Sengled Element are a good set of smart lights, easy to set up and simple to control using the dedicated app. It still is missing Amazon Alexa support in the UK for now, and like all smart light bulbs they don’t come cheap, but they do go a decent way to making your house feel cooler for less than the price of rivals.
As our homes get smarter there seems to be no end to what companies will try and convince us needs to be connected to the internet – fridges, kettles and of course, lightbulbs. We put the Sengled Element smart bulbs to the test to see if your lights are something that could do with a bit of ‘smartening up’.
Like every set of smart lights, Sengled allows you to control the lights from an app on your phone or tablet. You can group bulbs into rooms to make it easy and quick to turn an area’s lights off or on at once. You can also dim each light or change the colour temperature from either bright white to a warm glow to change the feel of a room.
Easy set up
The lights themselves are fairly chunky bulbs and feel quite heavy, but they have regular screw attachments so to use them as normal light bulbs. You just need to screw them in and they will work according to the light switch.
To set up the smart controls you will need to plug in the hub and connect it to a router and then download the Element Home app. Once this is all done it’s easy to set up and the app itself is simple and gives you control either at a top level (one button for turning all your lights off) or you can drill down to adjust individual bulbs.
As well as controlling the lights the app also gives you an overview of energy usage from the bulbs, tracking the estimated CO2 production that was needed to keep your lights on over time. This is also then set off against the amount of CO2 absorbed by Sengled’s One Bulb One Tree program, where the company commits to planting a tree for every bulb bought. It’s a nice extra, and when you set up a new bulb from the app you are actually able to choose the continent where you want the tree planted.
As LED bulbs they already use a lot less energy than standard bulbs – they are rated as an A+ for energy efficiency – and you would also expect a life expectancy of at least 10 years.
The lights are compatible with the Zigbee standard so will work with systems like Samsung’s SmartThings. At the moment in the UK the bulbs aren’t compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, although the skill is available in the US and according to Sengled it coming to the UK soon.
One thing missing from these bulbs you can find in competitors like Philips Hue is the ability to change the colour from anything other than white. Whether this is something you miss will be up to you, personally I can’t imagine having a lot of use for other colours, but it is a nice thing to have if you really want to transform a room from day to day.
A big benefit of smart lighting over regular bulbs is the ability to set schedules for your lights. This means it’s easy to make it look like there’s someone in your house even when you’re on holiday or set it so the mood will change in the evenings as you wind down for the day.
Available for €89.90 (£76.50) it is cheaper than many rivals, a comparable set of Philips Hue lights will set you back £100, so is a great choice if you want a set of smart lights without paying top dollar.
The bulbs are a good, accessibly priced option if you are looking for a set of smart lights. It is missing a few features when compared with competitors, but if you can live without colour changing lights and either don’t need or you’re willing to wait for Alexa compatibility, they are an excellent choice for getting smart lights for less.