As its name suggests, the Gosund Smart WiFi Light Bulb is an IoT device created to replace the traditional light bulb by adding the ability to customize the colour, the brightness level and create schedules for when the light will be turned On or Off, all that through a mobile application (or using a virtual assistant, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home).
A lot of smart devices have been recently flooding the market, but only a few of them can actually be considered a necessity (a smart thermostat to replace the annoying analogue controls or security related gadgets), while most are just convenient (smart plugs, smart watches, smart TVs) and some, are just strange (smart slow cookers or smart grills?).
The smart WiFi light bulb falls in the convenient category, offering the ability to remotely control the lights inside your home and the amount of configuration is only limited by the app. Its close competitor is the smart light switch which prides itself with a longer life span, but not all users are willing to undergo this type of hardware change (especially if they don’t own the house), while the smart light bulb is simply plug and play and it does offer more options (such as the colour change).
The Gosund Smart WiFi Light Bulb follows the same design blueprint as the other smart light bulbs, featuring a white matte base made of ceramic that covers more than half the device (with the Gosund logo printed on one side), while the top of the device is made of glass (and it’s also matte white). The Gosund bulb is also taller than the regular bulb, measuring 4.5 x 2.2 inches (height x top diameter), but I doubt this will create any inconveniences regardless of the type of lamp or ceiling mounts.
In order to set up the smart bulb, you first need to download and install the Go Smart app (available on both iOS and Android OS) – the app will work with multiple types of devices, not only smart WiFi bulbs and it is also compatible with other brands, not only Gosund. After installing the app, you need to register a new account (or log into an existing one), Create a family (creates a group of devices – useful if you have multiple homes with multiple compatible smart devices), choose your location (the trade-off if you want to get live weather feed directly to the app) and select the rooms where the device will be installed. Next, on the main interface, you’ll be able to see any other Devices that you have paired with the app (I already did so with a couple of Gosund smart plugs) and, to add a new device, simply tap on the ‘Plus’ sign to summon a list of device types – here, choose Smart Lighting from the left and, from the new list, select Lighting Device.
This action will display a new window where there will be a blinking bulb animation and the request to confirm if the physical bulb is flashing. Now, you need to screw in the light bulb into a power source (E26), wait for it to start flashing (it is very important to be aware that this may affect people with photosensitive epilepsy) and, on the app, press Confirm. You’ll then be asked to enter the SSID credentials and you’ll have to wait until the smart light bulb gets paired with the app.
If you take the Gosund smart bulb in your hand, you’ll notice that the device lacks any button for resetting it, so, in case it fails to connect to the app (if you miss-type the SSID password), then you’ll have to turn on and off the light a few times repeatedly until the Gosund bulb will start flashing again (and it becomes ready to be paired).
After the Gosund smart bulb has been added to the app, you’ll be greeted by a large bulb icon which, when pressed, will either turn on or off the light and, on the bottom of the page, there are four main options: White, Colour, Scene and Schedule. Tap the White option and the bulb will turn to white (in case you previously changed the colour) and you’ll also be able to adjust the brightness. Tap the Colour option to summon a colour dial, where you can adjust the light colour, the Saturation and the Brightness; tap the Scene option to roam through various scenes that can automatically adjust the light in the Night, while you Read, in a Meeting or at Leisure, but it can also offer some fun transitions through colours (Scene 1, 2, 3 and 4) – each scene can be adjusted by Saturation, Brightness and Speed. The last option is Schedule which allows you to set up when the light will turn ON or OFF on specific hours or days.
The Gosund smart light bulb will also work with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, so, considering that I do have a Google Home Mini, I decided to pair the device to the Google app. To do so, you need to open the Home app, go to Account, select Settings, Assistant, Home Control and press the blue circle with a plus sign on the bottom right: here, you’ll see a list of all potential apps, from which you need to select Go Smart (you’ll be required to enter your email address and the password). After the apps are paired, you can change the name of the device, assign it a room and, from here on, you can use phrases like ‘Turn on/off everything’, ‘Turn on/off *name of light bulb*’ or ‘Turn on/off *location + name of light bulb*’ to control you smart WiFi light bulb by using voice commands.
Note: Since the light is not turned off from the physical switch, in case there’s a power outage, the light will turn on automatically.
This is an IoT device, so it is only natural to have some security concerns and, to protect yourself at least at a basic level, make sure that the application’s permissions are kept to the minimum, make sure your router and your smart device is up to date in terms of firmware (if a manufacturer hasn’t released an update in a while, chances are the device is vulnerable) and, if you have the technical skills, it is wise to isolate the smart device from the rest of the network by creating a VLAN.
The main applications of the Gosund Smart WiFi Light Bulb are the ability to switch On or Off the light, to change the colour of the light (along with the saturation and brightness), to create schedules for when the light will turn on or off, so why wouldn’t you choose a light switch instead? Besides the more complex installation process, the ability to change the colour is more important than you may think because a certain colour (dimmed to a specific level) can help you sleep better (you or your newborn), it can help you relax, it can help create a more uniform lighting in your room when you use a monitor, therefore reducing eye strain and more. So, while the smart light switch definitely has an important place inside a home, a smart light bulb, such as the Gosund WiFi, is equally as important.