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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Novelty Lamps Reviewed In 2018Last Updated November 1, 2018
№1 – 3D Illusion lamp,Deruicent 4 Love Heart 3D Illusion Novelty LED Lamps, Color Changing Touch Table Desk Light for Gifts
№2 – LED 3D Printing Moon Lamp, Sanwo Luna Baby…
№3 – LumiSource LS-L-WOOPSY O Whoopsy Novelty Desk Lamp, Yellow/Orange
After lumens, the next concept you’ll want to understand is color temperature. Measured on the Kelvin scale, color temperature isn’t really a measure of heat. Instead, it’s a measure of the color that a light source produces, ranging from yellow on the low end of the scale to bluish on the high end, with whitish light in the middle.
An easy way to keep track of color temperature is to think of a flame: it starts out yellow and orange, but when it gets really hot, it turns blue. You could also think of color temperature in terms of the sun — low, yellowy color temperatures mimic the tone of light at sunrise or sunset, while hotter, more bluish-white color temperatures are more akin to daylight (sure enough, bulbs with color temperatures like these are commonly called “daylight” bulbs). This is also why a lot of people prefer high color temperatures during the day and lower color temperatures in the morning and evening.
Generally speaking, incandescents sit at the bottom of the scale with their yellow light, while CFLs and LEDs have long been thought to tend toward the high, bluish end of the spectrum. This has been a steady complaint about new lighting alternatives, as many people prefer the warm, familiar, low color temperature of incandescents. Manufacturers are listening, though, and in this case they heard consumers loud and clear, with more and more low-color-temperature CFL and LED options hitting the shelves. Don’t believe me? Take another look at those two paper lamps in the picture above, because they’re both CFL bulbs — from the same manufacturer, no less.
Sylvania often color codes its packaging. Blue indicates a hot, bluish color temperature, while the lighter shade indicates a white, more neutral light.
As you’re probably aware, light bulbs come in a fairly wide variety of shapes. Sure, it’s easy enough to tell a hardware store clerk that you want “one of those flamey-looking lights,” or “just a normal ol’ bulby light bulb,” but knowing the actual nomenclature might save you some time.
Are pricey candelabra LEDs a smart upgrade for your chandelier?
Let’s start with the base of the bulb, the part that screws in. In the US, the most common shape by far is E26, with the “E” standing for Edison and the “26” referring to the diameter of the base in millimeters. You might also see E2bulbs from time to time, which is the European standard. Those should still fit into common American fixtures, but keep in mind that voltage ratings are different in the two regions, with American bulbs rated for 120 volts compared to 220-240 volts in Europe. For smaller sockets, like you might find with a candelabra, you’ll want to look for an E1base.
As for the bulb itself, the typical shape that you’re probably used to is an A1bulb. Increase that number to A2or A23, and you’ve got the same shape, but bigger. Bulbs made to resemble flames are F-shaped, which is easy enough to remember, as are globes, which go by the letter G. If it’s a floodlight you want, you’ll want to look for “BR” (bulging reflector) or “PAR” (parabolic aluminized reflector). Those bulbs are designed to throw all their light in one direction only, which makes them useful for spot lighting, overhead lighting and the headlights in your car.
Your automated-lighting options
It used to be that if you wanted your lights to turn on and off automatically, then you had to rely on a cheap wall socket timer, the kind you might use to control a Christmas tree. These days, with a modest boom in smart lighting currently under way, it’s easier than ever to dive into the sort of advanced automation controls that can make any home feel modern and futuristic. Use the right devices, and you’ll be able to control your lights in all sorts of creative ways, and make your life a little bit easier in the process.
The most obvious way to get started with smart lighting is with the bulbs themselves. You’ve got plenty of intelligent options from brands both big and small, and to find the one that’s best for you, you’re going to need to understand what sets them apart.
Connect with these 3IFTTT-friendly smart devices (pictures)
The first thing to look at is how the bulbs communicate with you. Some offer direct connections with your smart phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which makes setup as simple as screwing the thing in and following in-app pairing instructions.
