Timing is every part. Simply weeks after Amazon introduced a new “Echo Plus” smart speaker with a built-in Zigbee radio for direct management of Zigbee smart home gadgets, Ledvance is introducing a brand new line of low-cost Sylvania Sensible Plus Zigbee lights beginning at simply $12 every.

Sylvania’s lineup of Sensible Plus Zigbee bulbs consists of, from left to proper, a weather-rated PAR38 floodlight, an A-shaped 60W substitute LED, and a traditional BR30-shaped floodlight.


Ry Crist/CNET

In truth, at $12, the A-shaped 60W substitute is among the most reasonably priced big-brand sensible bulbs we have seen. $15 for a wise BR30 floodlight and $20 for a weatherproof PAR38 floodlight are good offers, too.

Essentially the most thrilling half (at the very least for sensible lighting nerds like me) may be that $20 PAR38-shaped bulb. Folks ask me on a regular basis for a wise floodlight they’ll use outdoor that does not value an excessive amount of, and there aren’t lots of good choices on the market. Sylvania’s bulb ought to fill the void properly.

All three are first rate light bulbs in their very own proper, too. When it comes to brightness, the A-shaped bulb guarantees the usual 800 lumens that you just’d count on from a 60W substitute. Our spectrometer measured it at 837 lumens, with a mushy white shade temperature of two,740 Ok, which is simply what you need. With 813 lumens, the BR30-shaped bulb got here in brighter than marketed, too. I measured the PAR38 bulb at 1,024 lumens — simply shy of the acknowledged 1,050 lumens, however effectively inside our setup’s 5 p.c margin of error. In brief, all three earn a passing grade so far as specs are involved.

Sounds good, however what the heck is Zigbee?

In case you aren’t acquainted, Zigbee is a wi-fi protocol that gadgets can use to speak with one another, identical to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It is the identical protocol utilized by Philips Hue sensible bulbs and by a variety of different lights, locks and sensible residence devices. The one catch is that the majority routers do not communicate Zigbee, so you will want a Zigbee-fluent management hub just like the Echo Plus, the Philips Hue Bridge, the Wink Hub, the SmartThings Hub or Sylvania’s own plug-in gateway to behave as translator.

Sylvania’s Zigbee bulbs will join with a large variety of Zigbee-compatible management hubs.


Ry Crist/CNET

The thought is that you will screw the Sylvania Sensible Plus bulb in and switch it on, then join it with a hub like a type of. From there, you’ll management it remotely utilizing your cellphone, or schedule automated lighting modifications. The particular forms of automations accessible will rely upon what hub you are utilizing — as an illustration, some merely allow you to program occasions for the bulbs to come back on and off, whereas others will even allow you to sync them up with movement detectors or schedule sluggish fades to assist ease you away from bed within the morning.

Integrations will differ from hub to hub, too. Whether or not it is Alexa or Nest, Apple HomeKit or Google Home, your hub will decide what platforms your bulbs work with (thankfully, our helpful CNET Compatibility Tracker can assist you type out what works with what).

No matter Zigbee hub you are utilizing, the underside line is that these new Sylvania bulbs will possible work with it, and so they will not value you very a lot in contrast with different related bulbs.

What’s in a reputation?

One different be aware: Issues are slightly bit jumbled with Sylvania’s branding as of late. Stroll via the lighting aisle at your native ironmongery shop, and also you may see bulbs and lighting merchandise below the names Sylvania, Osram, Lightify and Ledvance — all of which look alike.

“It is complicated, I do know,” a Ledvance spokesperson admitted, so I requested him for a fast rundown:

Regardless of the identify change, Sylvania’s Sensible Plus Zigbee bulbs will work with the prevailing Osram Lightify gateway.


Tyler Lizenby/CNET

“Ledvance is our firm identify,” he defined. “We was part of the corporate Osram, which owns the Lightify app, gateway and model. We separated from Osram final July. Ledvance sells Sylvania normal lighting merchandise within the US and Canada.

“We hope to simplify issues by transferring our sensible lighting merchandise to the Sylvania Sensible Plus model,” he added, earlier than additionally declaring that Sylvania’s Zigbee bulbs will work with the existing Osram Lightify plug-in gateway.

That Sylvania Sensible Plus lineup additionally consists of other forms of sensible lights, together with bulbs that work with Apple HomeKit. These Zigbee bulbs don’t, however they share the identical “Sylvania Sensible Plus” branding. At any price, you will wish to be sure you’re shopping for the best mild earlier than you pull the set off.

Sylvania’s new Zigbee lineup is available today on Amazon, and can roll out to main retailers within the weeks forward. We’ll take a look at them out with as many Zigbee hubs as we are able to out at the CNET Smart Home — keep tuned for an replace.

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