When I first received the email asking if I would be interested in reviewing the Sengled Pulse LED Bulb + Wireless Speakers I have to admit my first reaction was a bit of a scoff as I immediately thought it must be just another useless gimmick that nobody really needs. However, I decided to visit the website and find out more about the product and I instantly felt a little bit judgemental as I realised that actually, this is a rather interesting product. I decided I had to test it out for myself in order to really make an informed decision so I agreed to the review.
Basically, the Sengled Pulse is a smart lightbulb that combines the energy efficiency of an LED light with the high-quality audio of a JBL multi-channel stereo wireless Bluetooth speaker. It sounds pretty weird, doesn’t it? I mean, can you imagine why you would need music to play from your light bulb? When it arrived I was eager to take a look and see what was in store. The Pulse comprises of two separate bulbs, one of which is the Master and the other is a Satellite. The bulbs were really well packaged in a lovely sturdy box and it was actually a little difficult to get them out. I have to say I was a little taken aback by the size of the bulbs, they really are quite huge (10cm diameter) compared to normal light bulbs, but then again a normal lightbulb doesn’t have a speaker embedded within it, so I guess that is understandable.
Initially I was a little worried that being a gadget, it would be complicated to set up and use and as you all know I’m not great with technology. I was pleasantly surprised though. There are no power cables, wires or batteries, and no software or complex remote control. It really is just like a normal lightbulb. It is available as an E27 screw fixture or B22 bayonet fitting and all you have to do is simply fit it into your light fitting as you would with any other light bulb. However, whilst it can be used in a ceiling light, floor lamp or table lamp, it isn’t necessarily going to fit in every light. It is quite heavy at 420g so as you can imagine it can cause some desk lamps to collapse, especially those like an Anglepoise for example. It’s also pretty unlikely that these gigantic bulbs will fit into recessed ceiling light fixtures, although I didn’t actually test this out.
Once installed you need to pair the Pulse to your smart device (smart phone, tablet or pc) using the Bluetooth function. Once paired you need to download the free Sengled Pulse app from your app store. The app allows you to switch the lights on and off as well as dim them. The controls are super easy to use with a simple dial that allows you to control how much you want to dim the light by. The Pulse offers a warm white light that has a colour temperature of 2,700 Kelvin. Surprisingly, each bulb is rated for 25,000 hours of life, which basically means that if you were to use it for an average of 3hr a day, the bulb would last for over 22 years. So with the Pulse starter kit of a Master and a Satellite bulb costing £149, that’s actually not a bad investment, right?
When it comes to the music, the audio is delivered to the master lamp via the Bluetooth connection (so you can use this without the app) but the control of the sound, in terms of volume, equalisation or whether one or both speakers are in use, is controlled via WiFi. You can stream your favourite music directly from your smart device or I believe it also works with music streaming sites like Spotify (although again I did not test this). The audio quality was something that I was a bit skeptical about as I did wonder how good the quality could be when it was coming from a lightbulb but the fact that the audio is powered by a JBL speaker pretty much guarantees that it is going to be pretty decent. For me the sound quality was more than adequate, although my husband (who is a real music buff and used to do his fair share of DJ-ing) says that the bass wasn’t particularly impressive. That may be a problem if you intend on using your Sengled Pulse as the main music source for a massive house party but when you want to use it for everyday use at home it is just perfect.
One of the main advantages of the Sengled Pulse, as far as I’m concerned, is its ease of installation and use. Smart technology always sounds so complicated but this really is a breeze to use. One thing I haven’t mentioned is the fact that you can use up to eight satellite bulbs to create a much more expansive sound system. This is far simpler and more cost effective than getting your house wired up with an integrated sound system. And you can take it with you if you move!
Another advantage is that the Pulse can be used in damp areas such as the bathroom or outside. However, whilst it is UL damp rated, which means it can be in touch with casual moisture, such as in the bathroom where there is significant amount of steam, it cannot come in direct contact with water so you couldn’t use it outside if it was raining for example.
There are a few disadvantages though. The audio transmission between the master lamp and the smart device via Bluetooth only has a range of up to 10 metres. This means that if you get up and leave the room, wandering out of this10m range, and take your smart device with you, the music will stop. Also, as the Master bulb relays the music to the Satellite bulb, they also need to be within a 35m range of one another, with a direct line of sight.
We also found that if you connect your device via Bluetooth and then decide to go out, you will not be connected when you return home and you’ll have to pair the device again. It’s not like WiFi where your device automatically reconnects. This could get annoying if you were using the bulb as your main light source in a room.
All in all I really liked this product and have enjoyed using it. It is perfect for those of us who aren’t that technically minded and it’s a great way to bring a bit of smart technology into your home. One thing I love about it is it enables me to turn my bedroom lamp off at night without getting out of bed…luxury!
Disclosure: This post has been written in partnership with Sengled who provided the product for us to review. However, all the opinions in this review are our own and we stress that we only collaborate with brands and companies that we genuinely like and believe that our readers will like too.