WiZ Connected BR30 Colors smart bulb review: An affordable Wi-Fi floodlight that doesn’t require a hub
A smart, color-enabled Wi-Fi floodlight doesn’t need to be pricey to be good, and WiZ Connected’s BR30 Colors bulb is a case in point. Retailing for a few pennies south of $16, the BR30 Colors floodlight connects to your Wi-Fi network without the need for a bridge, and it supports more than a dozen preset white and color modes, or you can tune it to a hue of your choosing. Capable of being put on a schedule and grouped with other WiZ smart bulbs, the BR30 Colors bulb also boasts a nifty feature that grants some smarts to an otherwise “dumb” light switch.
Design and specifications
WiZ Connected (which is owned by Signify, the same company behind the mammoth Philips Hue brand) has a few other color and tunable white bulbs in its portfolio in addition to this BR30 model, including the previously reviewed A19 bulb and an RDL6 recessed downlightRemove non-product link.
Rated to last 25,000 hours, the BR30 is equipped with an E26 base that you can screw into a standard light socket. Using the WiZ mobile app, you can tune the bulb’s white light from a warm 2,200 degrees Kelvin to a cooler 6,500K (which is equivalent to color temperature of daylight on a hazy day), or it can glow in up to 16 million colors.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart bulbs, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.
Measuring 3.74 inches wide and 5.08 inches long, the WiZ BR30 can emit up to 650 lumens at maximum brightness, so it’s somewhat dimmer than a 60-watt incandescent, which produces closer to 800 lumens. Still, 650 lumens should be enough to light up a room, a desk, or another type of living or work space.
WiZ says its BR30 Colors is suitable for use in damp locations, such as bathrooms, but it should be installed in a weatherproof luminaire if used outdoors. It’s worth noting that some competing BR30 smart bulbs can be installed in outdoor fixtures that do get direct water exposure—including the IP65-rated LIFX BR30 and LIFX BR30+—those bulbs typically cost more. Amazon sells the 1,100-lumen LIFX BR30 for $46, for example, and the LIFX BR30+ for $60. The BR30+ has the same lumen rating as its stablemate, but it’s designed to improve the night vision of home security cameras that produce infrared light for night vision.
As with WiZ’s other Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs, you can set up the BR30 Colors bulb using the WiZ mobile app for iOS and Android. If you’re new to the WiZ ecosystem, you’ll need to set up a “home” for your lights first, and then add at least one room (such as “bedroom” or “office”). You can then select a room and tap the “+” button in the top-right corner of the app interface to pair a new bulb.
The WiZ app offers a couple of pairing options: a “smart” pairing process that lets you add several bulbs at once, and a manual pairing process that adds bulbs one at a time. Why would you bother with the manual pairing process versus smart pairing? Easy: the smart pairing process requires that you temporarily switch your dual-band router to 2.4GHz mode only (given that WiZ’s smart bulbs, like many competing models, can’t connect to 5GHz wireless networks), and that might be a bit of a pain depending on your router’s configuration tool.
The manual pairing process, on the other hand, involves connecting directly to the bulb’s Wi-Fi setup signal, which means you can leave your router configuration alone. I tried pairing the BR30 using both methods and managed to add the bulb within a few minutes.
Features, app support, smart home integration
The WiZ BR30 Colors bulb boasts a wide variety of white and color modes, all of which you can control from the WiZ app. For starters, you get a quartet of white presets, including warm white, daylight, cool white, and night light, or you can pick your own color temperature using a slider. On the color side of things, there are six “simple” colors (with names such as “cozy,” “relax,” “plant focus,” and “TV time,”), as well as a color slider for choosing a custom hue.
You can also try one of the 18 “dynamic” colors, from “candlelight” and “fireplace” to “ocean” and “steampunk.” Besides being able to adjust the brightness of the bulb’s various dynamic modes, you can also fiddle with the speed of the dynamic effect. For example, you can boost or reduce the flickering effect of the “candlelight” mode, or you can make the pulsing “deep dive” mode more soothing or frenetic.
Last but not least, there are a couple of progressive wake-up and bedtime modes, which slowly increase or decrease the brightness of the bulb respectively over a 30-minute period.
Using the WiZ app, you can group the BR30 Colors bulb with other WiZ bulbs in a room, allowing you to turn all of them on or off simultaneously or (if the bulb is grouped with other color-capable WiZ bulbs) change their color modes in unison. You can also “record” (as WiZ puts it) lighting scenes that you can then “play” whenever you see fit. The WiZ app lets you put the bulb on a daily schedule, or enable a randomized “vacation” mode designed to fool strangers into thinking you’re at home.
If you have WiZ’s optional Wi-Fi remote (which we’ve previously reviewed), you can assign up to four color modes as “favorites,” which you can activate by pressing one of the four numbered buttons on the remote. There’s also a clever “WiZclick” feature that lets you switch between the first two favorites by flicking on the bulb’s light switch either once or twice, essentially turning a dumb switch into a more or less smart switch.
WiZ supports an impressive number of smart integrations for its bulbs, including Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, Conrad Connect, Enki, ImperiHome, and Alice. Unfortunately, there’s no Apple HomeKit support, but you can assign and activate room scenes using Siri shortcuts.
Easy to set up and use, the affordable, the no-hub BR30 Colors bulb from WiZ Connected is an enticing choice for budget-minded shoppers. We’re fans of its many white, color, and dynamic modes, setup is a cinch, and you get plenty of scheduling and scene-setting options, not to mention the neat WiZclick feature.
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March 26, 2020 at 11:09AM