The smart RGB lighting “Cololight” tested by us is a low-cost alternative to products like the Nanoleafs, which we have already tested. For smart lighting with many options, several hundred euros are quickly due. With “Cololight” this is different – here the basic set is available for a little more than 40 Euros. In terms of price, we are on a completely different level, which raises the question of whether this is also the case qualitatively: Can the inexpensive alternative keep up with the expensive models? We wanted to know and tested “Cololight”.
Scope of Delivery
The scope of delivery is not very spectacular: The basic set contains three lighting units. In addition, there is a control unit and a base with which the lighting elements can be set up. Connectors are also included. Other individual parts are not supplied.
The individual lighting elements measure 8.6 x 3.05 x 7.45 centimetres. This makes them a little wider than Nanoleaf panels, but still very handy. The carton in which they are delivered is correspondingly slim.
Workmanship and Assembly
The individual lighting elements are hexagonal in design and each have six connection points on the rear, via which they can be connected to other lighting elements. This requires additional connectors, which are included with the luminaire elements. No tools are required to connect the elements, so you can get started immediately after unpacking. Since each individual component has six connection points, there are many connection options – so there are virtually no limits to creativity.
We were able to assemble the individual elements very quickly and without problems. The most important thing here is to connect one of the elements to a power outlet or a device that can supply it with power via a USB cable. The positioning in the room should therefore also be considered from the point of view of power supply options. It should also be pointed out that an appropriate USB adapter is required if the cable is to be connected to a socket. The manufacturer recommends models with at least 2 amps, but unfortunately does not include one in the scope of delivery. According to the manufacturer, one charging cable can supply up to 30 lighting elements with power. Since we have only tested the basic package with only three additional elements, we have not checked to what extent this is actually the case. If you want to connect more panels, you can connect them to other power sources.
There is little to say about the workmanship of the lighting elements. They appear stable and have no obvious weaknesses. In addition, they are handy, easy to connect and much more stable than Nanoleaf modules. However, Cololight is also intended for installation, while Nanoleaf should be glued to the wall. If you want to attach Cololight to your wall, you will need the optional wall brackets.
Inside the panels there are nineteen light emitting diodes. Of course, a short test cannot show whether the luminaires are durable. Despite the comparatively low price, Cololight does not seem to have been spared in terms of workmanship or quality. However, you have to keep in mind that Cololight’s panels are much smaller and thicker than the Nanoleafs. So the price per surface is about the same for Nanoleaf and Cololight.
App and Touch Button Usage
Once the lighting elements have been installed, the question arises as to how we can operate them. As soon as the lighting elements are connected to the mains, they begin to light up. So there is no need for a controller. If, however, we want to influence colours and effects, which is usually the intention when purchasing, we have to use a free app from the manufacturer.
After the download the app offers the possibility to register. There is also the possibility to use the app as a guest. If you register, you can create and save your own color effects, which is not possible as a guest. We have noticed that a connection to the lighting elements can only be established in the 2.4 GHz network. Even if the 5 GHz network has the same name as the 2.4 GHz network, a connection is unfortunately not possible. To do this, the 5 GHz network must first be deactivated. This could certainly have been better solved. But even after that we still had problems, so we needed several attempts until the panels were properly set up. So they connected to the network in the first attempt and could be controlled in the same WLAN, but were not connected to the account.
Once the connection is established, the lamp can be switched on and off via an app. In addition, a wide range of colours and effects can be selected. 24 preset effects can be easily selected. You can also create your own effects, which greatly expands the display options.
Probably the most interesting option is to create your own color scenes: Different lighting elements can be equipped with different colors according to your own ideas. For example, colour gradients but also colour-mixed colour combinations are possible. According to the manufacturer, there are 16 million possible combinations. The catch: in order to create really interesting combinations, many additional lights are required, which must be purchased separately.
The app also offers a very special extra: it is possible to let the Cololights react to ambient noises, which is very interesting.
However, the app is very easy to operate. By wiping the app you can change between different colours and effects. The operation is very intuitive and does not require any training.
A further operating option is found on the charging cable module: You can switch between preset colour modes using a touch command. The lighting elements can also be switched on and off in this way. The button is marked by a line. If it is pressed briefly, a mode change takes place. If it is touched for a long time, the lamps switch themselves off.
Control via Amazon Alexa and Google Home is also possible. Please note, however, that the app for setting up the modules is called “Cololight”, but that you have to search for the “LifeSmart Smarthome” service there. We hope that this will be fixed in the future. Voice control via Apple devices should also be possible in the near future.
All in all, we find the setting and operating options very extensive. In addition, we are very satisfied with the low complexity of the operation.
Luminosity and Appearance
Altogether the available colors and color effects are more than sufficient, although for really interesting combinations several additional elements are needed. The luminosity is also pleasantly high, so that the lighting can also be used in rooms flooded with light. If you find it too bright, you can also lower the brightness.
Conclusion of the Cololight Review
Overall, we can state that the Cololight luminaire elements tested are a very inexpensive alternative to products such as Nanoleaf and Co if you only want to illuminate a small area. For larger areas, they don’t cost much, as the Nanoleaf panels are much larger. Unlike Nanoleaf panels, they can also be installed without wall mounting. In addition, the smaller panel surface makes it possible to create much more filigree lighting structures. The only pity is that the Cololight panels are very thick.
The workmanship is good, the choice of colours and colour combinations outstanding and the operation very simple. For a price of 45 Euro (currently: € 29.99 *) you get a nice gadget, which can compete with the more expensive Nanoleafs.