TP-Hyperlink Kasa Sensible KL-series Wi-Fi gentle bulb overview: Three new good bulbs provide principally nice outcomes

TP-Hyperlink has given its Kasa Sensible Wi-Fi gentle bulb line a big improve. The previous LB collection has given solution to the brand new KL collection, which dramatically upgrades the design of the bulb (for higher or for worse) whereas leaving the core operational options intact.

The Kasa KL collection is obtainable in three variations: a color-tunable bulb (KL130), a white-tunable bulb (KL120), and a white dimmable/non-tunable bulb (KL110). All three share the identical bodily design (with minor beauty exceptions), work through the identical Kasa Sensible app (accessible for Android and iOS), and provide the identical luminosity of 800 lumens (a 60-watt incandescent equal). The KL130 attracts 10.5 watts, whereas the 2 white bulbs every pull 10 watts.

The previous LB collection bulbs aren’t essentially the most lovely objects I’ve encountered, and the KL line aren’t essentially the most engaging bulbs, both. The general form of the redesigned bulbs is extra trapezoidal than Edison-shaped, with a considerably flat high. That’s fantastic, however the electronics and warmth sink beneath the glass stay fairly massive, and this piece is now constructed into a wierd, split-level design that sandwiches a black, grey, or white piece of plastic beneath its white exterior shell. (The colour of that plastic signifies which bulb variant it’s.) A cut-out helps you to see the plastic underlay, which is etched with a swirly design.

All in all, it’s awfully overdone contemplating we’re speaking a couple of gentle bulb, which isn’t a bit of {hardware} I sometimes wish to draw consideration to itself until it has nifty filaments to showcase, like GE’s Classic choices. As a substitute of coming throughout as fashionable and fashionable, the general look already feels dated, overcomplicated, and a bit of foolish.

You arrange these bulbs in a vogue much like most Wi-Fi {hardware} and similar to different Kasa merchandise, involving connecting to a short lived wi-fi community created by the bulb, after which utilizing the app to hitch the bulb to your property community. I had no setup troubles throughout my overview of all three bulbs; every thing labored seamlessly.

Christopher Null / IDG

An “auto-white” mode dynamically adjustments the bulb’s colour temperature over the course of the day.

As soon as linked, TP-Hyperlink’s easy Kasa Sensible app offers you entry to a modicum of straightforward configuration choices by way of its pretty bare-bones interface. All three bulbs embrace a primary scheduling system and mean you can save a number of presets of key colour and brightness mixtures that you just use often. As a bonus, the bulbs all additionally embrace a easy utilization meter, letting you monitor vitality consumption and operating time over the present day, the final seven days, or the final 30 days. There’s no in-depth historical past metering right here, nevertheless it’s higher than nothing.

The app isn’t excellent, although. The dimmer slider, positioned under the colour picker, isn’t labeled and might be exhausting to see, and there’s no on/off timer included. If you would like the lights to exit after half an hour, you’ll have to make use of the time/date scheduler as an alternative. All bulbs do embrace assist for Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana, which provides flexibility, however HomeKit assist continues to be in improvement.

Throughout the board, I had no difficulties with any of those options working as marketed, and I discovered the bulbs to be very attentive to instructions from the app, all the time reacting inside a fraction of second. See under for my detailed ideas on the methods during which the bulbs differ.

Coloration-tunable Kasa Sensible Wi-Fi bulb (KL130)

kasa smart kl130 TP-Link

The KL130 offers plenty of ways to choose a color or white color temperature, and even color newbies shouldn’t have any trouble with it. On the main screen a small selection of color options (those which are closest to your currently selected color) appear. Tap “more colors” to get a grid of 88 options that span the color gamut. If you need even more refinement, a complete color wheel gives you even tighter control over your selection of hue.

If you prefer white light, the same idea persists. Choose from a range of eight preset color temperatures from 2500K to 9000K, or go more analog with a slider that lets you dial things in even more narrowly. A dynamic auto-white mode lets the bulb shift white color temperature over the course of the day. At 30 bucks a bulb, the KL130 is a moderately good deal compared to other name-brand options that offer similar features and brightness, though you will find that lower-end generics significantly undercut that price.

White-tunable Kasa Smart Wi-Fi bulb (KL120)

kasa smart kl120 TP-Link

The KL120 takes the same features as the KL130 and strips out the color options. It also cuts the price tag another five bucks. That might be a decent trade-off, except that the KL120 also dumbs down one of the KL130’s most compelling features: Its very wide color temperature options when in white light mode. While the KL130 stretches from 2500K to 9000K, the KL120 gives you a range of just 2700K to 5000K, divided into four preset temperatures.

As with the KL130, you can also choose a secondary interface to more meticulously select the temperature you want within that range; unfortunately, 2700K to 5000K just isn’t really wide enough, particularly on the cool side of things. With the KL130 a mere $5 extra, it’s the much better buy no matter how you plan to use it.

White-dimmable Kasa Smart Wi-Fi bulb (KL110)

kasa smart kl110 TP-Link

Zero surprises here: This is the same bulb as the KL120, but hard-tuned to a warm 2700K. It’s a pleasant, soothing hue, though at just 800 lumens it might be on the dim side for task lighting, depending on the room, even at maximum brightness. The Kasa Smart app turns the color selector into a large orange rectangle that shrinks and grows as you slide the dimmer slider beneath it. As with TP-Link’s other bulbs, the dimmer is responsive to the point of operating in near real time. While 20 bucks isn’t a bad deal for this bulb, generics are available for considerably less.

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