Others transmit using a distinct frequency like ZigBee or Z-Wave. Bulbs like those might be a better fit for bigger smart home setups, as it’s typically a little easier to sync them up with things like motion detectors and smart locks. Setup can be slightly more advanced, as you’ll need a separate hub or gateway device capable of translating that distinct frequency into a Wi-Fi signal your router can comprehend.
Some smart bulbs come with their own gateway. Others, like the Cree Connected LED, require a third-party control device, like the Wink Hub.
If you’re looking for a little more color in your life, then be sure and take a look at a product like the Philips Hue Starter Kit. Aside from being fully automatable via a mobile app and control hub, the Hue LED bulbs are capable of on-demand color changes. Just pull out your phone, select one of millions of possible shades, and the light will match it. And if you’re into voice control, Hue bulbs hit the compatibility trifecta — they’ll work with Siri, Alexa, and the Google Assistant.
Because Philips opened its lighting controls to third-party developers, you’ll also find lots of fun novelty uses for Hue bulbs, like changing the color of your lights in rhythm with whatever music you’re playing. There’s even an app that’ll sync your Hue lights up with certain TV programming.
Hue lights are also directly compatible with the popular web service IFTTT, with recipes already available that will change the color of your lights to match the weather, or to signal a touchdown from your favorite football team, or even to indicate when your stocks are doing well.
Light bulb technology
There are three types of light bulb currently available: LED are the most efficient, followed by CFL and then halogen.
Halogen bulbs are being phased out from September 2016, starting with directional bulbs (spotlights) and followed by non-directional bulbs in 2018.
LEDs have a much longer lifespan than other bulbs and are now more affordable, but they are less suited to dimmers. It’s worth checking if the bulb is dimmable before purchasing.
Colour temperature is measured in Kelvins and can help to create different moods around the home. Bulbs with a low Kelvin rating (around 2700K) produce a warm, yellowish light, perfect for relaxing and unwinding, while bulbs with a higher Kelvin rating (over 5000K) omit a cool, bluish colour which is ideal for task-based activities.
Dining room lighting
Pendant lights shine light down onto the table, drawing attention to the main focus of the room. Lights hung in a cluster or a chandelier fitting can really make an impact in your dining area.
Additional floor lamps or wall lights are ideal for entertaining as they provide softer, atmospheric lighting.
A ceiling light provides bright lighting for the whole room while desk lamps or positioned spotlights offer directional light for reading and studying.
Consider an illuminated mirror for applying make-up, these mimic natural light for application accuracy.
Use spotlights to illuminate the inside of a wardrobe to make it easier to see into a dark space.
Children’s bedroom lighting
This lighting should be bright and functional for playing. Celling lights provide good general lighting while table lamps or night lights offer a softer glow in the evening.
A desk lamp is an ideal choice for homework and studying.
Many of our table lamps have a fully encased light bulb to prevent little fingers from touching the hot surface.
Bathroom lights require additional protection from water and moisture, this is indicated by an IP (ingress protection) rating. All bathroom lights need a minimum IP4rating to comply with British wiring regulations.
Bathrooms have three safety ‘zones’ – 0, and These zones are identified by their likely contact with water and determine what type of light you can use in that area.
Only light fittings with a suitable IP rating can be used in a specific zone. Argos’ bathroom lights should only be used in zones and in the bathroom, but can also be used in other areas of the house too.
Zone 0: the inside of the bath or shower (IP6and 12V SELV recommended)
Zone 1: the area directly around the bath or shower, up to a height of 2.25m above the floor and at a radius of 1.2m from the water outlet (IP6recommended)
Zone 2: 60cm wide and covers areas next to and around zone 1(IP4recommended)
The light switch should be a pull cord inside the bathroom or a regular light switch outside.
You’ll need a good level of light from ceiling lights for food preparation and cooking in the kitchen area.
Light fittings which have moveable spotlights allow you to angle light on areas which need additional illumination, such as a worktop, sink or oven. Under cabinet spotlights can also provide extra light for tasks like chopping.
Kitchen areas are also subject to lighting safety ‘zone’ legislation but this is only applicable to the area directly above the sink. This is classified as zone and therefore an IP rating of 4is required.
