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Featured Review: MiPow Playbulb Rainbow Smart LED Bulb

October 5, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Smart Things are pretty popular as of late, in fact there’s a company that is using that name. However, we are here to talk about MiPow, and one of their latest smart light bulbs, in the Playbulb Rainbow. Now Smart LED Bulbs aren’t something that is really new. We’ve seen them from other companies like Philips and Belkin. MiPow has a selection of Playbulb light bulbs, in fact we took a look at their Candle just last week, and were pretty impressed with it. I’ve been using the Playbulb Rainbow for about 2-3 weeks now, in a lamp here in my apartment, and have been pretty impressed with it as well. And that’s what we are here to talk about.

The Playbulb Rainbow is a lightbulb, that has connectivity to your smartphone. It connects via the Playbulb X app, that same app that is used in the Playbulb Candle review. It was a good idea from MiPow to use one app to control all of these products instead of a separate app for each of their light bulb products. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, and is completely free, it does not have any kind of in-app purchases either, which is a good thing. With the app you can control multiple Playbulb products, and even make groups. So if you have multiple Playbulb Rainbow Smart LED Lightbulbs in your home, you can control them all at once, instead of changing the settings on each one individually. Connecting to the Rainbow is quite easy. Put the bulb into a lamp or a socket, turn it on, then pop up the app on your phone and select “connect”. It connects flawlessly in about 2 seconds.

The app is pretty similar, in choices, to what we had for the candle. So you can change the color of the light, using the color wheel. You can also adjust the brightness of the light bulb from there. Under effects, there is the candle effect, but that appears to only work for the Playbulb Candle and not the Rainbow. We have the flashing, pulse and rainbow affects available here, and you can choose the color on all of them. To truly make it your own. Under the Music Player, you can have the light flash in rhythm with the song you’re listening too. But similar to the Playbulb Candle, you do need to have local music, and not just use Spotify or Google Play Music, unfortunately. There are also scenes, which basically help you pick out the perfect light color for the Rainbow light here. And you can even add your own pictures here. Now there are also timers available, so you can set the light to turn on or off at a certain time, as well as change colors. You can also set it to turn off while your sleeping. And turn on slowly and act as an alarm.

As you’d expect, setup for the Rainbow is pretty easy. And if you’re switching smartphones or did a factory reset on your phone, it’s easy to set up again. Just simply redownload the app and allow the bulb to reconnect, and that’s it. As far as connectivity goes, you couldn’t ask for it to get any easier or faster. With some of the other smart products that I’ve reviewed here for Android Headlines, I’ve had problems with the connection. Sometimes it wouldn’t connect at all. However with the Playbulb Rainbow, and even the Candle, I haven’t had a single problem with connectivity. It connects instantly, and never has an issue finding the bulb. The range on the Playbulb Rainbow is pretty amazing as well. I’ve forgotten to turn out the light before I leave the house a few times, and while I was outdoors, I’d fire up the app and turn off the Rainbow and it worked, flawlessly. Pretty impressive, not to mention pretty cool. The range of the Rainbow is about 33-feet, and it uses Bluetooth 4.0. Now if only you could turn off your lights from miles away, or even around the country. That would be amazing.

In this day and age, it’s a good idea to get smart LED light bulbs here for your entire house. Being able to control them from your smartphone is pretty sweet. So if you do leave the house and forget to turn off the lights, you can still do so with your smartphone and not come home to a huge electric bill. You can also set them to turn on right before you get home from work. Especially useful in the winter time when the sun goes down much earlier, and leaving your house dark when you get home at 6-6:30pm, from work. These smart bulbs are also more energy efficient so they will not only last longer, but save you money on your electric bill. And who doesn’t love saving money on their electric bill? In fact, MiPow says that they are 85% more efficient than the regular light bulbs we commonly use today in our houses. The Playbulb Rainbow can last around 30 years as well before needing to be replaced. Obviously we can’t really test that out, but that is a pretty long life-cycle. Also great for connected bulbs, since they are a bit pricier than regular light bulbs, largely due to the connectivity that is inside of them.

MiPow is offering the Playbulb Rainbow from their own online store for $39.99, while Amazon has it for a few bucks cheaper, at $34.99. For the price, it’s pretty comparable with Philips Hue lights, if not a bit cheaper (depends on where you buy your Hue lights). Seeing as you don’t need any extras to get started with the Rainbow, I’d recommend the Rainbow over the Philips Hue lights. As $40 gets you in the door with the Rainbow, and all you need is an Android or iOS device and download the app. While Philips requires the starter kit to get started. For many first time smart light bulb users, the Playbulb Rainbow will do everything they want and need it to do.