I love my HS110 plug sockets from TP-Link, they are affordable, easy to use and provide energy monitoring. So much so I have bought 3 of them, and will probably buy more.

I have them set up so my office powers up in the morning and my PC auto boots on power. One I use to monitor the energy consumption of my server.

So I was quite excited to get another TP Link product that works with their excellent Kasa app, which itself works with Alexa and Google Home.

TP-Link LB130 is a smart LED Wi-Fi enabled 11w light bulb, it comes with an E27 cap but they also include a B22 bayonet adaptor. It is currently priced at £39.99 which is expensive, but cheaper than the equivalent Philips Hue multicolour bulb. This particular model is the multicolour version, but there is also a dimmable soft white, tunable white and a lower powered 7w dimmable white. Basically, it is very similar to the options you have with the market leader Philips Hue.

Unlike Philips hue, which connects via a low powered mesh network called ZigBee, the Tp-Link bulb uses Wi-Fi, this means the bulb will use more power on standby but also adds a certain amount of heft to the bulb. However, it does mean there is no base station so the initial set up costs are significantly reduced, you can literally just buy one bulb and away you go.

Set up is quite straight forward, one of the big selling points to me is the excellent Kasa App, I have had no issues with it during the past 6+ months with my plugs. You can carry out very similar functions with the bulb as you can with the plugs, you can set up various schedules, and you can set up scenes to control multiple devices with one app. You can also control all the various colours of the bulb within the app.

The Kasa app also has a handy widget for Android that allows you to trigger your most used scenes, which is very handy.

I don’t have an Echo but I do have Google Home, I have integrated the bulb into my office in my ceiling pendant, this now comes on first thing in the morning with a cool white light along with my other white lights. This is a vain attempt to boost energy levels in the morning. When I am done in the afternoon/evening and I have finished shutting down my PC I instruct Google to switch off Office. This then powers down the smart plugs cutting off all my monitors, speakers and switches used specifically for the devices in that room. And as you would expect it switches off the power to the TP-Link LED.

The TP link app actually has a Circadian mode, which uses your geographic location to cycle through brightness and colour-temperature modes throughout the day and night. This is a nice little touch, which Philips does not have, but I personally stuck to manual tuning.

The LED bulb itself is not the brightest, but I don’t find Philips Hue particularly bright. Unlike traditional LEDs, I would say it is hard to light up a room well with just 1 bulb. So even though 10W is quite powerful for an LED, the 11W used in TP-Link and 10W in Philips is less so. I guess some of that power is needed for the smart functions. The official brightness of both the TP Link and Philips is 800 lumen.

One big omission for a lot of people is the lack of IFTTT functionality, and TP-Link have been promising this for a while, but so far, no luck. Personally, it is not a major issue for me, but I guess it could be handy to have the lights work based on sunrise/sunset times rather than a set time in the morning, which would be possible with IFTTT.

Overall, there is a lot to like about this bulb, it works really well with the Kasa App and while it is expensive it is only £39.99 vs £49.99 of the Philips Hue. You also don’t need a bridge, which if you bought it by itself is another £49.99. So if you just want to dip your feet into smart lighting then the TP Link offers very similar functionality at a considerably reduced cost.

You can buy the LB130 multi-colour bulb for £39.99 from Amazon, and the soft warm bulbs are just £24.99