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Mipow's Playbulb Candle corners the market on LED ambiance

Mipow's 4-lumen RGB color and white-light LED fixtures make traditional candles look pretty tired.

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Mipow

Mipow is known for its Bluetooth-enabled mobile accessories, but it has recently made a foray into the wild world of LED lighting. Merging its two areas of focus, it initially unveiled Playbulb, an LED bulb-and-speaker-in-one. Now, it's in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign for a new lighting product, the Playbulb Candle.

The Playbulb Candle can't play music like its speaker-equipped cousin, but it does have color-changing and white-light LEDs that emit a max of 4 lumens -- roughly comparable to soft candlelight. Mipow's complimentary Android and iOS apps let you tweak your Playbulb Candle's color, brightness, and more when you're within its 33-foot Bluetooth range.

The app works with Bluetooth-4.0-equipped devices, including Android 4.3 or later, iPhone 4S or later, iPad 3 or later, and iPod fifth generation or later. The Candle runs on three AA batteries and Mipow says setup is as simple as adding the AAs, turning the Candle on, downloading the Playbulb X app on your device of choice, and following the instructions to get things going.

You can adjust your Playbulb Candles individually or in groups. While you can technically group an unlimited number of Candles, Mipow suggests an upper limit of five for optimal performance. Every Candle is supposed to last for about 240 hours (running for 4 hours a day for 60 days) before needing new batteries and you can set a timer on the app to automate its on/off functions.

If you do want to turn it on or off in person, you can either use the built-in switch or blow on it. Yep, Mipow wanted its Candles to be as close to the real thing as possible. So, it added some sort of fancy sensor magic that lets you blow on it like a regular ol' candle to turn it off, but also, interestingly, to turn it back on again. I've reached out to Mipow for more details on this curious feature.

Playbulb Candles are rated for indoor and outdoor use, give off a lavender scent, and, when flipped over, can be used as actual candle holders.

We haven't seen anything else quite like the Playbulb Candle. Tabu's color-changing LuMini comes somewhat close, but it doesn't have white-light properties and is a traditional bulb rather than a separate, battery-powered device. Still, both definitely tend toward the more fun, novel side of LED lighting.

Playbulb Candle pledge prices start at just $12 (roughly £7.40 and AU$13.15) a pop and go up to $99 (roughly £61 and AU$108.60) or more for a pack of nine. Though the original goal of $5,000 has already been exceeded, the campaign runs until October 2, and Mipow expects to start shipping its colorful nightlight/accent lights to backers in October.

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