C By Ge Life And Sleep Led Starter Pack Review: Ge’s Night
The C by GE LED Starter Pack includes bulbs that automatically change tones in order to help you get a better night’s rest — and it’s a lot more affordable than you might expect.
Senior Editor / Reviews – Appliances
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry’s beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, and home networking.
Smart lighting is a common starting point for the connected home, but with a lot of your options, you’ll need to keep a control hub plugged into your router or understand what ZigBee is.
The Bottom Line
GE wanted to lower that barrier of entry with its C by GE LED Starter Pack. For $50, you’ll get four smart LED bulbs that need no hub, and instead, connect directly with your phone over Bluetooth. Two of these four bulbs — the C by GE “Sleep” LEDs — will even change color temperatures automatically throughout the day, going from a hot, bluish, get-the-hell-out-of-bed tone in the morning to a warm, orangey, you-are-getting-sleepy shade in the evening. The other two bulbs, the C by GE “Life” LEDs, are more basic, offering remote smartphone dimming control at a fixed color temperature in between those two extremes.
GE’s app makes it easy to create, customize, and use pre-programmed lighting scenes that you activate with a single tap.
C By Ge Smart Bulb Review: Made For Google But Not Much Else
An excellent entry for Google users, but skip if you want Alexa or HomeKit
There is a special place in my heart for GE’s smart light bulbs. Way back in 2013 when I first set up my smart home, the company’s Wink-branded Link LED bulbs were the only affordable option, and I blanketed my house with them.
So, when GE resurrected its smart lighting efforts, I was super excited to try them out. Spoiler alert: not much has changed.
C by GE is the company’s newest line, following a brief, confusing branding period when the bulbs were called “C-Sleep” and “C-Life”. They’re now just simply C by GE. The lineup includes a new full color bulb, a tunable white bulb, and a soft white bulb – all three come in A19 and BR30 sizes and range in price from $19.99 to $39.99, although deals can be found on two-packs.
Two things make these new bulbs stand out from the crowd. They’re powered by Bluetooth not Wi-Fi or Zigbee and they are the first smart home product to carry the “Made For Google” label. This means that a Google Home smart speaker can act as their “hub.”
We’ve been living with the C by GE lights for a few weeks now, read on for our verdict.
C By Ge Bulb: Smart Home Abilities
Paired with a Google Home speaker, you can control your bulbs with voice, through the app, and with Google’s Routines. But as there aren’t any specific lighting-based routines in Google’s Home app – no sunset/sunrise, fade times or sleep/wake routines – so your options are limited.
Also, there are no sensors compatible with Google’s home ecosystem, so you can’t have your lights turn on automatically as you enter a room. And while C by GE has a switch with a motion sensor in it, it is not a Made for Google product, so you would have to set up your bulbs through the C by GE app to use it.
However, response time when paired with a Google Home speaker was impressive, pretty much instant. You have to be pretty specific with your commands, “Hey Google, turn light on, “Hey Google, make lights brighter,” “Hey Google, change lights to ,” but it does it right away.
If turning your lights on and off with voice is the main function you want – then you’ll be happy with these bulbs.
For more functionality, including sleep/wake options, scene setting, and more robust automations, go with the C by GE app. It’s not a pleasant experience – and feels very much like it took a page out of Wink’s early software playbook – but it works.
C by GE bulbs are also compatible with HomeKit when using the C by GE app, but you need the $49.99 C-Reach bridge for this, and we weren’t able to test this.
- Need hub for remote/voice control
- Limited options with Google Home
- Weak colors
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Why Wont My Ge C Bulb Connect
C by GE smart bulbs can unresponsive for several reasons. Network instabilities, firmware updates, and manufacturing defects are a few of them.
To address these issues, there are three solutions to try.
When your C by GE smart bulbs or light strips wont connect to your C by GE app, then you can these steps.
When your smart bulb does not respond to your google home or google speaker, then you can try these steps.
Ge Lighting C Sleep Smart Bulbs Hit Markets
Last October, GE announced it was planning to launch C by GE smart LED bulbs especially designed to be in sync with the human circadian rhythm this year. Well one of the long awaited bulbs has finally made its way onto the market.
