Imagine a light that is so versatile that it can illuminate your space in whatever color you’d like, light up in a customized color whenever your phone gets a notification, wake you up in the morning, and dance to your music, pulsing to the beat and changing colors. That’s what Witti’s Notti Smart Light wants to be. And for the most part, it succeeds.
Coming in an extremely sturdy and reusable box, Witti’s Notti Smart Light is a light, plastic, rechargeable lamp that comes with its own fettuccine-like USB charging cable. Plug it in to your favorite USB port and it’s fully charged in a couple of hours or so, depending on its initial battery state (a blue light will blink while it’s charging, and be steady once it’s done). The Notti is very light (92 g), and has a decently long battery life. It will last for 5+ hours with the light continuously on, and 720+ hours in notification mode.
While you’re waiting for full power, download the Notti app. Once charged, you can configure the device. It first connects by Bluetooth from within the app just by selecting the lamp when you start the app. The Quick Start Guide says there is a passcode to enter, but you never have to enter it, which was a bit confusing. You can also change the name of the Notti lamp to whatever you like. If you have multiple Notti lights, up to four of them can be set as a group, and all of them can be controlled together as one.
The Notti app is what you use to control the lamp. With it, you can change the color anywhere on the color spectrum, change the brightness, set a default “on” color, manage your Notti alerts, set up a music playlist for the Notti to dance to, and set a timer or alarm. I’ll tackle these one by one.
Controlling the lamp is very easy. Tap anywhere on the spectrum to change the color, which is then displayed by the 16-million-color LEDs. There is also a bar to adjust brightness. There are some customizable colors to choose from with a simple tap: you can specify whether or not to rotate through the spectrum, or you can create a custom spectrum between two colors. It’s straightforward and intuitive.
Before I set up any of the notifications, I got a text while I was testing the Notti, and it started blinking. It was very jarring, but I pressed the button on the front of the lamp to make it stop. You can also use the button as a simple on/off switch, the only way to control the lamp outside the app. Then I went into the settings for customizing the Notti’s behavior when certain notifications go off on your phone, like email, text, appointments, missed calls, incoming calls, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, IFTTT, and other apps. You can change the color and brightness for how the Notti responds to each of those, but it always does the blinking bit. I didn’t find the notifications a useful feature, though, since the Notti uses Bluetooth, and your phone has to be nearby (within 50 feet) anyway. And some notifications, such as Facebook or email, would cause the light to blink almost constantly. Not helpful for me.
You can have the Notti “move” to the rhythm of music, turning on and off and cycling through through a spectrum of colors. I’m sure this feature would be cool for some people, but it didn’t appeal to me. Still, it worked well, and you can set up a playlist from music on your phone for it to groove to.
Here is where I had my highest hopes. I was hoping to be able to put the light in my bedroom and wake up to a gentle lamp instead of an audible alarm. But I couldn’t seem to get it to work. No combination of settings that I tried would get the lamp to do anything different when the alarm went off. My phone indicated that the Notti alarm was going off, and the optional audible portion of the alarm worked. But the lamp did nothing, except sit there and taunt me, remaining unlit. For the timer, it only works as a countdown timer to turn the lamp off. This is a nice feature, but it would also be nice to set a countdown timer for the light to turn on.
I’m hoping that the Witti Design folks will improve the app for some finer control over how to operate the lamp, and maybe create some detailed documentation, which is lacking here.
Still, this light is really, really neat. Except that it seems to try to be all things to all people. An alarm, a timer, a wake-up light, music ambience, a visual alert for your notifications, and a regular lamp. And, as with things that try to do everything, they generally can’t do all of it well. I will definitely use the Notti as a portable lamp, and possibly as a light timer when I’m away on trips. I will also use it as an alarm if the app will ever work properly regarding that. For my way of life, though, it’s less useful as music ambience or a notification system. But your mileage may vary.
There are many possible uses of the Notti. I would definitely take it camping, for example. Or it can be used as a flame-free option for candles. It would also be a good nightlight, since you can control the color and the brightness. It might also double as additional lighting for photography. But it would especially be useful to the deaf community, as a visual signal for phone alerts.
The Notti Smart Light is available now. It’s versatile and useful in many situations, but I hope they keep improving its functionality.
Note: I received a unit for review purposes.