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Tikteck Multi-Color Bluetooth LED review: Smart color-changing LEDs don't come cheaper than this

MSRP: $9.99

The Good Tikteck's colors are vivid and accurate, and the app's ability to set lighting timers works well, even when your phone is out of Bluetooth range.

The Bad The bulb's white-light tones aren't as bright as advertised, and the music sync feature didn't work at all. And don't expect compatibility with Nest, Alexa, or any of the other third-parties that work with bulbs like Lifx or Hue.

The Bottom Line This is a pretty unexceptional smart bulb, but it delivers on most of its promises at a bargain bin price. For basic, app-enabled color control, it's a decent pick.

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7.5 Overall
  • Features 8
  • Usability 8
  • Design 6
  • Performance 8

Review Sections

Tikteck does a good job with colors that Hue struggles with, like green and cyan. None of the colors are very bright, though.

Ry Crist/CNET

Color-changing smart bulbs are often stupid expensive, but the $10 Tikteck LED is an exception. At a fraction of what you'd expect to spend on bulbs from Lifx or Philips Hue, Tikteck's Bluetooth LED offers app-enabled color control, along with a scheduling feature that'll program the bulb to turn on or change colors at a specific time.

Mind you, this is a simple, unexceptional smart bulb we're talking about, with a generic-looking app that won't work with Nest, IFTTT, Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or any other notable third party. If that's the sort of smart-home integration you're after, then you're better off splurging on a better-connected bulb. That said, as far as basic, bargain-priced novelties go, Tikteck gets the job done better than you might expect. And hey, "Hue for cheapskates" isn't the worst pitch I've ever heard.

Tikteck's app is nothing special, and the badly translated English is confusing at times, but it still does a fine job with color control and scheduling.

Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

The Tikteck LED's packaging pegs it at 600 lumens, but I clocked it at 424 lumens at its default white-light setting (about as much as you'd expect from a 40W incandescent), with a color temperature of roughly 3,500 K. You can dial the color temperature up to around 5,500 K or down to about 2,800 K, but the brightness dips either way. You can also dim the bulb cleanly down to zero right in the app.

The Tikteck app also gives you a color wheel. Tap one of its colors, and the bulb will follow suit. I don't like that the app gives no indication of the currently selected shade, but it's quick and responsive to use, and the bulb's colors are vivid and more accurate than I'd honestly expected. They weren't very bright, though, none of them registering above 100 lumens. That's good enough for mood lighting, or maybe accent lighting at a party, but not much else.

Aside from the controls for brightness, color and color temperature, the app has a variable-speed color-cycling mode that works fine, a nightlight mode that simply dims the bulb way down, and a music syncing mode that I couldn't get to work at all. You can also schedule lighting changes that will run even if your phone is out of Bluetooth range, or out of battery -- a nice touch for anyone looking to use this thing as a wake-up light. And sure, Tikteck's smarts are nowhere near as sophisticated as what you'll get with Lifx or Philips Hue, but at $10 a pop, that really doesn't matter too much. If color-changing lights have tempted you in the past, but the high prices have turned you off, then maybe this is the bulb you've been waiting for.

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