Koogeek's No-Hub-Required HomeKIt Smart Bulb (Review)
It changes colors, it has many shades of white light, it dims and brightens...and you can buy this particular HomeKit-enabled smart bulb à la carte! For those who've been waiting for a smart bulb that's compatible with Apple's home automation platform that doesn't require the purchase of a starter kit, your wish just came true.
Now, I'm not saying this isn't an unusually-shaped smart bulb, or any kind of light bulb for that matter, but it does at least do what it's supposed to do...with a few quirks. Coming in at under $40, it definitely beats any other current HomeKit-compatible lighting system with a wide product line that's out there (ahem, Philips Hue!) But at only 500 lumens of light (think: 45 watt incandescent light bulb), it won't fill up a space with light like other smart bulbs. I'd call this more of an accent bulb. It appears bright when you look at it, due to the small diffuser cone at the top of the bulb.
One odd behavior which really stood out during testing is that when you dim this bulb from its default full brightness and soft white color temperature down to, well just about anything, the light gets more blue the further you dim. This is weird behavior that happened on both the Apple Home app built into iOS and Koogeek's own app. Hopefully they'll get this resolved soon.
And since it's hard to simply review a smart bulb on its own merits, I took the liberty of running a few tests side-by-side with a LIFX+ smart bulb. I brought the brightness on the LIFX+ down quite a bit to make it a relatively fair comparison, since it's maximum brightness is over 2x the Koogeek's. I ran through some brightness and a range of color tests. Check out the embedded video above for the full details of the bulb and all of the colorful tests!
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 light bulbs.
Disclosure: Koogeek supplied their HomeKit smart bulb to Smarter Home Life to make this review possible.