Mipow

Mipow Playbulb Candle Review: A Smart Candle, Seriously

The Mipow Playbulb Candle is a unique bit of smart LED lighting. Adding Bluetooth to the humble LED candle, Mipow gadget allows you to set the right ambience from your smartphone.

But is this gadget a must-have or just a gimmick? Read my Mpow Playbulb Candle review to find out!

I want to say thanks to GearBest for sending me a sample to review.

Check Price at GearBest

What’s In The Box?

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Inside the box, you’ll get:

  • Mipow Playbulb Candle
  • 3 Scent Chips
  • Instruction Manual

I was a little disappointed that no batteries were included so make sure you have some AAs handy.

Mipow Playbulb Candle Review: Design

There’s not to say about the Mipow Playbulb Candle design except that it looks like a candle.

The unit is  symmetrical, tapering at the top and bottom. The whole thing is made out of white plastic: matte for the base and translucent for the body.

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Inside the unit is the LED flame, the scent chip holder, wind sensor and power switch.

Mipow-Playbulb-Candle-Review-ButtonThe bottom of the unit unscrews to reveal the battery compartment for 3 AA batteries. The base also doubles as a tealight candle if you want to light things up old school.Mipow-Playbulb-Candle-Review-02

Mipow Playbulb Candle Review: Using It

A flick of the power switch immediately brings the candle to life with a pleasing glow after a second.

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The candle is controlled via the Playbulb X app (iOS/Android) which allows you to set the candle to one of the million supported colors. A host of other modes are also available, including rainbow and pulsing.

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You can even turn the candle on and off on a schedule, though it’s a little simplistic.

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For more info on the app, check out my Mipow LED Smart bulb review.

The candles light outputs matches a tealight candle pretty well. It’s perfect for ambience though don’t expect it to replace your lamp.

Mipow-Playbulb-Candle-Review-04Unlike the bulb, the candle can even be blown out like  a real candle. You can even set it up to turn off all your Mipow lights at the same time.

If you flip the Playbulb over, you can use the base to hold a normal tealight candle too. It’s a useful inclusion but not as fun as a smart candle (wow, never thought I’d write that!).

The scent chip is a nice addition but will likely be inconsequential to most. Each color seems to have a different scent. They’re subtle but noticeable. I wasn’t able to find where you buy replacements from though.

Mipow-Playbulb-Candle-Review-05Should You Get It?

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I really like the Mipow Playbulb Candle. A lot of people will argue a smart candle is ridiculous but I personally loved being able to set the right atmosphere from my phone. Couple it with the Mipow Smart LED bulb and a Logitech Smart Control and you can get that cinema ambience all from your smartphone.

It’s definitely a niche product, but if you’re wanting to add some smart lighting, the Mipow Playbulb Candle is an appealing option.

Getting One

You can buy the Mipow Playbulb Candle from GearBest for around $19.99 for a single candle up to $49.99 for a pack of 3.

Check Price at GearBest

Alternatively, it’s available from AmazonBanggood or AliExpress.

Mipow LED Smart Bulb Review: $14 Bluetooth-Controlled Light Bulb

The Mipow LED Smart bulb is one of a growing number of smart appliances. Featuring an inbuilt Bluetooth radio, RGB LEDS and an E27 screw, is the Mipow LED bulb a must have accessory or a useless gadget? Read our Mipow LED Smart bulb review to find out.

I want to say thanks to GearBest for sending me a sample to review.

Check Price at GearBest

What’s In The Box?

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There’s really not much to say about inclusions as I wouldn’t expect too much to be packaged up with a light bulb.

Inside the box, you’ll get:

  • 1x Mipow LED Smart Bulb
  • 1x English instruction manual.

Mipow LED Smart Bulb Review: Design

For a change, I really can’t say much about the product’s design. It looks light a slightly more modern light bulb.

Larger than a standard light bulb, the Mipow bulb is cylindrical. Most of the bulb is made of metal, with a white translucent cap to diffuse the RGB LEDS and lead to more uniform color distribution.

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It looks nice and would fit well in most modern light fittings that favour exposed bulbs.

However, the light beam is slightly more directional than a traditional bulb due to its design.

The bulb is only available as an E27 screw so you’ll need to make sure your lamp or light fitting supports it or get pick up an appropriate adapter.

Speaking of fitting, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got enough clearance to fit the bulb in. I didn’t have any issues but some smaller lamps may not have enough room to accomodate the smart bulb’s slightly larger frame.

Mipow LED Smart Bulb Review: Using It

Using it is dead simple. Just screw the bulb into your  light and turn it on. The bulb will automatically switch on its Bluetooth radio, ready to connect with the Playbulb X app on your smartphone (Available on Android and iOS).

The bulb is set to white initially but stays on the last color next time you turn it on thanks to its inbuilt memory.

The light’s 5W of power is distributed between 10 warm white LEDs and 4 RGB LEDs, leading to much more light when used “traditionally”, rather than colored. The white light is good enough for normal use (~280 lumens). When colored, it’s works well for changing the look of a room. I got some pretty cool effects using it to light up the back wall of my home theatre.

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The light bulb is controlled entirely from the app. Those looking for support for web services such as IFTTT will be disappointed, though the unit is a fraction of the cost of bulbs that support web services.

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After selecting a specific light (or a group of lights you’ve created, up to 5), you’ll get a color wheel that lets you set the bulb’s color to any of the supported 16 million colors.

There’s also presets for red, green, blue and white, a slider for setting the brightness, from max to completely off and a toggle that changes the bulb’s color when you shake your smartphone.

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The app generally works well but lacks a little polish. The light bulb responds surprisingly quickly and everything is pretty intuitive. I did experience the occasionally oddity such as the color change in Candle mode not working or rarely the app didn’t connect to the bulb on the first tap but these are minor issues.

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There’s also a couple of lighting effects to spice things up: pulse, rainbow, different rainbow (!?) and candle. They all look pretty cool, though the flicker effect in candle mode is too subtle unless you’re in complete darkness.

Speaking of flicker, there really wasn’t any noticeable during testing. The light from the Mipow Smart LED bulb remains consistant.

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You can schedule the bulbs to turn on and off at a certain times but complex schedules aren’t supported, like different on/off times on the weekend.

If you’ve got Mipow’s other products (such as the Mipow Playbulb candle), there’s some pretty cool integration such as color sync and blowing out the candle can actually turn off every other item in the group.

Should You Get One?

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The smart lighting movement is growing rapidly and the Mipow LED Smart Bulb is a great way of dipping your toes in without breaking the bank at a measly $14.

Though it lacks more advanced features such as IFTTT integration, it’s also a fraction of the price of more advanced alternatives such as Philips’ Hue range.

If you’re wanting to play around with LED smart bulbs, you can’t go wrong with the Mipow LED Smart Bulb.

Getting One

The is available from GearBest for under $15.

Check Price at GearBest