A look at the Sengled Element Smart Lighting Starter Kit
I’ve been using Philips Hue for around a year or so, however, I was recently recommended the Sengled LED Bulbs and Hub. Whilst I thought they may be cheaper chinese models that just so happened to have a hub, I was pretty wrong.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and price point of the light strips, bulbs and accessories which can all be controlled via the Sengled Hub.
If you haven’t already got involved in the Philips Hue ecosystem, Sengled is a perfectly good Smart Lighting system on a budget.
If you’re not that fussed about the features that Philips Hue offer, the Sengled Smart Lights are great for a basic On / Off smart controlled system at a cheaper price point.
Sengled being a budget option obviously has its flaws and its not built anywhere near as well as the Philips Hue products. However, it does offer a much wider range of bulb models to help you avoid using adaptors and lots of accessories.
Sengled doesn’t offer a Smartphone app that beats the Philips Hue app, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. There’s plenty of apps out there on the Smart Home market that are absolutely dreadful. Sengled, however, does a pretty good job of making an easy to navigate interface.
|Cheap Bulbs & Accessories||No IFTTT Compatability|
|Cheap Starter Kit option||Not a very bright bulb set|
|Easy Installation||Cheaper built than Hue|
|Great Colour Spectrum|
As we recently had Prime Day, I thought Black Friday was the perfect time to write about these, I ended up picking up a Sengled Starter Kit mostly just to dabble as I’ve already branched out into the Philips Hue world.
The first thing to note is that the Sengled Element Bulbs use ZigBee technology, which means you do need a hub to control them from your Smart Phone (You get one in the Starter Kit). It’s worth noting that typically the starter kit is around $80 and comes with two bulbs which usually price up at about $30 each.
Yes, Philips Hue bulbs are a lot cheaper now and you can pick up a hub, + bulbs for roughly the same price. But, Philips Hue doesn’t have as many accessories.
If you don’t want to purchase yet another hub, that’s not a problem at all. The Sengled Element Bulbs can connect to other hubs like the Wink or Samsung SmartThings (You will need to reset the bulbs).
How well do the bulbs work?
There’s a variation of bulbs that Sengled offer, however, the more common Edison Format bulbs are 800-lumens which is half of the new Philips Hue A21 bulbs which are 1600 lumens.
In terms of color temperature, the “white mode” allows you to select some presets ranging from a 2000K ultra-warm setting and a very cold 6500K, if those presets aren’t to your liking, you can simply use the slider via the app or ask your voice assistant to change it.
This means the Sengled bulbs are better for an ambience effect or Netflix and chill, if you catch my drift. You can also dim the Sengled bulbs via your Smart Phone if you use the Sengled or Amazon App.
Each bulb on the apps bulb list shows you which room they’re on which is an odd way of displaying the bulbs, however, it is a nice additional feature.
You can switch between white and color mode for the bulbs very easily via the app, if you can find out whichbulb is which as the starter kit bulbs are pre-paired to the hub with random names (Which can be changed).
So yes, the bulbs are great on a budget but they lack the build quality of a Philips Hue bulb. However, if you’re happy to not have SUPER bright bulbs, these are fantastic options, especially for bedrooms and your living room.
|Sengled Soft White||Sengled Multicolor||Sengled Tunable White||Philips Hue Wireless dimming kit E27|
|Color Type:||Soft White||Full RGB range and White||Soft White to Cool White||Warm White|
|Color Temperature:||2700K||2000K – 6500K||2700K – 6500K||2700K|
|Lifespan:||25,000 hours||25,000 hours||25,000 hours||25,000 hours|
|Dimmable?||Yes, via App||Yes, via App||Yes, via App||Yes, via App & voice assistant|
If you’re looking for an allround best Sengled bulb, the Sengled Multicolor is likelythe one you’ll want, however, this does obviously come at a price.
If you’re not particularly bothered about having colors as well as white bulbs, the Sengled Tunable is a great option.
To conclude, the Sengled Smart Bulbs are nothing new and there are plenty of alternative bulbs which work just as well, so it’s just a matter of picking your ecosystem poison.
What about the Sengled Smart Hub?
If you’re scared at the idea of having a hub installed, I promise you it’s extremely simple and you’ll have it set up in no time. It’s as simple as plugging in your Smart Hub to your router via Ethernet Cable and powering it up via a traditionall wall outlet plug.
As the Sengled Smart Hub is relies on a ZigBee connection, it ends up creating its own Mesh Network for your bulbs. The ethernet connection allows you to connect to your hub via your Smart Phone (via an App).
Essentially, if you want to control the bulbs via your voice assistant, SmartPhone App or any of the Sengled accessories, you will need the Hub to control them.
It’s worth noting that despite these being Zibee controlled, the Sengled bulbs won’t work with your Philips Hue hub.
However, given the price of the starter kit, if you’re looking for something cheaper, I’d suggest just grabbing the Sengled Starter Kit.
Overall, the Sengled Smart Products are fantastic, but they are definitely a middle tier type of smart bulb. The accessories are great and the price is definitely worth it, but in terms of quality, you get what you pay for.
If you are new to Smart Homes and want a budget option before taking the plung into more expensive tech, go for Sengled. I give them a thumbs up!