TP-Link Kasa Smart KL-series Wi-Fi light bulb review: Three new smart bulbs offer mostly great results

    TP-Link has given its Kasa Smart Wi-Fi gentle bulb line a major improve. The previous LB series has given strategy to the brand new KL sequence, which dramatically upgrades the design of the bulb (for higher or for worse) whereas leaving the core operational options intact.

    The Kasa KL sequence is out there in three variations: a color-tunable bulb (KL130), a white-tunable bulb (KL120), and a white dimmable/non-tunable bulb (KL110). All three share the identical bodily design (with minor beauty exceptions), work by way of the identical Kasa Smart app (obtainable for Android and iOS), and supply the identical luminosity of 800 lumens (a 60-watt incandescent equal). The KL130 attracts 10.5 watts, whereas the 2 white bulbs every pull 10 watts.

    The previous LB sequence bulbs aren’t probably the most lovely objects I’ve encountered, and the KL line aren’t probably the most engaging bulbs, both. The general form of the redesigned bulbs is extra trapezoidal than Edison-shaped, with a considerably flat high. That’s superb, however the electronics and warmth sink beneath the glass stay fairly massive, and this piece is now constructed into an odd, split-level design that sandwiches a black, grey, or white piece of plastic beneath its white exterior shell. (The colour of that plastic signifies which bulb variant it’s.) A cut-out enables you to see the plastic underlay, which is etched with a swirly design.

    All in all, it’s awfully overdone contemplating we’re speaking a few gentle bulb, which isn’t a bit of I usually need to draw consideration to itself except it has nifty filaments to showcase, like GE’s Vintage offerings. Instead of coming throughout as fashionable and fashionable, the general look already feels dated, overcomplicated, and slightly foolish.

    You arrange these bulbs in a style much like most Wi-Fi and equivalent to different Kasa merchandise, involving connecting to a brief wi-fi community created by the bulb, after which utilizing the app to hitch the bulb to your house community. I had no setup troubles throughout my evaluate of all three bulbs; all the things labored seamlessly.

    Christopher Null / IDG

    An “auto-white” mode dynamically adjustments the bulb’s colour temperature over the course of the day.

    Once related, TP-Link’s easy Kasa Smart app provides you entry to a modicum of straightforward configuration choices by way of its pretty bare-bones interface. All three bulbs embrace a fundamental scheduling system and let you save a number of presets of key colour and brightness combos that you just use regularly. As a bonus, the bulbs all additionally embrace a easy utilization meter, letting you monitor vitality consumption and working time over the present day, the final seven days, or the final 30 days. There’s no in-depth historical past metering right here, nevertheless it’s higher than nothing.

    The app isn’t good, although. The dimmer slider, positioned under the colour picker, isn’t labeled and might be onerous to see, and there’s no on/off timer included. If you need the lights to exit after half an hour, you’ll have to make use of the time/date scheduler as a substitute. All bulbs do embrace help for Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana, which provides flexibility, however HomeKit help remains to be in improvement.

    Across the board, I had no difficulties with any of those options working as marketed, and I discovered the bulbs to be very aware of instructions from the app, at all times reacting inside a fraction of second. See under for my detailed ideas on the methods through which the bulbs differ.

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