Could combined speaker and light bulb technology revolutionize our home? Sara Walker reviewed the Sengled Pulse to find out.
About the Sengled Pulse
Pulse by Sengled is a smart bulb that combines a dimmable LED light with the high-quality audio of a JBL Bluetooth speaker, removing the fuss of speaker wires and power cords.
Master bulbs can be paired with up to seven Satellite bulbs, providing users with a premier home entertainment experience that can be easily controlled with the accompanying app. The starter kit costs £149, available from the Sengled Pulse website.
It’s available in a colour choice of red, white or silver in two different bulb fittings.
What we thought of the Sengled Pulse
I have to be honest, and say that technology isn’t really my thing. When I first saw these combined LED light bulbs/speakers, my first thought was ‘what’s the point?’ I already have a set of speakers and, er, some light bulbs, so I wasn’t sure what else the Sengled Pulse could bring to the party.
Another point against the product was the size of the bulbs – they are large compared to standard light bulbs, and you need to be careful where you use them. I tried them in two different lamps where they just looked silly, before settling for a pendant light with an opaque shade which worked well.
The bulbs will fit almost any light with a standard socket, but some locations are definitely better than others from a aesthetic point of view, and I also found that some light shades changed the quality of the sound a little.
Having found a home for the bulbs, then next step was to install the app that comes with the kit and controls the lights. This absolutely couldn’t have been easier – once installed, the app pretty much had two buttons that said ‘lights’ and ‘music’. Idiot-proof, just the way I like it.
From the app, you can turn the volume of the music and the brightness of the lights up and down for atmosphere. The app will sync automatically to the bulbs, which need to be in range of each other. When you’re playing music , you do seem to have to have your phone or tablet quite close to the bulbs to keep the signal but that’s not a problem if you know about it.
The incorporated speakers are JBL by Harmon technology, a well-respected manufacturer. The audio quality wasn’t as good as with my dedicated speakers, but it was perfectly ‘listenable to’ and nice and clear.
After a few days of playing with the Sengled Pulse kit and moving it from room to room, I had a brainwave. There’s one room in the house where I definitely can’t take my speakers for fear of them getting damp – the bathroom.
A quick email to the manufacturer confirmed that the product is UL damp rated, so it can be in touch with casual moisture (such as the steam in a bathroom) without any problem. Hooray!
Once I’d discovered that, the Sengled Pulse really came into its own. Stick your iPod on the other side of a closed bathroom door, plug the bulbs into the bathroom ceiling, run the bath and voila! Your own home beauty spa experience. Now I can see the point!
The verdict on the Sengled Pulse
Overall, the Sengled Pulse was extremely easy to use – installation is non-existent, and the app is very straightforward to install.
The main disadvantage was the size of the bulbs, which does limit where you can put them.
It’s an excellent and very modern way of introducing speakers into a room without any trailing wires, and the novelty/gadget factor is high – friends were fascinated.
The kit would make a great Christmas present for a gadget-minded friend or family member. Now, where’s that bubble bath?
Reviewed by Sara Walker