We’ve seen smart bulbs before, so this isn’t something new to us. But we understand that they are still very new on the market so will start from scratch with this one. The Sengled Solo Smart Bulb retails at around £39.99 from various online stores which isn’t bad for what’s on offer here.

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First off, the Sengled Solo is huge! IT measures in at around 5.5 inches long and 2.8 inches around at its widest point. It weighs an absolute ton for  a bulb and has an E27 fitting to connect it to a top light or lamp. We had to buy an adapter from eBay to make this work as our fixtures were too small for the bulb to enter. This wasn’t too much of a problem though as the adapter was fairly cheap to buy.

The majority of the bulb is made from a matte white plastic with exception to the metal grill of the speaker. The top of the bulb where the light shines out is made from clear plastic. The light that shines is of a dim yellow colour and there is no colour changing here. The bulb shines at 550 lumens at a 105-degree angle which means it’s bright, but because of the angle it will not fill a room if installed in a lamp. Think more mood lighting here.

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Connecting the bulb to the app was a simple screw into the socket and pair with your phone. The app itself isn’t feature rich so it’s easy to pick up quickly. The music playback through the speaker is done through the app itself. The bulb uses a Bluetooth signal to connect to your phone or tablet. The only options inside the app are changing the volume of the speaker and a swipe bar to set a dimmer. They should have included some kind of timer here so the bulb turns on automatically.

Inside the speaker grill are two 3-watt tweeters which are provided by JBL. What was disappointing was that the speakers were very sub-par compared to JBL’s other products on the market. They were okay at around mid volume, but don’t expect any bass to erupt from the bulb. For casual background listening it was fine. And I say that with a bit of a frown as JBL are known for their great quality speakers. It may be down to some technological reason why very little bass, if any comes from the speaker. Who knows?

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With all of this in mind, there are other feature rich bulbs on the market such as the MiPow range we reviewed some time ago. I feel that Sengled really missed the mark with the Solo if compared to their Pulse bulb that’s currently on the market. The speaker is okay but nothing special. JBL really let the team down here. I can’t help but think if you spent a little more you’d be better off with the Pulse. But, if it’s a lightbulb you need, and background music is your thing, then try the Solo. For the more techy among us, go for the Sengled Pulse.

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Stef Murphy

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