Should I buy a Bluetooth Smart Bulb?

No. Okay, we suppose that’s a bit simplistic. There are a few advantages to using a Bluetooth smart lightbulb, and they do sell, but you miss out on a lot of functionality that makes smart appliances so great. Let’s take a deeper look and revise our answer.

To control a Bluetooth lightbulb, you connect your phone to it. The connection is over, you guessed it, Bluetooth. Often you can store some settings on the bulb itself. For example regular on and off times. They’ll also allow you to setup zones, switch lights on and off, dim, and react to music. Much like other smart lightbulbs that operate over Wi-Fi or other smart home protocols. However they don’t connect to the internet. This can be both good and bad.

First the positives:

  • Price – because it’s one product, it doesn’t need to be over-engineered to connect to different systems. This can result in some cheap products. Although the best products are still pricey.
  • Don’t require a hub – The lightbulbs don’t require any additional hardware, just the bulb and your phone.
  • Don’t require Internet – Many people see this as a positive. Not everyone has internet at home, which prevents them from using the majority of products. Some people also don’t like the idea of losing control when the internet goes down. Or they fear the hacking possibilities inherent with a connected house. All are valid reasons for choosing a Bluetooth lightbulb.
  • Simplicity – Bluetooth is a well known standard, connecting to devices from a phone is straightforward, and because you’re connecting directly to the lightbulb, the potential problems you’ll face are minimised.

And the negatives:

  • Lightbulbs purchased will only work with one app. That means you will always have to buy a specific manufacturer’s products, and you won’t be able to expand to use other devices or products.
  • No internet connection – This means no away from home control, no getting Alexa or Google Home to turn on the lights.
  • Range – this will vary between products, but Bluetooth devices generally need to be quite close to you. In larger, or multi-storey, buildings, you may not be able to control all your devices at once. With a ZigBee compatible device, each lightbulb extends the network.

Now the negatives list may not sound like big issues, but they’re hard hitting points, and will be deal-breakers for many. There is a place for Bluetooth lightbulbs, but if you’re wanting the true smart home experience, we’d recommend avoiding them. If you don’t want to buy a hub, rather try out one of the Wi-Fi alternatives such as TP-Link.

If you feel like Bluetooth lightbulbs are the right fit for you, check out some of the below products:

  • MagicLight Color –  $$$$ – ★★★★✯ – Top rated product
  • Flux Color – $$$$ – ★★★★✯ – Solid product, but pricey.
  • Texsens color speaker – $$ – ★★★★✯ – Not the brightest, but it has a speaker built-in!
  • SunLabz Color – $$ – ★★★☆☆ – Not a bad product, read comments before purchasing
  • Nyrius White – $ – ★★★☆☆ – 40W replacement, bluish tinge