Most people think of smart bulbs when they think of connected lighting, but we’re now starting to see connected lighting applications outside the bulb. I brought a few different LED lights on Circuit Breaker Live this week to test: the Nanoleaf Aurora, Lifx Beam, and the C By GE Sol. Each of these is more of a design statement. I’ve previously reviewed the Sol and enjoyed my time with it. The circular ring of light ranges from a bright blue tint to a warmer yellow. It can’t handle any funky, fun colors, which is a bummer. It also features Amazon’s Alex assistant, which isn’t necessary.
The Aurora and Beam are similar products from two different companies. Both visualize music, although Nanoleaf’s solution involves a module with a built-in microphone and Aux input. The Beam relies on your paired device’s microphone, which is much worse than the music visualizer module from Nanoleaf. Both of these lights are designed to go on a wall with 3M strips and accent a home or retail space. I found the Nanoleaf to work more reliably because of its physical connectors that link all the panels together. The Beam sticks together through magnets.
Generally, I’m more interested in smart lighting that adds something to my house beyond just light. Given these devices cost so much, I also want interesting design, a dancing light, or funky colors. Watch the full clip above to get a sense of their apps and how that experience works.