We fill you in on how the Ring Smart Lighting and Bridge starter kit impacts your wallet, Wi-Fi, and phone app storage.
Ring Smart Light & Bridge Review
Ring smart lighting starter kit specs
I was taking a look at some smart lighting and I noticed that Ring has smart light bulbs now. Taking a look at Amazon, they run about $15 apiece, which is pretty much right on par with similar products (they usually land in between $10 and $20 per light bulb, so $15 didn't seem bad for a Ring product).
The Ring Smart Light Bulb has 800 lumens, which is really nice. An estimated energy cost for a year is $1.02 to run this thing. That’s going off the estimation that you are running it only three hours a day at 11 cents per kilowatt. And it lasts up to 22 years—that's huge.
Light appearance is 3,500 kelvin—which is going to be a bright light. Energy used is going to be 8.5 watts.
Lighting kit perks: decal and light bulb
Opening up and taking a look at the light bulb right here inside the packaging, you’ll find a Ring decal that says, “Protected by Ring.” Hopefully, you have some cameras to go along with that. Otherwise, you can just pretend like you do.
The cool thing about this Ring LED light bulb is that it’s plastic. So you don't have to worry about it shattering in case it does break. This light can be used both indoors and outdoors. However, if you do use this outdoors, it has to be under some kind of covering or inside some protective light fixture. It can't be out in the elements like a normal light bulb; you can’t get it wet.
Why the Ring Bridge is worth the cash
Now, one thing that I was noticing on the box is that it requires the Ring Bridge. While shopping on Amazon, you’ll be happy to see that they’re priced at $15, but be aware that they do require a Bridge.
However, Ring does have a starter kit which comes with a Ring Bridge and two light bulbs. The good thing about having a bridge is that the lights will connect to the Bridge. The Bridge will connect to your Wi-Fi, taking some of the load off your Wi-Fi.
If you have these connected directly to your Wi-Fi, they're always going to be pinging your Wi-Fi and slowing it down, especially if you've got five, six, ten of these light bulbs, constantly pinging that router. This scenario will really bog down your system.
But if you have 10 lights that are pinging the Ring Bridge and the Bridge is then connected to the router, then the Bridge will be the only one dedicated to that Wi-Fi router and will lighten its load. This is why it’s good to get the Bridge. This Bridge is going to connect all of your Ring devices together.
What else is in the box?
If we open up the box and take a look at what comes inside, we’ll find documentation, another sticker in here, and the Bridge itself. Looking at the Ring Bridge, it’s pretty small.
The box also has the power cable, charging brick, as well as screws, anchors, and the mounting bracket. One thing to note: the bracket for this bridge is partially hidden in the box underneath all the packaging.
Ring and routines
Now, what really gets cool about the Bridge is that it’s going to connect all of your Ring devices together—meaning not just your light bulbs but your security cameras too. The benefit of this is you can set up a different routine to, say if your camera detects motion, turn on the porch lights.
On the reverse side of that, there are some Ring lights that have motion sensors built in. And they actually sell just motion sensors if you want only those. You can connect those motion sensors, whether it be the path lights or an actual motion sensor, out further in front of your house to activate your cameras earlier.
If you have a Ring Video Doorbell and it's not recording a person approaching the door and then walking away (you're only capturing their back on the footage, you can have these motion sensors or path light sensors trigger your cameras to turn on earlier than they normally would, which is a huge convenience. I have the Ring Stick Up camera.
Ring smart light setup
- With the app loaded up, click on set up a device at the bottom.
- Click on smart lighting and add the Ring Bridge. You can either add the Bridge by using the barcode on the back of the Bridge or with a code included with your documentation.
- After a few moments, a blue flashing light will appear and the app will ask to join your Wi-Fi network.
- Then, connect it to the Ring Bridge.
- Once it’s connected, it will ask if you want to set up any smart lighting. You can scan the barcode of the light bulb in the kit.
- After that, you can name the bulb.
- Then, you can add a lighting schedule, and give that a schedule name.
Bottom line: Is the Ring starter kit worth it?
Is this starter kit worth the price? $60 for two lights and the Bridge is a savings compared to just buying everything individually. It is pretty expensive if you're going to add additional lighting onto this—if you're going to go full-blown Ring and get their path lights and their spotlights and all of their cameras.
If you're just really going to invest in Ring, then this is definitely worth the investment. Being able to link all of your Ring products together is a pretty cool feature. Another positive is that everything will be centralized into one app, making it convenient to monitor everything.
Affordable smart lighting alternatives
However, if you do want to save some money, there are options outside of investing in the Bridge. You can look at plenty of other different light bulbs out there.
With ones that work with Amazon, you can connect to your Amazon app and set up different routines there to pretty much get the same results. The only difference is you’re going to be managing several apps.