Earlier this year, we reviewed the C by GE Smart Bulb — the first light bulb that connects directly to your Google Home using a mesh Bluetooth network. It's great to have a smart home device that doesn't require yet another app or account, and not only did the bulb work flawlessly for its intended purpose, but it's still a great value (you can currently get a two-pack for $17).
GE announced at CES 2019 that it would release color versions of the Smart Bulb, and now it has done just that. The confusingly named "C by GE A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb Multicolor" is just as good as its predecessor, making it one of the best smart lights you can get. Read More
Connected bulbs are an essential part of a smart home infrastructure, but it's not always easy to know which one to buy. Some have to connect to a proprietary or Zigbee controller, which in turns communicates with your router. Although this tends — or rather, used to — make the bulbs cheaper, it means you have to stick to this particular architecture and to already own the hub. Otherwise, you can turn to Wi-Fi smart bulbs, which connect directly to your router and don't need any intermediary to do so. Although these could be more expensive than the previously mentioned bulbs, their price is now significantly more affordable than what it used to be. Read More
Smart lights are so convenient: They can obey your voice commands, be programmed to turn on or off by themselves, work together with motion detectors to light up when someone's in the room and can create a relaxing atmosphere when coupled with other bulbs. However, the best way to produce a lovely setting with lights is by using colors. I love to use my Hue Iris and Lightstrip to design a dimmed ambiance with shades of blue in my living room when I want to relax. The only drawback with this setup is that the lights are bulky and need to be plugged into a power socket. Read More
Smart lights are often cited as the first product you get for any smart home. They're easy to install and set up, and they're convenient to have whether you just want to automate your lighting, control it via voice commands, or use it to pretend someone is home when you're away. If you haven't started building your smart home yet or if you're looking for extra lights to brighten up your rooms, there's a secret deal on LIFX bulbs today that can save you up to $120. Read More
Most smart home products use one of four connectivity options — WiFi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, or Bluetooth Low Energy. Bluetooth products are a little less popular, because they can only be controlled locally via a smartphone, or remotely if the company makes its own Bluetooth to WiFi hub. General Electric's C-Life A19 bulbs use Bluetooth too, but they're special because they're one of the few products that can use a Google Home speaker as their hub.
The C-Life Smart Bulb has no separate account to manage, no additional hubs to plug into your router, and no Wi-Fi connections to deal with. All you need is a Google Home, the Home app, and you're set. Read More
If you're looking for inexpensive smart lighting for your home, this buy-one-get-one-free offer from Office Depot for TP-Link A19 smart bulbs might be just the thing. The bulbs can't change color, but they are dimmable and — most importantly — it'll only cost you $25 to get two with this coupon code. Read More
Smart lighting equipment can get pretty wild, but you'll probably want to start off with something a bit tamer if this is your first foray into the category. Daily Steals is offering AP readers an exclusive deal on a refurbished second-gen Philips Hue starter kit, bringing the price down to $92.99 from its MSRP of $119.99. Read More
Philips makes some of the best smart light bulbs on the planet, but they can get pretty expensive. Just one of those fancy colored bulbs costs $50. If you don't care for the color-changing bulbs, the A19 Starter Kit is $40 off at Best Buy and Amazon. Read More
IFTTT is continuing its crusade to bridge your different online services and smart home gadgets and appliances together, with the latest addition being TP-Link's Kasa series of smart bulbs, switches, and plugs (which, I might add, are already Google Home-compatible).
The Kasa channel is still marked as "beta" on IFTTT, but there are already plenty of ideas for integrations with motion detectors, smart cams, your phone's location, and so on. For now, the IFTTT channel only offers actions for TP-Link, like turning a Kasa device on, off, toggling its state, changing the color or brightness or color temperature of a bulb, and setting a scene. Read More
Prime Day is underway at Amazon and there are great deals to be had on plenty of gadgets and accessories for the nerdiest of folks. We've already covered deals on phones/tablets/Chromebooks, but what if you're more interested in making your home a little smarter? Well, fret not, because I've scoured the discounts and used my search-fu skills to find the best deals for the smart home noobs and veterans alike, deals that are especially catered for you, the Android user.
But before I start with my list, let me remind you of the couple of deals we've already covered that are relevant in a smart home setting: the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are at an all-time low of $90 and $35 ($90 and $15 off, respectively), and the NVIDIA Shield TV is $20 off (remember that it's still slated to get SmartThings Hub integration and the SPOT for a cheap add-on Google Home-like experience). Read More