Amazon-owned Ring is spreading its wings into smart light bulbs (the company already has a broad array of smart light fixtures), and the Ring PAR38 Smart LED Bulb should appeal for people who havent invested in other smart lighting solutions or who are already in the Ring ecosystem.

This bright, dimmable, and weather-resistant outdoor bulb fits in standard light sockets, and you can set it to turn on when motion-sensing Ring cameras, video doorbells, and landscape lights detect movement. The PAR38 requires a Ring Bridge, but that shouldnt be a problem for its target audience.

Rated to last up to 25,000 hours, the Ring PAR38 Smart LED Bulb joins the new Ring A19 bulb (reviewed here) as the brands first standard smart bulbs. Fitted with an E26 base that screws into a standard light socket, theRing PAR38 is available in both black and white finishes. It feels reassuringly hefty, sturdy, and substantial.

The dimmable PAR38 has been tuned to a neutral white 3,500 Kelvin, a warm-but-not-too-warm color temperature thats ideal for brightly lighting an outdoor space. Capable of emitting up to 1,500 lumens (nearly twice the output of a 60-watt incandescent), the PAR38 smart bulb had no trouble bathing my apartments rear entryway in light.

Measuring 2.34 x 2.46 x 0.79 inches, the Ring PAR38 Smart Bulb is UL rated for wet conditions, meaning you can install it outside where itll be directly exposed to the elements. My PAR38 test unit endured several April downpours here in Brooklyn and appeared no worse for the wear.

The Ring PAR38 Smart LED Bulb had no trouble weathering some strong Brooklyn downpours.

Like Rings A19 Smart LED Bulb, the PAR38 Smart Bulb requires the Ring Bridge in order to take advantage of its smart features (such as dimming, scheduling, and so on). You can buy a standalone Ring BridgeRemove non-product link for $50 if you dont have one already, although youll find better deals when the bridge is bundled with other Ring products; a two-pack of PAR38 bulbs with the Ring BridgeRemove non-product link is currently selling for just $70, for example. The bridge communicates with the PAR38 bulbs using a proprietary RF long-range communication system and can support up to 50 compatible Ring devices, but you can deploy only one Ring Bridge per home.

The setup process for the PAR38 bulb is identical to that of Rings A19 smart bulb, and you can read all about that in our review of that bulb. The short version is that adding the PAR38 bulb to the Ring mobile app is a quick, painless process that worked flawlessly for me.

As with its setup process, the PAR38s features are identical to that of the A19 bulb. In a nutshell, were talking standard light grouping and scheduling features, although the Ring app lacks the ability to ramp brightness up or down automatically, and its also missing a vacation mode to fool would-be burglars when youre not around. That said, you can build brightness ramping into an Alexa routine, while vacation mode is arguably more important for indoor lights than it is for outdoor bulbs.

Also, one of the Ring apps best featuresthe ability to turn on all the lights in a group when a Ring sensor detects motionis key when it comes to the PAR38 bulb, which is well suited for illuminating driveways, backyards, side entrances, and other outdoor areas.

Besides its Alexa support, the Ring PAR38 Smart LED Bulb integrates with IFTTT, but (like other Ring products) it lacks support for Google Assistant and HomeKit.

If youre an existing Ring user and youre looking to turn some of your outdoor bulbs into smart ones, the Ring PAR38 Smart LED Bulb makes for an enticing choice. This affordable Alexa-enabled bulb works well with other Ring security cameras and lights, and its bright and UL-rated for wet conditions. The Ring app lacks the advanced smart lighting features of competing brands, but thats more of an issue with Rings new indoor/outdoor A19 bulb than it is for the PAR38, which is mainly intended for outdoor use.

Ring PAR38 Smart LED Bulb review: A bright, weatherproof outdoor bulb for folks in the Ring ecosystem - TechHive

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May 6, 2020 at 8:45 pm by Mr HomeBuilder
Category: Outdoor Lighting