Sylvania 74988 Smart Bulb Review

Smart bulbs are great for a few reasons. One, sometimes it’s easier to control a bulb remotely or with your voice, if you’re otherwise occupied. Two, they can make it look like you’re home when you’re not, which is good for your home security. And three, they often save energy with LED light rather than incandescent. And you know what that saves you? Money.

In this review, I’m checking out the Sylvania 74988 Smart+ Bulb in full color. I’ll be going over the bulb’s design, features, setup process, and finally, the Sylvania app to help you decide whether this is the smart bulb for you. Let’s take a closer look!

Get Best Offer
Sylvania 74988 Smart Bulb
Sylvania 74988 Smart Bulb
Sylvania 74988 Smart Bulb

Create scenes and schedules with this multi-colored lightbulb from Sylvania. Did I mention it works with Apple HomeKit? Siri, turn on the party lights! 

Design

Sylvania 74988
Sylvania 74988. Photo provided by Sylvania.

The Sylvania 74988 doesn’t look like your typical light bulb. It’s top is more flat as opposed to round, looking more like the dome of a sports stadium, but in all colors of the rainbow. Like I said, the bulb uses LED light and its brightness is a 60W equivalent, using only 10W. The bulb will connect to the Sylvania app over Bluetooth. Keep in mind that to use the Sylvania 74988, you’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or, if anyone’s still using these, an iPod Touch.

Remote Control with the Sylvania 74988
Remote Control with the Sylvania 74988. Photo provided by Sylvania.

If you want remote control, however, you’ll need HomePod, Apple TV or an iPad specifically. The shape of the bulb is the standard A19 while its lamp base size is also standard at E26.

Multicolor Sylvania 74988
Multicolor Sylvania 74988. Photo provided by Sylvania.

The bulb is dimmable and can be turned to over 16 million different colors, so you can really set the mood.

Features

Voice Commands with the Sylvania 74988
Voice Commands with the Sylvania 74988. Photo provided by Sylvania.

So what can the Sylvania 74988 actually do, aside from being controlled remotely? Well, if you want your lights to turn on at a special time each day, you can create schedules for your bulb.

Schedules on the Sylvania 74988
Schedules on the Sylvania 74988. Photo provided by Sylvania.

You can also make scenes, groups of lights that you’ll customize in terms of brightness and color, so you can easily light the room for reading, watching TV— whatever you want. The bulb is integrated with Apple HomeKit, enabling you to command it with your voice. Unfortunately, the Sylvania 74988 won’t work with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, so it’s not the best choice if you’re already in either of these ecosystems. Of course, you’ll be able to sync the Sylvania 74988 with other devices for some awesome home automations. One thing I set up is having my lights turn on the second I turn on my TV. It’s all part of my larger smart home, which has made my life a lot easier and more fun.

Lamentably, the Sylvania 74988 is pretty limited in terms of its capabilities. You won’t be able to control multiple bulbs at once outside of scenes, and you can’t share access to your Sylvania 74988 with multiple people. Likewise, you can’t set the bulb up to turn on or off with the sunrise or sunset, and you can’t link it with your phone for geofencing. It also doesn’t come with energy monitoring, which isn’t a huge deal but would’ve been a nice touch. Overall, the Sylvania 74988 lacks a lot of the functions of its competitors, who raise the bar beyond having scenes, schedule, and more than a single smart platform integration.

The SYLVANIA Smart Home App

The SYLVANIA Smart Home App
The SYLVANIA Smart Home App. Photo provided by Sylvania.

If you’re an Android user, you’ll use the Sylvania Smart Home App for Android, while iPhone users will use the Apple Home app and the Sylvania Smart Home App solely for firmware updates. If this sounds confusing, that’s because it is. You’ll use these apps to control the Sylvania 74988, create schedules and scenes, and integrate it with Apple HomeKit.

While the Apple Home app doesn’t show ratings on the Apple store, the Sylvania Smart Home App for Android only has a rating of 1.3. The huge majority of the reviews are only one star, which is a really bad sign. Many people said that the bulb had issues connecting to the app, which totally defeats the purpose of buying a smart bulb in the first place.

“Experiencing the same issue. Unable to fetch network, and unable to find any devices. I’ve tried to reset the bulb several times and still no luck…I am extremely disappointed with this product. It was definitely a waste of money,”

wrote Android-user Travis Dacosta in a recent one-star review.

Get Best Offer
Sylvania 74988 Smart Bulb
Sylvania 74988 Smart Bulb
Sylvania 74988 Smart Bulb

Create scenes and schedules with this multi-colored lightbulb from Sylvania. Did I mention it works with Apple HomeKit? Siri, turn on the party lights! 

Recap

Overall, I’d only buy the Sylvania 74988 if you’re in the Apple smart home ecosystem and can use the superior Apple Home app. Otherwise, if you’re in the Amazon or Google ecosystems or if you have an Android, I’d steer clear due to the lack of smart platform integrations and features plus poorly-rated Android app.

Go with the Sylvania 74988 if you’d like…

  • Apple integration: You’ll be able to command your Sylvania 74988 using Siri, as well as connect it with other devices that work with Apple Home.
  • Schedules: Set your Sylvania 74988 to turn off and on automatically throughout the day.
  • Scenes: Control multiple bulbs at once, customized to your liking in terms of brightness and color.

But avoid it if you wanted…

  • Amazon or Google integrations: The Sylvania 74988 won’t work with Alexa or Google Assistant.
  • Highly-rated Android app: The Sylvania Smart Home app only has a 1.3 rating on the Google Play store, meaning it’s difficult to control remotely.
  • Geofencing, sunrise/ sunset mode, or shared access: This isn’t the best bulb in terms of features.

To check out other options, read our review of the best smart light bulbs of 2019.

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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