In preparation for Daylight Savings Time, the most sleep deprived time of the year, GE unveils its C by GE line, its first connected LED light bulbs that can be controlled directly from your smartphone without a hub. Within the C by GE app, the C Sleep bulb automatically change light settings for daytime and evening designed to optimize sleep cycles. Starting today, C by GE Connected bulbs are now available for purchase online at www.CbyGE.com.
|On the right is GE C Sleep.|
The Science of Sleep and Screens
A third of Americans dont get enough sleep, and the blue light in our smartphone and tablet screens are to blame. According to the National Sleep Foundation, at least 95 percent of people use some kind of electronic device within an hour of going to sleep. And these TV, computer, phone and tablet screens may be contributing to our overall sleep-deprived society.
Theres an App for That
The C by GE app is available for free in the App Store. Its currently only available on iOS but will soon be available on Android as well. The C by GE app makes it simple for users to control their C-Life and C-Sleep bulbs from their phones, getting light thats right for every moment of the day. The features include:
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Best Smart Bulbs This Year: Top Smart Light Bulbs For Your Home
Select is editorially independent. Our editors selected these deals and items because we think you will enjoy them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time.
Given that your home and work space can affect your mood, its rather important to feel good about your work from home setup . Transforming that space doesnt have to require a gut renovation nor substantial investment gadgets like smart assistants and smart plugs can easily connect your device and appliances in your home, making your space easier to interact with. Another easy way to change the ambiance and mood of your homes interior is a smart bulb, defined by its ability to connect and be controlled by your phone or smart assistant based on a Wi-Fi connection.
SKIP AHEAD Best smart bulbs
These smart bulbs are growing in popularity with the rise of other smart products in fact, the Continental Automated Building Association predicts that the prevalence of connected products will grow 18 percent per year over the next few years.
Theyre one of the most popular smart home devices, just behind smart TVs and smart speakers, said Jeroen Dalderop, founder and CEO of Innr Lighting. And because prices have come down a lot in recent years, theyre no longer the major investment that they used to be.
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C By Ge Smart Led Bulb Review: Not The Right Choice For Enthusiasts
- C-Sleep is one of the brightest bulbs on the market
- Limited tunability might be preferable for those who find in-depth tuning overwhelming
- Attractive, familiar form factor
- C-Sleep light tuning is non-intuitive, particularly with timer settings
- C-Life bulbs include no timer options
- Relatively expensive considering the feature set
What Is A Smart Bulb And How Does It Work
A smart bulb allows you to control and automate things like power, color and brightness from your tablet or smartphone. To the eye, there isnt much difference between a standard bulb and a smart bulb.
But smart bulbs use a different type of electronic circuitry to respond to wireless commands, said Terry McGowan, director of technology at the American Lighting Association. Smart bulbs also use LED technology, a type of lighting thats up to 90 percent more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs.
Todays smart LED bulbs dont just emit light , they can also communicate with you via your cell phone or your favorite voice control device, McGowan said. The communication is also two-way. You can sometimes tell the bub what to do and it will tell you your command has been completed.
Here are some common features of smart bulbs, according to Energy Star, a federal program promoting energy-efficient products:
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How To Find The Right Smart Bulb
Smart bulbs are generally more expensive than traditional LED bulbs, but you wont have to shell out hundreds of dollars to change up the lighting. Most bulbs can cost less than $10, but bulbs loaded with features may run over $20. Which one to choose depends on what youre looking for, said McGowan.
To find the right smart bulb for your home, Dalderop advised evaluating your space first:
- How many lights youll need
- How bright you want your space to be
- How difficult it is to change your bulb
- And whether you need a smart hub, a middle man between your bulbs and wireless router like a smart assistant some smart bulbs can be connected to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
- Lumen measures how much light youre getting: More lumens means brighter light
- Watts is the amount of energy it takes to produce light
The average bulb uses 60 watts to product 800 lumens. An LED bulb uses 9 to 10 watts for the same amount of light, making it much more energy efficient, explained McGowen. Smart bulb lifespans range anywhere from one year around 20,000 hours to well over five years, McGowan added.
