A smart bulb that brightens a room without a lot of hassle.
A few years ago, the ‘smart’ home started becoming a reality. I was actually reluctant to adopt smart devices, but I have actually really enjoyed integrating new technology into our home. All of this started with smart lighting installations. Over the past couple of years, we have tried out many types of smart bulbs and it’s my opinion that the bulbs that work with Apple HomeKit work the best. Our first foray into smart lighting started with Philips Hue bulbs. I was confident in the product because it was backed by Philips, a company that has a long, 126-year history of providing light to consumers. So, when I started looking at different smart lights and found that Sylvania, another lighting company with a rich heritage, was developing smart lights, I jumped on the opportunity to write about them as soon as possible.
The Sylvania SMART+ Apple HomeKit-Enabled A19 Full Color Bulb is a standard-sized light bulb and can replace any A19 size light bulb in your house. One of the big pluses in favor of the Sylvania SMART+ bulb is that there is no hub or WiFi router required. The bulb connects through Bluetooth and because it is HomeKit enabled, you can control it remotely as long as an iPad, Apple TV, or Apple HomePod are available in the home with it. Because it is an LED light bulb, it will use approximately 80% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb will. It can be used in lamps and lighting fixtures alike. You can control its functions through voice control (Siri) because of HomeKit. There are millions of color options to choose from and the bulb is also adjustable with different shades of white light. It features on/off/dimming functions. As an LED bulb, the SMART+ has a lifespan of up to 20,000 hours. It does require an Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with iOS 8.1 or higher for installation and control.
The Sylvania SMART+ bulb arrives in a branded box with a magnetic closure. There are some minimal details about the product on the box including the Apple HomeKit stamp. When you open the box, you will find a user manual, FCC statement, and warnings information sitting on top of the bulb itself. I was surprised at the bulb’s weight. The base of the bulb seems to be metal and it causes the bulb to be quite heavy. I compared it side-by-side with the Philips Hue A19 White Bulb and aside from the weight, the two are virtually identical.
Set up of the light bulb is surprisingly east. I will admit that since more and more lights have started working with HomeKit, the installation process has been much smoother than before HomeKit was popular. There is a Sylvania Smart Home app available in the iOS App Store, but you can actually connect the SMART+ bulb without downloading it. In fact, the user manual that comes with the bulb instructs you to use the Apple Home App to add the light to your system. The Home app has an ‘add device’ feature built in. This is where you will add the new light bulb. Once you’ve added it, you have full control over it through the Home app.
The Sylvania SMART+ Bulb is very bright (I actually think it might be brighter than the Philips Hue A19) and changes colors quickly and easily. I did notice that there is a small delay between when you tap the command in the app and when the light reacts, but it’s not so much that I would not recommend this light bulb as an addition to a smart home set-up. Because it has the standard light bulb base, you can use this in many different fixtures around your home. We chose to place it in this lamp at first to test it out. It has worked well there so we are excited to find its permanent placement.
As I mentioned, I have started to really embrace the smart lighting in our home. We’ve had Bluetooth connected light bulbs before, but none that were as functional as the SMART+ bulb from Sylvania. I love that you can actually connect it to your HomeKit system without having to download its own app and I love how bright the bulb is. I can’t wait to check out the other smart products from Sylvania.
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