Give existing lights HomeKit smarts with a Koogeek Smart Socket (Review)
Maybe it's a closet light on a pull-chain, or a ceiling light in a room with an inconvenient switch, or maybe you just don't want to get up from the couch. In any case, you can make a favorite light bulb smart by just screwing it into the HomeKit-enabled Smart Socket from Koogeek.
I'll have to admit, that while there are certainly a plethora of "smart" devices out there, some can actually be useful. Granted, the "smart socket" concept is definitely not new (hello, X10?) but adding modern home automation tech to it is. And, having a HomeKit-enabled smart socket that doesn't require a hub or bridge device is even better.
Koogeek's Smart Socket is pretty much exactly what you think it is, it adds remote on/off control via HomeKit & Siri to virtually any E26 / E27 light bulb socket. Sadly, there is no ability to dim/brighten the bulb, but as a bonus, it does have energy monitoring built-in. Just take it out of the box, download the app, screw it in, screw a light bulb in to it, run the quick setup and you're off and running. Note that it only works with light bulbs of 25 watts or less, so they're really pushing to have you use LED or CFL lighting, or perhaps low-wattage decorative incandescent. Also, the device--like many other smart home devices--only supports 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, so you'll need to temporarily connect yourself to your 2.4 GHz network if you're normally on a 5 GHz Wi-Fi at home.
Something else to consider when getting a product like this is size. While the product does fit nicely into your hand, that's obviously not where it will live. Some lamp shade holders and other light fixtures might not be able to fit the extra width of the Smart Socket, 2.5" diameter. And, it will add about 2" of "height" to your light bulb, which could make the bulb stick out of a lamp shade or a recessed fixture. If you're ok with this, then you're fine to proceed, but I thought I'd just mention it.
The setup process follows the normal steps of adding a HomeKit device (Apple calls them accessories) to your humble abode, but you have to download the Koogeek app first to ensure that HomeKit knows everything about the new device. Also, you can perform firmware updates with the Koogeek app.
Speaking of their app, the main screen and its grid of icons looks oddly familiar, very similar to Apple's Home app that comes with iOS 10 and above. Koogeek's app isn't perfect but overall it gets the job done. Other than updating device firmware (which the Home app can notify you about, actually) you'll come back to the Koogeek app to see how much precious power your light bulb is using. There doesn't appear to be a way to group Koogeek devices together to see all of their energy use at once, so you'll have to look at them one at a time. You do get some little bar graphs and a current readout of how many watts the light bulb is sipping from your electrical system. And you can see data across months and also drill down to days. Very nice and helpful.
Since it is a HomeKit product, it means that you can use good ol' Siri to command it with just your voice. And, by grouping this device with others in various rooms, you can have easier control over all the lights or devices in different rooms of your home. Of course, the true power of home automation is unleashed with, well, automations! Adding the Smart Socket to say, routines that control lights and devices when you come and go from your home, and perhaps a "good night" automation can be truly helpful. And trust me, once you start automating things, you'll never know how you ever had to turn things on and off manually!
And that's pretty much all I can say about this simple little HomeKit lighting helper. If I had to assign a "star rating" to it, it would be 4 out of 5 stars, as I feel that it should have a dimming feature. Creating a lighting control device in the modern era without dimming is a misstep in my opinion. But, for those who don't need or want dimming, this could be a good product choice for you.
As a limited time offer, we have an exclusive Amazon discount code available for 20% off the normal $39.99 USD price of the Koogeek Smart Socket. Use code DYDYA98H with this product link. The code is good through June 15, 2017.
Disclosure: Koogeek supplied the Smart Socket to Smarter Home Life for this review.