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Smart Home: Dimmer-free dimming with the Nanoleaf Bloom LED

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Smart Home: Dimmer-free dimming with the Nanoleaf Bloom LED

2:09 /

This odd-looking light has a few tricks up its sleeve.

[MUSIC] Hey, I'm CNET's Ry Crist. Do you remember the Nanoleaf Bulb last year? It was a crowd-funded bulb, looked a little funny, looked a little like this. Well, this is the followup. This is the Nanoleaf Bloom. And like that bulb, it's a 75 watt equivalent that puts out a lot of light using just a little bit of power. But what's new about this year's bulb is that it dims using your regular on-off switch. Now how does it do that? Well, take a look. When you first turn the bulb on, it's gonna fade up from zero over the course of a few seconds. If you flip your switch off and then on really quick, during that fading up period, it'll lock in at that level of brightness. So, all of a sudden you've got a dimmable bulb on what was previously a non-dimming switch circuit. That's kind of an interesting feature. Once the bulb is on you can [UNKNOWN] back down by flipping the switch two more times, so just like this, if I flip it twice, it'll fade back down very slowly and if I want to lock it in at a particular brightness I just do a double turn and boom. It's locked at about half brightness right now. Now if you want this bulb and its unique take on dimming, you're going to need to pay forty bucks cuz that's what the Kickstarter campaign is asking of you. And that's not a great price for a 75 watt equivalent LED. A year ago it might have been but this year prices have come down to 20 even $15 for bulbs like that. And I don't think that that extra dimming functionality is enough to justify the jump to $40. There are smart bulbs out there that can do really nice things with dimming and then also bring things like automation and scheduling to the table, and they feel like a better value to me. If I was really concerned with dimming and wanted precise, nice dimming control. You can't quite get it with this. You can sort of approximate it and think you're getting about halfway on, or about 10% or whatever. You can do that really precisely with a Smartkit, or with remote, or even with a standard dimmer, so it's not an ideal solution. It's a cool solution, but not the best. I do appreciate the look of the bulb, the inside-out sort of diodes on the outside appearance that it's got going is pretty cool and makes for an attractive conversation starter. So if that's the type of thing you wouldn't mind paying for, maybe give this bulb a shot. But otherwise I say keep your eyes open for smart bulbs that are coming down in price as well. For CNET, I'm Ryan Grift. [MUSIC]

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