Jump to a Page:


The Pulse puts smart Dimmable LED lighting and JBL sound in your ceiling! Other places too!

SengLED Pulse - Overview

Pretty Cool!  A Pulse package – which retails for $169 –  comes with two lights/speakers in the box.    The lights are officially BR30 style flood lights.

It makes much more sense to use these as a pair of lights and sound, which will be physically separated from each other in order to deliver stereo.  When I first read the description I thought it was a single light with two speakers in it, which would have been a whole different thing, turns out that’s a different product called the Pulse Solo.

Put these Pulse units in recessed lighting, or perhaps hang them from the ceiling like Pendant lights.  They might fit in some table lamps, but not many with shades will be able to accept them.  The sides come finished in Pewter, or Candy Apple red, so it’s obvious that SengLED figures people won’t always hide them.

One big question we’ll try to answer:  Are two devices in one, in this case, a better idea?


 

Pulse was one of several very interesting Singled products shown at CES this year.  Sengled is a Chinese company already selling product in the US.  Amazon among others are offering some of their products.  They recently also signed with a major distributor.

The Sengled Pulse is like other Sengled products in that it combines more than one function.  In this case they have combined sound with lighting in a single light.

It’s a flood style light, and a physically large one.  But it does fit into the standard 6″ diameter “cans” that are numerous in most rooms in our Dream Home project. and millions of other homes with recessed lighting.   It allows you to hide your sound in the ceiling. if you have a place for recessed lighting.

The key things to know are these:

  • There’s a free app available – for both iOS and Android.
  • Additional satellite Pulses are available to put multiple speakers/lights in a room
  •  You can put one Pulse in a room and play mono
  • Put  two in a room and have real stereo.
  • The Pulse’s lighting is controlled via Wifi to control on/off, and dimming (separate control of multiple bulbs is supported)
  • Music handling  is a bit more complicated, relying on both Wifi and Bluetooth
  • The Pulse should not be used with a dimming wall switch (no surprise there, that’s true for pretty much all dimmable smart lights.  Dimming + dimming = possible issues
  • The App will control one Pulse set up as the Master, and up to 7 additional Satellites!
  • Per SengLED each Pulse is a 600 lumen dimmable LED light, with about a 7.5 watt speaker system.  Light and sound combine for power consumption of 15 watts per speaker/light (30 watts max)

To be more specific:  Music is delivered to the internal JBL speaker by Bluetooth.  But to control the sound, in terms of volume, or selecting equalization or if one or all speakers should be playing is controlled through Wifi.

Because the sound is handled by Bluetooth, realize if you get up with your phone or tablet or other music streaming device, and leave the room, you are going to lose your music connection!   But more on that later.

I’m also currently evaluating a pair of Sonos Play 1 speakers, which are Wifi based, both for music delivery and control.  The Pulse and the Play 1’s have different strengths and weaknesses, relative to their method of handling the music.  More on that later as well.

To play music pair the Bluetooth between the Pulse and your device.  Then select the Pulse, and play music the way you normally would with a bluetooth speaker.  As an iOS person, I just open iTunes and select a playlist, an album, individual songs, etc., exactly as I normally would.  That easy!  One thing to keep in mind.  You are limited to typical Bluetooth range.  Wander to far out of the room with your phone or other source, and the music is going to quit on you. But that is the case with any bluetooth speaker system.

You can choose to only play through one speaker or both, and you can set each one separately for mono, left channel or right channel.

 

Controlling the Pulse LED Light by Wifi

Lighting setup is simple.  Just screw in one or both Pulse lights, to awaiting light sockets.  (The hardest part is unpacking the lights which are really well packed – almost a struggle to get them out of the box.)

Download and install the appropriate app from the Apple Apps store, or an Android app site that has the app.

The app will “connect” with the lighting.  It will do that on an iOS device like my iPhone 6, whether or not the phone’s Wifi is turned on.  In fact, you can still control the lighting (and sound) if you have Wifi on the phone turned off.  I do not use Android so cannot verify that same flexibility, but it would make sense that it be offered there as well.


That also should help you understand that you can control lighting, etc. even if you have Wifi on the phone or other device on, and are using it for surfing the web, etc.  This wouldn’t be the first app to allow that.

OK, if you have “plugged in” two speakers, the App will let you define one as the Master, and one as the Satellite.  I did not have a third Pulse so could not check out setting up 3 or more, but it should result in more Satellite lights.

