GE’s Sol flare is a world’s initial Alexa-powered table lamp, and it’s brilliant

October 6, 2017 - table lamp


Amazon’s Alexa voice partner can no longer be contained to a company’s Echo devices.

From smartwatches to Echo clones like a Eufy Genie, device makers are fervent to confederate Alexa voice controls into all imaginable. Late final year, GE announced a C by GE Sol, a world’s initial Alexa-powered intelligent LED flare that requires no additional hardware or setup, and now it’s finally available.

You block it in, bond your Amazon account, and — bang — you’re vital in a future.

I’ve been perplexing out a Sol for a final integrate of days and it’s solemnly started changing my slight for a better. 

Resembling a Dyson bladeless fan, a Sol is unequivocally usually an Echo with a 13-inch (diameter) LED ring mounted to it. Its pattern screams sci-fi, yet it’s not going to compare everyone’s interior decor. we cite a plain and minimalist cultured for my home seat so a Sol indeed fit right in with my lifeless gray, white and black furniture.

At $200, though, a Sol had improved be some-more than usually an Echo + LED lamp, and it is. In further to a outdoor LED ring, that we can use voice controls to adjust a liughtness and tone heat of, there’s also an interior ring that doubles as a clock.

The middle ring tells a time.

The middle ring tells a time.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

I was totally confused as to what a red and blue light were after environment a Sol up, yet afterwards we beheld a red and blue lights were moving. The blue light is a hour and a red light is a minutes. 

The time transformation is crafty and suggestive of one those flattering despite hard-to-read clocks that you’d find in like a MoMa Design Store, yet we get used to instantly. And if we don’t like it, or it bothers we when you’re sleeping (if we put a Sol on your bedside table), we can always spin it off totally within a C by GE app.

So, a Sol is flattering and pricey. But how did it change my life? The same approach a Echo and Alexa did when we commissioned it in my home in 2015: voice controls FTW.

Smart lighting for improved sleep

You don’t comprehend how surpassing voice controls are until you’ve lived with them for years. They truly capacitate multitasking in ways that were never probable before. It’s loyal we don’t need a Sol to get voice-controlled intelligent lighting — there are copiousness of intelligent lights like Philips Hue that can be tranquil by Alexa or a Google Assistant — yet this one’s an integrated one. 

It’s totally hassle-free and requires no additional hubs or “bridge” to be connected to work. If you’ve ever used Philips Hue intelligent bulbs, we know a overpass that plugs into your router and radically is a joining hankie between them and a Echo or Google Home can infrequently go down and need a reset. You won’t have any such problems with a Sol since it doesn’t need any pull hub.

I’ve already started to deposit into nap quicker after I’ve used voice controls to switch to a lighting to warmer tones while in bed.

With Sol, we used Alexa commands to not usually spin it on and off, yet also low and lighten a LED ring. we also used commands like “Alexa, set Sol light to comfortable white” and “Alexa, make Sol light cooler” to adjust a tone heat formed on time of day. At night, I’d switch from a blinding white light to a warmer orange. 

Blue light has been related to carrying damaging effects on your health, including causing eye aria and nap disruption. And while a Sol’s LED light isn’t categorically designed to fight blue light like Soraa’s Helia intelligent lightbulbs do, I’ve already started to feel like it’s easier to deposit into nap when I’ve switched a warmer tones before bedtime.

Call me lazy, yet voice controls usually make it a whole lot easier change lighting scenes. (You can also use a C by GE app or a touch-sensitive buttons on a tip of Sol to change a brightness.) And maybe it’s all psychological and I’m a plant of a remedy effect, yet I’ll take it if it means improved nap and improved health.

Still does all Echo and Alexa things

Buttons to spin Sol on/off, tongue-tied and activate Alexa, and controls for adjust volume and brightness.

Buttons to spin Sol on/off, tongue-tied and activate Alexa, and controls for adjust volume and brightness.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

And, of course, a Sol does all of a unchanging things an Echo does like play song from a built-in speaker, and respond to voice commands and questions. You can ask Alexa for a weather, for sports stats, to order we a pizza, to supplement things to your selling list, etc. The list goes on and on.

The built-in mics generally do a good pursuit picking adult your voice, yet we beheld during slightest one shortcoming. 

In my apartment, we have dual Echo devices, an Echo in my vital room and an Echo Dot in my bedroom. While testing, we pale my Echo Dot and transposed it with a Sol and did what we routinely did: we asked Alexa to do XYZ from both bedrooms and in my kitchen, that is within equal stretch of both of a Echo and Sol. 

Usually, both my Echo inclination would hear my Alexa prompt, yet usually a closest one would respond, preventing any kind of irritating repetition. But with Sol, it usually doesn’t seem to have any spatial-awareness. Nine out of 10 times, it would trigger concurrently even yet we was closer to my Echo. we don’t know if it’s since of a mics inside of Sol aren’t as advanced, yet it something to cruise if we live in a smaller place.

Small oppose aside, we unequivocally like a Sol. we wish it was a lot cheaper and a orator peculiarity was a small better, yet we have to give it to GE for nailing flattering most all a basis on a initial try. GE’s also creation other intelligent lights underneath a C by GE powerful that closer to what Philips Hue offers, yet zero beats an integrated design. Now, GE usually needs to make Sol some-more affordable and a intelligent home series could finally benefit ground.

C by GE Sol Alexa-powered LED lamp

The Good

Alexa-powered LED lighting is overwhelming Does all an Echo does Doubles as a futuristic-looking clock

The Bad

Pricey during $200 Not as spatially-aware as Amazon’s Echo inclination Speaker could be better

The Bottom Line

GE’s C by GE Sol Alexa-powered intelligent flare is a commencement of bringing comprehension to previously

WATCH: Google Home review: Smaller, cheaper and smarter than a Amazon Echo

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