It’s time for Dad Kingdom to give the old castle a lighting makeover courtesy of Revogi. Get ready for an onslaught of the word “smart.” (I’m resisting the temptation to link this Simpsons clip every single time I use the word “smart.”) Anyways, this post is all about smart lighting and other smart home products that can be manipulated in incredible ways. We’re going to hit on a full spectrum of products. Some are profoundly useful, others are basically just novelties. But, they are all undeniably cool.
Revogi has been developing unique smart home products since 2012. They’ve amassed an impressive line of Bluetooth-controlled products including candles, light strips, light bulbs, power strips and wall outlets. Also, Revogi provides free smartphone apps that are required for controlling their products. There is an app for smart lighting (“Delite”) and one for smart outlets (“SmartMeter”). Delite controls color, brightness and schedule, and can add a variety of visual effects. Meanwhile, SmartMeter controls the outlets and their schedule. Most impressively, SmartMeter logs the power usage of each smart outlet. The other Revogi apps are primarily intended for Europe, where additional products are sold to create a whole smart home ecosystem.
The apps have attractive and intuitive UIs. Overall, the apps impressed me. But, they’re not without flaws. At times, I struggled to get Bluetooth connections established. Other times, I had to cycle a product on/off to get the app to recognize it. I expected an initial set up process, but subsequent interactions should be easier. Although, I suppose it’s the nature of a Bluetooth-based existence.
If you want to crank the intelligence up to 10, an Amazon Echo can be programmed to control Revogi products. Alexa, at your service! Echo owners can create “Scenes” that combine Revogi commands with other settings like music and Sensi thermostat adjustments. The more Echo-connected devices you have, the more powerful the custom scenes can be.
You can light up your house like the Empire State Building.
The smart lightbulb is a more practical version of the candle. The bulb is packed with all the smart lighting features of the candle. Plus, the bulb includes a powerful scheduling feature. So, a red light can wake you up in the morning or a white light can make it look like someone is home. I really like that the Delite app lets you match the color temperature to any nearby lights, whether they are fluorescent or incandescent. This great product is only limited at times by spotty app performance. I also wish the bulb was touch sensitive. I grew tired of booting up the app solely for turning the bulb off.
Next up, we’ve got the smart lightstrip. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this product. Two versions of the lightstrip are available. A USB-powered strip (2 meters long) and an AC wall-outlet version (3 meters long). Buy a few and wrap the inside of all your window frames. Then, you can light up your house like the Empire State Building. The bright vibrant colors can be changed for each holiday or occasion! Wrap the USB variant around your TV and change the glow to match your decorations or your team’s colors. The precise app controls and powerful scheduling are identical to the smart lightbulb. But, in my experience, the spotty app performance is forgivable on the lightstrip due to its more “set it and forget it” nature. The adhesive strength on the strip concerns me, but so far so good.
Finally, there’s the smart meter plug. It’s probably the least “fun” product, but it’s incredibly useful. The smart plug is really a 3 in 1 deal. You can turn the plug on/off remotely using the SmartMeter Bluetooth app or by physically touching the plug. (Yeah, it’s touch sensitive!) Next, the smart plug has a powerful scheduling component (just like the smart lighting). Forget your old analog dial timer! Finally, the most impressive feature is the power consumption meter. The app can display momentary power use as well as consumption over time. This is huge if you’re trying to tap your inner electricity detective and minimize your utility bill. I can’t wait to use the smart plug for my Christmas tree!
BEAUTIFUL BUT NOT PERFECT
For the most part I love these products. The lightstrip in particular has so much dramatic potential. The smart plug is pretty incredible, too. But, I have some minor complaints. I don’t love the smart candle’s brightness or battery life. Also, while the apps are attractive and well-designed, the Bluetooth can be unreliable at times. The best lighting applications are ones that can be scheduled and only modified occasionally, not ones that require daily tweaking. Lastly, the Revogi products are competitively priced, relative to similar products. But, I would still be inclined to rate them higher if the prices were lower. As, LED technology costs continue to fall, so will the cost of awesome products like these.