We’ve seen a number of fancy, connected LED lightbulbs come on the market in the last couple of years. Some are speakers, some allow control of color and dimming, but all of them required one thing: being connected. So, if you have corners of your house where you get a lousy signal from your router, then tough luck.
Of course, there are ways around this. There are wi-fi repeaters that you can set up to boost your router, getting wi-fi to rooms or floors that your main router can’t reach. But that means setting up another piece of equipment in another room, where perhaps you don’t want equipment just lying around. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a repeater that could hide in plain site? Or perhaps plain light?
The Boost, by Sengled, is a really good solution. It’s an LED lightbulb with a wi-fi repeater built it. Screw it into a normal household lamp (A19 bulb standard, though they have a few different models for spots and floods), download the app (iOS and Android), and run it through a simple setup process to connect it to your home network. Voilá! You now have wifi extended further through your house. It’s even dimmable (via the app).
The true test of a connected device like this is how easy it is to set up and then forget about. We were able to install and set up the sample unit Sengled sent us in under 5 minutes, and now we don’t even think about it. When we’re in the far half of our house, our devices connect through the bulb without us even having to think about it. No muss, no fuss.
Here are the tech specs:
- LED A19, BR30, and PAR38 integrated with Wi-Fi repeater
- Boost will wirelessly connect to home router/gateway and extend the Wi-Fi signals to areas of the house where signal is weak
- Supports 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4GHz with 2×2 MIMO antenna array
- 35 meters of range with near line of sight
- Security modes: 64/128 bit WPA-PSK/WPS2-PSK, WPA/WPA2
- Encryption modes: WEP64/WEP128/TKIP/AES
- iOS/Android app for Wi-Fi set up and lighting control
The Sengled Boost is available from their website for $49. Or you can find it on Amazon.
UPDATE: One question asked that I should have covered is whether the light has to be on for the wifi to work. Technically yes, however you can dim the bulb from the app, so that there’s no light coming out of it, but the unit is still powered and feeding wifi.
[Note: GeekDad was sent a review unit for evaluation.]