Xiaomi has added a new lifestyle product to its extensive portfolio in India, Mi LED Smart Bulb, which introduces Indians to IoT (Internet of Things) in an affordable way. After being available via the company's crowdfunding platform, Xiaomi brought Mi LED Smart Bulb in an open sale via Amazon, Flipkart and its own website for Rs 1,299, which is a Rs 300 hike from its earlier pricing.
I have been using the Mi LED Smart Bulb and the experience has been interesting. Enabled with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, this new smart bulb allowed me to be lazy to turn off the light without having to get off the bed. But there's more to the bulb than meets the eye.
Mi LED Smart Bulb comes with an interesting spec sheet. The bulb has a premium design and build quality and has a threaded option (E27 base) to fit into the socket. The grey colour base is subtle and perfectly matches any interior. As compact as it is, the Mi LED Smart Bulb is a tad heavy. It's a good thing you don't have to carry it along.
If you have a traditional B22 base for all your lighting at home, you'll need a converter, which cost me Rs 40 extra. The setup process from there on is as simple as it can be. You make sure the bulb is securely installed and turn on the switch to see it work. You can use it as it is, but what's the point of its smartness, which is why you need to go through a few more steps.
Firstly, install Mi Home app from Play Store and begin the setup. Launch the app, choose India as your country and login with your Mi account credentials. Then, add the Mi bulb to the app by clicking the "+" icon on the top right corner and wait for the app to scan for nearby devices. Tap on Mi Smart Bulb and complete pairing. Reset the bulb by turning it on and off five times and when the light will start blinking in multiple colours, your Mi Smart Bulb is reset to default settings. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete pairing the bulb with the app, which should be difficult and takes less than 2 minutes. Make sure the bulb is on the same Wi-Fi network as your phone.
Now, go to the Mi Home app, select the Mi Bulb and you can select the room, add the name of the device, and share access to the bulb with your family members.
The setup was seamless for me. Within minutes, the Mi Smart LED bulb was up and running and I could change colours, control brightness, turn on/off, switch between themes, and also control it via Google Assistant. Voice commands work when you add the bulb to Google Assistant app.
After playing around with the new smart bulb at home, I was convinced it had more use than traditional on and off functions. I was able to control the bulb with voice commands, which was the highlight for me. Changing between different colours (more than 16 million) is also quite cool, but not an everyday thing. To test its durability, I will have to wait for at least 11 years, which is Xiaomi's guarantee for the bulb based on 6 hours daily use. For now, I'm just going to take Xiaomi's word for it.
Does it make sense to buy the Mi LED Smart Bulb? It depends on your craving for having the latest tech gadgets available in the market. The Mi Smart bulb is easy to set up and use and has a lifespan that makes it well worth the money spent.
The local retailer where I bought the E27 to B22 converter boasted he had a similar bulb with multiple colours for nearly 10 times cheaper price than the Mi Bulb. When I told him briefly of the things it can do, like control with voice and mobile app, he didn't seem too impressed. I guess the Mi LED Smart Bulb still appeals to a niche crowd. But for anyone who loves new and cool gadgets, the Mi LED Smart Bulb isn't a regrettable choice.