Over the past couple of years, home automation products have exploded in popularity. Everything from connected thermostats to video-streaming doorbells have hit the market, but not of them are cheap, or necessary for that matter. However one product that just about everyone can use and enjoy is smart lighting. Phillips Hue has been a popular option for a while, but prices for their products are out of reach for a lot of consumers. Thanks to Satechi however, you can get smart LED lighting in your home, without the need to break the bank.
Satechi’s iQ LED bulb is a standalone light bulb that can be used in any standard light fixture. This bulb uses an RGBW LED to allow you to pick any color to light up a room. The bulb is rated at 600-lumens which is equivalent to a 50-watt incandescent bulb.
The biggest benefit for Satechi’s iQ bulb over the competitors is the lack of a hub for control. This bulb is controlled 100% from your smartphone and communicates over Bluetooth 4.0. The app works on Android and iOS and while not perfect, works well. I experience few issues controlling the bulb through the Android app on my Galaxy S7 Edge, however I did notice that at times it a little slow to connect to both bulbs in my bedroom. Once things are connected however, changes made through the app are instantly reflected on the bulb(s).
Through the app you’ll be able to control a number of different functions including the color of the bulb, scheduling on/off periods, and “scenes”. You can also turn on a “disco mode” which rapidly changes colors on the bulb to match the music you’re listening to or ambient sound in the room. This feature was a bit hit or miss for me, but it was fun to try out.
Satechi’s iQ smart LED bulb runs between $30 and $40 depending on when/where you buy (retail pricing is $39, but there are sales) and for that price, it’s a solid deal. This isn’t necessarily the best option as options from LIFX and Phillips Hue and superior in a number of ways, however when price is an added factor, the iQ gains some serious traction. Where that becomes even more important is in terms of buying multiple units. Where a set of 10 LIFX bulbs will cost nearly $600, Satechi’s will save you over $200. Not everyone will do that, sure, but even at 2-3 bulbs, the savings add up fast.