Smart bulbs are safe to use, and while there are some security concerns that come with any type of smart home technology, most can be minimized by using a secure hub or strong Wi-Fi system, said Dalderop. McGowan recommended shopping for bulbs that are listed by the Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Stars online database, which have been independently reviewed for quality and energy efficiency.
Completely Customize Your Lighting
From colorful game nights to vibrant, energized mornings, Cync Smart Bulbs allow you to create the perfect moods and control them easily in multiple ways.
Schedule lights to turn on and off at convenient times to save energy and never come home to a dark house again. See how it works.
Control away from home
Get control of lights while youre away from home for a little extra peace of mind. No smart assistant needed. See how it works
* Available out of the box with CYNC Direct Connect Smart Bulbs. CYNC Bluetooth®-only Smart Bulbs require pairing to a CYNC Smart Plug, CYNC Smart Switch, or Google Home or Nest device to enable out-of-home control.
Control with your voice
Pair your bulbs with a smart assistantlike Amazon Alexa or Google Assistantfor hands-free voice control of your lights. See how it works
* Voice assistant required.
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One Color Temperature Or Three
The biggest difference between C by GE’s bulbs is the number of color temperatures. Neither will display non-white colors, but where the C-Life is limited to 2700K white, the C-Sleep alternates between three different temperatures of white throughout the day. In the mornings, the C-Sleep starts off with a soft, cool-toned white, then changes over to a warmer shade midway through the day, and gets warmer still at night.
Of course, you can customize exactly when the C-Sleep changes colors, and brighten or dim either bulb at any time. You can also schedule either bulb to turn on or off automatically at certain times and create custom scenes with set brightness levels for multiple bulbs at once.
Both bulbs are simple to install and operate, but the C-Sleep’s three color options are a distinct advantage.
Save for the different color temperatures, both bulbs are nearly identical. They each operate over Bluetooth 4.0, rather than Wi-Fi like most smart bulbs. This helps keep the cost down but limits their operating range down to about 50 feet . Luckily, the bulbs can form a mesh network and extend each others’ range.
The use of Bluetooth over Wi-Fi means that you can’t control the lights when you’re away from home at least, not without a C-Reach smart bridge . You’ll also need the bridge to control your lights with Amazon’s Alexa service, though you can add your C by GE bulbs to the Google Home app to control them with Google Assistant, even without a C-Reach .
C By Ge Bulb: Setup And Quality
These are dimmable, smart bulbs controlled over Bluetooth there’s no Zigbee or Wi-Fi here. In a face-off with a Philips Hue color bulb C by GE had brighter, crisper whites. But when it came to colors, Hue won hands down, with a deeper range of shades, richer colors, and more nuance in those colors.
C by GE bulbs clock in at 800 lumens for the tunable while, with color temps between 2000k and 7000k. The full-color bulbs are a little less bright, only reaching 760 lumens in A19 and 700 lumens in the BR30 form-factor.
There are two ways to set up C by GE bulbs: through the companion app or through the Google Home app using a Google Home smart speaker. Whichever way you choose will be the way you control your bulb going forward – you can’t use both.
Each set up option gives you different control options:
If you set up with a Google Home speaker you can only use the Google Home app and Google Assistant to control your bulbs, but the speaker acts as a hub and lets you control the bulbs remotely.
If you set up through the C by GE app, you can pair with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. But you have to have a C by GE switch, smart plug or the C-Reach bridge if you want to use voice or out-of-home control. .
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Philips Hue Color Ambiance A19 Led Smart Wireless Light Bulb
This bulb is pricier than other models, it holds many more features. Users can change not only the white light and temperature of their bulb, they can adjust its color with up to 16 million options via Bluetooth or voice command with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Users can connect up to 10 bulbs via the brands Hue Bluetooth app. You also can schedule your lights or set up motion detection with an add-on motion detector. The Philips bulbs exert 800 lumens of brightness and use 60 watts with a lifespan of 25,000 to 50,000 hours.