Skip to main content

The C By GE Smart LED Bulbs Work Seamlessly With Google Home

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Smart devices have revolutionized the way we live on a day-to-day basis. Weather channels are extraneous in lieu of a smart voice assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google, who can tell us whether we need a light sweater or a rain coat. Boring old light switches? Who needs ’em when you can say, “Hey Google, turn on the lights” instead.

The Google + C by GE smart bulbs are a great example of a smart device that makes life easier. Sold on its own or in a combo pack with a Google Home Mini ($55, but currently on sale for $35), the GE Smart Bulb goes above and beyond with its basic functionality. They use the Google Assistant app to allow you to dim or brighten the lights instantly, schedule the lights to turn on or go off, and control them with the touch of a button.

Some of the more well-known smart lights on the market take longer to power on, like Philips Hue’s lineup. It’s just a few seconds difference, but the GE C-Life bulbs stand out because they instantly power on and fills the room with light, rather than brightening gently over the span of a few seconds. When you’re just ducking into the closet to grab something, the rapid response is welcome.

Hey Google, turn on the lights

The GE C-Life Smart Bulb also puts out more light than comparative lights. Coming in at 760 lumens, the smart bulb brightens a room with warm, 2700K light. It also has a great life expectancy. With an estimated use of three hours per day, the bulb will last an average of 13.7 years, with an estimated yearly cost of just $1.14.

Installation is simple. There’s no need to set up a complicated Wi-Fi bridge or anything like that. Just screw the lightbulb into the socket and open your Google Assistant app. It will automatically detect the bulb and guide you through the setup process. The whole thing takes less than five minutes from start to finish, and then you can experiment with the bulb and learn how to set up schedules and routines.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Setting up the Google Home Mini takes slightly longer if you don’t already have one, but it’s still a simple process, again, using the Google Home app. The Google Home Mini has a deceptively loud speaker despite its small size, and the far-field audio detection means it can pick up your voice from a long way away. When tested, the Google Home Mini detected our voice from twenty feet away and perfectly understood the commands issued to it.

The only gripes we had with the unit is that Google sometimes seems to completely forget the room setup. We might give a command like, “Hey Google, turn on the office light,” only to receive this response: “Sorry, I don’t see a room labeled office.” We gave the same command immediately afterward, and the lights turned on. We don’t know if the glitch is due to a problem with the language processing servers at Google or if we just did not speak clearly enough.

The smart light starter kit with the Google Home Mini and the GE C-Life Smart Bulb is a great starting point for someone who wants smart lights in their home without breaking the bank. Sure, they aren’t colorful, and you can’t sync them to music, but they’re infinitely more affordable and make it easy to learn the basics.

Editors' Recommendations

Patrick Hearn
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Patrick Hearn writes about smart home technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart light bulbs, and more. If it's a…
Nanoleaf opens preorders for its first-ever Matter smart lights
The Nanoleaf Essential lineup installed in a home theater.

After a brief showing at CES 2023, Nanoleaf’s Matter-enabled smart lighting solutions are now available for preorder. The Essentials lineup consists of both smart light bulbs and smart lightstrips -- and with full support for Matter, they should be easy to integrate into most smart homes.

Three new products are arriving this year, with the Essentials A19 Light Bulb, BR30 Light Bulb, and Essentials Lightstrip all expected to arrive before the end of April. All three work with Matter over Thread, marking the first time Nanoleaf has used the interoperability standard in a product launch. Pricing for the devices starts at $20 for a single smart bulb and goes up to $50 for the Essentials Lightstrip, positioning the lineup as a reasonably affordable way to bring Matter into your smart home.

Read more
Why you should be using Google Home Routines
The Google Nest Hub Max in use.

If you’ve finally jumped into the smart home world by picking up a Google Nest Hub or other Google Home-compatible gadgets, you might think setting up Routines is something to postpone until you become an expert. After all, coming to terms with your new smart home might take a few days -- and Routines can often sound like a complex feature that’s best saved for a rainy day.

However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Routines are shockingly easy to use, and they allow you to harness the full power of your smart home. Here’s a look at what Routines are, how they work, and why you’ll want to start using them as soon as possible.
What are Google Home Routines?

Read more
Apple reportedly working on a new iPad-like smart home display
Someone holding the 12.9-inch version of the iPad Pro (2022).

Apple recently announced a new HomePod with support for Matter, but it seems the company might have bigger smart home plans for the rest of 2023. According to the latest report from Bloomberg, Apple is allegedly working on an iPad-like device that could directly compete with Amazon’s Echo Show and Google’s Nest Hub Max.

Details on the rumored product are scarce, but it seems the device would feature a touchscreen and function similar to an iPad. Magnets would allow it to be mounted to a wall, and HomeKit would give it access to all your smart home products. It’s unclear at this time if the device would feature a stand, allowing it to sit on your countertops like the Echo Show and Nest Hub. What is clear, however, is that Apple wants to gain a stronger foothold in the smart home market -- and this could serve as a great alternative to using the HomePod Mini as a HomeKit hub.

Read more