A house that can be monitored & controlled from anywhere in the world, air conditioners that can be scheduled to turn on just before you reach home, appliances that are set to save energy automatically, refrigerators that alert you when you run out of groceries, bathroom mirrors that create virtual looks for you to decide the outfit for the day, kitchen slabs that display recipes from the internet, and of course smart lighting that can change with your every mood.
While all these technologies exist in the world we live in, our smart homes are still a distant reality. As per popular data aggregator Statista, the United States leads smart home penetration in the world, followed by Japan. For now, India is completely off the map when it comes to worldwide smart home penetration. But, one smart home segment that we do see picking pace in India is smart lighting and that’s where the Reos Lite smart LED bulb comes in.
Is Reos Lite an IoT bulb?
No, Reos Lite is not an IoT bulb, like the Philips Hue. While it works on the basic principle of Machine-to-Machine communications (M2M) common to all smart appliances, it does not connect to the internet or send and receive data. The Reos Lite sports Bluetooth 4.0 low energy (LE). Bluetooth LE or Bluetooth 4.0+ is specifically designed for IoT, smart appliances and is made for devices that run over long periods of time on a power source. It also reduces the power consumption by the bulb, while maintaining the same communicability. Connected with an Android or iOS smartphone, the Reos Lite can be controlled remotely within a range of 15 meters. So while you can control the smart bulb in this range, you cannot control it over the internet. Hence this is not an IoT bulb.
Will the Reos Lite smart bulb fit in any generic bulb socket?
Like most LED bulbs manufactured these days, the Reos Lite smart bulb does not fit in the standard Bayonet socket. Instead, it sports an E27 screw cap (Refer to image below). Considering most bulb sockets in India are Bayonet, Reos provides a B22 to E27 adapter base along with the bulb unit.
What can I do with the Reos Lite smart bulb?
The Reos Lite smart bulb can perform multiple functions and if you are looking to spice up lighting in your house, or a particular room, you can definitely give it a try. Connecting the smart bulb is easy. Switch on Bluetooth on your smartphone or tablet, download the Reos Lite app from the App Store or Play Store, find the bulb in the app, connect and you are ready to play.
Once connected, you can change the colour of the light using the colour wheel provided in the app. Reos claims you can choose from millions of colours, but who has the time to count that many. In short, you can play with different hues and shades of Blue, Green, Red, Purple, Pink, White and of course the standard Yellow. The colours look pretty accurate and depending on the requirement, you can even reduce or increase the intensity of light through the app.
You can also juggle between various modes such as Reading Mode for a bright Yellow light, Christmas mode for the obvious Red-Green-White combination, Party mode for multiple colour switching (Yes, the club feel), Movie Mode for dim lights, Strobe, Kaleidoscope and more. My favourite was the Candle Flicker, which is surprisingly close to the actual effect. You can even create your own customised mode and give it a name for future reference.
Apart from its various lighting abilities, the Reos Lite smart bulb can be used to play to the tunes of your music. Yes, it has the ability to sync with the beats of a song playing on your smartphone. The only problem here is that the app on my iPhone 6 kept crashing whenever I tried to access the Music mode. It worked perfectly fine when I tried it on an iPhone SE, and picked up offline music from Apple Music. If you are one who’s simply looking for a great Yellow or White LED light, then the smart bulb will give you an option to choose your preferred white intensity, another feature I appreciated a lot.
Can the Reos Lite smart bulb be scheduled to turn on/off?
Yes, the scheduler on the Reos Lite app allows you to schedule the time you want the bulb to come on or turn off. However, there’s a catch. If the bulb switch remains on during an electricity outage, while the bulb itself is turned off from the app, it will turn on automatically whenever power is restored. This could be a problem for those who use the smart bulb in their bedroom. Imagine the lights suddenly coming on in the middle of the night. A small glitch the company happened to overlook.
Can the Reos Lite smart bulb alert me when I get a call or a notification?
Yes and No. Well, if you are an Android user, the Reos Lite app gives you an option of call and notification alerts. You can set the bulb to light up as per your preference (different colours, effects) for SMS alerts, WhatsApp notifications and other app alerts. However, to set this up, the app asks users for permissions to access contents of messages along with their complete contacts list, which is very strange and a security loophole. This is probably why none of the alert features are available on the app’s iOS counterpart. So technically, if you have an iPhone, you cannot use the alerts feature at all.
Can I connect multiple devices to the Reos Lite?
While you can connect and control upto 7 Reos smart bulbs with one smartphone, you cannot connect multiple smartphones to a single bulb. The app refuses to detect the smart bulb, if it’s already connected to or being used by another device. It’s only when you disconnect one device connected to the bulb, that you can initiate the connection with some other device. So just like the television remote, the fight to control the bulb will be a constant feature.
How much does the Reos Lite smart bulb cost and where can I buy it?
The Reos Lite is an 1100 lumens, 13 watts smart bulb with a 1 year warranty. You can buy it for Rs. 1,699 from Flipkart. Yes, that is expensive for a bulb and you really should consider its utility in your life before you pick one up. The questions you need to ask yourself are - If you are actually lazy enough to want a Bluetooth-controlled bulb? and If you want this just to show off some cool tech to your buddies? There are really only these two factors that will influence your purchase decision. That said, there is no doubt that the Reos Smart Lite is a cool concept for those who want to have a little fun with their home lighting.