We’ve already reviewed the Phillips Hue lighting system, however, they can be very expensive. So what are the cheaper options?
One bulb which we’ve found to be pretty decent is the Lombex WiFi Smart LED Bulb, which comes in at £20, less than half the price of the Phillips Hue. One difference between this light and the Hue is you don’t need a bridge to get it to work, but other than that it’s pretty similar when it comes to setting the bulb up. First off you’ll need to plug it into a lamp and then wait for it to flash. You then download the Lombex app, select your wi-fi and wait as the app finds the bulb. It couldn’t be more straightforward really.
Should you plan to set the bulb up with Alexa, then you’ll need to enable the Lombex skill and also search for new devices. Once this simple step is done it’ll work pretty well.
As soon as you have the bulb set up, you’ll notice the various features on offer. First up are the whites, which you can choose between using the Dark/Bright and Bright/Plain slider. I have to say at its brightest the Phillips Hue wins this test, as does the range of whites Phillips’ bulb is able to offer. The same can be said for the colours, which seem richer and more varied on the Hue, although I’m not sure if this comes down to the design of the Lombex app which doesn’t seem to offer as much choice when it comes to choosing colours.
These small issues aside, the bulb does everything you would expect, offering a range of whites and various colours which will easily add atmosphere to a small room. In addition, you are also able to choose between a few scenes, such as night, reading, soft and of course the likes of rainbow and party, which will cycle between the colours – perfect when listening to music or having a party. There is also a timer available, should you wish to turn the lights on or off at specific times.
What’s fantastic about the Lombex Smart LED Bulb is that it works perfectly with Alexa. I found it best to rename the bulb when found via the app (In my case to ‘bedroom’), allowing me to tell Alexa to turn the bedroom light on/off or change the colours to whatever you choose. There were no issues whatsoever in Alexa finding the bulb or things not working, so it passed this test with flying colours.
It has to be said the Lombex Smart LED Bulb, while not as high quality as its Phillips equivalent, offers a fantastic alternative. It works brilliantly with Alexa, has a wide range of colours and is very easy to set up. At less than half the price of the Phillips Hue, it’s hard not to overlook its flaws.