About Twist Smart Light Bulb
Home automation products should make life easier, but with complicated setup and problems connecting to other devices, they often make it more difficult.
With Astro Inc.’s Twist, though—a patent pending Smart Light Bulb that combines custom lighting with premium audio—all you have to is find a light socket, twist it into place, and “make yourself at home.” Then, when paired with your smartphone, you’ll instantly gain access to customizable lighting and high-quality audio. And best of all, you can connect multiple Twist Smart Light Bulbs for whole-house sound!
Easy breezy, right? But just because it’s easy, does this necessarily mean it’s good? How much value will you get out of it? Are there similar products that are better? We’ll help you find questions to all the answers (and more!) in this Twist Smart Review.
To kick things off, let’s dive deeper into the world of Twist Smart and find out exactly how it works and the benefits it provides.
How Does the Twist Smart Light Bulb Work? What Does It Do?
As we mentioned above, Twist Smart is made up of two key parts; a light and a speaker. There’s no hub, wires, or installation—just screw it in to any light socket:
Twist’s Self-Adjusting Light
What is a self-adjusting light? Well, in the instance of Twist, it’s one that “automatically mimics the sun’s patterns” throughout the day, changing between a bluish-white color in the morning and a warm glow in the evening. Why? According to the company, so that “waking up, falling asleep, and everything in between is a breeze.”
Despite the fact that Twist’s LED (which will last 12-15 years—more in a moment) bulb only consumes 10 watts of power, it produces 800 lumens, which is equivalent to a standard 60-watt bulb, while its color temperature ranges from 2700K (warm yellow) to 5000K (cool white). You’ll also be able to control your lights, including brightness, from anywhere via the Twist app.
Twist’s Built-In Speaker & Audio Quality
Built in to this same unit is Twist’s wireless AirPlay speaker, which uses “the same high-quality audio technology as the big name speakers.” This includes a specially-designed driver that features neodymium magnets, a lightweight aluminum cone, and a high-temperature polycarbonate frame. Why? So you’ll experience booming, pristine, lossless sound.
Just touch a button and you’ll be able to stream music from any app, without having to mess with pairing.
Over time, you can add more Twist Smart Bulbs, which can be connected across multiple rooms and streamed as a group. Still want to listen to music with your lights off? Twist can do that, too.
The Twist Smart Light, with its LED bulb and Bluetooth speaker combination.
Considerations For the Twist Smart Light Bulb
Given everything we just learned, probably the biggest thing to keep in mind is that Twist Light Bulbs only use Airplay technology to connect to phones, which means that it must be connected to an iPhone. According to the company’s FAQ, they are working to integrate Google Cast, but until then about 80% of Twist’s potential audience won’t be able to use it.
And even for iPhone users, Twist Smart Light Bulb won’t be able to integrate with your other home automation systems, whether thermostats like Nest, security like Vivint, or whole home systems like Vera.
Next, if you think you can pull double duty by using your Twist Bulb in conjunction with a wall dimmer, be aware that the company claims this can damage it and reduce its lifespan. And don’t use them outdoors either, because they’re not waterproof.
Finally, it goes without saying that you’ll need a standard 2.4Ghz WiFi router to use Twist, so don’t think you’ll be able to use it at your remote cabin in the woods.
What’ll you pay for this technology and ease of use?
Shining a Light On Twist Smart Bulb’s Price
For a limited time, Twist is offering preorder (estimated shipping early 2016) deals on all their Smart Light Bulbs:
- 1 Speaker: $99
- 2-Speaker Pack: $149
- 3-Speaker Pack: $199
This includes free shipping. You can also download your own referral code and share with a friend, which gives them $25 off their purchase and you “free money and exclusive rewards.”
All Twist Smart Bulbs come with 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects. Customer service can be reached at 855-908-9478.
What’s the Online Consensus For Twist Smart Light Bulbs?
As you might imagine, since Twist Smart Bulbs won’t ship until sometime early 2016, there weren’t many online customer reviews at the time of our research. However, the company has received a fair amount of media attention through popular sites like MacWorld, VentureBeat, and The Verge, although these were written after short demos, not at-home use.
Nonetheless, MacWorld came right out and stated, “Twist is one of the simplest home automation products I’ve ever seen demoed. There’s no installation. There’s no hub.” The Verge noted that the sound was “very clear” across all ranges (low, mid, high) and that the audio stream was fast.
On the other hand, VentureBeat had a problem that Twist “doesn’t solve a consumer problem — or at least a problem that consumers are aware of.” And in the end, they claimed that it’s more of a novelty than anything else.
If this is your first venture into smart lighting (or lighting/sound combos), you might be surprised to learn that a fair amount of competition exists for Twist. This includes Sony’s LED Light Bulb Speaker, in addition to lesser-known companies like PlayBulb ($40), Propel ($26), and Pulse ($149).
Granted, each of these features different designs and functionality, but the point is that Twist isn’t your only option.
Let’s bring it all together.
Will You Be Pleased with Twist Smart Bulb’s Performance?
Ultimately, your expectations have a lot to do with your level of satisfaction for any product. So, if you’re just getting in to home automation and are primarily looking for easy setup and use, then you probably can’t go wrong with Twist. Just don’t expect theater-like sound like you’d get from a high-end (read: expensive) system.
Even with this in mind, we’re left with a few questions:
Can you really expect Twist Light Bulbs to last 12-15 years? Although it’s well known that LEDs can last this long, we wondered if the constant vibration from the speaker would impact this number at all.
After a little digging though, this doesn’t seem to be the case, as Bulbs.com notes that LEDs are ideal even for commercial/industrial use.
Are Twist Smart Light Bulbs lossless? Lossless sound just means that an audio file hasn’t been compressed (or made smaller), which typically involves information loss—hence the name. And as you might imagine, the more a file is compressed, the more information it loses and the worse its quality sounds.
The point here is that since Twist Bulbs won’t be compressing (or uncompressing) your audio files, they’re technically not lossless. Instead, what you hear through your Twist speaker will only be as good as your original audio file.
Does lighting color affect mood? This is a huge topic and far outside of the scope of this review, but suffice it to say that, while it appears that some colors can affect some people’s mood, there’s still a ton we don’t know.
In short? Even if Twist’s different colors do impact your mood, the effects will likely be minimal at best.
How many users can Twist accommodate at the same time? For example: If I wanted to listen to my music in the kitchen, and my wife wanted to listen to something else in the living room, would this be possible?
Or, would different users have to pair their iPhones with specific Twist Lights, and would therefore only be able to control those lights?
The bottom line about Twist Smart Light Bulb: These questions aside, even though Twist is marketed more toward apartment dwellers, we could certainly see it working extremely well for just about anyone who wants multi-room sound and custom lighting that’s a) easy to set up and b) won’t cost a small fortune.
Will it provide pro-level sound? Probably not. Are there some limitations? Certainly. But if you use what you learned here and keep your expectations realistic, you might find that it’s right up your alley.
4 out 6 people found this review helpful
Still waiting, No credible Delivery info given
This product may very well never come to the consumers who purchased it. While making noise for some months now I was finally offered my money back. Curiosity however wants me to see if I really ever do get a product or if it ever does get approved for sale. The company cashed all of our checks or debited our credit cards which is kind a smarmy to begin with. Usually reputable companies debit a credit card upon shipping. Oh well, if that's the first time I'm scammed I guess I'm ahead of the curve, right?
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend