Review: Nyrius Wireless Smart LED Multicolor Light Bulb

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2015
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.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,225member
    It would be nice if we were given the max white output level in lumens. Then, output levels in R, G, and B. Each should be about one third, but often aren't. If these blues are 40W equivalent, then that's low, and for $30 it's not too bad, because that fairly inexpensive. But if the output is equivalent to 60W, then that's pretty good for an RGB bulb at this price.
    chia
  • Reply 2 of 9
    To me the problem with is led lights is the warmth of the colors. They look very cold .... Only if someone figures out how to make them look warm like incandescent lights.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    To me the problem with is led lights is the warmth of the colors. They look very cold .... Only if someone figures out how to make them look warm like incandescent lights.
    You would like Philips Hue lights, which have a warm white color mode that would be just perfect for you.  Alas, they still cost $59.95 a bulb.

    They were, in fact, designed to solve this problem, and work great for it, but the downside is that if you like greens and blues they are deficient.  When I bought them a couple of Christmases ago, I wanted to do a red/green effect as Christmas decorations.  The red was beautiful but the green was thin and watery.  Sad.

    I'd be curious to know if Hue lights have improved over the years, or if there are other companies that could give me more saturated colors as well as a variety of white.  The light in this review seems like it might work for my ornamental lighting needs, but I'm a bit scared by the poor support mentioned in the article.  

    Anyone have recommendations in view of my needs?
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 4 of 9
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,930member
    To me the problem with is led lights is the warmth of the colors. They look very cold .... Only if someone figures out how to make them look warm like incandescent lights.
    You really can't replicate the incandescent color. LED may get close to it at full bright, but when you dim LED, it doesn't go all the way down to yellow-orange like incandescent. Dimmable LED retains the same color but less bright.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,930member
    To me the problem with is led lights is the warmth of the colors. They look very cold .... Only if someone figures out how to make them look warm like incandescent lights.
    You would like Philips Hue lights, which have a warm white color mode that would be just perfect for you.  Alas, they still cost $59.95 a bulb.

    They were, in fact, designed to solve this problem, and work great for it, but the downside is that if you like greens and blues they are deficient.  When I bought them a couple of Christmases ago, I wanted to do a red/green effect as Christmas decorations.  The red was beautiful but the green was thin and watery.  Sad.

    I'd be curious to know if Hue lights have improved over the years, or if there are other companies that could give me more saturated colors as well as a variety of white.  The light in this review seems like it might work for my ornamental lighting needs, but I'm a bit scared by the poor support mentioned in the article.  

    Anyone have recommendations in view of my needs?
    Not really. When you dim, LED is no where close to incandescent. I would say the only bulb can replace incandescent with 75% less energy consumption is Finally bulbs which use Acandescence technology.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    To me the problem with is led lights is the warmth of the colors. They look very cold .... Only if someone figures out how to make them look warm like incandescent lights.
    Philips Hue already has. they have different bulbs, but the main one that ships with the bridge is not based on RGB diodes, instead using tones that perfectly reproduce any level of warmth you desire. is comes at the cost of weak greens and blues, but not a problem for me. (inversely their strip lights are RGB based but cannot do warm whites). 
  • Reply 7 of 9
    fallenjt said:
    You would like Philips Hue lights, which have a warm white color mode that would be just perfect for you.  Alas, they still cost $59.95 a bulb.

    They were, in fact, designed to solve this problem, and work great for it, but the downside is that if you like greens and blues they are deficient.  When I bought them a couple of Christmases ago, I wanted to do a red/green effect as Christmas decorations.  The red was beautiful but the green was thin and watery.  Sad.

    I'd be curious to know if Hue lights have improved over the years, or if there are other companies that could give me more saturated colors as well as a variety of white.  The light in this review seems like it might work for my ornamental lighting needs, but I'm a bit scared by the poor support mentioned in the article.  

    Anyone have recommendations in view of my needs?
    Not really. When you dim, LED is no where close to incandescent. I would say the only bulb can replace incandescent with 75% less energy consumption is Finally bulbs which use Acandescence technology.
    I'm thinking you haven't tried the main Philips Hue bulbs. they reproduce warm incandescents and dim very well. I'm picky about color temp but have no complaints, other than they still don't get bright enough. 
  • Reply 8 of 9
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,930member
    fallenjt said:
    Not really. When you dim, LED is no where close to incandescent. I would say the only bulb can replace incandescent with 75% less energy consumption is Finally bulbs which use Acandescence technology.
    I'm thinking you haven't tried the main Philips Hue bulbs. they reproduce warm incandescents and dim very well. I'm picky about color temp but have no complaints, other than they still don't get bright enough. 
    I did and no. That's why my 300w halogen bulbs are still in use for my hallway. 
  • Reply 9 of 9
    fallenjt said:
    I'm thinking you haven't tried the main Philips Hue bulbs. they reproduce warm incandescents and dim very well. I'm picky about color temp but have no complaints, other than they still don't get bright enough. 
    I did and no. That's why my 300w halogen bulbs are still in use for my hallway. 
    no what? they reproduce incandescent temperatures perfectly, and dim. they aren't at all like typical LEDs. the only problem with them is they don't get bright enough at 800 lumens. 
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