Table, floor and pendant lights usually always require a lamp shade and this is where you can experiment with colour, pattern or texture. Along with traditional fabric shades, glass, metal and natural fibres like wicker are stylish choices.
Switches and dimmers
These have single, double or triple switch buttons and are usually made from metal or plastic. Switch plate finishes include chrome effect, brushed steel, nickel effect and white. Dimmer switches control the brightness of your light, either by touch, a rotating switch, or remotely through a smart phone.
Pros & Cons of LED Light
LED stands for light emitting diode, which are semiconductors that produce light when charged. LED bulbs have an average lifespan of over 50,000 hours, compared to a little over 1,000 for conventional incandescent bulbs. As a LED ages, the amount of light it gives off dissipates over time.
Pros & Cons of CFL Light
CFL stands for compact fluorescent lighting, which is simply a smaller version of a fluorescent tube. CFL bulbs contain a mercury vapor that lights when it is energized. Because CFLs contain mercury, they must be disposed of carefully, at designated drop-off site (Home Depot, Lowes, recycling centers, etc). An average CFL bulb should last 7,000 hours.
Pros & Cons of Incandescent Light
Incandescent light is an electric process that produces light with a wire filament that is heated to a high temperature by an electric current which runs through it. This is the type of lighting which was the standard in homes up until the 1990’s. Due to its poor energy efficiency, it is being replaced with the newer technology of LED and CFL bulbs. Incandescent bulbs last roughly 1,000 hours.
Pros & Cons of Halogen Light
Similar to incandescent light bulbs, halogen bulbs use a similar electric-filament technology with one important difference; with incandescents the filament degrades via evaporation over time whereas, with halogens, filament evaporation is prevented by a chemical process that redeposits metal vapor onto the filament, thereby extending its life. Halogen bulbs have a lifespan of roughly 3,000 hours.
Color Temperature & Lighting Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light. The temperature of light refers to its warmness or coolness, or hue. This temperature is measured using the Kelvin scale, which for most use ranges from 2,700°-7,500°K. Incandescent and halogen lighting are the most limited in the temperature range at 2,700°-3,000°K. LED and CFL have each expanded their color range to now offering warmer options. Most task lighting, however, benefits from cooler lighting options which include LED, full spectrum, and CFL.
Understanding Lumens & Brightness is a measurement of light output from a lamp, often called a tube or a bulb. All lamps are rated in lumens. For example, a 100-watt incandescent lamp produces about 1,600 lumens.
The distribution of light on a flat surface is called its illumination and is measured in footcandles. A footcandle of illumination is a lumen of light spread over a one square foot area.
The illumination needed varies according to the difficulty of a visual task. Ideal illumination is the minimum footcandles necessary to allow you to perform a task comfortably and efficiently without eyestrain or fatigue. According to the Illuminating Engineering Society, illumination of 30 to 50 footcandles is needed for most home and office work. Intricate and lengthy visual tasks — like sewing — require 200 to 500 footcandles.
1,000-1,400 Lumens is a commonly accepted range for most applications of task lighting. An average of 50 Lumens per square foot is a common measure. efficacy. Efficacy is the ratio of light output from a lamp to the electric power it uses and is measured in lumens per watt.
Demystifying LED Light
When comparing the raw lumen output of traditional lamps with the lumen output of many LED lamps, it may seem that LEDs deliver less light than the conventional counterparts. These comparisons, however, are inaccurate and misleading, since they fail to account for the amount of wasted light in conventional lighting.
Therefore, lumen output is a poor measure of the suitability of a lamp for a given task. The better measure is delivered light — how much light a fixture delivers to a surface, as measured in lux (lx) or footcandles (fc). You can make comparisons between conventional and LED lighting fixtures on the basis of delivered light, as it measures how much of a light source’s raw lumen output reaches a surface or area you are lighting.
Determining the amount of a conventional lamp’s raw lumen output reaches as area, you must discount any light lost in the fixture housing (at times over 30%), as well as the light lost as a result of shading, lensing, and filtering. Since incandescent and fluorescent lamps often emit light in many directions, you must also discount any light cast away from the target area.
