MIPOW PLAYBULB: Smart lightbulb that’s not as bright as it could be

Playbulb

“A lightbulb with a bluetooth speaker built in? My oh my what will you boffins come up with next?”

An invention demanded by precisely no-one the PLAYBULB is a fun and easy to use invention that is both exactly what you want a “gadget” to be and every so slightly disappointing in its version 1.0 iteration.

Part of the connected living approach to the modern house, the Playbulb has two independent bluetooth chips inside, allowing you to control the light intensity or music playback – or both. Setup is via an iOS or Android app and is super simple, with not many steps beyond screwing it in and turning it on.

This is super cool in theory – but falls down in a couple of areas in practise. For one thing, it’s not the best speaker. The placement is perfect to spread sound across the room, but the sound is merely decent. If you listen to a lot of radio, or as using it as a secondary speaker, you’ll get along just fine, but I was hoping for a bit more power. It’s also a little lacking as a lightbulb. Products like Philips hue and holi have really set a high bar for smart lighting options, and the PLAYBULB ability to function as a phone controlled dimmer switch is no longer as impressive as it might have been. You sort of expect a speaker inside a lightbulb to be able to put on some sort

Which is not to say the device is without merit. Four set modes are included – Energy Save (turns off after extended use with no changes to settings), Night (gradually dims the light and reduces audio), Sleep (dims light and turns off audio) and Wake Up (gradually increases light and audio). Of these, the ability to use the PLAYBULB as a wake up light was excellent, and having music gently swell as I tumbled into consciousness was brilliant. A good device … just not yet a great one.

Available in two finishes (white or silver grille colour), the MIPOW PLAYBULB is available now with a UK SRP of £59.00

For further details, visit MIPOW