Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb Review

Updated January 31, 2014
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Bottom Line

For those who are interested in a color-changing LED but aren't prepared to spend $200 on the Best Reviewed Philips Hue Connected Bulb Starter Pack, the Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb is a simpler and cheaper choice. It costs just $60 for a single bulb and operation is plug-and-play. The Lumen doesn't offer nearly as many functions as the Hue system, however, and the bulbs aren't as bright.

Performance

Just the basics. Like the Hue system, the Lumen bulb has a corresponding app that allows you to customize color and brightness. The bulb is controlled through Bluetooth, so there's no need for a hub. It has a few basic preset color schemes, including a disco ball "Music Sync Mode," but you can't create your own schemes or interface with the web the way you can with the Hue. The system is simple to set up, but some users describe the app as "glitchy." The bulb itself is on the dim side, producing only 400 lumens, which is less than a 40-watt incandescent.

ProsEasy to set up, Less expensive than other systemsConsLimited functions, Glitchy app, Low light level

Value

Low startup cost. Since the Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb doesn't require a hub, all you need is a single $60 bulb to give the system a try. That's a lot cheaper than the $200 Hue starter pack, but the Hue actually costs less per bulb, so it's a better value if you plan to wire your whole house. The Lumen isn't as efficient as the Hue, either; at 57 lumens per watt, it's pretty unimpressive for an LED. On the plus side, the Lumen's lifetime rating is an impressive 30,000 hours -- twice that of a Hue bulb -- but the manufacturer doesn't offer a warranty to support this claim.

Our Sources

1. CNET

Smart, But Still a Bit Dim, Ry Crist, Nov. 5, 2013

CNET's Ry Crist gives the Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb 3.5 stars out of 5 in this review. He likes its plug-and-play simplicity, but say its functions are limited and the light itself is a bit dim. Crist suggests "waiting to see if the app improves" before buying.

2. Network World.com

The Lumen, a Smart LED Bulb That's More of a Novelty, Mark Gibbs, Dec. 14, 2013

"Gearhead" blogger Mark Gibbs says the Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb left him "impressed...with reservations." While he finds it entertaining to use, he says it's pricey and underpowered compared to a normal LED bulb, and it can't coordinate with the web or a home automation system.

3. Amazon.com

Lumen LED App Enabled Smart Bulb by Versifli, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014

The Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb gets fewer than 10 reviews at Amazon.com, and they're somewhat mixed. Owners say it's fun to use, easy to set up and cheaper than other color-changing LEDs, but some report that the app is glitchy and customer service is poor.