Reading area or den
The reading area should have a bright task lamp. A bright desk lamp can prevent eye strain which is helpful in preventing eye damage in the long run. With bright task lamps in the reading area, you can keep headaches away. Thus, you will surely enjoy reading as well as other activities like writing letters or completing puzzles.
Your kitchen is another part of the home that requires task lighting. The dangerous nature of the activities you do in your kitchen is reason enough to get additional task lighting. More importantly, you need enough light to read recipes and to see the ingredients as they cook as well as other practical things. For kitchens, common task lighting fixtures are under cabinet lights that provide extra illumination to supplement the ambient light.
A standard set of 100 led solar fairy lights should have a minimum of 200 mAh or milliamp hours this could also be expressed as 0.watts. This requirement increases as the number of led’s and therefore the cable length increases, as it takes more and more voltage to push the power through the cable.
So for example a set of 200 led lights needs at least watt of solar panel power. PowerBee are famous for going even further than this basic requirement. Take for example the standard 100 led warm white lights, these actually have a 300 mAh panel.
This is part of the reason that in their class the Endurance range are the best solar powered lights you can buy and will outperform any other set by some degree.
Spot lights need to produce quite a powerful light, it needs to be intense so as to light up the selected location to at least some useful or pleasingly aesthetic degree, for this reason a solar spot light needs to have a good quality high watt panel, to produce enough voltage, and a decent battery capacity to allow the light to emit a good amount of lumens for a prolonged period of time.
The number and type of LEDs is also an important factor, as this will determine the light output, this is nearly always expressed in lumens, we would recommend that the minimum lumen’s output for a half descent solar spot light should be 80. If the spotlight does not inform you of the lumens value then you can almost be certain it will be far lower than this value, some ‘spot lights’ we tested were around lumens output, which really should be sold as a novelty light.
There are really two very different categories for solar power spotlights: • There are small plant type highlighters which do produce a large amount of light and need to be placed very close to the plant or shrub in question, these lights will certainly highlight part a small bush during summer, but will not work during winter, or on cloudy days. • The second type of solar spot light is what we regard at powerbee to be a true spot light, it depends on what the customer wants at the end of the day, however we certainly feel that a spot light should work during winter, to at Least some degree, and should have the flexibility to be located away from the tree, bush or feature wishing to be highlighted, if you take for example the custodian, you will be able highlight a small to medium size bush or tree, from 1feet away, nearly all year around (in winter operation will be limited but if the panel is facing south without shade then this will be on average – hours every day ).
The smaller plant type highlighters will operate in average for around – 20 minutes during UK winter time if you can see them at all, it’s such a waste because it’s a real treat to have light in your garden in winter and truly can cheer you up no end!
Some Switch Rod Basics
I won’t touch on lines here, totally separate topic. I will say that switch rods play bigger than a single handed rod. If you are curious about line weight, buy 1-line weights lighter than you would in a single hand rod. So if you want your switch rod to play fish like your weight single hander…. get a weight switch rod. weights are the most common for anglers chasing Steelhead and Salmon. Not just because of the fighting ability of the rod, but because heavier switch rods spey cast better. They are easier to obtain distance especially with large flies.
These are all fabulous rods. As they should be… they are expensive! Each one of these models offers the caster a slightly different action. The only one I hesitate to include in this category is the
This category of rod is reserved for the casters that know for sure they’ll make good use of it. If you are an experienced angler and want to have a high level casting experience, go premium – you won’t regret it. Especially if you are an established spey caster. If you are a newbie to spey, don’t bother. There are some great mid-level options and learning to spey cast on a switch rod isn’t easy. I’ll summarize some of the pro’s con’s of each model.
Sage METHOD Switch Rod – At 11’9″ this rod is a bit longer than most of the others. It is really designed as a two-handed rod for anglers that want to throw high line speed and tight loops with spey casts. This means windy environments, mid-sized water where long rods aren’t necessary, brushy rivers where casting under trees on the opposing bank might be necessary, or advanced spey casters that don’t need a 13′ spey rod to achieve distance and want some of the line handling advantages of a shorter rod. There is no rod that I have ever cast that throws with as much distance and line speed as this rod.
