Tag Archives: bulb

Product Review: 1byone Smart LED Bluetooth Light Bulb with Speaker

1byone logoI’m intrigued by a lot of these new “connected home” devices. My inner geek gets abnormally excited by the idea of being able to control everything (or at least most things) from a smart device or computer. That’s why I was excited when electronics manufacturer 1byone offered to send me one of its Smart LED Bluetooth Light Bulbs.

1byone Smart LED Bulb
1byone Smart LED Bulb box


1byone Smart LED Bulb Unboxing
1byone Smart LED Bulb Unboxed

Unboxing the LED bulb is pretty straightforward. Remove the bulb and the manual is under a cardboard support underneath. The manual’s kinda small but it’s the proper form to fit in this box. Installing the bulb is equally straightforward. It uses an E27-style socket, which is pretty standard in North America and Europe. Just cut power to your light fixture, remove the existing bulb, and replace it with the 1byone bulb.

For testing purposes, I plugged my 1byone bulb into one of the fixtures on my kitchen track light. I then turned the light on at the wall and the 1byone bulb came to life by lighting up and playing a little jingle.

1byone smart LED bulb, powered off
1byone smart LED bulb, powered off


1byone smart LED bulb, powered on
1byone smart LED bulb, powered on

To control the bulb, it’s necessary to download a free mobile app for Android, or in my case, iOS. (The manual has a handy QR code that takes you to an app download page.) Once the app is installed, you’ll need to pair your mobile device with the LED bulb via Bluetooth.

1byone LED bulb Bluetooth pairing
1byone LED bulb Bluetooth pairing

The light bulb controller app has five sections: Connect, Music, Lamp, Off/On, and settings. The Connect section allows you to select the bulb you want to control and the Music section allows you to select music from your device’s onboard media library to stream to the bulb’s built-in speaker. I didn’t test the in-app music section as I had no media stored on my iPad.

1byone LED smart bulb app
1byone LED smart bulb app

You can always turn the bulb on/off from a wall switch but you can also do that from within the app. This is handy if you want to turn the light off but still stream audio to the bulb’s speaker (more on that later).

1byone LED smart bulb app
1byone LED smart bulb app

The LED bulb has a range of available colors to choose from. Tap the “Manual” button and then pick your favorite color. The bulb automatically changes to that color. (My photos don’t do a lot of justice to how the bulb looks when it’s colored. But, at any color, the bulb produces a pleasing, soft light.) The app also offers an “Auto” option that causes the bulb to flash different colors randomly. It’s unclear as to what exactly this is supposed to accomplish.

1byone smart bulb set to blue color
1byone smart bulb set to bluish color


1byone smart bulb set to red color
1byone smart bulb set to reddish color


1byone Smart LED bulb vs. standard bulb
1byone Smart LED bulb set to “neutral” (white) vs. standard light bulb

The app also has a timer that can turn the bulb off at a specific time. The timer is a bit odd, as it’s based on an analog clock. I was testing the bulb just before 10:30AM so I set the timer to 10:30AM and the bulb powered off at the specified time.

1byone LED smart bulb app
1byone LED smart bulb app

Instead of using the app’s included music streamer, I decided instead to use AirPlay to stream audio from a couple different apps to the bulb’s built-in speaker. First, I played some podcasts thru Stitcher. Then, I played some music from YouTube. AirPlay worked flawlessly with the bulb and the overall sound for both purposes was surprisingly good. And LOUD. Cranking the bulb’s volume filled the room with sound.

In the world of connected lighting, the 1byone smart bulb is very much an entry-level device. It doesn’t do much more out of the box than what I’ve shown here. Still, it is a cool gadget and could be good for someone who’d like a fully-featured bulb but doesn’t want to invest in a larger setup. The smart LED bulb can be purchased directly from 1byone for $30.99 or from Amazon for the same price.

Remote Control Lighting

2-pack-gateway_LRGFor the past couple of years I have gotten interested in home remote access devices and methods. Initially I started with inexpensive remote-access IP cameras. I next moved on to getting the original Nest thermostat, which I still have and has been worth every penny. You can read about my experiences here.

Lately I’ve been wanting to be able to remotely turn lights on and off. Let’s say I come home after dark. It would be nice to be able to turn on a porch light from my smartphone. How to accomplish this?

My initial thought was a Belkin Wemo light switch. However, this presents some problems. The current Belkin Wemo light switch only seems to come in a single switch format, so it would be unusable in a 3 switch in one setup. Additionally, Belkin Wemo light switches and wall-mounted plugs only work with wiring schemes that have a so-called “neutral” wire as part of the wiring mix. I know nothing about home electrical wiring, preferring to leave that to the professionals, so I’m not sure it would work with my home wiring.

My next thought was the Phillips Hue lighting kit. The Phillips Hue would certainly work for what I was trying to accomplish, but it seemed to be rather expensive overkill. The Phillips Hue kit of 3 bulbs and the controller sells for $200, with additional Hue bulbs priced at $60 each. Sure, the Phillips Hue can display up to 16 million colors, as well as connect to really cool services such as If This, Then That, but that really seemed a waste for exterior deck lights.

I continued to look, and I ran across an even better solution on the Home Depot website. Home Depot currently sells the TCP Connected Smart LED Light Bulb Starter Kit with (2) A19 LED Light Bulbs for $79.97 which is substantially cheaper than the Phillips Hue 3 bulb kit. They also sell the TCP Connected A19 bulbs sell for $16.97 each on their website. The TCP controller which must be plugged in to an Ethernet port on the home router can handle up to 50 bulbs each.

Initial setup of the TCP light kit is a breeze. I installed the TCP LED light bulbs into the external deck light fixtures. They are the same size and shape as a traditional incandescent bulb so there was no problem making them fit in the fixtures. They initially perform exactly the way you would expect a light bulb to perform, turning them on and off with the wall switch. Next, I simply plugged in the TCP controller bridge into an unused Ethernet port on my router with the supplied Ethernet cable, and plugged the controller bridge into power. Next, I downloaded the TCP Lighting app to my smartphone (there are both Android and iOS versions). Making sure my phone was connected to my home WiFi network, I ran the TCP Lighting app.

TCP Lighting AppThe first time the app is ran it will pop up with a login screen. You initially click past this screen leaving the fields blank. The app then quickly finds the TCP controller bridge and the TCP LED light bulbs.

Next, I was able to name the lights. During the individual light naming process with the bulbs turned on, they will automatically dim to let you easily identify which bulb is which.

The final step was creating an account on the TCP server, right from within the app. It asks for an email address and a password and quickly creates an account. This allows remote control of my TCP lights anywhere I have a data connection literally anywhere in the world.

I installed the TCP Lighting app on another mobile device, and all I had to do to get it to work was to enter my TCP account credentials into the initial app login screen.

The app also includes the ability to schedule the lights to automatically be turned on and off. The bulbs can also be dimmed from within the app.

The TCP A19 LED bulb produces a warm color temperature similar to conventional incandescent bulbs. They also put out about 800 lumens which is close to what a conventional 60 watt bulb produces. They are rated for 25,000 hours of use.

From an external network, the bulbs will respond to on and off and dimming commands with about a half a second delay which is more than acceptable.

Also of course, the wall light switch must be left in the “on” position in order for remote access to function.

So, problem solved at a more reasonable price than either the Phillips Hue kit or 2 Belkin Wemo WiFi wall switches which wouldn’t have worked anyway since I need a 3-in-1 wall switch version.