Timing is every part. Simply weeks after Amazon introduced a brand new “Echo Plus” sensible speaker with a built-in Zigbee radio for direct management of Zigbee sensible dwelling devices, Ledvance is introducing a brand new line of low-cost Sylvania Sensible Plus Zigbee lights beginning at simply $12 every.
Sylvania’s lineup of Sensible Plus Zigbee bulbs consists of, from left to proper, a weather-rated PAR38 floodlight, an A-shaped 60W substitute LED, and a basic BR30-shaped floodlight.
In truth, at $12, the A-shaped 60W substitute is among the most reasonably priced big-brand sensible bulbs we have seen. $15 for a wise BR30 floodlight and $20 for a weatherproof PAR38 floodlight are good offers, too.
Probably the most thrilling half (no less than for sensible lighting nerds like me) could be that $20 PAR38-shaped bulb. Individuals ask me on a regular basis for a wise floodlight they’ll use open air that does not price an excessive amount of, and there aren’t loads of good choices on the market. Sylvania’s bulb ought to fill the void properly.
All three are first rate gentle bulbs in their very own proper, too. By way of brightness, the A-shaped bulb guarantees the usual 800 lumens that you just’d anticipate from a 60W substitute. Our spectrometer measured it at 837 lumens, with a tender white coloration temperature of two,740 Ok, which is simply what you need. With 813 lumens, the BR30-shaped bulb got here in brighter than marketed, too. I measured the PAR38 bulb at 1,024 lumens — simply shy of the acknowledged 1,050 lumens, however nicely inside our setup’s 5 % margin of error. Briefly, all three earn a passing grade so far as specs are involved.
Sounds good, however what the heck is Zigbee?
For those who aren’t acquainted, Zigbee is a wi-fi protocol that gadgets can use to speak with one another, similar to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It is the identical protocol utilized by Philips Hue sensible bulbs and by a variety of different lights, locks and sensible dwelling devices. The one catch is that almost all routers do not converse Zigbee, so you may want a Zigbee-fluent management hub just like the Echo Plus, the Philips Hue Bridge, the Wink Hub, the SmartThings Hub or Sylvania’s personal plug-in gateway to behave as translator.
Sylvania’s Zigbee bulbs will join with a large variety of Zigbee-compatible management hubs.
The concept is that you’re going to screw the Sylvania Sensible Plus bulb in and switch it on, then join it with a hub like a kind of. From there, you’ll management it remotely utilizing your telephone, or schedule automated lighting modifications. The precise kinds of automations out there will rely upon what hub you are utilizing — as an illustration, some merely allow you to program occasions for the bulbs to come back on and off, whereas others will even allow you to sync them up with movement detectors or schedule gradual fades to assist ease you away from bed within the morning.
Integrations will fluctuate from hub to hub, too. Whether or not it is Alexa or Nest, Apple HomeKit or Google Residence, your hub will decide what platforms your bulbs work with (fortuitously, our useful Proinertech Compatibility Tracker can assist you kind out what works with what).
No matter Zigbee hub you are utilizing, the underside line is that these new Sylvania bulbs will possible work with it, they usually will not price you very a lot in contrast with different related bulbs.
What’s in a reputation?
One different word: Issues are a bit of bit jumbled with Sylvania’s branding lately. Stroll via the lighting aisle at your native ironmongery shop, and also you may see bulbs and lighting merchandise underneath the names Sylvania, Osram, Lightify and Ledvance — all of which look alike.
“It is complicated, I do know,” a Ledvance spokesperson admitted, so I requested him for a fast rundown:
Regardless of the identify change, Sylvania’s Sensible Plus Zigbee bulbs will work with the present Osram Lightify gateway.
“Ledvance is our firm identify,” he defined. “We was part of the corporate Osram, which owns the Lightify app, gateway and model. We separated from Osram final July. Ledvance sells Sylvania basic lighting merchandise within the US and Canada.
“We hope to simplify issues by transferring our sensible lighting merchandise to the Sylvania Sensible Plus model,” he added, earlier than additionally declaring that Sylvania’s Zigbee bulbs will work with the present Osram Lightify plug-in gateway.
That Sylvania Sensible Plus lineup additionally consists of other forms of sensible lights, together with bulbs that work with Apple HomeKit. These Zigbee bulbs don’t, however they share the identical “Sylvania Sensible Plus” branding. At any fee, you may wish to be sure you’re shopping for the suitable gentle earlier than you pull the set off.
Sylvania’s new Zigbee lineup is obtainable right now on Amazon, and can roll out to main retailers within the weeks forward. We’ll take a look at them out with as many Zigbee hubs as we will out on the Proinertech Sensible Residence — keep tuned for an replace.