Sage ONE Switch Rod – I don’t know how Sage could have built this rod any better. Its tough, light, and casts like a champ. It is a bit more friendly than the Method but at 11’6″ it is a bit long for single hand work. I personally have both the weight and the weight and love the. The 5116-is a killer nymphing rod for small steelhead and the 7116-will handle almost any anadramous fish. If you are advanced to intermediate and want to buy once cry once this is an easy choice.
Winston Boron III-TH Micro Spey – They make a trout specific series of rods called the Micro Spey that I have had the great pleasure of fishing with. The weight can handle some light summer steelhead work but these rods are best known for offering the angler a true “trout spey” rod that isn’t built on a steelhead chassis. This means more touch, more bend, and a casting stroke that is more relaxed. Winston has really focused on building some fantastic two-handed rods but hasn’t really tackled the heavier weight switch rod game.
Sage ACCEL Switch Rod – This rod is much smoother than the ONE or METHOD and is a tad shorter/softer which makes it much more overhand friendly. We have had more people test cast this rod versus other models and choose the ACCEL over everything else than all other models. The faster action stuff (ONE and METHOD) are pretty stiff which at 11’6″ and 11’9″ are fairly hard on the elbow and casting arm. The ACCEL is a lot better for overhand casting, mending, and doing the “fishing stuff”. If you are going to drift and indicator with a premium rod the ACCEL is a good choice. It is fun to cast, you’ll feel it bend deep, and if you are a beginner to intermediate angler and but want to take the plunge into premium gear the Sage ACCEL is a sound purchase.
ECHO Switch Rod – This is another rod that sort of splits the premium/mid-level range so we decided to let it play up and compete with the big dogs. This rod is most comparable to the Sage ACCEL as far as action goes. It is the only rod we categorized as a “premium rod” that is built overseas. The ECHO brand has one of the most loyal followings in fly fishing and if this is your label then don’t hesitate to pick up and Echo They are very smooth to cast and you’ll feel this rod bend. It doesn’t offer the blistering line speed of the Sage METHOD or ONE but you’ll really enjoy throwing nice smooth casts with beautiful loops all day. It is easy to cast.
Ok, this is a crappy photo I admit. But I want everyone to see the grips of these rods side by side. There is a plastic wrap on the Echo SR and the TFO Deer Creek, all three rods have some synthetic cork. Take note of the thickness of each grip.
Redington Prospector Switch Rods – This rod came out after the main competitors below so in many of our prior reviews this rod doesn’t get any press. Its near the top of the food chain though. I just personally got the weight after test casting a lot of rods and it fits nicely alongside my Sage ONE weight. I needed two for my guests to use while guiding. At 11’3″ the weight is a great two-handed rod that spey casts great. I wouldn’t want to overhand cast it all day. With a slightly faster action than the TFO Deer Creek and 5″ more in length than the Echo SR it would tire out your elbow pretty fast.
The cork appears very good for a rod in this price range and the components and finish are the best in show. Everyone loves the Redington Prospector.
The downside is that it doesn’t bend as deep and provide the fun rebound of a softer action rod. Part of the fun in two handed casting… is the casting! I don’t find the Prospector as fun to throw as the TFO Deer Creek. It certainly gets the job done. If I am two handed casting it has a marked advantage over the Echo SR but has a slight disadvantage in single hand fishing. 5″ of length on a switch rod doesn’t sound like much but you’ll notice it.
My first switch rod was a TFO Deer Creek 11′ weight… man they have been making this rod for a long time! In fact, this might be the longest running line of fly rods that I have ever witnessed. They must have started making this about years ago or so and it still continues to be one of our best sellers. This rod bends the deepest out of all the rods in the class. It is very fun to cast, is beginner friendly, performs well enough to please experienced casters, and splits the difference between overhand and spey very well. Customers love this rod. I have also found it to be very tough and can’t ever remember breaking this rod. In years past I put this rod through a lot of abuse.
I am a little disappointed that they changed the grip material on this rod and went away from a natural cork grip to a blended grip. This is purely an aesthetic issue and if it doesn’t bother you don’t sweat it. It just doesn’t have the curb appeal of traditional cork. I LOVE the thin nature of this grip however. That may be part of why they had to go away from traditional cork. To keep the grip thin may have required a more durable material.
