The BlueBulb Bluetooth Bulb is a Bluetooth enabled LED light bulb which is currently seeking financial backing through the crowdfunding site FundAnything. They’ve already met their goal of $20,000 with over 50 days left in the project. Let’s see if it’s worth your pledges.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
80 Lumen / watt
Socket types: E27
Typical viewing angle: 130°
Input voltage: 90-240
Housing material: aluminium lamp body + plastic cover
The bulb doesn’t look significantly different than the standard incandescent bulbs we probably all have in our homes (if you haven’t switched over to CFL bulbs yet). It’s about the same size and shape but the Bluetooth Bulb has a large band of black ribs. I’m assuming this is for heat dissipation. Although after burning the bulb for several hours it was barely warm to the touch.
The bulb doesn’t require any special light fixtures, wires, batteries, etc. It screws easily into a standard socket. Would you believe I only have one lamp in my house that uses regular light bulbs? It’s the floor lamp shown above.
You can turn the bulb on by using the lamp’s switch as you would normally. By default, the bulb will turn on with no color… like a normal white bulb. To change the color, you’ll need to pair the Bluetooth Bulb with an iPhone 4S, 5, iPad 3 or iPad mini. Sorry, there’s no support for Android at this time… Pairing requires that you install a free iOS app and then toggle power to the bulb so it will be discoverable.
Once paired, you can then manually select a color from over 1 million choices, control the color brightness and the white brightness. The app has power toggle buttons and also a transition button which cycles through all the colors.
The image above doesn’t do the bulb justice as far as capturing the glowing color. It’s very vivid when you turn the white setting all the way down to nothing.
The app also has options to set a schedule for waking and sleeping the bulb based on a time and day of the week. These settings aren’t quite what I thought they would be though. It’s basically a way to turn on the bulb if it’s off and/or switch it to a specific color for 5-55 minutes. After the time is completed, the bulb will turn back to the previous color. This can be repeated based on the day of the week. There’s a similar option to sleep the bulb. You can only set 1 wake and 1 sleep event.
There are 3 problems that I noticed with the Bluetooth Bulb. First of all, the bulb isn’t all that bright. Even when set to full bright white, it won’t replace your reading lamp. Of course, that’s probably not why you would buy this bulb in the first place… The second issue is that every time you turn the bulb on, it resets back to white – it doesn’t remember the previous color. The third issue is the most concerning… I had a lot of problems with the Bluetooth connection between the Bluetooth Bulb and my iPad mini. It would constantly disconnect and reconnect. This caused the wake and sleep events to not fire until I turned on the mini, and pressed the connect button on the app. Then the event would immediately launch if I was still in scheduled window of time. Before you ask, no, I wasn’t out of range. My tests were done with the bulb and the iPad mini within less than 10 feet of each other. Sometimes even within 1 foot…
The BlueBulb Bluetooth Bulb is an interesting product that is easy to use and fun to play with, but I’m not sure what an average person would actually do with it… Maybe use it for changeable mood lighting during parties or events. But in a home, it’s just a novelty item. If they can bring down the price, add support for other control devices like Android, and fix the Bluetooth connection problems, I could give it a better recommendation. As it is, I’d say hold on to your money, unless you just love playing around with Bluetooth light bulbs…