HomeKit-enabled devices and accessories are so convenient and flexible, but a major downside is usually the price. That even includes smart bulbs – Philips Hue bulbs are often $50 per bulb, which adds up quickly. Koogeek thinks it has a solution to this problem.
The Koogeek Smart Socket is a HomeKit-equipped accessory that turns almost any regular, cheap light bulb into a smart one. Just screw it into the socket, screw the socket into a lamp or other light fixture, and connect to enjoy all the benefits of HomeKit in iOS 10. Koogeek even has an app of its own to manage devices, scenes and more.
A Simple Attachment Goes a Long Way
The Smart Socket is an admirably easy accessory with almost no set up required. All you need is your regular household E26 or E27 light bulb powered up to 25 watts. It supports CFLs, LEDs or the old school incandescent and halogen bulbs.
I screwed the bulb and socket combo into my lamp, then turned it on. The light went on, somewhat to my surprise. The socket has a power button that I thought I’d need to first press, but it went on anyway. This power button also turns on/off the light by blocking the current, but note that this will also deactivate the Wi-Fi and smart home signal.
Now there’s the matter of setting this up with HomeKit. Apple lets you raise your iPhone’s camera to the HomeKit code, which in this case is on the side of the socket. Wait a few seconds and you should be paired and ready to go. (You can also enter the code manually.)
After this, I have to be honest, there really isn’t much to say about the socket itself. It turns your ordinary light bulb into a smart one — point blank. I was able to control the light from the Home app and Siri plus apply scenes. All the usual HomeKit features are available to you. I’m especially impressed with the free Koogeek Home app. It’s not necessary to use with the bulb, but I think it has a better UI than even Apple’s.
I will say though that the Smart Socket does not work in all fixtures. It didn’t work in every lamp in my house, which is a shame. It’s not the installment itself, it’s the space a socket takes up that causes problems. Be sure to investigate lamps in your home to ensure there is plenty of room underneath the shade.
Smart Socket or Smart Bulb?
This entire review does beg the question though: do you need a Smart Socket or is it just a better strategy to buy the smart bulbs? I lean toward the latter.
While Koogeek’s Smart Socket is a fine product, it sells for $39.99 on Amazon. Meanwhile, a Philips Hue light bulb sells for $10 more at $49.99. Plus, this comes with its wide range of LED color options and warm/cool color temperatures. Yes, you will need to buy a bridge initially for $70 which the socket does not require.
Still, I’m not convinced about the pricing. If you’re trying to convert multiple lights into smart lights, it makes sense to get the smart light instead of a bunch of sockets. To me, the Smart Socket only makes sense if you’re buying just one or two of them. Maybe you want the light by the door to be a smart one or the lamp on the other side of your bedroom. In those cases, the $40 spent makes much more sense.
All in all the Koogeek Smart Socket works as advertised, but may not work for every light. It’s available on Amazon for 40 bucks.
Get the Koogeek Smart Socket
➤ Buy Koogeek Smart Socket on Amazon ($39.99)