Bob Meiser and Mike Kinney designed these rods. These two have been at the forefront of popularizing and refining blank designs for the Switch Rod concept of fly rods since the mid 1990s. Mike Kinney is known for being one of the best casters and fishiest dudes in the land. TFO uses their proprietary Axiom material lay-up process for these blanks. I personally can testify that they are tough, bend deep, and bounce back under a load like you wouldn’t believe. “The TFO Deer Creek rods are the most user-friendly rods I have helped design so far. They are the best rods for the money anywhere in the industry today.” – Mike Kinney
Echo SR Switch Rods – This is the preferred rod in this price range for anglers that plan to cast single handed more than half of the time.
It is a GREAT casting rod and seems to throw the tightest loops with one hand. If I were streamer fishing and beach fishing more than spey fishing I would probably choose this rod. It is also perfect for anglers looking for a nymph fishing rod on big rivers and simply want some reach with the option to cast with two hands.
Its built on a slightly different chassis than the other rods and handles more like a “true switch rod” and less like a spey rod. Initially, switch rods were single handed rods with enough deep flex and a bottom hand so that spey was an option. With the popularity of spey, now many of the rods are spey rods that you can cast single handed as an add on. This is neither good or bad, but if you want to cast it overhand then the Echo SR is a great choice.
I have personally found the graphite on this rod to be durable and responsive. I like the classic look of the grip. The only downside of this rod is that we have had reports of the grip de-laminating from the blank and it gets “squishy”. Redington is a great company and would warranty something like that within reason, but that doesn’t do you any good if it starts to go while you are fishing. You get what you pay for. Good rod, good price.
Overall, easy to cast, beginner friendly, good for Skagit lines and casting, bends deep which is fun to cast, and a great value.
Echo Classic Switch Rod – This is the only rod in the review that I personally don’t have much time on. I regret this too because everyone that buys it, loves it. We haven’t had any negative feedback at all on this rod and we sell quite a few of them. Echo has such a loyal following and folks buy this model as a word-of-mouth referral a lot.
I like the look of the polished reel seat and as far as action goes, this is a “classic” which means that it bends easy making beginner friendly cast that new two handed casters will excel with and experienced casters will appreciate.
Why you should trust me
I’ve reviewed consumer electronics for more than 1years and have held top editorial positions at magazines including Electronic House, E-Gear, Dealerscope, and others. I’ve also reviewed products for Sound & Vision, Big Picture Big Sound, and Consumer Digest. I’ve been an invited speaker at both the CEDIA and CES expos on the subject of smart home systems. In addition to turning my house into a laboratory for DIY home automation products, I’m also a certified Controlprogrammer.
Who should get this
Smart light bulbs are the easiest way to upgrade your home or apartment lighting to wireless control. Smart bulbs can reduce your energy consumption, especially if you’re just getting around to replacing incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs with the significantly more energy-efficient LED bulbs. An LED bulb can last more than 1years under normal usage. If you’re smart about using the smart bulb’s scheduling and remote-operation features, you can save money by not using them when no one is in the room. However, smart bulbs cost more up front—sometimes a lot more—than non-smart LED bulbs, so the cost savings over time may be more symbolic than actual.
The main reason to try smart bulbs is that they’re fun. It’s okay to admit there’s a little thrill in tapping your smartphone to turn off a light across the room or across the house. Maybe that thrill decreases over time, but it’s still there. Getting up to physically hit a light switch—that’s never fun (unless you’re stopping at the fridge along the way to grab a beer). And smart bulbs do add convenience to your life. It’s easy to shut off downstairs lights when you’re upstairs tucked in bed. If you hear a bump in the night, you can turn on multiple lights at once. Want to turn down the lights for watching TV in the evening? All smart bulbs are easily dimmable from their apps. Most apps allow for scheduling, so you can have groups of lights turn on and off based on your daily activities or to simulate occupation when you’re away from home.
