LED Lights, and an App to Control Them
Review: TCP Smart LED Lighting System
The price of long-lasting LED bulbs is dropping rapidly — they are usually under $10, and they last many, many times as long as regular incandescent bulbs while using far less electricity.
You will pay a bit more for the TCPsmart LED lighting system, but each bulb comes with something cheaper ones don’t have — an Internet connection that lets you control them from your phone or tablet.
The lights come as a $55 to $150 kit with bulbs, a remote and a gateway that connects to your router, if you want to spend the money.
The TCP lights aren’t as fancy or expensive as the Philips Hue LEDs, which connect to the Internet and can change colors. But they can do quite a bit if you decide to control them with an app available for Apple and Android products.
Using the app, lights can be turned on and off and dimmed from your phone or tablet. You can do settings for different occasions and have lights go on or off on a schedule.
Setting up the basic on-and-off controls was easy. But light settings and schedules were not, even with the helpful videos on the TCP website. It seemed as if I was entering the same information repeatedly. Correcting mistakes — like removing settings I didn’t want — was impossible.
The quality of the light was good. The 11-watt bulb claims to put out the equivalent light of a 60-watt incandescent bulb. It was a softer, more yellowish light than the harsh blue-white of twisty fluorescent bulbs, and the 11-watt was more than sufficient for reading in bed at night.
If you get the hang of the app and want to add more bulbs, they are $17 each ($28 list). According to the manufacturer, the app can handle up to 250 bulbs.
REF: The New York Times
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