Technology

Cync reveal HD+ Smart Bulbs Review: Bright, Affordable RGB

Rating:

7/10

?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price:
Starting At $11.98

Marcus Mears III / Review Geek

Usually, RGB lighting solutions fall into just one of the following categories: high-quality or affordable. GE’s Full Color Cync reveal HD+ Smart Bulbs bridge the gap between the two, boasting a brilliant array of colors and scenes at just under $15 a piece.

Here’s What We Like

  • Solid price
  • Powerful luminance
  • Voice control abilities

And What We Don’t

  • Can’t adjust brightness in scenes
  • Google Assistant connection drops

While these smart bulbs may not offer as many customization options as something like Govee RGBIC lights, they’re considerably more affordable—and if RGB isn’t your thing, but you’re interested in luminous white light that you can control from your phone, consider the Cync reveal HD+ Smart Bulbs in White at a $3 price reduction.

Here’s a closer look at these bright, affordable smart bulbs.

Setup and Installation

  • Smart Home Integrations: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

How many people does it take to screw in a Cync reveal HD+ Smart Bulb? Just one—setup is easy as can be. To start, download the Cync app (more on this later) and follow the on-screen “Add a Device” instructions. This involves screwing the bulb in, powering it on, and letting the Cync app search for and connect to your new light.

You can set a name, room, and group for your bulb, which is helpful for controlling the lights via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. If you’d like to sync the bulbs to your smart speaker at this point, the app will guide you through.

And just like that, you’re done. You now have full customization control over your Cync smart bulbs.

Build Quality: Colorful Incandescence

Cync Full Color reveal HD+ Smart Bulb in lamp next to window
Marcus Mears III / Review Geek
  • A-series: A19
  • Lumens: 800
  • Lifetime: 13.7 years (at 3 hours/day)
  • Estimated yearly cost to operate: $1.14
  • Wi-Fi Frequency: 2.4GHz

A glance at the price tag may lead you to believe these smart bulbs have little to offer, but that’s far from the case. Selecting your favorite color and setting the brightness to 100% should remove any shadow of doubt from your mind; Cync reveal HD+ Smart Bulbs are bright, colorful, and energy efficient.

They’re not as expensive as the Philips Hue Smart Bulbs you may have seen while browsing Amazon or watching your favorite content creator, and that price reduction does come with a few downsides.

The Cync reveal Smart Bulbs are excellent for adding a pop of color to your home theater, office, or gaming setup—as long as you’re not expecting extensive customization options or a flawless Google Assistant connection. These are the two major drawbacks I found while using these bulbs over the past few weeks.

While you can adjust your Cync reveal Smart Bulbs’ color, and there are even a few scenes to boot, the available customization doesn’t stack up to smart bulb competitors that offer music syncing capabilities and more scene presets. For some, customization is king—you should look elsewhere. For others, the ability to change the bulb to any color of the rainbow they want is more than enough.

I think most can agree, however, that a solid virtual assistant connection is essential for a smooth operating experience. Unfortunately, I became all too familiar with my Google Assistant’s, “Sorry, it looks like the Family Room Lamp isn’t available right now” response when I tried to turn the light on or adjust its color. Other smart-home-integrated devices, like my Shelly Plug and Roborock Q5+, seemed to work just fine, so I’m convinced the issue lies with the GE Cync bulbs.

That said, you can always pull the Cync app up and control the light from your phone; this worked without fail every time.

Aside from those two points, there’s little not to love about Cync reveal HD+ Smart Bulbs. They light up a room and look good doing it. 100% brightness is too bright in most cases, which is a testament to their radiance. I preferred to stick to the 50% range most of the time, but you can always edit it by individual percentage points in the Cync app.

Cync App Customization: Hues, Scenes, and reveal

The Cync app (available on iPhone and Android) is easy enough to use once you learn the ins and outs. After you’ve set up a device, it’ll show up on your GE Home page. Tap the arrow on the right side of the device’s panel to customize it.

For the Full Color Cync reveal HD+ Smart Bulbs, that means choosing a color or scene. You can also check settings like the name of the bulb, what room it’s in, and if the bulb’s firmware is up-to-date.

Tapping on the first icon from the left brings you to a color wheel with millions of possible hue and saturation combinations. This can be a bit confusing at first, but the outer ring selects a hue, and the middle circle affects saturation levels.

The bottom of the screen houses the nav bar. Tap the sun icon (second in the list) to choose from a selection of white and yellow presets such as Daylight, Sunrise, or Candle Light. You can always adjust the brightness using the slider in the top panel (which matches the current bulb color). The heart icon displays any colors you’ve saved for later by using the plus icon at the top right of the screen.

Lastly, there’s a tab for Cync reveal. If you opt for White reveal HD+ Smart Bulbs over Full Color, this is the only tab you’ll be able to access.

If you’re looking for scenes, tap the second icon from the left. Here, you’ll find nine presets and the ability to create your own custom scenes. Fair warning, you won’t be able to edit the bulb’s brightness with any scene active, and the blinding light that billows out suggests they remain at 100%. This means that if you want to dim your bulb, you’re stuck to a static color.

reveal mode

Cync reveal HD+ Smart Bulb with reveal mode active
Marcus Mears III / Review Geek

If you want the color pop that comes with yellow light, but you also want the luminance that white light produces, Cync reveal is the setting to use. In the fourth tab of the nav bar (or the only tab for the white bulb), a single tap is all it takes to activate reveal.

Looking at the bulb, or any color that reflects light well (like white or saturated reds), you’ll be able to tell whether reveal mode is active or not. The bulb emits a distinctly bright, light yellow glow, and  lighter colors will pop more than they did before, both to a camera and the naked eye.

Note: reveal mode is only available in its light yellow color, attempting to switch hues will disable it automatically.

Does reveal change the way you perceive the colors around you? Yes, but that’s true of any change in lighting. I didn’t find much use for reveal mode; I’d rather choose and fine-tune the tone I want than consign to a single shade for a slightly more vibrant ambiance.

However, you may like how the light looks in pictures or videos, in which case the single color actually becomes a reliable benefit; you can tap the reveal button to use the exact same lighting setup as you did in the previous shot without having to worry about tweaking the hue beforehand.

Should You Buy GE Cync reveal HD+ Smart Bulbs?

GE Cync reveal HD+ smart bulbs are for those who want a straightforward, bright light bulb they can control using their phone or voice. If you’re looking for top-of-the-line hardware, you won’t find it at the $15 price region these smart bulbs fall in.

What you will find is an affordable option for adding RGB to your setup with only a few minor drawbacks. The addition of reveal mode and various white and yellow tones also means you can swap the bulb off of red or rainbow for Zoom meetings or study sessions, and the Cync app allows you to switch it back at a moment’s notice.

These smart bulbs’ simple setup process is a refreshing twist for smart home lights, barring the snag I hit with frequent Google Assistant connection drops.

If you’re after the most customization options available and deeper, rich colors, I’d opt for the market goliath that is Philip’s Hue Smart Bulbs—there’s a reason we laude them as the perfect smart home starter pack. On the other hand, I recommend GE Cync reveal HD+ Smart Bulbs to the budget-conscious buyer who wants vibrant RGB or white light at a price that won’t break the bank. Pick the Full Color model up for $14.98, or pay a respectable $11.98 for the White version.

Rating:
7/10

Price:
Starting At $11.98

Here’s What We Like

  • Solid price
  • Powerful luminance
  • Voice control abilities

And What We Don’t

  • Can’t adjust brightness in scenes
  • Google Assistant connection drops



File source

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close