We love a leftfield idea here in Recombu’s smart home playpen – so combining an LED bulb with a speaker and giving both Bluetooth control is a real box-ticker.
Mipow’s Playbulb does just that: it’s a screw-fit LED bulb in cool or warm white with a built-in 3W speaker, and both can be controlled from Apple and Android devices.
Retailing at £60, it’s available with a white or silver grille and fits the E26/27 fat screw sockets which are slowly forcing out Britain’s bayonet fittings like so many grey squirrels.
“The ideal space-saving device, Playbulb can be used in a multitude of applications, such as student dorms, apartments and children’s bedrooms or anywhere around the home. Omitting a warm white light, Playbulb works with most light fixtures,” Mipow said.
A 3W mono speaker won’t replace any decent stereo kit, but it can replace a portable Bluetooth speaker that’s just taking up space and using a power socket.
With up to 10m indoor range, you’ll need a Bluetooth Smart (4.0) device: that’s Android 4.3 and above, from iPhone 4S up, or fourth generation iPad, iPad Air and iPad Mini.
The Playbulb app has a music player and includes four set modes for Energy Save (turns off after extended use), Night (gradually dims the light and reduces audio), Sleep (dims light and turns off audio) and Wake Up (gradually increases light and audio), or you can customise your own.
There are two Bluetooth chips inside the Playbulb, so the light and speaker can be controlled independently, with alarms, LED brightness control and audio EQ selection.
Sadly, you can’t yet combine multiple Playbulbs to create stereo or surround sound or integrate them with a subwoofer, or have multi-light monochrome disco fun. Let’s hope Mipow opens up the API so users can apply their imaginations.