You may have seen some of the other Sengled products we’ve reviewed, such as the Solo and Pulse Bulbs which were lamps that included speakers. But now Sengled have moved away from speakers and have perhaps included more useful features into their lamps. We were sent a Sengled Boost, a lamp that has a built-in WiFi booster!
Let’s kick things off with the finer details:
- E27 or B22 Base, plus a GU10 option
- Supports two Wi-Fi network mode: Client / Access Point (AP)
- Two built-in antennas for high throughput data exchange rate of maximum 300Mbps
- Compatible with most smart phones, tablets and computers that support Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n standard at 2.4GHz
- App features include remote on/off and dimming control.
Straight into the box and I found the lamp and a set of instructions. The lamp itself looks very smart and modern, with a white glossy bottom half, with clear glass at the top. Its shape and size resembles your traditional filament lamp, just a whole lot smarter. It’s quite a heavy bulb, though this shouldn’t be a problem as it’s a secure fit into any lamp holder. It does however get rather warm. Again, shouldn’t be a problem and won’t get as hot as a filament lamp. I doubt you would burn yourself on it.
Using the lamp is easy and follows suit to all Sengled products. You’ll need their official free app and away you go. A quick Bluetooth connection between your phone and the bulb and it’s ready. It will instantly turn on once fitted but will not give the WiFi boost until set up. Through the app, there are easy-to-follow instructions to activate the wireless booster features. Set up was a breeze. You have to assign the bulb to your network and away you go. Like any other booster, it acts as another router of sorts and your device can connect to it, using the same password you have set for your main router. You can change the name to whatever you want…’Pretty Fly For A WiFi’ is always a popular one!
Using the lamp as a light and it’s pretty good. It’s a 6w LED source, so it’s efficient and bright. Colour output is warm white (3000k), with a 550 lumen output. There is a decent spread of light out of the top of the lamp, but very little from the sides if compared to a filament lamp. The lamp is dimmable but you cannot use the lamp with your dimmer switch on the wall. The only way of dimming the lamp is via the app and even then, the dimming isn’t great. It’s very much a percentage game. Dimming with increments and not very large ones; for example 10%, 20%, 30% and so on. I would have much preferred smoother dimming, with increments of 1% at a time, I know it can be done.
Using the lamp as a WiFi booster is OK and it works. The booster only works on 2.4GHz networks and will be OK for most. But for many, including myself, prefer the faster 5GHz channel. I lost over half of my internet connection speed when connected to the booster. It did allow the signal to reach usually accessible areas of my home and even allowed me to browse in my garden. This wasn’t cool, especially if you’re going to be expected to stream HD movies using a wireless booster. I ran the tests many times and got the same verdict.
This next problem is probably the biggest issue we’ve found is the lamp has to be on for it to work. Even if bright daylight is flooding into your room, you will need to keep the light on to use the boost function. The only way round this is to keep the lamp always on via the wall switch and dim the light via the app to 0% and then dim it back up when you want to use it. I understand it needs constant power for the booster to work but I am really not a fan of doing it this way. I want to walk into a room and turn the light on and off, not walk into a room, get my phone out, unlock it, go to the app, select the lamp and brighten the bulb.
The lamp is available for £39.99. For that price I think it’s okay value for money. If you are happy with how you turn the lamp on, if you want to keep a constant WiFi boost, then this will probably do the trick and do it pretty well. For further info and to purchase, visit the official Sengled website.