Smart bulbs that change colors are even more fun. Like a softer, warmer light to ease your way into morning? A color-adjustable or tunable white bulb can do that. Want to set a relaxing mood for music after dinner? Turn the lights blue, or green, or whatever palette you like. Set in strategic locations, color-adjusting smart bulbs can be an integral part of your home decor, rather than just something to chase the shadows away.
Many smart bulbs, including our top picks, can be integrated with a variety of other smart-home products, including smart-home hubs, switches, cameras, and thermostats, making a light bulb an easy way to start your smart-home system.
If you already have a couple of smart bulbs or a smart-home system installed, however, you may be stuck with a specific brand or technology. Some bulb brands can be mixed and matched in a system, others can’t; we explain that further below.
The Hue does everything its competitors do, but a wider product and app ecosystem allows for more flexibility and creativity than any other smart bulb.
Since Philips introduced the original A1color-changing bulb in 2012, the company has added several more products to the family, including battery-powered lights, strip lights, light globes, wireless remotes, motion sensors, and plain-white-light smart bulbs. The recent addition of HomeKit compatibility makes Hue lights work with additional products and allows Siri voice control over the lights. This requires the Hue gateway, which comes in the current starter kit.
No need to paint the walls to change the look of your room. Just change the color scene of your Hue bulbs. With 1million colors, you won’t quickly get bored.
Setting up Hue lights requires a few simple steps, much like any other smart-home device. The gateway connects to your home router or network switch via a wired Ethernet port. This connects the system to your network and allows you to control the lights with a smartphone or tablet connected wirelessly to the same network. The gateway connects to the Hue bulbs themselves over a Zigbee wireless mesh network. A mesh network has the ability to repeat signals through all the connected nodes (in this case, the Hue lights are the nodes), which cuts down on errors and improves reliability. The gateway unit is small enough that you can easily tuck it out of sight.
Who else likes them
Pretty much anyone who’s reviewed Philips Hue bulbs loves them. PCMag gave the starter kit an Editor’s Choice award and says “Hue not only adds the convenience of wireless control, but it adds an element of wonder with its ability to easily recreate scenes and moods.” Though CNET wishes the bulbs were a little brighter (newer versions are brighter than the originals), the site agrees with me that smart compatibility makes it a winning choice, declaring “If you have a variety of smart-home gadgets, and you want color-changing bulbs that will work with as many of them as possible, Hue can’t be beat.” The reviewers at Digital Trends called the Philips Hue “just plain fun and addictive.”
Simple Bluetooth control
An inexpensive bulb that’s good for people who want an easily controllable light, not a whole smart home.
GE discontinued its previous Link line of bulbs, which connected using Zigbee, in favor of the new C family. C-Life bulbs connect via Bluetooth, making them easy to connect and control from your smartphone, tablet, or computer, but which also means you can’t control them when you’re away from home or—given Bluetooth’s limited range—even if you’re on a separate floor of the home.
The C-Life bulb is usually sold in a bundle with C-Sleep, a tunable white bulb that you can adjust from a harsh white to warmer tones. The app also allows the tone to automatically track with the time of day, supposedly creating the optimal light for the conditions. Of course, because it doesn’t include a light sensor or any connection to weather information, C-Sleep can’t actually know what the ambient lighting conditions are. Still, it’s an inexpensive tunable white bulb and works well at what it does. Like the C-Life, it also communicated via Bluetooth.
Sylvania Lightify bulbs (which used to be called Osram Lightify) work on a Zigbee network, and as such need a Zigbee hub, either the small wall-plug unit often sold bundled with a bulb or a smart-home hub like SmartThings or Wink. The Lightify RGB color-adjustable bulb is about the same price as the Hue, but it’s shaped more like a traditional incandescent bulb. I measured 500 lux from the top and 250 at the sides, which makes it slightly brighter than the Hue, but the difference is only really noticeable when in a white mode. The colors are not as rich as those of the Hue or LIFX bulbs, but red looks red enough, and green looks green enough to satisfy most people.
The Lightify tunable white bulb measured a little brighter at its peak settings, giving us 600 lux from the top and 320 from the sides.
