If you’re setting up a smart home, one item to check out is TP-Link’s $24.99 Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with Dimmable Light. It’s useful, but loses points because it doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit. Instead it uses the TP-Link Kasa app, which is a free download from the Apple App Store.
Once you’ve downloaded the app and paired it with the Wi-Fi LED Bulb, you can control your lights from anywhere with your iOS or Android tablet or smartphone. You can set schedules and different lighting environments (called “scenes”) to match certain occasions or events. For instance, you can turn your lights on when it gets dark, turn ‘em off when you’re leaving for work, — or to set the mood for dinner.
You can adjust the brightness of the Wi-Fi LED Bulb from 2700K color temperature to 800 lumens brightness (about 60W equivalent). You can track real-time energy usage to help save on electric bills. The folks at TP-Link say that you can even reduce energy use up to 80% without brightness or quality loss compared to a 60W incandescent bulb.
Conveniently, you can use the Wi-Fi LED Bulb without a hub. Just connect it to your Wi-Fi network. Another nice feature: multiple Smart Wi-Fi bulbs can be controlled as a group. And you can control the Smart Bulbs from multiple devices. Download the TP-Link Kasa app to your iPhone or iPad and sign in using the same Kasa account (and you do have to set up a Kasa account to control the Smart Bulbs).
Kasa works fine, but I’d prefer to have the ability to integrate the Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with Apple HomeKit, a framework that allows control of compatible home automation devices through iOS and Siri. The Home app in iOS 10 lets you securely control any “Works with Apple HomeKit” accessory. You can also organize your accessories by room, manage multiple accessories at the same time, control your home with Siri, and more.
For iPhone and iPad users like me, Home is becoming the go-to app for smart home control. If TP-Link really wants the Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with Dimmable Light to catch on with iOS fans, Home compatibility needs to be added.