Since the incorporating the Amazon Echo Plus into our Alexa farm here at the house, I’ve been in deep testing mode. I’ve been attempting to locate the lighting solutions for inside the house that is best for our varying situations. I’ve been through quite a few different manufacturers of smart bulbs on a trek to control lighting scenarios where our kids can’t remember to turn lights off to save their lives.
So far, here’s the list of smart bulb manufacturers I’ve tested: Phillips, Sengled, IKEA, Sylvania, GE, and Cree.
And, to be honest, I wasn’t looking for dimmable versus color options. I only wanted something priced right that installs easily, works flawlessly with the Echo Plus, and is easy to manage through voice commands and the Alexa mobile app.
After a couple weeks of testing, I’ve finally settled on the Sengled Element Classic Dimmable A19 Smart Bulb.
Setup for the Sengled is easy. You can just ask Alexa to discover new devices or use the Alexa app to perform the same function through finger taps. You’ll know that the discovery process is working because the smart bulb will flash three times just before Alexa confirms the smart bulb was located and given a temporary name. Once the smart bulb shows in the Alexa app you can rename it to anything you want and then group it with existing lighting configurations or create a new group.
Setup is quick. It takes longer to remove the old bulb and screw in the Sengled than it does for Alexa to discover it for you.
I had trouble with a couple of the other bulbs where I had to run through “reset” procedures straight out of the box before Alexa would recognize them. Surprisingly, the Phillips Hue (which comes free with the Echo Plus) was one of them. They eventually worked, but when I configure devices I really prefer to use the same manufacturer to ensure uniform operation.
Initially, I wanted to just replace all of our light switches with Alexa-capable devices, but quickly found that our house is too old to have the newer wiring specs, which requires 2 neutral lines in addition to hot and ground wires. I suspect most homes are in a similar state. I’ll eventually have our house rewired, but for now the smart bulb solution is a good one. And, considering that these Sengled smart bulbs are rated at 25,000 hours, I can take my time with the rewiring.
And, the price is great, too. Amazon has these bulbs for $9.99 for one, and a 4-pack for $38. Considering the hour rating, that’s a huge bargain compared to regular bulbs that have to be replaced every couple months and the industry keeps raising the prices on trying to force users to more energy-conscious options.
Amazon link: Sengled Element Classic Dimmable A19 Smart Bulb
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