If you’re looking to add both smart lighting and Bluetooth audio to a room easily you don’t need to look much further than the MiPow PlayBulb Color. For under $70 you can have a smart bulb that screws into a standard light socket and a Bluetooth speaker that’s hidden away in the bulb itself. It’s a great concept. I’m impressed!
The other day we looked at the PlayBulb Sphere. It is a great portable lighting source that brings smart lighting to any room in the house or even the great outdoors. My only complaint with it was the app and, as things would have it, that suddenly seems to be working much better. The company was also kind enough to send one of their PlayBulb Color Bluetooth speaker bulbs. A smart bulb and a Bluetooth speaker in one, and I was intrigued.
I decided to see how quickly I could get it up and running and, within a minute, I was controlling the lights in my bathroom AND listening to music.
The PlayBulb Color offers 260lm of light, has Bluetooth version 4.0, and offers a wireless range of 10m. (That’s the standard 33 feet that we have come to know and love in most Bluetooth products, although some Bluetooth products are now able to triple that.) Those features, however, are just the beginning as this is a true smart bulb.
The LED bulb offers a full range of color, puts out a warm light when turned to white, and has a 3000K color temperature. And because it has a familiar screw for setting into a socket it fits into any standard lighting fixture.
The lighting fixture in my bathroom is four lights on a single switch. Even though that meant I would not trust the “smart” aspect of the smart bulb- the four lights are either all on or all off- I thought it the best place to try it out. I unscrewed one of the lightbulbs and put the PlayBulb Color in its place. I then went to the Bluetooth settings on my iPhone and paired with it.
From there I simply opened the same app that controls the Sphere and searched for the bulb in the app. Within a few seconds, it was connected.
Now, using the app, I can control both the brightness and the color of the bulb.
The app allows you to set scenes and do a host of fun things with the bulb.
You can even use it to set the bulb and its music as an alarm in the morning.
As noted, because it is in a fixture with three other standard bulbs this doesn’t really make much difference but I was able to experience what will happen when I put this bulb in a single socket.
Using the Bluetooth speaker built into the bulb is as simple as using any Bluetooth speaker. The sound that puts out is good but not great. It certainly is sufficient for the use that I will make of it. It means that if I want to listen to music or a news broadcast while showering I don’t need to have a waterproof speaker in the shower or something blasting from a corner. Instead, I simply use the bulb that’s already there. How cool is that?
- It’s a Wireless Speaker: Play music from your mobile phone music library. Music is available at every corner of your home.
- Smart App Control: Download “PLAYBULB X” free app from Apple App Store or Google Play Store to enjoy all the exciting features of advanced control.
- Tap To Change Color: Lighting is no longer just white or yellow. You can easily change the ambient color of your living place to create your desired atmosphere.
- Set Timer: Create Wake-up Timer or Sleep Timer to let your favorite music and color wake you up and put you to sleep.
- State of Art Product Design: Building a 2-in-1 color speaker light is a big challenge. We’ve made PLAYBULB color in simliar size to regular light bulb. We’ve achieved a perfect balance of lighting illumination while still maintaining good quality of sound.
In all, this is an impressive product that is simple to set up and does exactly what it promises. Raina and I just bought a house and I can see picking up a few more of these and putting them in various places throughout the home once we take possession of it. It allows me to have control over the lights AND have Bluetooth streaming music without the need for a separate speaker sitting on a shelf or countertop.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the MiPow PlayBulb Color
What I Like: Simple installation; Goes into any standard lighting fixture; Lets you control both the color and the brightness from your mobile device; Has a built-in Bluetooth speaker for listening to music without the need for a separate speaker.
What Needs Improvement: So far nothing that I can see.