5 May 2015

REVIEW: MiPOW Playbulb Rainbow

Finding the pot of gold.

Adding yet more connected goodies to our futuristic home, today we're turning our attention back to smart lighting. Having wireless control over the brightness and colour of your house lighting doesn't have to be as complicated as something like the Philips Hue - it can all be handled by your phone. back for a third time, we take a look at a nifty little gadget from MiPOW, the Playbulb Rainbow smart LED bulb.

Previously we've reviewed (and very much enjoyed) the Playbulb and Playbulb Candle; Bluetooth enabled smart lighting gadgets over which an app on your phone can have control. The Playbulb was both a bright LED light bulb and a wonderfully bizarre wireless speaker, whereas the Playbulb Candle mimicked perfectly the gentle flicker and glow of a real flame in millions of different colours. The Playbulb Rainbow takes the best of both of those, combining a bright light that will fit most standard bulb sockets, with the ability to manually flick through all the colours of the rainbow (ahhh, hence the name...) via the Playbulb app.

The app in question (available for iOS and Android) is the same bit of kit we've previously used for the other reviews, so do check both out to get our opinions there. Needless to say, it is all very simple, from pairing via your phone or tablet's Bluetooth, to selecting the colour and brightness you want the bulb to shine.

One thing we were impressed to hear (but have yet to fully test, obviously) is that the Playbulb Rainbow can last for up to 30 years, while using 85% less energy than a traditional bulb. That is pretty mind blowing, and it is, of course, all down to the bulb's use of LED lights. Despite the use of these low-energy lights, the Playbulb itself is still capable of shinning very brightly, and when set to glow as white it very deftly illuminated an entire room.

But if you just wanted a glowing white LED light you can control with your phone, you'd have bought the original Playbulb, not the Rainbow. The Rainbow's main selling point is the colour changing facility, and it was a real joy to cycle through the millions of combinations of colours while lounging on the sofa, altering the mood and feel of the room. Unlike the Plabulb Candle, which is a striking bit of kit that stands out in a room, the Playbulb Rainbow can be hidden away in a light fitting or beneath a lamp shade, meaning the colours it produces are more subtle and delicate.

So yes, you can easily use one of these to set a sexy tone to any room, gently dropping the brightness and upping the red. Oh la la...


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