Smart bulbs make your home brighter while also allowing you to mimic the different scenes you see outside. Get the perfect lighting conditions for any activity, like bright white for reading and warm or subdued candle-like lighting for a romantic effect.
These smart bulbs can also help you save on energy costs as well as allow you to turn your lights on or off even when you are not home.
Two smart bulb options that are worth considering are the Ilumi A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb and the LIFX Plus. What are the differences between the two?
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Ilumi A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb
The Ilumi A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb is a smart bulb that allows you to save on energy costs without sacrificing anything. It gives you 800 lumens, which means it is brighter than most other smart light bulbs, and even some non-smart ones.
The brightness that you get from Ilumi A19 is the same as that of a 60-watt incandescent bulb, but without needing that much power.
The Ilumi A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb can also be dimmed anywhere from 2,000 K or as high as 5,000 K.
That means that you can light your room in any way you want, from mimicking a candlelit room for romance and relaxation to mimicking the brightness of daylight when you need to read important documents.
Just pop the Ilumi A19 into any existing light fitting and then download the Ilumi mobile app. Through the app, you can set up your light bulb using different menus as well as manage up to 50 Ilumi bulbs.
For instance, you can group together the bulbs that you put inside the same room or have the app group your bulbs automatically. Go to the Experiences menu and automate your lighting by selecting settings like the Rise and Shine, the Torch, and the Circadian modes.
There is also the Scene Scheduler, which allows your bulbs to set lighting conditions to your liking or to automatically adjust the brightness of the Ilumi bulb in accordance to the time of day.
There is also the Vacation mode, which turns your lights on or off automatically while you are on vacation, making it appear that somebody’s home and helping you scare away would-be burglars.
What you would like about the Ilumi A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb
The Ilumi A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb gives you a very bright bulb without sucking up too much power. If that is not enough for you, you can save more on your lighting costs by automating your lighting to suit your preferences.
This makes your savings easier and more intuitive. In fact, the Ilumi mobile app has a torch mode that would allow the smart bulb to detect your phone via Bluetooth and automatically turns on the light when you enter the room and off when you leave.
All of these savings without you having to think about it while also getting the perfect lighting conditions for every activity you have.
The simple installation and set up also add more plus points for the Ilumi A19, even the use of Bluetooth to pair the bulb with your phone makes everything easier.
What could be improved?
While the Ilumi A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb has a rated brightness of 800 lumens, it looks dimmer than that because of its design. That may make it necessary to use two or more bulbs for bigger rooms.
Here is the irony. While the bulb is easy to install and set up, the mobile app can use a lot of tinkering to make it easier to use and more intuitive. This is important because you would need the mobile app to set up the bulb and automate it.
New users would spend time figuring out how to use the different features offered by the mobile app.
The Ilumi A19 also does not offer that much integration. That means that beyond using the automations provided by the mobile app, the Ilumi A19 may need more smarts. You cannot use IFTTT recipes to make it work with other devices.
It would have been a great idea to automatically turn the lights on when you open your smart garage door opener.
Lastly, even with the goal of making things simpler, there are no integrations available for Ilumi. Considering that it is a smart bulb, this is quite a letdown.
The Ilumi A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb costs $49.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) at the company’s website.
The LIFX Plus
The LIFX Plus is a very bright bulb that has a potential output of 1,100 lumens, which is the equivalent of the brightness given off by a 75-watt incandescent bulb but only uses 11 watts of power. Compared to earlier LIFX bulbs, the LIFX Plus render every color brighter.
It is also very accurate as far as colored lights are concerned; it can match whatever color you select using the mobile app.
The LIFX Plus has a somewhat curious design with a flat top. This is the design of earlier LIFX models, thus making the LIFX Plus a distinctively LIFX bulb. It connects to your Wi-Fi network and comes with a free mobile app that allows you to control your bulb even when you are not home.
The mobile app allows you to choose the colors of the LIFX Plus. You can choose any color or use the 16 white light settings included. It gives you lighting that is like anywhere from a candlelight glow to daylight brightness.
Alternatively, you can use any of the pre-customized lighting effects and color themes that are included in the app. If you have a party, you can use the strobe function or music visualizer.
If you want automation by scheduling lighting at different times of the day, you can set up the schedule on the mobile app as well.
However, what makes the LIFX Plus a great deal is the number of integrations it has. You can connect it to SmartThings or use IFTTT recipes for some degree of automation and connect it to other smart devices.
It also works with Amazon Echo, and you can change the brightness and color of the LIFX Plus bulb using voice commands through Alexa. All of these allow you to get more out of your smart bulb.
What you would love about the LIFX Plus
The LIFX Plus works like your traditional light bulb but it has infrared diodes that emit a light you cannot see when the bulb is off. This infrared light helps your night vision security cameras to work better in low light conditions.
So if you have security cameras at home, you would love this added feature that makes your cameras work better.
Aside from being able to use voice commands to dim or turn off your light, you can also rely on IFTTT recipes. The good news is that there are several IFTTT recipes available for you to change your lighting and allow it to work with other devices.
For instance, you can have your LIFX Plus flash when somebody rings your doorbell, or use your phone’s GPS to turn on the lights when you arrive home. It works with social media and other aspects of your life as well.
For instance, you can have LIFX Plus blink when somebody mentions you on Twitter, or have it blink when snow starts to fall. You can get a wide range of IFTTT recipes here.
What could be better?
LIFX Plus still does not support Apple HomeKit, which would have allowed you to use voice commands to control your lighting via Siri.
This means that you do not have to buy additional hardware. Also, the bulb has a rated brightness of 1,100 lumens, but it may not look very bright when you test it.
Furthermore, the infrared light that it emits uses power. There is no way to disable the infrared light. This means that the bulb is going to use power even when you turn it off.
So, if you want to really save on electricity, you would have to turn off the power at the switch, and not use the mobile app or any of the integrations it has. It is a hassle and a turn-off for those who do not have night vision cameras at home.
LIFX also does not include a way to turn on the infrared light only at night.
LIFX Plus is also more expensive, with a $79.99 price tag (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) at the company’s website.
What to buy?
First, check out the specifications for each smart bulb in the table below:
|Ilumi A19 Bluetooth||LIFX Plus|
|Rated brightness||800 lumens||1,100 lumens|
|Wattage||1 to 10 watts||11 watts|
|Equivalent to||60 watts||75 watts|
|Life||Up to 20 years||Up to 22 years|
|Dimensions||63 x 115 mm||63 x 115 mm|
Both the Ilumi A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb and the LIFX Smart LED Comparison are very simple to set up and do not require a hub to work.
You can pair both with a mobile app that allows you to change the bulb’s colors, adjust its brightness, and even schedule when it turns on or off. You are also able to operate both bulbs no matter where you are as long as you have an Internet connection.
However, when it comes to integrations with other smart devices, you LIFX Plus wins with its compatibility with SmartThings, Alexa, and IFTTT. It is also very bright and renders colors accurately.
But it is priced at $30 per bulb and that could mean a sizable investment for those who have bigger homes.
Another point to consider is whether you have night vision security cameras. If you do, that $30 difference could more than make up for the infrared light that the LIFX Plus emits, making night vision images a whole lot better and brighter.
Ease of use and simplicity is what the Ilumi A19 wants for you and in this aspect, it delivers. If you want to save money, then Ilumi A19 can easily help you do that, while still allowing you to use the mobile app to control it.
With the LIFX Plus having an infrared light, you would need to cut power off at the switch, or else the infrared light will continue to emit and therefore continue to use up power.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!