GE Cync sensible lighting evaluate: A worthy Philips Hue competitor

GE Cync sensible lighting

MSRP $19.99


  • Simple to establish
  • Simple to make use of
  • App is uncluttered
  • Nice number of lights
  • App management is fast and responsive
  • Works with all digital assistants


  • May use just a few ‘additional’ options
  • Movement sensor was glitchy

As sensible houses develop into extra dependable and highly effective, extra manufacturers are branching out into this area. Whereas merchandise like Ring and Philips Hue are well-known, there are positively much less common manufacturers which are additionally making waves. One in all these is GE Cync. The corporate’s sensible dwelling lineup contains an unlimited number of devices from lights to thermostats to cameras. You possibly can say the Cync system (previously C by GE) is the darkish horse of the sensible dwelling world.

GE Cync sensible lighting evaluate

GE Cync smart lights review.

I lately had the chance to attempt a handful of GE’s lighting devices for just a few weeks. On this evaluate, learn the way the system works as a complete, and look in additional element at these merchandise:

  • Cync Wire-Free Dimmer Change
  • Sensible Movement Sensor
  • Direct Join Colour Sensible Bulb
  • Direct Join Mild Strip
  • Out of doors Sensible Plug

Whereas many sensible dwelling and lighting programs use hubs or bridges to attach these units to your own home’s Wi-Fi, GE Cync has chosen to make its units direct-connect. Meaning there’s no additional (and costly) elements to purchase; the lights are in a position to talk with the Cync app on their very own, making for a extra streamlined system.

Establishing GE Cync utilizing the Cync app

GE Cync is a refreshingly straightforward sensible dwelling system to navigate. The Cync app serves because the system’s management middle. The app is delightfully uncluttered, sleek-looking, and straightforward to navigate — even for brand spanking new customers.

The app permits handheld remote control over units, plus you may arrange schedules and group lights into rooms and areas. You may as well use the app to hyperlink some units collectively, resembling a light-weight and movement detector.

As soon as you will have a Cync account, including units is so simple as clicking the Add gadget, ‘+’ signal, after which selecting the sort of product you’re establishing. Each gadget we arrange contained in the app went on-line in seconds. Briefly, the Cync system is as straightforward and even simpler than different programs like Hue and Ring in the case of arrange.

Sensible lighting: GE Cync Direct Join Colour Sensible Bulb & Cync Wire-Free Dimmer Change

GE Cync smart lights review.

I arrange the GE Cync Direct Join Colour Sensible Bulb for use with the Cync Wire-Free Dimmer Change within the bed room, making it straightforward to activate the bedside lamp from throughout the room. Establishing each the lightbulb and the change was extraordinarily straightforward utilizing the GE app, requiring simply a few faucets on the display screen. I created a room referred to as Bed room, then added every gadget to it. Just a few extra clicks, and I might assign the Wire-Free Dimmer Change to manage the sunshine bulb.

The sunshine bulb is a simple possibility as a foray into the system — significantly if you happen to’re beginning to construct a sensible dwelling. It adjustments colours, and has completely different temperatures of white gentle, too; excellent for setting the temper. The Dimmer Change works nice with it, and offers extra management since it lacked such a change beforehand.

It’s additionally potential to set a timer for the sunshine bulb within the Cync app utilizing Scenes. I set my Scene to show the sunshine on dimly simply earlier than bedtime, then I’d flip it off earlier than going to sleep. The Scenes function is intuitive to make use of and works effectively.

GE Cync Direct Join Mild Strip

GE Cync smarts light strip review.

Subsequent, I arrange the Direct Join Mild Strip behind the couch, so it might act as a sort of background ambient gentle within the front room. I supposed to establish the movement sensor to activate the sunshine once I enter the room, however bumped into some troubles.

