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Philips Smart Wi-Fi bulb review: Smart but not hassle-free

Nidhi Singal     December 12, 2019

Smart lighting solutions are aplenty these days. And you need not require special hardware such as smart speakers to control one. Basis the compatibility of the smart bulb/lighting, it can be very controlled via voice commands from Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa app.

Back in 2015, when I had reviewed the Philips Hue smart bulb, it was accompanied by a hub to connect to the internet and control via a smartphone app. For Rs 16,995, the kit had three Bulbs and a hub (that connected to the router). Priced on the higher side, this was quickly toppled by Bluetooth enabled smart bulbs.

The company's new WiFi-enabled smart bulb retailing for Rs 999 competes against the already crowded market dominated by the likes of Wipro, Syska, Xiaomi and more. From having the first-mover advantage, Philips is now catching up with the competition.

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The Philips Smart Wi-Fi bulb looks just like other smart bulbs in the market. Honestly, no-one has been able to come close to the fine design and sturdiness of the Mi LED bulb. Available in both E27 and B22 cap types, my review unit was the former. As soon as I plugged it into the socket and turned it on, the LED illuminated in warm yellow.

The smart functionality kicks in when the bulb is paired with the Wiz app. Available for both Android and iOS, the setup process wasn't smooth. After close to 20 attempts, the bulb was paired with an iOS device. To start with, the app did not ask me to create an account. I was instantly able to 'create home', select location followed by add 'lights'.

The Wiz app suggests user to select between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi, which may leave many users a little confused. Once the former was selected, the app prompted me to enter my WiFi network's password and completed the pairing process. Towards the end of the setup, I was able to select where the bulb is being used - in a lamp, ceiling, etc.

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Once paired, controlling the smart bulb with the app was rather easy. Controls for turning it on, off and sleep where placed prominently at the bottom. Right above this was the option to control the brightness and select or rather change the colour. I was able to select between the pre-set modes including cosy, relax, fireplace, fall, club, sunset, spring, summer, forest and many more, or create my custom colour.

The bulb is quick to switch colours and is just perfect for mood lighting. Moreover, there is a dedicated mode for 'circadian rhythm' where the light is automated for providing the best-suited lighting throughout the day according to the wake-up and bedtime. I was also able to schedule when to turn on the light. For many, the vacation mode can come handy when away from home on a vacation or work.

Also Read: Let There Be (Smart) Lights

The app also has the option of checking power consumption. Other than the app, it can also be controlled using voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Alexa and more. Adding the bulb by selecting Wiz hardly took a few minutes for integration.

This 9w bulb with 825 lumens is bright and good for mood lighting. However, when switched off from the mains, it goes back to the yellow colour and the colour has to be changed from the app.

Price: Rs 999

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