Australian company Laser has a history of selling value for money consumer electronics exclusively through particular retailers.
In this case they recently cut the price of 10W smart white bulbs for screw in E27 or twist in B22 light sockets to an Australian retail record low of $10 each.
In each box you’ll find a light bulb and an instruction manual. Specifications for the bulbs are:
- 10W power usage when set to 100% brightness cool white
- 1000 lumens maximum brightness
- 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi, will not connect to a 5Gz only WiFi network. May have issues with some Wi-Fi routers that use the same name for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.
- Colour temperature user adjustable between cool to warm 2700-6500K
As I suspected when they were announced, Laser Connect SmartHome products run on the Tuya Smart platform, the same as Mirabella, Brilliant, ALDI and many other smart home device sellers in Australia.
I tried installing the lights via several of these apps and they all worked fine though obviously Laser would prefer you use their Connect SmartHome app which I also tried and it works fine.
None of the Laser Connect SmartHome lights need a special Hub like Philips Hue and IKEA Tradfri lights. All they need is 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi. This is a mixed blessing – it makes the set-up easier, but having lots of IoT devices on your home WiFi can have a negative speed impact; if you’re going to go “all in” with your smart home, it’d be a good idea to think about a separate WiFi network for all these smart home devices.
In my testing during the last few weeks the bulbs have worked well whichever way their settings have been changed via the smartphone app as well as Google and Alexa smart speakers.
What you can change is the brightness from Off to a lowest setting of 1% and up to 100% as well as the colour temperature eg: cool white, warm white, daylight white.
The maximum brightness of 1000 lumens is quite good, some other smart bulbs e.g. Philips Hue are only 806 lumens which means the Laser bulbs are capable of being 25% brighter than them.
The only slight weak point I’ve noticed is they have to be on at the light switch all the time. This is true of any smart globe light-replacement; no power means no smarts, means no lights.
If turned off there overnight, when you turn them on in the morning they blink because they need to be paired again. If you leave them on at the switch permanently this isn’t a problem, but it’s somewhat surprising they forget their pairing on loss of power.
Overall these smart light bulbs are great value for money with a new benchmark price of $10 which makes it very hard to justify recommending high end Phlips Hue and LIFX light bulbs that cost 3 times as much per bulb.
Note that if you plan on installing a lot of these smart bulbs, low to mid range home Wi-Fi routers and mesh systems may struggle once the number of switched on Wi-Fi devices in a home passes about 30-40.
If you want that many smart lights or more you need to some research and either buy smart bulbs that do use a controller hub like Philips Hue/IKEA Tradfri or research smart light switches so you can use cheap dumb bulbs but turn them on/off by controlling the switches by voice/app.
Laser has allowed Ausdroid to keep using the smart bulbs to see how reliable they are long term compared with other smart lights in the household from Mirabella, Philips etc