Wyze Bulb Color review: Wyze's first color smart bulb is this close to being our favorite

Wyze’s color smart bulb packs in impressive features given its price range, although some aren’t quite fully baked.

wyze bulb color
Wyze

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At a Glance

It sure took long enough for Wyze Labs to unwrap a color smart bulb, but the Wyze Bulb Color was worth the wait. Available in a four-pack for $35, the Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-enabled Bulb Color doesn’t need a hub, and it packs features that most color smart bulbs in this price range don’t, including sleep/wake routines and a vacation mode. The new Wyze bulb is also unusually bright given its price range, while the slick, intuitive Wyze app makes it easy to group multiple bulbs together.

Tempering our enthusiasm is the fact that one of the Bulb Color’s most enticing features—the ability to change color depending on triggers from the Wyze Cam, Wyze Lock, and other Wyze Labs devices—is a work in progress. Also, you can’t buy just one Bulb Color, or at least not yet.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart LED bulbs, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping this category.

Specifications

While Wyze has moved aggressively into such smart-home categories as door locks, video doorbells, thermostats, sprinkler controllers, and—of course—security cameras, it’s been surprisingly slow to enter the smart lighting market. Wyze’s only other bulb, the tunable white Wyze Bulb, came out back in 2019, and it has yet to tip its hand about any future bulbs or lighting products.

At $35 for a four-pack (or about $8.75 per bulb), the Wyze Color Bulb is (characteristically for Wyze) among the least expensive color smart bulbs on the market, matching the budget price of such recent entries as Sylvania’s A19 Smart+ color bulbs. As with the Sylvania bulbs, however, the Wyze Bulb Color is only available in a four-pack. Wyze does note that a two-pack might be available in “a few months.”

The Wyze Bulb Color is an A19 bulb with a classic Edison shape and an E26 base, which means it will fit in a standard light socket. Rated to last 25,000 hours, the Wyze Bulb Color’s white light can be tuned from a very warm 1,800 Kelvin (most color smart bulbs won’t get any warmer than about 2,500K) to a cool 6,500K, which is equivalent to daylight on a hazy day. The bulb can also glow in up to 16 million colors, similar to other color smart bulbs.

Wyze says that the Bulb Color can shine at up to 1,100 lumens, making it among the brighter A19 smart bulbs we’ve tested; generally speaking, competing Edison-style smart bulbs are closer to about 800 lumens. In any event, a single Wyze Bulb Color easily lit up my daughter’s bedroom, while a pair of them were perfect for lighting the master bedroom.

Setup

If you already have a Wyze Cam or another product that uses the Wyze app, setting up a Wyze Bulb Color is relatively simple. Once you screw the bulb into a light socket, you press the “+” button in the Wyze app to add a new device (you’ll need to create a Wyze account if you haven’t already), select Wyze Bulb Color, pick your Wi-Fi network and enter your network password.

As with pretty much every smart bulb we’ve ever tested, the Wyze Bulb Color isn’t compatible with 5GHz Wi-Fi networks; consequently, I needed to switch my router to 2.4GHz-only mode before the Wyze app could successfully make the connection. Once the bulb was connected to my Wi-Fi, I was able to switch my router back to dual-band mode without any issues.

Besides Wi-Fi, you can also control the Wyze Bulb Color via Bluetooth, although doing so means you’ll need to be in the same room as the bulb, and any schedules or device triggers you’ve set up (more on those in a moment) won’t work.

Features and functionality

The Wyze app lets you group your various bulbs together, so I went ahead and created a “Master Bedroom” group for two of the bulbs, while I left a third bulb on its own in my daughter’s room. For now, however, you can’t group a Bulb Color with the older, white-tunable Wyze Bulb, although Wyze said it will add “new grouping abilities” in the future.

wyze bulb color grouping Ben Patterson/IDG

Grouping multiple Wyze Bulb Colors together is easy using the Wyze app, but you can’t group the new bulb with the older, tunable-white Wyze Bulb, or at least not yet.

Whether you’re controlling a Bulb Color group or a single bulb, you get the same simple, intuitive interface, including a brightness slider and a color/white temperature picker that you can toggle by tapping a tab. If you’re dealing with a group, you can select the color and brightness for each individual bulb within the group, then save your settings as a lighting scene. You can also choose from a variety of preset white temperature and color scenes, ranging from “Night Light” and “Cozy” to “Energy” and “Gaming.”

You can schedule the Bulb Color using Rules within the Wyze app. You can put the bulb on a daily or weekly schedule, and you can pick a specific brightness or white color temperature. That said, you can’t yet set a scheduled bulb to a color, nor can you pick a lighting scene; that functionality is being “actively worked on,” I’m told, with color selection first followed by scene support.

wyze bulb color app Ben Patterson/IDG

The Wyze app boasts a sleek interface for changing the Bulb Color’s brightness and color temperature.

The same limitation goes for setting the Bulb Color to turn on based on a trigger from another Wyze device, such as the Wyze Cam or Wyze Lock. For example, you can create a rule that turns on the Bulb Color when your Wyze Cam detects motion, but you can’t set the light to glow red or another color; instead, all you can do is set it to a while color temperature. Look for color and scene options to arrive to trigger-based rules in May, Wyze said.

The Wyze app does support a couple of key lighting features for the Bulb Color, including sleep/wake routines and a vacation mode.

The sleep and wake routines let you determine how long it takes for the bulb to dim all the way down or slowly brighten up, and you can pick an “ending” brightness as well as a white color temperature. Meanwhile, the vacation mode setting is a simple, non-customizable toggle that turns the bulb on and off at random times, handy for deterring would-be intruders.

Unfortunately, there’s no circadian rhythm mode for automatically changing the bulb’s color temperature based on the time of day. If we had to choose, however, we’d take the sleep/wake routines and the vacation mode over a circadian rhythm mode.

Smart home integrations

As with most Wyze devices, the Wyze Bulb Color is compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as IFTTT. I had no trouble adding the Wyze Bulb Color in both the Alexa and Google Home apps, and I’ve been using Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands to turn the bulbs on and off, as well as change their colors. There’s no Apple HomeKit support, but that’s not a surprise given the Bulb Color’s price.

I was also able to add the bulb to Alexa and Google Assistant routines—meaning, for example, the Bulb Color in my daughter’s room turns off (along with all the other lights in her room) when you say “Alexa, go to sleep.” That said, neither Alexa nor Google Assistant were able to control Wyze’s pre-set or color light scenes, so you’ll need to stick with standard colors and white temperatures (such as “red” or “soft white”) when using voice commands to control the bulb.

Bottom line

The Wyze Bulb Color is close to being our favorite budget-priced smart bulb, but it needs to dot some “i’s and cross a few “t”’s first; namely, when it comes to specifying colors and lighting scenes to schedules and triggers from other Wyze devices. Otherwise, the Wyze Bulb Color ticks an impressive number of boxes given its price tag.

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At a Glance
  • The Wyze Bulb Color is close to being our favorite budget-priced smart bulb, but it needs to dot some “i's and cross a few “t”’s first.

    Pros

    • Easy setup
    • Sleep/wake and vacation modes
    • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
    • Unusually bright for a budget smart bulb

    Cons

    • Can’t be grouped with the tunable white Wyze Bulb
    • Can’t (yet) apply colors or scenes to schedules or device triggers
    • Only available in a four-pack
 
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