C By GE "Life" Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulbs – Works with Google, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit
I've been wanting to tackle some smart wi-fi bulbs and decided I would finally write a review on the popular "C By GE" Smart Wi-Fi light bulbs. I bought these bulbs sometime in late 2018/early 2019 and I believe they were the first smart bulbs I bought. I got them on sale through Best Buy for around $20 for a two-pack and I believe I got a Google Mini with a "free" C By GE lightbulb for around $25. These are holiday prices and have come up for the past couple of years now. For the price, they are fantastic bulbs but let me give you my highlights before we dive too deep into the product itself.
We'll be specifically looking at the "Life" branded bulb today, which is different from the "Sleep" version. The biggest difference, besides the name, is that the color is NON-TUNABLE on the "Life" series. What this means is that the C By GE "Life" smart wi-fi light bulb comes in ONE color and is not able to have it's "yellow" tint changed in any way.
My headlines for this product are:
Very cool: Gradual on/off (it just doesn't instant-on, which can hurt your eyes), no hub needed and very affordable
Not cool: Costs extra for "tunable" or colored bulbs. Optional "Smart Bridge" seems unnecessary and a bit gimmicky.
Overall: If you need a simple bulb, this does the job. Integrates easily with Google and Alexa, making it a snap to use.
So Tell Me About the C By GE "Life" Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulbs
Okay, so these bulbs are amazing for what you pay for them! Bottom line, they do the job. These bulbs are easy to setup, do not require any sort of hub and look great. You will obviously need a Google home product (such as a mini), an Alexa product (such as an Echo Dot), OR your Apple HomeKit stuff (I have no idea how that works tbh). That's all that's required!
Setting up the bulb is as easy as screwing it in, turning on the power, finding it in your Google Home app (or equivalent) and you're good to go! If you're not sure if you're ready to get into the world of smart home automation, then these are a very friendly starting product. Again, in a matter of minutes, you'll be up and running.
You can easily set your schedules in the Google Home app just like anything else. These light bulbs integrate easily with IFTTT and are ready to go with the easiest and hardest of tasks. If you want bulbs to come on at a certain time, it's easy to program. On at dusk and off at sunrise? Enough said — easy to do! These bulbs simply do it all, although it requires a little bit of work and "know-how" from you.
What About POWER?
Only taking 9.5 watts of power and outputting 760 lumens per bulb, these bulbs can easily save you money over their 60-watt equivalents bulb. If you replaced just ten 60 watt bulbs with these C By GE smart light bulbs, you would use 505 watts less of power, which can add up tremendously over time. Ten 60 watt bulbs would use 600 watts where ten 9.5 watt bulbs would only use 95 watts. Two smart bulbs would use less power than ALL TEN "traditional" 60-watt bulbs. No to mention you get the added bonus of being able to control lights from anywhere you have an internet connection.
Access your bulbs from anywhere in the world! Out late, but have a son at home? No problem, you can turn on the lights from work! Getting home later than you thought? Not a problem as you can turn your outside light on from ANYWHERE so you can see when you pull up to your home. It's a no brainer to replace your old, outdated light bulbs with new smart bulbs. At around $10 a bulb, smart bulbs are getting cheaper and cheaper!
Closing Thoughts on the C By GE "Life" Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulbs
These are great little bulbs that are cost-effective and very durable. I dropped one from about nine-ten feet high and it was completely fine. The bulbs look great, function perfectly, and are a fantastic addition to any beginning smart home. I would highly recommend the 9.5W (60W Replacement) C by GE C-Life Soft White Smart Bulbs (5 LED A19 Light Bulbs). I would rate it a solid 9/10, only removing a point for the gimmicky hub they sell after advertising the product as "hubless." Again, it doesn't REQUIRE the hub, so why sell one?
GE is a known name around the world and it comes with years of marketing practice and solid products. You don't have to pay "an arm and a leg" to get a good brand in the smart home industry anymore. This is proof of that. GE has always made outstanding products, which is probably why they're still around today. Granted, it also means they could have several products completely flop and they would probably be unaffected anyway, but that's not the case with this product. These are great bulbs and I stand behind them!
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