Smart bulbs isn't a new concept anymore but the one that responds to sound waves is. Heelight is one such LED bulb with 16 billion RGB colours and sound chip. Unlike other smart bulbs that work over WiFi, Bluetooth or ZigBee standard, Heelight responds to the sound emitted by the app. This sound controlled Heelight has 400 lumens brightness with 50,000 hours of lamp life. The E27 interface makes it compatible with threaded sockets.
While it can be plugged into any threaded socket that supports E27 interface, our review unit came with a wooden stand with a switch. All I had to do was plug the bulb into the socket and turn on the switch. When turned on for the first time, the Heelight illuminated in bright orange colour. But to further change the colours, I had to either use the virtual control on Heelight website or install the Heelight Pro app. A QR code has been added to the box that instantly takes you to the webpage for controlling the LED. The Heelight Pro app is available for iOS and Android platform. Unlike other apps, it doesn't need to be paired and can be used instantly.
The Heelight Pro app has got a neat yet simple user interface. There is a circular dial in the app with the power button in the centre and modes on the sides. The app also has a colour palette on the left bottom, a ' +' icon at the bottom middle for preset modes, and settings on the right bottom. I could choose the colour and control the brightness within the palette. There is also an option of selecting up to five favourite colours from the palette that later appear on the app home page for quick access. Similar to other smart bulbs, even the Heelight Pro app has some of the preconfigured modes such as night lamp with dim light that protects sleep, meal lamp with fixed light yellow lights, lantern mode with eight kinds of red lights which automatically and gradually changes, ocean mode with 12 kinds of blue light changing gradually, clouds with three white and six blue lights, and more. There are some advanced modes as well. For instance, in Clink Glasses mode, the light starts to flash when glasses clinks. In the Heelight mode, this bulb responds to voice by changing colours randomly. There is just one colour in music mode but the brightness changes according to the surrounding sound. At the time of reviewing Heelight, there are 29 preset modes that one can choose from, add to the home page and switch modes with a simple tap. Under settings, there are many options including DIY but unfortunately were listed in Chinese and I could not test them out.
If you are wondering how Heelight works, there is a built-in microphone that works over sound waves. Every time a colour or a mode is selected, the app emits a sound, and the bulb responds to the same. The lamp has got a control system with patented digital sound control technology in the aluminum plastic heat sink, 130lm/w high luminance LED and a plastic injection melding lap cover light diffusion at the front.
Listed on Kickstarter with a pledge of raising $20,000, the idea behind the Heelight was conceptualized in September 2016 with the design completed in October. The first prototype was designed by the end of December 2016, which was followed by testing that gave way to final prototype. It MicroNovelty manages to raise the pledged funds successfully, Heelight will go in production and will start shipping in March, next year.
Currently, the Heelight is available for pre-order on Kickstarter for $59 for three bulbs.