Simple smart lighting

C by GE C-Life

Three color settings

C by GE C-Sleep

The C-Life is a simple smart bulb you can control over Bluetooth. It doesn't change color, but you can dim or brighten the bulb, schedule it to turn on and off automatically, and use it to extend the range of other C by GE bulbs.

$21 at Amazon

Pros

  • Brighter at 800 lumens
  • Extends the range of other C by GE bulbs

Cons

  • Only one color temperature
  • Alexa requires C-Reach hub

The C-Sleep automatically changes colors throughout the day, easing you into your mornings and helping you wind down at night. You can adjust its schedule, of course, and it can extend the range of other C by GE bulbs.

$29 at Amazon

Pros

  • Color temperature changes throughout the day
  • Extends the range of other C by GE bulbs

Cons

  • Dimmer at 730 lumens
  • Alexa requires C-Reach hub

C by GE makes affordable smart bulbs that are easy to find in most hardware stores and work in just about any light socket. It offers two different types of smart bulbs: the C-Life and C-Sleep. Both are simple to install and operate, but there are a few key differences that may push you to one or the other.

One color temperature or three

The biggest difference between C by GE's bulbs is the number of color temperatures. Neither will display non-white colors, but where the C-Life is limited to 2700K white, the C-Sleep alternates between three different temperatures of white throughout the day. In the mornings, the C-Sleep starts off with a soft, cool-toned white, then changes over to a warmer shade midway through the day, and gets warmer still at night.

Of course, you can customize exactly when the C-Sleep changes colors, and brighten or dim either bulb at any time. You can also schedule either bulb to turn on or off automatically at certain times and create custom scenes with set brightness levels for multiple bulbs at once.

Both bulbs are simple to install and operate, but the C-Sleep's three color options are a distinct advantage.

Save for the different color temperatures, both bulbs are nearly identical. They each operate over Bluetooth 4.0, rather than Wi-Fi like most smart bulbs. This helps keep the cost down but limits their operating range down to about 50 feet (though other factors like the construction of your house may further reduce that range). Luckily, the bulbs can form a mesh network and extend each others' range.

The use of Bluetooth over Wi-Fi means that you can't control the lights when you're away from home — at least, not without a C-Reach smart bridge. You'll also need the bridge to control your lights with Amazon's Alexa service, though you can add your C by GE bulbs to the Google Home app to control them with Google Assistant, even without a C-Reach (though you'll still need a C-Reach to use Google Assistant when out of the bulbs' range).

Both bulbs are pretty basic, and if you're simply after a light you can turn on or off with your phone, the C-Life is a fine option. The C-Sleep, with its multiple color temperature options, is a bit more powerful, but for $30 you might be better off looking at other options from brands like LIFX or Philips Hue.

Simple smart lighting

C by GE C-Life

An uncomplicated smart bulb

The C-Life doesn't change colors, but it's a simple and easy to use smart bulb with options for dimming and scheduling. It's a fine solution if you just want to control your lights from your phone without any advanced settings.

Three color settings

C by GE C-Sleep

Eases you into your mornings

The C-Sleep starts your day with a soft white in the mornings, then gets progressively warmer throughout the day. You can customize your daily schedule to adjust when the light changes color temperatures.

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