Pulse

Manufacturer(s): Sengled

Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.2 x 4.3 inches

Weight: 14.9 ounces

Official Website: Sengled | Smart Lighting

Really innovative, unique concept that works well
Bulbs are large and hard to place
Release Dates
Tue 1 Apr, 2014

tech Review

Picture yourself walking into someone’s home and hearing some nice music in the background. You look around, wondering where it’s coming from – there’s not a speaker in sight, whether sitting on a table or mounted in the ceiling. But you go to turn off the lights, and the music abruptly stops. What happened? The Sengled Pulse happened.

As you might’ve guessed based on our scenario (which admittedly has happened before), the Sengled Pulse is a pair of Bluetooth LED lightbulbs with speakers built in. Retailing for $149, these bulbs are sure to blow people’s minds.

Featuring crisp, loud JBL audio and very bright and even LED lighting, these bulbs are perfect for any situation or position – when they fit, that is. They’re very large and are only practical when used in recessed lights, such as can or flood lights. Even so, the tip of the bulb sometimes sticks out.

The bulbs each are made of a very solid, glossy aluminum housing. They use a standard lightbulb socket for power, which is on the bottom of the bulb (I hope you figured that part out yourself…!). Opposite that, (the part that sticks out) is a plastic covering with some perforation. This lets out sound, and due to it being semi-opaque you can’t just peek in and see the electronics. Overall, the Sengled Pulse bulbs blend in very well with their surroundings. Silver aluminum not the right color? Sengled offers a few other color options.

The LED life is rated at around 15 years from what I’ve read (based on normal use). One thing I’m curious about in that department: if the LEDs die, does the speaker still work? If the speaker dies, do the LEDs still work? Undoubtedly, one part will eventually give out before the other so this could be an issue people run into.

In order to connect to the Pulse, you must link your phone with it via Bluetooth. If you’re using any extra Pulse satellite bulbs, make sure they’re powered on and everything will link up automatically.

With that being said, you are able to purchase additional satellite bulbs at an additional cost. These all link up to the master bulb to provide sound from more than just two sockets at a time – great for outfitting a room with even light and sound, or for making an easy home audio system (provided the bulbs don’t have too much distance between them).

The app (iOS/Android) provides controls for all the lights at once, or one-by-one. You’re able to do things such as dim/brighten the LEDs, adjust the EQ, and adjust the volume. Diving deeper into the app allows you to set which channel of audio each bulb is broadcasting (mono, or L/R stereo).

Placement of the bulbs is something to think about. I tried them in the following places with the following results:

  • Lights around a vanity
    • Stuck out A TON and made me cautious about the bulb pulling the socket out of the wall
  • A chandelier/hanging dining room light
    • Tipped the light askew a bit (surprisingly not a major amount) – looked acceptable
  • Floodlights (accent lighting above a fireplace)
    • Fit perfectly with only the plastic of the bulb exposed. Was able to rotate and aim the light with no problems
  • In-ceiling can lights
    • Fit perfectly, only the plastic stuck out (provided the most rattle/tinny sound at high volumes)
  • Light fixtures in bedrooms
    • Bulb was too long for me to replace the fixture itself, leaving the bulbs exposed and looking a bit garish
  • Covered can light above a shower
    • Glass cover wouldn’t screw back on the fixture due to the bulbs’ length, leaving it open to moisture.       Sound was very muffled yet not distorted
  • Desk lamp(s)
    • Often didn’t fit in the socket, but when it did, it pulled the light into a backbend

 

Obviously, the above notes depend on MANY variables such as type of music being played, volume, your individual fixture, and so on.

Sound quality is crystal clear when used properly and at a decent volume. JBL audio ensures clarity and overall equal sound. The EQ in the app will allow you to adjust how different aspects of your music sounds, which does help in certain placements of the bulb.

The speakers inside get loud, but this isn’t a product you’ll want to crank up loud – due to their environment (in metal fixtures and sockets, in ceilings, lamps, and the like), loud volumes cause echo, vibration, and a bit of distortion. I feel these speakers are best for ambient sound, not a house party.

Overall the only real issue with these bulbs (as you’ve probably noticed) is size and weight. It’s understandable that they are how they are due to all the electronics inside, but if Sengled could come up with a smaller form factor I would have absolutely no issues recommending the Pulse to anyone. Before purchasing a pair, DON’T FORGET to check dimensions first, as this product is very dependent on them.

Pick them up here, and check out some of Sengled’s other interesting lightbulbs while you’re at it.

Let me know in the comments down below if you’ve ever seen these before, and if you’d be interested in more content in the home tech area.

 

Thanks to Sengled for sending me the Pulse to review!

Build - 10
Price - 7.5
Design - 7
Value - 8
Sound - 9.5
Lighting - 10
Total Score
8.7
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