Misfit Bolt Review: A few blasts with Misfit’s cute, colorful smart bulbs

In the Misfit product portfolio, the color changeable Bluetooth Bolt smart light bulb looks a bit wrong. After all, this is a company best known for its wearable technology – what the heck are the bulbs doing?

Look a little closer and you’ll see why Misfit Bolt makes sense. Pair it with your phone via Bluetooth, and you’ll be able to control and adjust your lighting using an app – or by integrating this app with Misfit’s activity tracker. You can also sync Bolt with your sleep patterns and program it to wake you up in the morning with a gradual sunrise simulation – a great companion for anyone who keeps track of your sleep. they are on a Misfit wearable or with Misfit’s Beddit sleep tracker.

Currently selling on Misfit’s website for $ 43, the Misfit Bolt is not a bad deal compared to more expensive competitors like the $ 60 Lifx LED. You also don’t need to plug a hub into the router to sync your phone with it, which makes it an easier option to get started with compared to devices like the Philips Hue.

That said, the Bolt isn’t as bright as either of those options, and it’s not as fully featured either. You can’t sync it with your music, nor can you control it through a system like IFTTT or Amazon Echo. As for the basic color-changing smart function, it works well, but the competition lies ahead.

Design and features

The Misfit Bolt stands out with a special design, with a metallic black base created from neat spiral radiators. It’s heavy, weighing just under half a pound, and you feel it’s expensive and classy in your hand, in which case it’s what influences your decision to buy a bulb.

Of course, hidden under the lampshade, the only design element that really matters is how the light looks. In this sense, Misfit Bolt can overwhelm you. With the dome bulb not bulging further than the base, the light is not omnidirectional. That means if you screw it on a desk lamp, it sends most of its light up and off. That isn’t ideal if you’re trying to read below it.

Bolts transmit light more upwards than downwards.

Chris Monroe / CNET

The bulb also defaults to a softer white setting you might prefer around 600 lumens. You can shoot it up to 800 lumens of light output if you pull the app out, but that’s an obvious annoyance if you put on a lot of brightness.

The app itself makes a better first impression. It’s sleek and colorful, with attractive tiles for a bunch of color-changing presets – everything from “Forest”, which swings through green tones, to “Volcano”, offers combination of red, pink and orange. Scroll down through the preset options and you’ll notice a dynamic parallax effect for the image. It’s a stylish look, with multiple layers of glossy paint.

Screenshot by Ry Crist / CNET

It’s a different approach from most other smart color changers, which tend to keep color cycles that are ranked into a special feature section of an app (if they offer them). The Misfit puts them at the front and center, introducing them not as an extra feature but as a primary use case. I can see the appeal – for some users choosing a particular mood created from a combination of multiple colors would seem much simpler than picking out a precise shade. on a full-spectrum color picker.

Please note, Misfit won’t fret you with all the colors. Tap the small plus sign on the home screen and you’ll be able to switch to color mode, where an ocean of rainbow-guillotine pixels awaits, complete with the white light spectrum at the top. Drag the small bulb icon that represents your Misfit Bolt over the color of your choice and before starting, the bulb will change color accordingly.

Bolt’s color controls are very similar to Philips Hue (left). The color wheel approach that Lifx uses (right) is a bit easier to work with.

Screenshot by Ry Crist / CNET

It is almost exactly the same as the color selection spectrum in the Philips Hue app. I don’t like it there, and I don’t like it here either. It’s tough trying to shoot into an exact shade, especially because your finger will block your view as you drag that bulb icon around. I prefer the Lifx approach, spreading that spectrum around the color wheel, then letting you choose a specific shade by rotating it to the top. Even better, Lifx labels each color as a specific level in the circle. That makes it easy to return to the shade you have chosen.

In addition to preset color cycles and a full spectrum color picker, you can also choose a color from one of the photos on your phone, or set the bulb to automatically turn on and off when you get in and out of range. Bluetooth. This last piece wasn’t very helpful when I tested it – the light bulb goes off reliably enough, but has trouble bouncing back when you get back into range. To be fair, Misfit still lists this as a beta feature, so maybe after further tweaking it should work a little better.

Screenshot by Ry Crist / CNET

Other features to synchronize with your sleep schedule. For example, you can set a light bulb on a sleep timer and set it to dim for a predetermined amount of time, or program a “Sunrise” preset to wake you up with some artificial light morning at the time you choose.

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