The Good BeOn's bulbs feature an intriguing mix of security-minded features not found with other smart bulbs. They'll replay your typical lighting patterns when you're away from home, turn on automatically when someone rings the doorbell and continue to work when the power goes out. A modular, upgradeable design could bring even more features down the line.
The Bad Basic scheduling capabilities offered by almost every other smart bulb on the market are conspicuously absent from BeOn's otherwise impressive slate of features. Also absent: integrations with third-party smart home gadgets and platforms. The bulbs are also some of the most expensive we've tested.
The Bottom Line These Bluetooth bulbs are a legitimate temptation for anyone interested in smart security, but consider waiting to see if new battery packs bring new features into play before buying in.
High-price peace of mind from BeOn's innovative smart bulbs
BeOn's pitch: a smarter smart bulb. Each one features a yellow module that pops right into the center of the bulb; that module includes a battery backup that'll let the lights shine without power, a microphone that listens for your doorbell or burglar alarm, and a Bluetooth radio that lets you sync things up with your smartphone. BeOn's bulbs learn your usage patterns, too. Tell the system you're away for the evening, and the bulbs will automatically "replay" your typical lighting changes to make it look like you're home -- no programming needed.
It's an intriguing pitch -- both for the focus on security and for the built-in batteries, which keep your automations working even when things are switched off (or when the power's out). That frees you up to use your lights like you normally would, and it gives these bulbs a strong selling point over more traditional smart bulbs that require you to leave your switches on.
The problem is that, unlike a lot of those more traditional alternatives, BeOn's bulbs are really expensive -- $75 each, or $200 for a three-bulb starter kit (that comes out to roughly £50/AU$105 per bulb, or about £130/AU$285 for the kit. BeOn Bulbs aren't available outside of the US yet, but the company hopes to expand internationally in 2016). Your automation options are also surprisingly limited -- you can integrate them with your doorbell or your alarm system, but you can't program a timed schedule of your own, or integrate them with a larger smart home platform. I like these bulbs a lot, but unless that battery-powered, module-centric approach is what's most important to you, I'm not sure that they're worth the high cost of buying in.
BeOn's smart security bulbs add key fob controls
Want to arm and disarm your smart security lights without needing to open up an app? Here you go.