Philips Hue is one of the leaders in the smart technology and established itself as a reliable brand. Lifx, Sylvania and others are no behind in the contest and have been producing quality products. Other brands in the market have come forward and are offering a range of attractive and pleasing smart features. With so many options, at a glance, it could be really challenging to pick a particular bulb.

Some smart bulbs require a hub, which lets them be functional through that and some can be connected to the existing wi-fi network. For users, acquiring a lot of smart bulbs or expecting an expansion in the future, using smart bulbs with a hub could be decent option. A hub may allow connecting up to as many as 50 units of smart bulbs. Price is also one of the governing factors for consumers venturing into smart lighting.

This review article focuses on key features of following alternative products to Philips Hue where their pros and cons and certain key specifications are analyzed:

  • Lifx A19
  • Kasa Smart Light Bulb, Multicolor KL130
  • Sylvania Smart+ Zigbee Full Color A19 Bulb
  • Sengled Element Classic A19 Soft White 2700k
  • Connected Cree® Led Bulb With 4flow™ Filament Design

LIFX A19

Lifx A19 is a smart bulb featuring almost all the features a smart bulb would normally do. It does not require a hub, so it is basically a ‘plug n play’ device requiring no extra piece of hardware. As a hub is not required, it will connect using a wi-fi and will be operable via the Lifx application.

It offers as many as 16 million colors, so it gives a huge selection to consumers to get on a right color choice. It works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit and SmartThings. The product is one of its kind where it is giving so many features to users, but it could be regarded as slightly pricy. It costs a staggering amount of $59.99 for a unit. And, that may become a hefty sum if a number of units are required for a property.

Pros:

  1. Does not require any extra hardware (for e.g. a hub)
  2. Easy to set-up and install
  3. Offers an array of features

Cons:

  1. May overload the wi-fi network if a lot of bulbs are connected
  2. Some technical knowledge to connect with the wi-fi may be needed
  3. Comparatively a high price

Key Product Specifications
Lumens 1100
Voltage 240 volts
Wattage 11 Watts
Connectivity Wi-fi
Color(s) 16 million
Color Temperature 2500K – 9000K
Hub required No
Energy monitoring N/A
iOS/Android/Microsoft App LIFX
Works with Alexa Yes
Works with Google Assistant Yes
Works with Apple Homekit Yes
Works with SmartThings Yes
Warranty 2 years
Price $59.99

 

KASA SMART LIGHT BULB, MULTICOLOR KL130

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Kasa KL130 is a smart bulb connectable via a wi-fi and does not require a hub. like most of other bulbs, it does offer millions of colors to choose from but also can project a range of colors, from soft white to daylight. It is also good for consumers who are concerned with energy usages as the bulb can show energy usage/saving statistics. It is comparatively a moderately priced bulb coming at $39.99, and it could be a feasible choice for consumers who are aiming for a lot of smart bulbs at their properties.

Pros:

  1. Does not require any extra hardware (for e.g. a hub)
  2. Work with NEST & IFTTT

Cons:

  1. May overload the wi-fi network if a lot of bulbs are connected
  2. Some technical knowledge to connect with the wi-fi may be needed
 

Key Product Specifications
Lumens 800
Voltage 120V
Wattage 10.5 Watts (60 watts equivalent)
Connectivity Wi-fi
Color(s) Multi. Soft White to Daylight
Color Temperature 2500K – 9000K
Hub required No
Energy monitoring Yes
iOS/Android App Kasa Smart
Works with Alexa Yes
Works with Google Assistant Yes
Works with Apple Homekit N/A
Works with SmartThings N/A
Warranty 2 years
Price $39.99

 

SYLVANIA SMART+ ZIGBEE FULL COLOR A19 BULB

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Sylvania Smart+ ZigBee Full Color A19 Bulb is yet another reliable product available in the market. It uses ZigBee connectivity and requires a hub to be functional. It can project 16 million colors and can work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and SmartThings. It does not feature energy usage/saving statistics.

Costing as low as $28.66, it is definitely a smart bulb worth considering. It could be a great choice for consumers planning on getting a lot of smart bulbs.

