This product gives a largish glimpse of what we think the future of home lighting will look like. The BlueBulb is a Bluetooth iOS controlled lightbulb with an unimaginable pallet of 16,000,000 colours to select from.
The BlueBulb isn't outrageously beguiling in its appearance: its shape is simply lightbulb-like. And when not turned on you wouldn't know that this lightbulb had such glamorous capabilities, you'd just think it was a standard bulb. The BlueBulb screws into E27 socket types, which is a very common fitting used throughout the world. The bulb is very well made with a robust aluminium body that regulates temperature, but this robust build does make it weigh quite a lot more than regular lightbulbs at 4.6 ounces/130g. It should have a very long life span as it utilises RGB and white LEDs which, of course, are also very economical in power consumption too; the BlueBulb sips a mere maximum of just 9 watts. But when we taking into account that the BlueBulb sells individually for just under $90, it would take a while to recoup energy savings to pay for one bulb.
The BlueBulb's brain is an iPhone or iPad. The free BlueBulb App for iOS has a charmingly simple interface that makes it very quick to connect up to ten BlueBulbs via Bluetooth. Unlike the Philips Hue light which is controlled via a Wi-Fi network, making range less of an issue, the BlueBulb requires that you have to be in reasonably close proximity (around ten metres) to be connected. You can only adjust the colour of each bulb individually, which we think is quite a large flaw if multiple BlueBulbs are used to light one room, as it would be a challenging, not to mention time consuming, to get them all emitting exactly the same colour. The App is easy to navigate and interact with, and adjusting colours is just like adjusting text colour in a word processing application, with a full colour palette offered via the App that will change the colour the bulb emits in real time. The colour intensity and white brightness intensity can also be adjusted via simple sliders, giving a complete overall control that will satisfy the pickiest of colour fiends. The setting we found ourselves toggling often was the one which transitions colours from one to another. You can also set timers and toggle the BlueBulb to sleep and wake from the comfort of your sofa via the App. One quite irritating poor point is the App's lack of any memory to facilitate returning to favourite colours, but this is something we think could be added with an App update.
So in use does the BlueBulb really enhance your living, or perhaps office, environment? In short we'd say yes, it does. Rooms and entire environments change in mood when the lighting colour is changed and it becomes quickly apparent that the whites and yellows we've all had to use since the invention of the light bulb are, well, boring. There's a place for these, but reds, greens, oranges, purples, blues and every other colour you can imagine, will add a continually refreshing spirit of character to spaces and it really is not just a gimmick. The brightness emitted is rated at a collective 720 lumens, with a viewing angle of 130 degrees - each watt emits 80 lumens. Under maximum brightness, the BlueBulb lights up areas really well. We thought that reading under pure white light, at full brightness and white intensity, was very pleasant and really outperformed the halogen bulbs we currently have installed in most of the studio.
The BlueBulb has a few restrictions, however we see no reasons why they can't be resolved with future App updates. The product as it stands right now is innovative and novel, but as we said at the beginning of our review, the bulb provides a clear glimpse of what we think the future of lighting will look and act like. The App is what brings the bulb to life and aids it to be so creative; it's an App that is brilliantly responsive and easy to use. Put simply, the BlueBulb Bluetooth Bulb is fun and seems to us a natural evolution in home lighting.