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CNET First Look
Does the Connected by TCP Wireless LED Lighting Kit hold it's own?With bright, efficient bulbs and an easy-to-use app, this is a lighting kit worth checking out.
We're here at CNET. I'm Ry Crist, and I'm here with the Connected by TCP Wireless LED Lighting Kit. And this is a new Smart Home option for you lighting needs that offers three LED light bulbs, a Smart hub for control of those bulbs, and also a remote control so you can physically press the button and dim them or turn them on or off. Now, let's talk about the bulbs here for a second. These are pretty decent in terms of their brightness. They put out 800 lumens, which is fairly comparable to a 60-watt incandescent bulb. A lot of CFL and LED bulb will save their 60-watt replacements, but they won't put out that much fight. They'll put out 600 lumens or 650 and that's close but not quite right-- 800 lumens that's a good number. So, these are nice bright bulbs. So, how does the bulb compare to other bulbs like it? Well, let's take a look here. We've got the TCP bulb on the left, and then we've got in the middle here, the Philips Hue bulb. Now, the Philips Hue is a little dimmer-- it's 600 lumens. You can see a slight difference in the brightness, not to terribly noticeable, but it's there. And then over here on the right we've got the Insteon LED bulb and that's 591 lumens. It's the dimmest of the three, but it's still a very good bulb. The three of them are very comparable, and they're comparable in price. So, if you're looking at your Smart Home lighting options, consider all three of them. Once you set these bulbs up and plug the hub into your router, you'd be able to download, the free TCP app for your android or iOS device. Using that app, you'll be able to control the bulbs from your phone or your tablet and that includes dimming them, automating them, so if you want them to turn on in the morning and turn off at night, whatever you need, you can set that up and it's a great app. It works well, it's very intuitive. I like it. And it's a rugged light too. If you drop this thing, it'll bounce before it breaks. This kit will cost you $169 and then if you wanna buy additional bulbs for your system, they'll cost 30 bucks each. That's a little high for my taste because think about the Philips Hue bulbs that change color and are also compatible with IFTTT and the Revolve Hub and a lot of third party apps. That kit has three bulbs and a hub-- that cost $199, that's just $30 more in it. I think that's a lot more functionality for the extra price, so I'd probably go with Philips Hue instead of this kit if I was spending that much money. If you want a simple Smart Home lighting solution, these bulbs work well, the app is good, the system is easy to set up, so it's not a bad option, but for me personally, I think you'd kinda gotta go with Philips Hue if you're spending above $150. It's just $30 more and you can do a lot more with those bulbs. So, I say go with that, but it's still a quality kit, so take a look at it. For CNET, I'm Ry Crist.