Wyze Bulb review: An $8 smart home accessory that shines bright
Wyze, the company that’s made a name for itself by releasing connected devices for the home that cost a fraction of what the competition charges, recently announced that it was expending its product portfolio to include connected light bulbs.
Wyze Bulbs have been shipping for a couple of weeks now, and Wyze recently sent me a four-pack to test.
For the past week or so, I’ve had two bulbs set up in my home and, well, the only question I have left is: What else can Wyze make this cheap and this good?
Price, specs, setup
You can expect to pay $8 for a single Wyze Bulb, or $30 for a four-pack of Bulbs. Each lightbulb connects directly to your Wi-Fi network, instead of using a hub and, in turn, requiring you to purchase more hardware.
Each Bulb is 60 Watts, 800 Lumens, and works with 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. The lack of support for 5Ghz Wi-Fi is disappointing, but that’s par for the course when it comes to smart home accessories, with only a few of the more expensive cameras supporting dual-band connections.
You can adjust the color temperature of the Bulb through the Wyze app, with a temperature range of 2700k-6500k (from soft white to daylight to cool white), and a quoted 20,000 hours of life.
Setup is a breeze. Using the Wyze app you add a new device, select Wyze Bulb, enter your Wi-Fi network credentials and then connect to the Bulb’s own ad-hoc wireless network. A second later, the bulb is connected to your Wi-Fi network and the app is asking you to name the light.
The light is then added to your list of devices in the Wyze app, where you can then turn it on and off, adjust the brightness level and color temperature. Setting up each bulb took under a minute from the time I put it into the lightbulb socket until I could control it from my phone.
Any adjustments I’ve made in the app have been reflected on the nearby lightbulb in near real time, with very little delay or lag. It’s crazy to me that you can pay just a few dollars more than what you’d pay for a standard 60W bulb, and it’s controllable from my phone.
Within the Wyze app, you can create shortcuts and scenes for the company’s various products. For Wyze Bulbs, a scene can be used to set the color temperature and brightness of a bulb. Maybe you prefer a softer white light from a nearby light or lamp in the morning, with a daylight light during the day, and don’t want to have to use the slider to adjust the light as the day progresses. With a scene, you open the app, select the light you want to change and then tap on the scene you created.
Shortcuts allow you to automate various actions. For example, if you want a light to turn on and then off at set times each day, a shortcut can do that for you. Alternatively, you can use a camera detecting motion (or a sensor, for that matter) to turn a light on.
Wyze products work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice controls and home automation. You’ll need to launch the respective service’s app and add Wyze to your account before you can tell Google Home or an Echo to turn your lights on or off, but, again, that process took me just a few minutes.
Not only can I turn each bulb on or off, but I can have Alexa adjust brightness and even the color of the light for each Bulb with a voice command. Beyond testing, I haven’t found a need to adjust the color temperature of each light, but should Wyze ever release bulbs that offer more color options similar to Phillips Hue bulbs, you can bet I’d use that voice command.
I haven’t even started to experiment with Wyze and IFTTT integration, but that only adds to the capabilities of Wyze products.
A growing, affordable ecosystem
Wyze Bulb is an easy recommendation. It’s affordable, reliable, and integrates with other services without any issues.
The Wyze ecosystem has slowly, and somewhat quietly, become one of the most notable smart home lineups available.
$70. That’s the total cost for a Wyze Cam V2 security camera, a Wyze Sense starter kit, and four Wyze Bulbs. The total breaks down to $30 for the bulbs and $20 each for the camera and the sensor kit. That’s enough hardware to monitor the entrance to your home or apartment, a nearby window, and main hallway. A similar setup from Ring, Nest, or even Samsung would cost hundreds of dollars, not counting the monthly subscription fees.
The first time I used a Wyze product in Oct. 2017, I surprised and somewhat delighted by the experience that a $20 home security camera provided.
Nearly two years later, I still feel that way. Every time I unbox a new Wyze product, I’m convinced that it’s going to be the product that falls short of expectations. Every time, I’m wrong.