TP-Link LB120 Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with Tunable White Light Reviewed

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Internet connection required to work? What happens when TP-Link shuts off their servers, get bought out, decide to introduce a new product, or issue a 'kill device' command at their fancy?

For almost 100x more cost than a standard bulb (in bulk and admittedly at the expense of increased power usage), this is the very reason IoT devices are banned from my premises.

The bulb itself offers a lot of very cool features. But they certainly don't require an always on connection, being linked to an email account and only being controlled by a backend system the user doesn't control (i.e. 'cloud').

This might be good for a large business, hospital, university or any other institution where physical switches to lights are not required or wanted.

For a home setting though? Give me the same/similar features without the tethering to the mothership and I might become interested for myself and my customers too.
 

TheLostSwede

Regular Contributor
Wow, these are some very poor bulbs, 11W and only 800 lumens? That should be no more than a 9W bulb or their Wi-Fi solution is using a crazy amount of power. Price wise they're also not competitive with many other options out there.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Internet connection required to work? What happens when TP-Link shuts off their servers, get bought out, decide to introduce a new product, or issue a 'kill device' command at their fancy?
I'm in rare agreement with your typical curmudgeonly response. Never mind if TP-Link decides to exit the business. Not being able to turn on or off my lights without an internet connection is just plain dumb design.

It's not unique to TP-Link or this product. That's why we do a pull-the-internet-plug on every "smart home" product we test.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Tim, not a curmudgeonly response. Just an informed one.

Glad we can agree once in a while though. :)
 

GregD

Occasional Visitor
Tim, great article. I've been looking into Alexa-controlled lighting solutions recently so the timing of this information is wonderful.

I didn't see the specific step(s) required to enable remote access. If this step is outside the app, how do you enable it?

Generally, I've found that smart home product manufacturers design their products to connect to their cloud infrastructure in order to simplify the remote access setup process for end users. Of course this strategy has pros and cons.

What was the remote setup process for the LB120?
 

Craig Ellison

Occasional Visitor
Yes, remote setup is done within the application. It's not quite as intuitive as you might hope. I had expected it under account settings, but it's not.
  • Open the device page which shows either the color temperature control or circadian. In the upper right corner, there's a slider menu. (highlighted in red for illustration). Click on it.
  • In the Device Settings screen. Remote control is the first option. Slide the control to the right as shown in the second screenshot.
 

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Craig Ellison

Occasional Visitor
I could not find many other Wi-Fi LED bulbs. Cheaper bulbs are Zigbee or Zwave and needs hubs, yes?
Yes, they do require hubs. And some manufacturers, like Belkin, haven't written "Skills" to make their hub-based products compatible with the Alexa platform (Amazon Echo). I've purchased a number of WeMo bulbs which, due to a lack of a Skill, I can't control via the Echo. I may reset the WeMo bulbs and see if I can get them to work with an Echo-supported hub-based product such as Wink. My Wink bulbs (GE) and the TP-LINK bulb all work well with the Echo.
 

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