SYLVANIA Wifi LED Smart Light Bulb9.2/10 (Expert Score)
Hassle-Free Voice Control: The SYLVANIA SMART+ light bulbs are compatible with Alexa, Siri Shortcuts, and Google Home. Power the lights, dim, and adjust colors using simple voice commands ?C no hub required. Not compatible with Apple HomeKit.
Top Positive Review
Had these running for a few days now and they’re okay. They’re no Phillips Hue but considering 4 of them cost what 1 Hue bulb does, so far they’ve been satisfactory if imperfect.
One really poor design choice is that as soon as you screw in a bulb it starts flashing on and off quickly in all the colors, and will continue doing this until you set it up in the app. I hadn’t downloaded the app or created an account with Sylvania yet, thinking I’d do the hardware install before moving on to the software part… Big mistake! It was incredibly stressful having even one of the lights constantly flashing while I tried to find the app, let alone 4, and in my rush to try to make them stop I didn’t read beyond seeing it was a Sylvania smart bulb app and initially installed the wrong app (they have a Bluetooth version but these need the WiFi version). After some struggle I realized my mistake, then after finally getting the right app installed I had to register for an account, and the password fields in the app didn’t work properly with my password manager (only gave option to autofill in one of the two fields with an existing password instead of generate a new password and filling it in both fields) which slowed me down further. I ended up being so stressed out by the relentless flashing while all this was going down that I turned all the lights off and finished setup in the dark just to make the sensory overstimulation stop!
Second issue is they strobe a little sometimes -almost imperceptibly but enough that you do notice it, and not all the time but out of 4 bulbs at least once a day once of them starts flickering or strobing very subtly. Turning it off and on at the switch or by voice usually resolved it for a while. It’s probably because my recessed lights are on a dimmer switch – I keep it at max all the time with these and the strobing does get very regular and noticeable if the dimmer slider gets pushed down accidentally. I may look into just replacing the dimmer switch with a standard one to see if that helps.
Lastly maybe 5% of the time one or two bulbs either doesn’t receive or doesn’t respond to commands in a scene. I have a scene that turns some lights off and others green for watching movies, and a scene that turns them all on in white for regular lighting, and s could times when I’ve given the command for regular lighting scene when I’ve been in my movie lighting scene, one of the green bulbs will randomly not turn white, or just one bulb will randomly stay off. The bulb will always respond to the next command I give to correct it individually, but repeating the scene command again doesn’t usually work.
In the end this was realistically the most I could afford to spend per bulb when I need to fill 12 canisters, and they get the job done. I use Hue in all my overhead fixtures that only require 1-2 bulbs each, and I’ll probably try to slowly upgrade the canisters to Hue bulbs a few at a time over the next year or 2, but for now the Sylvania bulbs were right for my budget so I didn’t have to wait and save up for the voice control I wanted to have over these lights.
Top Critical Review
I purchased these bulbs mid-October based on the product reviews. At the time, there were only Vines approved reviews stating how great they were. I bought them and installed them, but they were acceptable, not perfect or fully functional.
1. They were probably the cheapest color changing smart bulbs from a reputable brand. It??s a pretty good deal compared to the Hues.
2. Being able to control each individual light bulb was nice.
1. I had issues with the color changing function. It didn??t work properly. Whenever I tried to change colors, the bulb would change the color, but would strobe non-stop. I am not sure if it there was an issue with the app, firmware, or my router (Google mesh-network).
2. I had a lot of recessed ceiling lights (about 14) just on the first floor. Because each one is connected to the router, I had a lot of items connecting to my network. This was just on the first floor. I don??t know if it was warranted, but I started feeling concerned that it will eventually slow my bandwidth and eat away at things if I kept that many devices on the network.
3. Power consumption. In order for these things to work, they have to be powered through the light switch. That means they are on all the time even though the light isn??t turned on. It has to be done this way in order to allow your phone on demand access to wirelessly turn on the lights. I don??t know how much power these things draw, however, the thought of having these vampire devices drawing power when I??m not home bothers my wallet.
4. As mentioned previously, these things are powered through the connection of the light switch. It??s really annoying when I head for bed and hit the light switch, only to realize I have to turn the light back on or else the smart function will not work. I have to shut these lights off with the app. It??s extra annoying when you have guest staying over who don??t have access to the app. The Philips Hue system has a special light switch that can be purchased to resolve this. I am not sure if these guys have a similar product. Either way, that??s an extra expense.
These do not seem to be completely ready for prime time yet. The non color changing light function works well, but the color changing function does not for some reason. It might have to do with my Wi-Fi network, but I am not about to change all that out for these bulbs. I ended up returning all of these and just getting smart light switches instead. Smart light switches do not offer as much control, but they are more economical and convenient in the long run. I do not have to worry about whether or not I turned off the light switch.
Customer Questions & Answers
Do these work with Smartthings?
Answer: No. ONLY the Sylvania zigbee products integrate with Smartthings. This is the WiFi version and will NOT pair with Smartthings. For Bryce, just how then did you get this to work with Smartthings?
What colors are in the light?
all the colors including warm and cool white light. Some colors are stronger than others. In the A19 version of the the bulb the orange is very strong. In the BR30 version the orange is beige and very weak in intensity. Both A19 and BR30 have good greens, reds and purples. Its interesting there is any difference a??
Do these work with siri and Apple home?
Answer: These Sylvania Smart+ Wi-Fi bulbs work with Siri shortcuts (not HomeKit compatible).
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