Once defined, from the menus you can adjust the proportional brightness between the two.  I normally have both equally bright but you could make one brighter than the other.  Essentially I can go in and make the satellite, (or the Master) 1/3 as bright or some other amount) as the other.    Note though, that as long as the main brightness control is set for 100% that works.  As soon as one adjusts the main control, both lights return to equal brightness, and the main adjusts both the same amount.  That control is labeled from 0 to 100%.

The Pulse will remember the last brightness settings you used before turning off the lights, and restore them when you turn them back on.

But! I’m talking about turning them on and off from the App.  In my room where I’m testing the Pulse, the two lights are in a ceiling with 7 other LED lights.  There is a master switch that turns them all on.  I routinely use that switch, so that the Pulse turns on when I turn on the master switch.

The “But” is that it is possible for the Pulse App to forget the last lighting setting.  It’s hard to pin down, but it seems to occur if I have the App open, and try using it in the first couple of seconds after restoring power to the light via light switch.  Sometimes the App will say it can’t find the satellites.  Solution is to close the App, and kill the power to the light, and start again.  This seems to be a rare problem, that happens only when the right circumstances are in play, new power to the lamp, and running the app before the light/speaker does its musical pulses indicating its ready.

Most of the time, no problem.  I power up the light using my Belkin Wemo Wifi Light Switch,  after having turned it off from the WeMo App, and it comes back to the same setting.

Worth noting:  You can turn off the App, and the light will continue to light.  You just can’t control the settings, of course, but at least it’s smart enough not to turn off.


App Menus: Setting up and operating the PULSE

This player contains screen shots taken with my iPhone, showing the different menus and settings options.


How Good is the LED Lighting

First, the images in this gallery.  The exposure is fairly dark so you can more easily see the differences in these four images.  The two lights on the left are the Pulses (the others are assorted LED lights).  As you can tell from the phone App I’m holding up, the first image is full brightness (100%), while the 2nd is at 65%, the 3rd at 17% and the last at 6%.  The light normally won’t dim down to 5% and sometimes it goes off at 7%.  It seems stable when you set it to 7% or more.  Unlike CFLs, LED’s really do dim way down.  Not quite as far as an incandescent bulb, but – “close enough.”

Several interesting things to report.  While the Pulse has a shape that’s definitely sort of flood light looking, it doesn’t radiate the light the way most of my various LED and Smart LED flood lights do.  Most LED “flood” shaped bulbs end to be narrow floods or spots.  More wider angle floods are appearing these days as well


The Pulse though, despite a mostly flat surface where the light is, radiates all the light out of the little “bump” in the center.  All that real estate around that bump have slots in them for the sound of the speaker to emanate out of.

Thus, the lighting is more like a conventional bulb, radiating the light over about 180 degrees, rather than 15, or 30, or 80 degrees.  As a result, in my ceiling the other lamps light up the floor or furniture brightly that is underneath them.  The Pulse tends to put out the light almost throughout the room.  At the very least, call it a wide flood.

That the Pulse light is physically tall, it sticks out slightly from the bottom of my recessed “cans”.  I can raise up the spacing inside the can one more notch which would further recess the Pulse to limit the light dispersion –  the light shooting out to the sides somewhat, but it would still be far more dispersion than with any of my other lights.  Maybe it’s best think of the pulse as a super wide angle flood, almost a conventional type bulb.  By comparison all my others are spots or narrow floods.

Is that important?  It’s just something to be aware of.  Your lighting fixture is a factor.

As to the lighting itself, the Pulse offers a warm white light.  It is pleasing, and similar to other warm LED lights I own.  Officially the color temp is 2700K – very typical for warm white lighting, and nice.

Thus, the lighting is more like a conventional bulb, radiating the light over about 180 degrees, rather than 15, or 30, or 80 degrees.  As a result, in my ceiling the other lamps light up the floor or furniture brightly that is underneath them.  The Pulse tends to put out the light almost throughout the room.  At the very least, call it a wide flood.

That the Pulse light is physically tall, it sticks out slightly from the bottom of my recessed “cans”.  I can raise up the spacing inside the can one more notch which would further recess the Pulse to limit the light dispersion –  the light shooting out to the sides somewhat, but it would still be far more dispersion than with any of my other lights.  Maybe it’s best think of the pulse as a super wide angle flood, almost a conventional type bulb.  By comparison all my others are spots or narrow floods.

Is that important?  It’s just something to be aware of.  Your lighting fixture is a factor.

As to the lighting itself, the Pulse offers a warm white light.  It is pleasing, and similar to other warm LED lights I own.  Officially the color temp is 2700K – very typical for warm white lighting, and nice.


Next Page :: SengLED Pulse – Smart Flood LED Light with JBL Speaker – Sound – Page 2
Smarter Home