Owing to the growing demand for smart gadgets, a startup called MicroNovelty introduced a unique smart bulb Heelight, which doesn't rely on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to operate. The new smart bulb is launched as a Kickstarter project, which requires $20,000 funding to reach its pledged goal by December 2.
IBTimes, India, had the chance to review Heelight over a brief period of time. The idea behind Heelight is certainly impressive, but it is not devoid of flaws.
In terms of design, Heelight is much like any other smart bulb. The bulb itself is durable and has an aluminium plastic heat sink for longer lifetime.
MicroNovelty couldn't have done the designing of Heelight more right.
But backers supporting the new Kickstarter campaign, would want to know how it performs. So here's how the Heelight justifies its $60 starting price.
First of all, Heelight is based on an entirely unique concept of being controlled via sound waves. It is interesting how this smart bulb is independent of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which is the basic requirement of any smart gadget these days.
The setup is as simple as unboxing the unit and fitting the bulb into the threaded socket, which we got along with the bulb for review. There's a lengthy wire to comfortably place it away from the socket without needing an extension. There's a switch in the middle of the wire to easily switch it on or off, but we preferred to control it via the app.
The company claims Heelight offers 16 million RGB colours, which we weren't able to verify independently, but it is hard to refuse, as there is a colour palette within the app for users to adjust the colours accordingly. In fact, once paired by scanning the barcode, which barely takes a few seconds, changing colours using the palette was our favourite setting.
Heelight app is responsive and we rarely faced any crashes. There are several pre-defined modes such as birthday, night lamp, lantern, ocean, clouds, sun, music and more. You can choose up to 12 modes to be displayed on the main screen, which makes it easy to switch.
We tested pretty much all the modes and found most of them interesting. There's a thoughtful colour choice that has gone into various modes. But the one that truly stands out is the Music mode, which adds effects based on the song that you're playing on your phone. Even though it doesn't match the exact beats, the changing effects can easily make you believe it is following each and every node.
Overall, we were quite impressed by the execution of an entirely unique idea in the form of Heelight smart bulb as an end result. But as we mentioned earlier, the product has some kinks.
Heelight app that we used is not in full compliance with international standards, as some options appear to be in Chinese. Even though we can navigate through most options without a problem, there's DIY setting, which we weren't able to get our heads around.
Another issue we faced with Heelight smart bulb is that it doesn't tell you when the bulb has been paired with the app. Even though we scanned the barcode, it doesn't show if the bulb has been paired, making it hard to proceed. It took us a while to initially get the app and the bulb in sync as the first time setup went haywire as none of the options responded to the functions in the app.
All's well that ends well, so we give Heelight thumbs up, provided it can roll out a software update to iron out some glitches in the app.
Finally, we tested the Birthday mode in the app, which supposedly turns off the light after blowing at it for about 2 seconds just like a candle. Sadly, the option failed to work at all. We tested various phones, but it seems like there's a glitch of some sort – something the company can fix with an update.
Despite the shortcomings, Heelight is an applaud-worthy attempt in the world of fast-growing smart gadgets.
The early bird offer on Kickstarter is giving three Heelight bulbs for $59, a pack of six for $129 and goes on up to 100 units for $1,499. The pricing is another interesting USP for a smart bulb of its nature. It won't be surprising if the pledged goal is achieved well before time and a shame if it doesn't.