Disclaimer: BlueBulb provided Dragonblogger.com with a Bluetooth Bulb for evaluation purposes. Opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
It seems just about everything is getting the Bluetooth treatment these days and the humble light bulb is no exception. The Bluetooth Bulb is an early contender stepping into the ring hoping to prove that it is not only original but one of the best. As dazzled as I was by the thought of being able to control my light from the palm of my hand, harness the power of the rainbow with a few taps, and automate when my light would awaken me from peaceful slumbers – I had a few apprehensions. Some of these worries included questions like: “Will the device pair with my iPhone?” “Will the app crash my phone?” “Will the color picker go kaput and leave me stuck with boring white again?” Needless to say, these are the questions – well two of them – that keep Bluetooth users up at night.
Setup as Easy as Flipping a Switch
Setting up the Bluetooth Bulb on your iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 3, iPad4, or iPad mini is so simple that one could do it in their sleep. I just had to download the app to my iPhone, turn on the Bluetooth signal, screw the bulb into my lamp socket, flip the switch off and on, and press pair. I have sat through quite a few Bluetooth pairings in my day and I am sure many of you other Bluetooth vets out there are familiar with the paint drying process of waiting for a device to pair. Not so with the Bluetooth Bulb! Within seconds it was recognized and I immediately had the controls available at my fingertips.
Prepare to Develop Chronic OCD
…Obsessive Color Disorder that is. The most fun function of the Bluetooth Bulb is the ginormous color picker that it comes with. You can tap and scroll through over a million colors. It is hard to perfectly to single out that particular shade of aubergine purple you are looking for (RGB value input please?) but the results come pretty close so I cannot complain. You can also just let the bulb do the work for you and switch to transition mode. Transition mode certainly offers up a lovely palette of colors to enjoy. My only wish is that it would be sped up a bit. Perhaps a duration toggle would be a welcome addition in the app updates to come in order to make the transitions more interesting.
Your Rainbow Alarm Clock
Another addicting feature of the Bluetooth Bulb is the wake up and sleep timer it comes with. The evening that I shot the video review of the bulb had been quite an exhausting one. I cannot tell you what a blissful experience it was to switch to a tranquil cyan blue and sleep away the hours knowing that the bulb will politely turn itself and not disturb me. One thing that is a bit odd though is that when the bulb first executes all the different commands you put in place (such as when to wake up/sleep, how long to fade into or out of the color of choice, which days of the week to do so, etc.) it starts the bulb off at the full range of brightness before starting the gentle fade effect. Thankfully this did not stir me when it occurred but I can imagine lighter sleepers getting annoyed by the sudden blast of light in their face.
A Couple Odd Bugs
The Bluetooth Bulb had some tiny bugs that I picked up on after several hours of use. For some reason, the bulb suffers from amnesia and does not recall the color you last picked when you turn it back on. This bug does not really make any sense to me considering that the wake up timer offers a feature that allows you to pick the exact color you want to wake up with and it works flawlessly. The second is not so much a bug but a limitation. The Bluetooth Bulb can be controlled by your iPhone only if you are in the same room. After traveling a distance of 25 feet away from the bulb, my signal fizzled out, and the app no longer showed the bulb as connected. BlueBulb is indeed aware of this and has stated plans to sell a gateway to cover the entire house in July 2013.
I got to hand it to BlueBulb. The Bluetooth Bulb is a perfect blend of energy saving tech and being a fun gadget that you just cannot help but get your hands on. With some minor adjustments and updates it could easily be a staple in many homes, parties, and bedrooms. Now if you excuse me, I think I am in the mood of setting my bulb to a refreshing shade of chartreuse green.
The Bluetooth Bulb is currently being offered in a limited supply on the following Fundanything.com campaign page.