CNET First Look
Insteon LED BulbInsteon's long-lasting LED bulb is both automatable and affordable, and that's a very good idea.
Hey, Ry Crist here and I've got the Insteon LED Bulb we're looking at today. And this is a fully-automatable LED light Bulb that retails for $29.99 and this will work with the Insteon network. If you have an Insteon Hub for instance, you'll be able to control this thing. Now usually, if automatable lights, we see some sort of control switch or a different module. This bulb is different. It's got the controllers built right in. It can communicate directly with the Insteon Hub. That's a pretty cool thing. We haven't seen enough from a lot of other network, so why have an automatable light bulb as oppose to a different module or some other separate device. Well, this gives you a little bit of flexibility. Let say, you wanted to automate the light in your ceiling fan for instance. To do that, you usually have to go and put in a smart switch or go to the actual wiring and make that smart. But with this, you can just change the light bulb and automate that so it's a lot easier that way. With Insteon, you'll be able to control the light bulb remotely either from your computer or from a remote controller that you can get separately or with the Insteon app. It's available both for iOS and Android devices. We're not the biggest fans of this app. It's not as strong or well-designed as other ones like it. But it does do the job well. So right here I've got the bulb in action in this kinda cheap flimsy flex lamp. It's a heavy bulb at 6.2 ounces, so it barely holds it up. But here we go. If we turn this on and hit the studio lamp button here, I can turn it off and on remotely using my smartphone. But not only can I turn it on. If I hit this plus sign on the app, I can scroll up and down and get the exact percentage I want so I can make it dim. I can make it bright. I can set it exactly where I want, which is a nice feature. So we've seen how it stacks up as a smartphone device. But how does the Insteon LED bulb stack up as a light bulb? Well, it's an 8-watt LED bulb, and that's a pretty good number, pretty average for that class. It's sufficient and using those 8 watts that shines as bright as a 60-watt incandescent light. Insteon actually sets 60 to 100 watts. We think it's probably the lower-end of that scale. It's a little bit dimmer than we would like. It's not bad but it's not enough to light up a whole room, I would say. Insteon Bulb has a CRI number of 82. Now, what the heck is that? CRI stands for Color-Rendering Index. And that is an average. Think of it as like a GPA for your light bulb and instead of different grades and different classes, it's getting different grades for colors. So out of 1-100 scale, it's getting greater and how accurately it can make a red look and then how accurately can it make green look and yellow green and all these different shades of different colors and then it averages those together and you get a number. So in this case, that number is 82, and that's pretty good. That's a pretty higher-end score. You want something in the 80's for a bulb that you're gonna spend more than the bargain price on. The bottom line is that this is a great device at a great price. Now, I know $30 for one LED light bulb might seem a bit outrageous but there are actually non-smart LED bulbs that cost 20 or 25 and this stacks up nicely with them. Plus it's got a home automation functionality so it's a great deal and it comes to 2-year warranty, which is nice and reassuring. So I say for home automation using Insteon's network, it's a very smart buy. For CNET, I'm Ry Crist.