In an impressive effort to democratize smart homes, Wyze Labs created an excellent, low-cost smart light bulb you'll want to use to illuminate your entire indoor space. The 8000 Lumen LED Wyze Bulb, which is a very affordable $8, has adjustable timers, temperature and brightness features. You can control single or grouped bulbs via Wyze app, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Plus, all you need to set one up is a Wi-Fi connection.
From the outside, the Wyze Bulb looks like most of the standard A19 light bulbs I swapped out for testing, except it has a tough, matte shell that covers the bottom half of the bulb. I found its simple exterior charming, especially when paired with my equally simple, $12 Target floor lamp.
The Wyze Bulb measures 4.8 x 2.36 inches in diameter at its widest. It weighs 4.6 ounces and feels rather heavy for a light bulb, especially compared with similar Philips Hue bulbs. The Wyze Bulb screws into any lighting outlet using the standard screw mount.
Setting up a Wyze Bulb is almost effortless. Unlike the Philips Hue lighting setup, which requires you to connect the bulbs to a bridge that's connected to your Wi-Fi router, Wyze's bulbs link directly to your Wi-Fi.
While we found Wyze's app (available for Android and iOS) a little complicated to navigate when we reviewed the Wyze Cam, the bulb's UI is straightforward. You can control the settings by bulb group or by individual bulbs. The brightness range seemed standard, although I wish I could make the Wyze Bulb a little dimmer than allowed. As for color temperature, Wyze Bulbs range from 2700K to 6500K — a bluish white to a warmer, orangey tone.
Once you're satisfied with your brightness and temperature settings, you can save them as a scene. You can also share the bulb (and other Wyze smart home products) with members of your family, so they can create their own scenes and lighting modes. My mom adored this feature, saving her warm, dimmed adjustments as "Mom's Night Lightning" for unwinding after a long day of work. I added a brighter and cooler "Morning Light" scene for my wake-up routine.
To schedule your Wyze Bulbs, you'll have to connect them with Google Assistant or Alexa, or create a shortcut within the Wyze App. You can set a timer for how long you'd like to leave the bulbs on or off. I don't really see a need for that feature, considering you can turn your Wyze Bulbs on and off from wherever you're using the app.
Vacation Mode, on the other hand, is a neat addition. When you're away, vacation mode will turn your Wyze lights on and off at random, making it look like you're home.
Smart Home Compatibility
The Wyze Bulb pairs with both Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. If you pair the Wyze Bulb to a speaker with voice-assistant integration, you can control your light bulbs with verbal commands.
I opted for Google Assistant, then adjusted my light bulb names with the Google Assistant app to differentiate the Wyze Bulbs installed in the floor lamp in my den from the Phillips Hue one located in a nearby table lamp. When I said, "OK Google, turn on floor lamp," both Wyze Bulbs in the two-headed lamp flicked on. Voilà. I further specified the bulb labels to control one at a time, too.
You can ask your voice assistant to make a Wyze Bulb brighter, dimmer, warmer or cooler. It will adjust each setting only a morsel at a time, though, so if you're trying to make a major lighting change, you're better off doing so with the app.
Wyze's bulbs can also be used in conjunction with the company's other smart home products. For instance, you can have the lights turn on if the Wyze Cam detects movement, or if its motion or door sensor is tripped.
At $7.99, the Wyze Bulb is cheaper than a lot of nonsmart light bulbs, as well as the Philips Hue $15 white light bulbs (which require a $60 hub for use). Better yet, on the basis of 3 hours of use a day, the Wyze Bulb has a life expectancy of 18.3 years.
A long-lasting, cheap smart light bulb like this one adds much-desired accessibility to smart home technology. It makes more sense to outfit your entire space with $8 light bulbs ($30 for four) than with one or two of the pricer ones.
After using Wyze Bulbs, I almost see no need to test other smart light bulbs. The Wyze Bulb is not only inexpensive, it also just works. As much unique novelty as a fancy smart light bulb with a trillion colors and time options has, I'm keen on one that works like any old light bulb — with a couple practical perks.
If you're looking for a simple means to make your home smarter, swapping your light bulbs for Wyze ones is not only smooth but also affordable.