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Sylvania's retro smart bulb syncs with Apple HomeKit

A new, vintage-style smart bulb from Sylvania is set to sync with Siri this spring.

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Sylvania

We've seen a growing number of vintage-style LED light bulbs designed to look like old-school incandescents, complete with fake filaments. Big names like Philips, GE and Feit have already jumped in with the trend -- now, Sylvania is taking things even further with a vintage-style smart bulb that syncs with Apple HomeKit. The cost? $32 each.

That HomeKit compatibility means that you can control the bulb alongside other HomeKit-compatible gadgets on your iPhone ($809 at Walmart) or iPad ($313 at Amazon), and it also means that you can turn the bulb on and off or dim it up and down using spoken Siri commands. You could also incorporate the bulb into a HomeKit scene that triggers multiple gadgets all at once. For instance, saying "good morning" to Siri could turn on a lamp, turn the thermostat up and get your coffee maker started.

It isn't Sylvania's first HomeKit bulb -- that would be the color-changing Sylvania Smart Plus Multicolor LED, which retails for about $10 more than the new filament LED. 

Like that bulb, the filament bulb uses a built-in Bluetooth radio to connect directly with your iOS device. That means you don't need any additional hub hardware in order to use it -- just screw it in, turn it on and pair it with Apple's Home app on your iPhone. If you want to control the bulb from beyond Bluetooth range, you'll need either an Apple TV, an Apple HomePod or a dedicated iPad under your roof to act as a relay.

Sylvania says that the bulb puts out 650 lumens at peak brightness from a power draw of 6W, which puts it right in between what you'd expect from a common 60W incandescent and a 40W accent light. In other words, it's bright enough for basic usage, but perhaps not quite as bright as the bulb you might be replacing it with. 

Sylvania also offers a standard version of the Smart Plus Bluetooth bulb that puts out the full 800 lumens for $26, so the filament bulb essentially asks you to trade away a small amount of brightness in exchange for the retro looks at a cost of six bucks. Both bulbs might seem a bit overpriced given that competitors like the Philips Hue White LED and even Sylvania's own, non-HomeKit-compatible Zigbee LED can be had for less than $15 each.

The Sylvania Smart Plus Filament LED is available for preorder now on Amazon, and is expected to ship this April.

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