several watts less for that much light. The heat sinks on these bulbs are massive compared to most LEDs today, and they do run pretty hot by LED standards.
So in conclusion, if you need the RGB color capabilities these smart bulbs have, I'd highly recommend them. If you need a smart bulb but don't need the color capabilities, I'd shop other smart options before making a choice. If you don't need either RGB or smart capabilities, there are many other options that cost way less and are more energy efficient.
July 8, 2015