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Gadget Review: Globe Electric's Soft White Dimmable Frosted LED Smart Bulb
Easily add remote-controlled lighting to your home this winter
Smart home devices are likely to be among the hottest buys around Black Friday and the holidays. Yet, with so many different brands to choose from, it might be difficult to decide which line to buy into. The ideal smart home product should be reasonably priced, and both easy to install and reinstall if you want to put it somewhere else later.
Globe Electric's 60W-equivalent Soft White Dimmable Frosted LED Light Bulb ticks all those boxes, making it worth looking for in upcoming sales if you're switched on to the idea of remote-controlled lighting in your home.
One of the big advantages of this and other smart bulbs from Montreal-based Globe Electric is that they don't need a hub. Each bulb connects directly to a wi-fi network, which makes it quick and easy to set up for the first time or to reconnect if there is a power outage or you move house. There are no QR codes to scan and no extra box that you need to hook up to your router before you can even get started on connecting a bulb. All you have to do is download the iOS or Android app, Globe Suite, login and follow the instructions.
Admittedly, while I found the instructions in the app to be refreshingly clear, I did have a few issues creating an account, which is necessary so the system can store information about connected devices. The registration process gives you a choice of using an e-mail address or a phone number. I first tried the former but the confirmation e-mail I was supposed to receive never came. I therefore used my cellphone number instead and got an instant response. That produced a different problem, though, because when I later tried to connect that account to Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa - both of which (along with IFTTT and Siri), are compatible with Globe's smart home products - my login attempts were repeatedly rejected until I reset my password.
Having overcome these hurdles, I tested voice commands through Google and Alexa and they worked perfectly. Still, you don't need these systems to remotely control Globe's products. Globe Suite has easy-to-navigate screens that let you turn devices on and off, adjust the brightness of bulbs, and set timers from a smartphone or tablet. The Android app also has two widgets that can be placed on a phone's home screen to provide quick access to individual devices and Smart Scenes (Globe Suite's equivalent of the Routines function in Google Assistant and Alexa).
Notwithstanding the minor hurdles I encountered, I found it easier to set up this product than any of the other smart bulb brands I've tried. Also in its favor is the price tag (around $25 for a two-pack), which is competitive when compared with similar products at its regular price. If you find it in a sale like I did, though, it could be an absolute bargain. The four-bulb multipack I picked up in a Canadian Tire store north of the border was selling at a price that meant each bulb cost less than $7.50. At prices like that you could kit out your entire house with smart bulbs and never have to touch a light switch again.
Globe Electric also produces colored smart bulbs as well as smart plugs, smart switches, smart security devices and “non-smart” electronics. The company did not provide the product used in this review.
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