Pros:

  1. Comparatively a low price
  2. Offers a range of features
  3. Compatible with several types of hubs

Cons:

  1. Cost increase due to an addition of hub
  2. Does not monitor energy usage/saving
  3. Technical assistance may be needed to set-up

 

Key Product Specifications
Lumens 800 lumens
Voltage 120 volts
Wattage 10 Watts (60 Watts equivalent)
Connectivity ZigBee
Color(s) 16 million
Color Temperature 2700K to 6500K
Hub required Yes
Energy monitoring N/A
iOS/Android App Various
Works with Alexa Yes
Works with Google Assistant Yes
Works with Apple Homekit N/A
Works with SmartThings Yes
Warranty 2 years
Price $39.99

 

Sengled Element Classic A19 Soft White 2700K

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 Sengled Element Classic A19 Soft White 2700K Bulb can be considered as an everyday and for all places use smart bulb as it projects only soft white color. Being not able to show a variety of colors does not leave it behind in demonstrating extensive smart features. Features such as setting time schedules, using the bulb remotely, etc. can be very useful. It also features energy usage/saving data. So it could be very useful for peope concerned with their electricity charges. On the flip side, the bulb comes on with a one year warranty only.

The package contains 2 bulb and a hub costing at $39.99, so it is a feasible purchase.And Sengled also provide a light tunable version: Sengled Element Plus Tunable White 2700-6500K.

Pros:

  1. Comparatively moderate price (including hub)
  2. Offers a range of features
  3. Compatible with several types of hubs

Cons:

  1. Hub is required
  2. Projects soft white color only
  3. Warranty covers 1 year time period only

 

Key Product Specifications
Lumens 800
Voltage 120 volts
Wattage 9 Watts
Connectivity ZigBee
Color(s) Soft white
Color Temperature 2700K
Hub required Yes
Energy monitoring Yes
iOS/Android App Sengled Home
Works with Alexa Yes
Works with Google Assistant Yes
Works with Apple Homekit N/A
Works with SmartThings Yes
Warranty 1 year
Price $39.99 (including hub)

References:

Sengled element classic Kit 

Cree Connected LED A19 Bulb Soft white(2700K)

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Cree Connected LED Bulb is a smart bulb capable of projecting soft light color only. It is accessible via Alex, Google Assistant and SmartThings. It does not detail energy usage/saving data.And there is another Daylight versoin at 5000K for more brighter light choose.

It is a reliable smart bulb and comes with a 3 years warranty. As far as the price is concerned, it costs only $18.83 so it quite feasible in this regard. For the consumers planning to acquire several smart bulbs this could be a very decent option.

Compatible with multiple hub:

  • Wink
  • WeMo
  • SmartThings
  • Amazon Echo
  • Other ZigBee certified hubs

Pros:

  1. Comparatively a very low price
  2. Compatible with several types of hubs
  3. Warranty covers 3 years time period

Cons:

  1. Hub is required
  2. Projects soft white color only
  3. Does not monitor energy usage/saving
Key Product Specifications
Lumens 815
Voltage 120 volts
Connectivity ZigBee
Color(s) Soft white
Color Temperature 2700K
Hub required Yes
Energy monitoring N/A
iOS/Android App Various
Work with Alexa Yes
Work with Google Assistant Yes
Work with Apple Homekit N/A
Work with SmartThings Yes
Warranty 3 years
Price $18.83

 

IN SUMMARY

As an overall, the market has progressed well in the smart lighting and is producing reliable and quality products. These smart bulbs offer a number of attractive features, but they do have their pros and cons.

When making a choice or when going for an alternative product, a few things should be looked at:

  • Type of smart features
  • Color choices
  • Hub needed or not
  • Price

But, on top of everything, a great emphasis should be laid on future ambiance expansion. Some consumers initially may opt to purchasing 2 or 3 units, but then may later like to expand their smart lighting to as many as over 20 units. So, it is of utmost concern, that future expansion should be kept in mind and compatibility of the devices with each other should be taken into account.

From the five alternatives given in the article, users preferring colorful projections and extensive color choices to choose from, Sylvania Smart+ ZigBee Full Color A19 Bulb is a considerable choice. It comes at a price of just $28.66. And, taking into account the diverse features it has to offer, it is definitely a praiseworthy alternative.

For the users preferring soft white color only, Connected Cree® LED Bulb with 4Flow™ Filament Design is an appreciable choice. Coming at just $18.83, it is definitely a great choice if several smart bulbs are needed.

Whatever a user may prefer, consideration must also be given to personal ambiance needs and choices. The options in the market are unlimited and generally all the products are somewhat standardized. So, at the end what users like counts a lot as well!