Oct 6th, 2019

Smart lighting is probably the most important part of the smart home, and thankfully it’s the easiest too. You often turn your lights on and off at the same time, so you can set a daily schedule and let it take care of itself. Sometimes you don’t want to get up to turn the lights off, maybe you’re all cozy in bed. Just ask Google Assistant to do it for you.

And of course, you also get the energy savings of switching to LED, which are 8-10x more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and twice as efficient as CFL bulbs. Paired with schedules, the energy savings are quite big.

The Gosund multi-color smart LED bulbs do everything you’d want from a smart bulb and more. They offer 800 lumens of output while drawing just 8 watts of power. At the same time, the output is almost indistinguishable from an incandescent, with a warm 2700K color temperature that’s easy on the eyes and has no visible flicker that would give you a headache. The diffuser does a good job of spreading the light in all directions, including downward, which is great for table lamps.

During first setup, you turn on the light and it will start rapidly flashing. It’s irritating to look at, so I wish they would make it vary in brightness instead of flashing on and off at full blast. The Smart Life app is supposed to auto detect these bulbs, but I could not get it to work. Luckily there’s a backup in which you flick the light switch five times and manually connect to the bulb via your WiFi settings. It was a pain, but it still only took me 10 minutes to set up two bulbs. I just wish the auto find function worked, as these bulbs are harder to set up than the competition.

After setup, the app functions great. You can set schedules and timers, customize scenes, and more. This also integrates with other Gosund products like their smart plugs.You can also change the color from the 2700K warm white to any of 16 million colors. These colors are substantially dimmer than the main 800 lumen output, but they’re still a lot of fun. Whether you’re building a game room, setting a mood for movie night, or creating some nice backlighting for a speaker system, the colors are vivid and a great touch.

Once your schedule is set up and you’ve added your Smart Life account to the Google Home app, you can forget about the app entirely. Google Assistant has full control over these bulbs, including putting them into groups, changing brightness, and even changing colors. So if you don’t want to use the app, past setup you don’t have to. And best of all, you can control your lights from outside of the house. Forgot to turn them off? Check your Google Home app. Want to make it seem like you’re at home while you’re on vacation? No need to buy any lamp timers.

At only $20 for a pair of these bulbs, they’re substantially cheaper than many of the name brands. And unlike the Philips Hue lineup, they don’t require a hub. Throw one into an existing lamp, set it up, and you’re ready to go. I have a few set up in the bedroom to give a nice ambient glow without feeling like daytime, and changing the color with my voice is a breeze.

Despite the app’s setup process being a pain, the rest of the user experience is excellent. The Gosund multi-color smart LED bulbs make for great household bulbs, and all of the features at a low price make them a compelling buy.

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