When setting up your Lightify bulbs, you first need to set up the gateway (unless you’re using another brand’s hub). It didn’t initially want to connect to my network, until I resorted to calling technical support and was walked through a few additional steps that did the trick (turn iPhone to airplane mode, then turn Wi-Fi back on, which disables Apple’s Wi-Fi Assist). Weird, but it worked.
The Lightify app is graphically dull and not as intuitive as the Hue or LIFX apps, but if you’re connecting the bulb to the SmartThings or Wink hub you’ll use that app instead and won’t have to mess with the Lightify one. For a while Lightify bulbs could also be paired with the Hue gateway, but firmware updates seem to have made that more difficult, so it’s no longer a dependable option (feel free to try it, but cross your fingers).
Like Hue and LIFX, Lightify bulbs work with Alexa when connected to an Alexa-compatible hub like SmartThings and Wink, but they won’t work with Alexa independently, and don’t work with Google Home or Apple HomeKit. The lights do work with Nest, so you can create scenes that synchronize with Nest’s Home and Away modes. Those may be factors to consider if your plan is to add a variety of smart-home gadgets to your abode.
Like Hue, these bulbs are part of a family of Lightify products, which also include outdoor string lights and strip lights for indoor use (which we plan to test soon) as well as a wireless remote similar to the one Hue offers. Lightify isn’t a bad way to go if your plans go beyond standard A1bulbs, but the company doesn’t currently integrate with as many other platforms.
The Cree Connected and LinearLinc bulbs.
LinearLinc Bulbz (also sold under the GoControl brand) is a Z-Wave bulb for Z-Wave–based smart-home systems. It works well with both the Wink and SmartThings hubs (and presumably with other Z-Wave smart-home hubs). Putting out 520 lux from the top and 360 from the side, it’s brighter than many of the bulbs we tested, but also more expensive—twice the price of the Cree or GE bulbs. Unlike those bulbs, the LinearLincs responded almost immediately to app commands. If keeping your smart-home devices within a Z-Wave ecosystem is important to you, these bulbs will light the way.
What to look forward to
Sylvania’s Smart+ A1Full Color bulbs, the company’s first line of smart light bulbs, are supposedly the first to allow owners to control them directly via Siri and Apple’s Home app. The Bluetooth-enabled bulbs are expected to ship in September. Once they are available, we’ll see how they stack up to our current picks.
TP-Link’s LB230 smart bulbs are designed to change color and connect to Wi-Fi without a separate hub, and can be controlled remotely through an app. TP-Link says it offers a two-year warranty and lifetime technical support. We’ll test these out as soon as we can and update this guide with our thoughts.
IKEA’s Trådfri smart LED bulbs are now compatible with Apple’s HomeKit (IKEA’s dimmers and other smart-lighting devices are still not compatible, however). According to The Verge, IKEA has also promised Google Home compatibility sometime in the future, but just when that might happen is unclear. They’re certainly cheaper than our current pick and runner-up, but we’ll wait to update this guide until we get a chance to test how they perform with the HomeKit.
You can already find several smart bulbs that include non-lighting features such as music or video cameras. Although we’re not huge fans of those, we expect to see more, and if there’s interest, we’ll check them out. Overall, the biggest trend we expect and hope for is declining prices. Though smart LED bulbs may last you 1to 20 years, they’re still expensive. As they grow in popularity, they’ll inevitably become cheaper, and more people will get to enjoy their benefits.
My Favorite 3Online Lighting Resources
You may not want to buy everything online (sofas or chairs for instance want to be sat in, fabric often wants to be touched), but lighting is certainly one of the things that you can confidently purchase without needing to see/hold/touch/nuzzle in person. So we thought it was about time that we did an epic lighting resource post, rounding up our favorite 3stores and choosing a lot of our favorites from them. In no particular order, here, my friends, are my favorite online lighting sources.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Novelty Lamps wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Novelty Lamps
- №1 — 3D Illusion lamp,Deruicent 4 Love Heart 3D Illusion Novelty LED Lamps, Color Changing Touch Table Desk Light for Gifts
- №2 — LED 3D Printing Moon Lamp, Sanwo Luna Baby…
- №3 — LumiSource LS-L-WOOPSY O Whoopsy Novelty Desk Lamp, Yellow/Orange