Review: C by GE Sol Smart Lamp
Alexa, show me something awesome.
I like to consider my house pretty connected. We have all sorts of different connected devices, but with all those things we have, I ‘ve never used Alexa. That changed when GE sent me the Sol, a mix of a lamp and Alexa-integrated smart assistant. Now, you probably think that a lamp with an integrated smart assistant isn’t necessarily the most efficient use of technology, but this halo-lamp is full of surprises.
The Sol lamp is a lamp that has its best features tucked into a convenient to use app that is part of the C by GE ecosystem. The app allows you to create a network of devices through the C family. This allows devices to link together and turn on, adjust lighting features and operate on a schedule. This is done incredibly easy and with a hassle-free process that I was able to get programmed in one simple pass-through. I really liked how easy it was to use and also liked being able to control devices remotely through the device as well.
While the C by GE app was easy to use, the Alexa app was a little bit more frustrating to program and took a bit to get the kinks worked out. Yeah, to get the most out of the Sol lamp, I did have to program out two different apps. Once the Alexa app was smoothed out, I was able to use all the neat Alexa features and link in other smart devices within the house. I was able to program smart plugs and even my garage door with the Alexa app and use the Sol light to send instructions out. This may be par for the course, but I haven’t used Alexa before, and it was cool to use.
The Sol lamp itself was an incredible addition to our home. While I used the programmable lamp features to set a morning alarm and then turn off after we left the house, it also became a great set piece for our living room. I also found the halo lamp to work great for photography purposes, working a lot like super expensive halo photography lights. Not that this was the primary use for the Sol, but man, this is absolutely the most versatile light I’ve ever used. Yeah, the light connects to the massive Amazon Prime music library and also likes to tell jokes to my kids.
While it has a great little speaker that plays music on demand, the quality of audio leaves a bit to be desired. On the default setting, the Sol sounds like a cellphone speaker doing it’s best to pump out your music. On the highest of settings, Sol light sounds like you are about to blow the speaker. Another issue is that a lot of the features that Alexa offers need to be configured before I could use them. I can’t ask for traffic conditions until I program my commute. That’s a little annoying when I want to see if my the trip to the supermarket may have some congestion. But again, this isn’t a problem with the lamp; this falls under the Alexa category.
The lamp aspects of the Sol Light aren’t horrible, but the halo lamp definitely has its limitations. The lamp lights up nice and bright, but it really is a companion light. Don’t expect the Sol Light to replace the room lighting you have; it will absolutely accent it though. My favorite thing overall is that the Sol Light, when programmed, can do some impressive stuff like turn on and turn off as you see fit. I actually have found the light to be a better alarm clock than the noise that comes out of my phone at 6:05 AM.
Overall, if you are looking for a great accent to your bedroom, living room, home office or studio, the Sol Light not only does a great job but looks damn fine in the process. At $149.99, it isn’t cheap, but it is absolutely something that is a huge talking point for guests and a neat gadget around the house. A word to the wise, if you have kids, especially a 4-year old, don’t let them see how this bad boy works, you’ll regret it.
Bonus: The C by GE Sol is usually a blinding $150, so GE and KnowTechie have partnered up to help you out. By using code 20KNOWTECH3 you can save 20% off, bringing the price down to a whopping $120. The deal is running from now until the 14th of April.
A sample unit was provided to KnowTechie for the purpose of this review.