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Review

Review: Nyrius Wireless Smart LED Multicolor Light Bulb

Nyrius' Bluetooth-connected lightbulb might get the job done, but there's nothing that really sets it apart from rivals, and there are several things that set it back.




"Smart" LED bulbs have become increasingly popular, at least among people with plenty of disposable income. There's an inherent appeal in having lights change color on a whim, or automatically turn on when you enter a room.

Initially Nyrius' bulb seems to tick a lot of the right boxes. It's controlled via an iOS or Android device, it offers scheduling options and a variety of colors, and it can even flash when your phone has an incoming call.

This review almost didn't happen, though. We actually received the bulb for testing a few months ago —but at the time, Nyrius' iPhone app simply wouldn't detect the bulb, no matter how hard we tried. We got in touch with the company, which blamed a problem with the app and promised an update. That fix came a few weeks later, and turns out to have corrected iOS 9 compatibility.

Although the bulb does work now, its app may still be the weakest link, since there are quirks and limitations that make the overall package feel shoddy. In the former category, for instance, there's no way to toggle the bulb on or off from the color picker screen without using the brightness slider —you have to do that from the Manage tab. And if you want to change the color to white, but you've recently switched away from the app, you can't just tap on the white circle —you have to choose another color before the option will respond.




Scheduling functions work reasonably well, allowing bulbs to turn or or off at certain times and on specified days of the week. Owners have to pick separate "on" and "off" schedules however, which makes sense to a degree but can add extra steps for some people, especially if they have complex schedules in mind.

You also can't control much of what happens during scheduled events. The only toggle in fact is to have the bulb fade in or out —you can't make it change color or brightness level, which should be obvious if not mandatory options. The fade isn't even that subtle, coming in steps instead of smoothly.

Another tab in the app, Moods, offers four presets: Reading, Dining, Relaxed, and Party. The first is just regular white lighting, and the other three are tacky —especially Party, which rapidly cycles between colors.

A final tab, Rhythm, tries to match lighting to music, but does this using your iPhone's microphone. That means it responds as much to talking as anything, and you have to leave your iPhone out and on to make it work.

Hardware






How does the bulb itself actually perform, though? Well enough, but not spectacularly. Like many LED bulbs, it's dimmer than normal incandescent or compact flourescent options, even when brightness is maxed out. It's fine as desk or accent lighting, especially given the power savings, and longevity potentially reaching into years or decades.

There are several selectable color tints: red, purple, blue, cyan, green, yellow, and a cool white. These all come out deeply saturated, which may not be to everyone's taste. We ended up sticking with white most of the time.

People thinking of going with Nyrius for home automation will probably be disappointed. There's no iOS HomeKit support, and while you can create multiple lighting groups, options don't get much more complex beyond that and the app can only handle eight bulbs. If you do want lights to turn on and off when you enter your house or apartment, you'll have to spend on one of the company's Smart Outlets.

Conclusion



If you don't expect too much going in, Nyrius' smart bulb may do the trick. It changes colors, it dims, you can program it to come on at night and shut off in the morning.

On the other hand, if you're truly invested in the idea of a smart home, there are other options out there with better apps and integration —in some cases cheaper, if you don't care about multi-colored lighting.

Score: 2 out of 5



Pros:
  • Long-lasting, power-sipping lighting
  • Several color options
  • Decent scheduling system


Cons:
  • Poorly designed app with some limited or useless options
  • So-so room illumination
  • Weak home automation support, no HomeKit ties


Where to Buy



The bulb can be bought for $29.99 directly from Nyrius, as well as from third-party retailers like Amazon.