Affordable Smart Lighting is in high demand right now and Sengled have released their ‘Pulse’ range of smart LED lamps, complete with built in JBL speakers. We just had to try them out! We got a starter pack, consisting of two lamps, the master and its slave. The box seemed rather big and once opened, I understood why, the lamps are pretty big! In brief, the lamps are LED based, dimmable and comprise of a built in JBL speaker, with Bluetooth connectivity and the system has the ability to link up to eight lamps together.
They resemble the shape of a GU10 lamp but are Edison screw fit. I should add there are options for the type of screw fit to suit your light fitting. Putting their size aside for a minute, the lamps look pretty cool. They have a shiny grey finish, with a frosted plastic grill to the top. You also have a couple of finish options to choose from.
When trying the lamps out, the first task was to find a light fitting that accepted the lamp. In a couple of instances, the lamp was just too large to fit within certain fittings. In my mind, they can only be used with lamp shades, be it on the ceiling or a standing lamp holder. I decided to go with the latter. I had a floor standing light that was used during testing. Installation is easy, simply screw the lamp in. Setting up the lamp was also relatively easy. Turn the light on at the mains, pair the lamp and your Bluetooth device together, install the official Sengled app (iOS or Android) and the rest is self explanatory on screen.
The light source within the lamp is LED (light emitting diode) and is very popular at the moment, due to its high performance and long life span. The lamp produces 600 lumens, with a colour temperature of 2700K (warm white), colour rendering of RA 80 (good) and beam angle: 105°.
The light output from the lamp is very good, it’s very bright and very natural (2700k or warm white). The beam angle from the lamp is wide but I’d rather there wasn’t an angle at all. The light coming out is directional from the front only, with near to none coming from the side making it more traditional than newer lamps. They’re great for downlights though, not so great for the bedside table light. The lamp is controlled via the app. It’s sleek and very easy to navigate and use. There is a menu with a number of settings and two options, light and sound. Select light mode and you can turn the lamp on or off and dim it from 100 to 0%. The app is responsive, with no delay between app and lamp and the dimming control is smooth.
Selecting the sound option allows you to control the volume of your speaker. Similar to the light, you can turn the volume up from 0 to 100%. To select a song, you actually use the software already on your device. I used the music app on my iPhone. I selected one of my favourite songs and held my breath in anticipation. I was pleasantly surprised! The speaker within the lamp is made by JBL and with that name behind it, it had to be semi good. The sound is clear and can get very loud. There is only a little bass but it’s not t0o bad at all and offers a pretty well rounded experience. With two or more of the lamps together, you can easily fill a room with music awesomeness and even select a stereo option to add that little bit extra. Overall, the speaker impressed me.
I’ve tried out the Playbulb LED lamp with a speaker, one of its competitors and both have pros and cons. The Playbulb is smaller, looks more like a lamp, has a slightly better spread of light and has more functionality but the Pulse has a higher light output and better sounding speakers.
I’ve seen the starter pack online for around £130, which works at £65 per lamp, very similar to the Playbulb price. As I’ve said before, there are pro’s and con’s to these lamps but I’d sway more towards the pros. It’s a decent bit of tech, that is easy to use and very high quality and with the ability of adding up to eight lamps. They could really add value to your home lifestyle.
For more info, visit the official Sengled website.