BeON Home offers smart lighting that actually feels intelligent

I was browsing Newegg for some smart energy upgrades & LED bulbs the other day, and stumbled across a new lighting kit from BeON Home. So I pulled a few strings and had one sent over to check it out. I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I am tired of the “smart” tag being applied to everything just to cash in on the buzz. Simply having two devices communicate does not make them smart – garage door remotes have been doing it for decades and nobody makes a fuss about them. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t ready to be impressed.

What makes these so smart?

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I screwed in the three bulbs, downloaded the app, and started playing with turning the lights on and off – like I was always told not to. Except this time, I was sitting on the couch and dimming the bulbs from across the room. Okay, that’s pretty impressive. But I was still not sold, so I kept playing around and found the “security lighting” section. This is basically a scheduled timer for all the lights, so you can make your home look occupied even when you’re gone.

I usually use one of those programmable plug timers on a lamp when I am on vacation, and it is pretty predictable – on at 6pm, off at 11pm. BeOn’s scheduling feature takes a more realistic approach, cycling through the different lights during the course of the time the function is engaged. So, maybe I have the living room light on for a few hours, then the kitchen light, then both, and then none. Even cooler, I discovered that the bulbs can learn the pattern of regular use, and replay them to give a very real impression of your normal routine.

Shop for BeON Home smart bulbs on Newegg

Like a canary, but without the mess!

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Beyond home security, BeON bulbs can keep you safe in other ways. They communicate via Bluetooth with one another to react to certain changes in your home environment. One safety feature that BeON built in is for the system to automatically turn on if the smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm goes off, and if one bulb is triggered then they all light up. I tested this out with the smoke alarm, and it actually works pretty well (and also sends an alert to the app in case you aren’t home). While the bulbs themselves don’t have a particle detector, they do have speakers that are used for a couple of functions.

Another mode responds to the sound of the doorbell when activated, which turns on lights in a pattern to simulate someone making their way through the house on the way to answer the door. This is designed to counter the doorbell test, where potential robbers ring the doorbell to make sure nobody is home before breaking in. So I threw on my black ski mask, turned on the app, and attempted to break into my house using the doorbell test – the lights flipped on and my attempt was thwarted.

Emergency lighting

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The little yellow module you see is really the brains of the whole operation, serving as the communication center, controller, microphone, and battery backup. When the bulbs are on AC power, the batteries are constantly charging, giving you up to four hours of light per bulb on battery backup when needed. This is pretty neat, because if you have a power outage you can still have lighting throughout your home and adjust the brightness to extend battery life where you need it most.

Another slick aspect of the battery backup is being able to unscrew the bulb and use it as a flashlight. While not too practical under normal circumstances, if you don’t have an emergency flashlight with fresh batteries it can help illuminate whatever you might need it for. Once the power comes back on, the batteries will recharge until needed again.

Is it worthwhile?

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The initial price you pay for one of their three-bulb kits at $199 is a hefty investment, there’s no way around it. But BeON rates their 60W equivalent bulbs for a 22-year lifespan, so when you actually do the math you are in the neighborhood of 75¢ per bulb every 3 months, and you start to see the long-term value. That isn’t bad in my book, since you also get the security features, customization, and emergency backup that normal bulbs don’t offer. The main modules can be swapped out to future-proof the system if there is upgraded hardware down the line, and individual bulbs can be added on to the system quite easily.

As someone looking to get into home automation and have more control with a little extra security, these bulbs have definitely impressed me and earned their “smart” tag. For a beginner upgrade, these are an easy way to dip your toes into the connected-home waters without making any major modifications and still experience the benefits.

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15 Responses to BeON Home offers smart lighting that actually feels intelligent

  1. walt herman March 20, 2016 at 6:43 am #

    I see two different types of bulbs. What is the difference?

  2. Johnny March 20, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    You have a serious electrical circuitry problem if you burn a light bulb every 3 months. Not to mention the rest of that train wreck of a thought you had going there. But then again, this is advertising for the stupid. Because that’s how you see us consumers. Get a real job you shmuck.

  3. fixer March 20, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    how lang does it last in emergency battery mode
    and is it full brightness or at a dimmed level
    also in a power failure can you have the lights turn on while still screwed in

    thank you

    • Duh March 26, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

      Did you read the article? All that information is in it.

  4. ANOOP March 20, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    This is just costly garage remote. SMART MEAN..different.

  5. Mark E. Ludlow March 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm #

    Clumsy design. Overall waste of money. It’s the time value of money that decides this one. Plus, how many 60-Watt (equivalent) fixtures are in your home. Once one has dipped their toes, then what? Buy more at $68 a pop? I think not! might as well go Z-Wave from the outset.

  6. Alur Lyrx March 21, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    wtf? Who’s going to unscrew their lightbulbs and play with them in the unlikely event of a power outage. I nominate this as stupid product of the year. It’s a result of educated idiots. The marketers are runners up for thinking they can sell a $200 light bulb. If this was April 1st, I would think it’s a prank.

    • Duh March 26, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

      What? Did you even read this? I don’t really care about these bulbs one way or the other, but I don’t think you have to do anything but download an app and configure them however you want, wirelessly, through the app. I imagine you can set whatever brightness you want them to be on in emergency power mode, and I would guarantee they come on automatically in the event of a power failure by default (if they were switched on). Don’t you think?

  7. Marscaleb March 21, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    Nifty!
    But we never had burglers with enough class to watch for lights. They just steal stuff out of our cars.

  8. Rick March 22, 2016 at 7:54 am #

    I would like to see voice command integration as well as motion sensing (occupancy sensors) capability with adjustable timing. Maybe even an over-ride for that occupancy sensor in case you want the light on for any reason even though there is no movement in that room.

  9. james knoll March 23, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

    i think the price tags alittle steep for 3 light bulbs theres still a few flaws with them
    like how do they know not to turn on using battery power when you turn light switch off?
    whats the warranty like is it pro rated or is it kinda it dies your out of luck?
    whats the estimated life of batteries and do they offer free replacement? or is that a tacked on cost?
    the other question is the range do they have limited range i could see them being useful for dark nights pulling up in car and turning them on.
    how durable are they?
    are they truly equivalent to a 60w bulb?
    will they release brighter models in the future?
    true benchmarks of battery life?

    i don’t know there’s a lot of questions to be answered still

  10. fixer March 24, 2016 at 11:50 pm #

    i am really looking for a leader in ths idea
    i have tried china no name ideas like this (simple ones that just have 1 china 18650 inside it not modular in any way like this is) the battery can run a ~25w with about 4w led and it would last ~3-1/2 hours good or bad there was no way to run it from the battery while left pluged in

  11. fixer March 24, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

    BYW this moduar system seems to hold 2 18650 not sure

  12. Willie Hopson March 25, 2016 at 5:08 am #

    Who is actually going to keep this type of technology for 22 years? Cool for now, obsolete soon.

  13. James Phelps March 26, 2016 at 7:24 am #

    It also seam that they could sell accessories light a power detector module. Plugged into a regular un-switched outlet, if it lost power then it would signal all the lights to turn on.

What do you think?