Last week Cube26 launched a smart LED bulb called the Iota Lite for the Indian market. Unlike smart bulbs currently available in the market right now, the Iota Lite works with Bluetooth connectivity rather than Wi-Fi. According to the company, Bluetooth connectivity is more common than Wi-Fi, and is likely to appeal more to the Indian consumers. With the mass market in mind, the Iota Lite is available for Rs 1,599 as an introductory price via Flipkart. We spent some time with the new Iota Lite, read on for our review of the smart bulb. Also Read - Motorola-branded Smart Refrigerators with Wi-Fi tipped to launch soon in IndiaAlso Read - Motorola to foray into 'Smart Home Appliances' segment in India with Flipkart
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There are two components of the smart bulb – one is the hardware and the other is an application for Android, which is compatible with version 4.0 and up. While the app can be downloaded via Google Play store for free, the hardware has the LED bulb along with a holder, which allows you to plug the bulb in regular sockets.
The bulb measures 63 x 110 mm and weighs about 116 grams. The smart bulb is powered by Texas Instruments microprocessor and uses Toshiba LED. The IOTA Lite is rated at 7W and offers 500 lumens of brightness. For connectivity, it supports Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy with range up to 15 meters. The lifespan of the Iota Lite is rated at 15,000 hours.
How to connect?
After you have installed the bulb in the socket, you need to download the application. On the home screen of the app, tap on the top left corner to find the bulb. It s notable the bulb has always-on Bluetooth connectivity, so you don t need to look for any buttons there. On tapping, the app will ask permission to access Bluetooth connectivity. Tap on the Iota device appearing in the list, and you are good to go.
Key features of the Iota Lite smart bulb
Color change: One of the top usages of the bulb is changing colors whenever your wish. The app has a big radial of color, which lets you illuminate any shade you want. The app also supports voice commands so you can just speak to the app the color you want. There are some presets that can be customized into different modes – reading mode, relaxation mode, party mode and more.
Music Sync: The Iota Lite changes its color and syncs with the rhythm of the music. However, you need to separately install a media player called RhythmPlay from the Play Store. Also, the player only works with downloaded content on your device. Cube26 has promised to bring support for music streaming services such as Saavn and Gaana.
Call/SMS alert: Through the app, you can set certain color to blink for an incoming call. You can also customize it to select contacts. The same can be done for SMS as well.
Luminosity control: Apart from switching off the bulb, you can also adjust the brightness of the bulb using your smartphone.
One of the top things we liked about the smart bulb was the Bluetooth connectivity. We didn t need to have an additional hardware for bridging the bulb and phone. Another advantage is the ease of use as it doesn t require any complicated set up process. During our usage, we didn t come across any issue with connectivity. Operating and managing the features of the Iota Lite through the phone was smooth. In terms of luminosity, the bulb appeared to be good enough for medium or compact room.
However, compulsion to download a separate player to sync music is bit of a turn off. As mentioned earlier, the company has promised to update the app and add support for music streaming services. We expect the iOS version of the app to be available soon.
Looking at the price point of the smart bulb – around Rs 1,600 – these issues aren t really deal breaker. Smart bulbs or IoT devices are in infancy in India while consumer awareness is gradually increasing. Affordable products such as the Iota Lite can really help push the IoT segment in the mass market.