TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with colour

The LB130 is a more colourful version of TP-Link’s LB120 Wi-Fi Smart LED bulb. But will it turn your living room into a party zone or leave you feeling a little blue?

The bulb itself is slightly heavier than the LB120 (which was already quite a hefty bit of kit) and is designed for E27 sockets (the big Edison screw type.) An adaptor is provided to allow it to be used in the bayonet style sockets more commonly found in the UK. However, as with its less colourful sibling, using the adaptor will make the already tall bulb likely too tall for many lampshades. The bulb also runs notably warmer than the LB120, perhaps due to the different LED technology used.

The LB130 remains very simple to set-up, requiring the Kasa app to be installed on a suitable smartphone (Android or IOS) to connect the bulb to a 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi network. No central hub is required, and the bulb remains controllable on the local network even if there is no internet connection.

Once connected, the whiteness of the bulb can be adjusted using either presets or from a wide palette in the Kasa app (see the LB120 review here.) However, the party trick is selecting the colour option, which changes the palette to a rainbow of colours, with the bulb quick to respond to the selection. The brightness may also be adjusted.

As with other devices connected to the Kasa app, schedules may be set up to control when the bulb goes on and off, along with the temperature and brightness of the white to use or the colour to switch to. It is possible to use this to cycle through colours, but it is a bit clunky compared to competitors, such as the Philips Hue.

The party trick of the LB130 is the Amazon Echo integration. After adding the TP-Link Smart Home skill and providing Amazon with credentials for Kasa, some of the functions of the LB130 can be controlled by voice, such as the brightness. Colour may also be set, but this is very limited – there is no way to have a custom colour scheme. Just straight “red”, “green”, “blue” and so on. It feels more like a proof of concept or demonstration than a useful function at this point.

In conclusion, this bulb is as easy to get up and running as the LB120, and the Amazon Echo integration works well, although it is a little simplistic. The colours are bright, but the inability to define custom presets and scenes that can be controlled through voice is disappointing and the weight and size of the bulb remains an issue. If your requirements are simple, and you are happy using a smartphone app to set the colour, then the LB130 may be the bulb for you. Otherwise, consideration should be given to other solutions, like the Hue range.

Check out the video below to see the bulb in action.

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