C by GE is a Hub-less Smart Light

Do you know what’s to love about GE Link smart bulbs? The price. Do you know what’s not so lovable? They are one shade of white and sometimes white is too bright. C by GE is GE’s latest smart lighting solution. C is smarter than Link and easier to use but maintains that lovable, low price point.

“GE wants to simplify the customer experience for smart home technology both through how customers use the smart bulbs and how they learn about it at CbyGE.com,” – Linda Boff, GE’s Chief Marketing Officer.

C-Sleep and C-Life Go Together Like Peas & Carrots

GE has changed their smart lighting game in two ways:

1. They’ve removed the need for a hub.
2. They’ve created two separate bulbs to service two separate needs.

The two bulbs are called C-Sleep and C-Life. Though C-Life and C-Sleep have much in common, there are features specific to the C-Sleep.

C-Sleep was created for the bedroom. It focuses on creating “the perfect bedroom light”. It is pre-programmed with three settings including a light setting for nighttime (emits a calm glow), afternoon, and morning (emits a brighter light). The lighting patterns are based upon research including circadian rhythms, I believe that’s fancy talk for how light impacts your sleep. However, this extra technology adds extra costs so for areas where you don’t need to be in rhythm, there is the C-Life.

C-Life can do everything C-Sleep can do minus the special light settings. It can dim individually or can be controlled in a group. All of this is done using a smartphone app. Unlike other smart light solutions, C-Lights do not require a hub. They only require a Bluetooth smartphone.

Should You Choose Hub-Less Smart Lighting?

One gotcha with Bluetooth based smart lighting is range. Without Wi-Fi how will you be able to control your smart bulbs when you are away from home? You can’t. It is true that you can set the lights on a schedule. In this case they should run without interference from you, but wouldn’t it be more fun to control them no matter where you are? There is one solution.

C by GE is hub-less but not hub-incapable. If you so choose, you can connect the bulbs to a Wink hub. Beyond being able to control the lights when you are not at home, there are other benefits to connecting smart lights to a home automation hub. The biggest advantage is that you can create rules between different devices. For example, you can set your lights to turn on if your front door opens or if motion is detected. However, there are benefits to using a bulb without a hub as well. First and foremost it’s easier. Setup can be done by anyone who can connect a Bluetooth device to their phone and screw in a light bulb. Second, it’s cloudless and not dependent upon your internet connection.

C by GE will officially launch early 2016. In the meantime you can join the waiting list to receive 20% off your first purchase. Once launched, Sleep will retail for $25 and Life for $15 though the Starter Pack brings the most bang for the buck. It includes two Lifes and two Sleeps for $49.97.