We have Smart Plugs and now we have Smart Bulbs. Everything is getting smart (except for me). I recently received the TP Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb (LB100) and was pleasantly surprised with what I expected. I would like to share my experience here.
When you unbox it, you will find it is the size and shape of a regular light bulb. The light is rated at 600 lumans of brightness. It is estimated to last over 13 years and uses 8 watts of power. In comparison the amount of light a 100 watt incandescent bulb would puts off is about 1600 lumens. Lumen is a unit which describes brightness.
The bulb is very easy to setup. I already had the Kasa App on my phone. It literally only took the ability to screw in the bulb and turn the light on. After it warms up for a couple of seconds, it flashes softly three times and is ready to go. You then goto your phone ( iPhone / Android ), bring up the Kasa App, add a Smart Bulb and you will have it setup within minutes.
The part that took the longest time was giving it a unique name. For Amazon Echo owners, there is another step. To get Alexa voice commands working, go to the Alexa Companion App and refreshed the Kasa Smart Home source. This took less then 20 seconds.
The bulb works great. It is pretty amazing to consider that inside this Light Bulb there is Wi Fi along with (most likely) a small Linux-based system on a chip which controls it.
I also have a Smart Plug (from TP Link) that I like. I had not noticed it, but there is a mechanical switch inside which is activated when you turn it on or off. I only notice when I put one into my bedroom, where things are a little quieter then the living room. For those who are sensitive to sound, the Smart Plug does noise.
The Smart Bulb is silent. When you turn it on or off, it nicely lights up or dims down, which is a nice touch. The App also supports a dimmer, which is also a nice touch in the bedroom. Compared to a regular incandescent bulb, it is also very cool and does not put off much heat (also known as wasted energy!).
Another big advance is the cost advantage of usage for the LED bulb. The package estimates it costs .97 cents a year to power this. There are also a couple of other great features, like the ability to schedule the light to be turned on and off according to a schedule. Finally, it will also keep track of it's usage, thereby you can really figure out how much it cost to use the device.
Using with Alexa is easy. "Alexa, turn My Smart Bulb On", and "Alexa, turn My Smart Bulb off" both work. You can also set the lighting level (dimmer) by specifying a percentage, like: "Alexa, turn My Smart Bulb to 35%". This is especially cool.
For Home Automation enthusiasts, especially those who have a voice assistant like Google Home or Amazon Alexa you are going to love this smart bulb. The one thing to be careful is that you don't want to use the lamp physical switch to turn it on and off. Instead, either use the Kasa companion App or (better) use Alexa Voice Commands. I think it is great and I think you will like it too.