If you are building a new home or renovating, it makes sense to go for Z-Wave wall switches from the start. But if you want to add smart lighting to your home without changing wall switches, smart bulbs are a great option.
Multi-colour (RGB) LED smart bulbs have been around for some time now. But to get true warm white shades, you need to go for an RGBW LED bulb. The W stands for White. The Aeotec LED Bulb 6 is one such RGBW that supports Z-Wave.
Aeotec kindly provided a review sample and together with my 3 year old, we put The LED Bulb 6 through its paces. Watch the video review:
Aeotec – who are they?
Aeotec used to belong to Aeon Labs, the company founded in 2006 and based out of Silicon Valley. But that’s no longer the case. Aeotec also have another brand that’s popular in the smart home market -- Popp.
They also are an OEM for Oomi.
- Model number: ZWA002
- Repeater: Yes
- Beaming: Yes
- Z-Wave Plus: Yes
- S0 Security Support: Yes
- Product dimensions: 120 x 60 / 118 x 60 mm
- Voltage Range: 110 -- 240 VAC @ 50/60Hz
- Maximum power: 9.5W
- Standby power: Average: 0.2W, Max: 0.4W.
- CCT(K): 2700 -- 6500K
- CRI: 80
- Beam Angle: 240 degrees
- Operational temperature: 0 -- 50 C
- LED Color: Multi-Color (RGB, Warm or Cold White)
- Action button type: External switch connected to bulb.
- Communication range: Up to 100m outdoors in an open field, or up to 80m indoors (varying range depending on building structure and environment).
- Communication certification: Z-Wave Plus
Design and Hardware Features
The Aeotec LED Bulb range has 3 models:
- LED Bulb 6 Multi-White -- Tuneable white LEDs can make warm and cold white colours only
- LED Bulb 6 Multi-Colour -- RGBW LEDs to produce 16 million colours including warm white
- LED Bulb Gen5 Multi-Colour -- RGB LEDs to produce 16 million colours including warm white
The LED Bulb 6 Multi-Colour with RGBW LEDs is the pick of the crop, because you can generate true warm white shades, not ones that look yellowish.
The bulb is also very bright with 806 lumens of light output, at a power consumption of only max 9.5W.
At the same time you also get a very wide beam angle of 240 degrees. You have to be very careful about this when buying LED bulbs, to avoid the dreaded spotlight effect.
On the software side, the LED bulb works on the Z-Wave platform. It supports S0 security for the smart hubs that require it.
The bulb can produce over 16 million different colours. You can dim the output all the way down to 5%.
Installation and Setup
The main draw of a smart LED bulb is that you can just screw it into an existing lamp fitting. No need to pull out the toolkit and change wall switches or do any wiring work.
My smart home automation system is built on Z-Wave using the excellent HomeSeer HS3 software. I use an Aeotec Z-Stick USB device as the Z-Wave radio plugged into a Dell Inspiron Laptop.
Pairing the Aeotec LED Bulb 6 with my Z-Wave controller
Watch my Youtube video below to see how I set up the Aeotec LED Bulb 6.
- As per the quick start guide, I inserted the LED Bulb 6 into a table lamp.
- I then had to set HomeSeer HS3 into ‘Inclusion mode’. For this I navigated to Plugins > Z-Wave > Controller Management. Under Actions, I selected ‘Add/Include a Node’ and clicked the Start button.
- I turned on the power to the LED Bulb 6. It turned solid yellow for a few seconds and then did a colour dance, flashing rapidly between white and green. At the same time I could see that HS3 had added the LED Bulb 6 as a new node. Then the bulb turned solid yellow again.
- As per the manual, the bulb had been successfully included in my Z-Wave network.
- I could then see all the different devices the Bulb created in my HS3 devices list.
The LED Bulb 6 has very good Z-Wave range. My current home is of solid concrete construction and the Z-Wave signal could penetrate 2 solid concrete walls easily. The mesh network design of Z-Wave networks allows the LED bulb to act as a repeater . So the bulb actually extended the reach of my Z-Wave network.
Responsiveness and Reliability
I observed no noticeable delays or issues during the course of testing. The ramping up and down of the bulb in response to commands started as soon as HS3 sent a command.
I have been using the Aeotec Z-Wave LED Bulb 6 for over 4 months now and love it. I have integrated it into my smart home, in fact it serves as my morning light alarm (I use this to wake up instead of a traditional sound alarm).
A very bright and colourful RGB LED that can do true white colours also.
- Very responsive and reliable
- Very good Z-Wave wireless range
- Z-Wave Gen5 chipset
- Easy to install
- Wide range of colours
- Works well with HomeSeer HS3
- No instant on/off feature
- Bulb ramps up/down for colour change also
Where to Buy
Buy the Aeotec LED Bulb 6 from your local Amazon store.