The movement sensor didn’t truly appear to work, in that it could not journey the strip lights in any respect. In my troubleshooting, I re-connected it to the sunshine bulb within the bed room, and located it could flip that gentle on, but it surely took nearly a full 20 seconds for the sunshine to light up after strolling within the room. Not excellent. My guess is that there’s a glitch within the app or the firmware of this sensor (that I belief could also be remedied sooner or later), so I set it apart and moved on.

GE Cync Out of doors Sensible Plug

GE Cync smart plug review.

Lastly, I attempted the GE Cync Out of doors Sensible Plug, and that is an important gadget for automating older patio or string lights, or one thing like a water fountain or bug zapper. The Out of doors Sensible Plug is a big oval-shaped block connected to a brief twine. Whereas the case is kind of giant, it feels effectively made, and there are two plugs below rubberized flaps that preserve issues weatherproof. You may flip the plug on and off with a press of the button on the highest of the unit, or use the app as a handheld remote control. You may as well set every plug on a timer. There’s a mounting hook on the again as effectively, giving all of it a clear look.

My husband discovered the button function useful to manage these lights, whereas I liked giving our terrace string lights, and placing a fountain on an automatic schedule so its lights would activate every night and switch off at bedtime.

The GE Cync Out of doors Sensible Plug labored like a dream and was tremendous straightforward to establish and use; plus it appears sturdy sufficient to resist the climate.

GE Cync smart lights review

One factor I couldn’t work out the best way to do was hyperlink the units collectively to create extra advanced Scenes. For instance, I couldn’t create a Scene to activate the lights when the movement sensor was tripped together with a GE Cync digicam to start out recording (Ring can do that, for instance). It appears one of these interconnectedness shouldn’t be but obtainable within the app.

The opposite function I like in a sensible lighting system is a dawn/sundown automated schedule that may mechanically flip lights on at sundown and off at dawn, adjusting to the solar cycle all year long. I didn’t see that possibility within the Cync app, however I’m hoping it’ll be an possibility in a future firmware replace.

Management with Siri, Google, or Alexa

One other constructive function of GE Cync is that it’ll work along with your most well-liked digital assistant: It’s suitable with Siri and Apple HomeKit, Google, and Alexa. I opted to attach my gentle to Google House and was in a position to simply ask to show the sunshine on or off, or regulate the colours — all with no need a cellphone.

Our take

Total, the GE Cync sensible lighting system is kind of spectacular. There’s quite a lot of lighting units, the ecosystem is straightforward to establish and use, whether or not with the app or your voice.

With regards to the facets of GE Cync sensible lighting that could possibly be improved, it comes downs to the glitchy movement detector, that we want supplied help for dawn/sundown scheduling. In reality, these aspects don’t detract from the system as a complete. The GE Cync sensible lights are a must have for these seeking to start with a sensible dwelling and sensible lighting.

Is there a greater different?

Maybe a greater query could be, is there a special different? Philips Hue is the granddaddy of sensible lighting, with different producers like LIFX and Sengled additionally making succesful sensible dwelling lighting. Philips Hue is certainly an important system (I even have quite a few Hue lights at dwelling) however I’d say the Cync model stands up towards it effectively.

To decide on which is greatest for you, ask your self what you wish the sensible lights to do, how you wish them to look, and if you might want to combine them with a specific sensible dwelling system. Value might also think about, and it’s most likely truthful to say Hue merchandise value greater than comparable variations of Cync lights. That mentioned, value can differ wildly if you happen to purchase one gentle or a 4-pack, and the place you get it. Bear in mind although, Philips Hue can be considered one of the programs that want a hub to function, although they do have some Bluetooth-only choices. Costs vary from about $25 for a 2-pack of lights to about $50 for the sunshine strip.

Ought to I purchase it?

Completely! Significantly if you happen to’re simply beginning out with a sensible dwelling ecosystem, this lineup of merchandise may have you eager to develop your equipment very quickly. In case you’re not bought on the GE Cync, you may learn extra on our greatest picks for sensible lights for different choices.

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