At a glance
- Outstanding light quality in both color and white modes
- Easy, intuitive app
- Quick setup
- Can’t set automations without an Abode hub
- Slightly more expensive than other brands
You don’t need an Abode hub to use these top-notch bulbs, but you won’t be able to schedule operations without one.
Price When Reviewed
Best Prices Today: Abode Color Bulb (2-pack)
With the launch of its color smart bulb, Abode is extending its reach from smart security systems to the more general smart home market. (A smart plug is also available, and a video doorbell is arriving in the spring.)
The bulbs have a standard Edison-style design, with a moderate heat sink, and come in a two-pack for $30, each touting 800 lumens of brightness on a power draw of 9 watts.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart bulbs, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
There’s full support for RGB color and, in white light mode, a surprisingly wide color temperature range that stretches from 1800K to 6500K. All modes can be freely dimmed down to a barely-there 1 percent of brightness.
All of these features are accessible through the Abode app. Although the app is designed primarily tuned for security operations, you can add the bulb by tapping the “Devices” tab and selecting “Smart Home.”
The bulb connects directly with your phone via Bluetooth for initial setup, after which it is ported over to Wi-Fi (2.4GHz only) for continuing operations. From there you’ll find a full range of manual control features, letting you easily choose a color (or color temperature) and set the bulb’s brightness.
It’s critical to note that you do not need an Abode security hub (either the standard Abode gateway or the camera-equipped Iota) to use the bulbs; they connect directly to your router and can be controlled freely without any extra hardware. However (and this is strange), you can’t use the Abode app and its CUE system to create automations involving the bulb–which includes scheduling–unless you have an Abode hub up and running. You may be able to get around this by using another type of hub like an Alexa or Google Assistant device, though that will require a bit of extra legwork.
Alexa initially had trouble finding my Abode bulb, even after several days of testing, and despite being able to discover all my other Abode components. With help from Abode, I was eventually able to get voice control working, even without an Abode hub powered up.
Back on the plus side, the bulb is responsive to commands in the Abode app and it looks great. Colors are bright and immersive, and the flexibility available in its white light mode makes the bulb suitable for use in just about any imaginable setting.
At $30 for a two-pack, the bulbs are slightly above the average price for name-brand color bulbs, which typically sell for about $10 to $12 each. The lack of native scheduling capabilities is a (huge) negative, but otherwise there’s nothing not to like here.