Review: TP-Link Smart WiFi LED Bulb With Color Changing Hue

Smart bulbs which can change the color and intensity via an app aren’t new. But the TP-Link Smart WiFi LED Bulb With Color Changing Hue is different. Unlike most bulbs that require some sort of hub to connect the bulbs to your WiFi router, this one doesn’t require a hub. It connects directly to your WiFi router. Now that should mean that setting things up should be more complex. But it’s not. It’s actually simple:

  1. Screw in the bulb into the light.
  2. Download the Kasa app for iOS or Android.
  3. The app will tell you to connect to a SSID that the Smart WiFi LED Bulb is broadcasting.
  4. The app will then tell you to pick your the SSID associated with your WiFi router and enter the password. Note: It only supports the 2.4 GHz band.
  5. Wait while it does its magic. It will tell you when it’s finished.
  6. Done. Declare victory and have a beer.

One thing that I should point out is that you should then take a trip inside the Kasa app to settings and then firmware update. I had a firmware update waiting for me when I did that, It should really prompt you to do the update automatically when the setup was finished.

Now I set the bulb up in the bedroom. Using the Kasa app, I was able to toggle a light on or off from anywhere, or set a default colour (16 million hues) or temperature. Now all of these options can be overridden with your own choices. I found that the bulbs went from a dim and atmospheric level, all the way up to a bright, room-filling brightness. All of this was very easy to do. There’s one extra trick that the Smart WiFi LED Bulb which is a circadian rhythm mode. This mode automatically adjusts a bulb’s brightness and, if possible, colour temperature to match the time of day. Another feature of the Kasa app is scenes which let you set your bulb or bulbs to preset colours, temperatures and brightness levels. Scheduling can be performed individually on each bulb, letting you set when lights should turn on or off. A Good Morning scene simply turns on your lights to a preset level, rather than slowly raising brightness to gently wake you. Finally, though I did not test it, you can pair the bulb to Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant to enable voice control. And before you ask, there’s no support of Apple HomeKit.

What about energy usage? LED lights use way less energy than other types of bulbs. TP-Link says that you can decrease your energy usage by up to 80% without sacrificing brightness. That’s about the right number and you can track that inside the Kasa app.

So, what do you have to fork over to get all of this? Not all that much actually as the MSRP is $45 USD but I was able to find it on Amazon Canada for $40 CDN. That’s a price point where you could grab a few to fully set your house up with bulbs that allow you to save money and automate your homes lighting easily.

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