Novostella Smart Led Light Bulb WhiteSource: Christopher Close / iMore

When it comes to smart light bulbs, there are tons of options available these days, with pretty much every manufacturer providing their own take on the category. Despite having a lot of choices, most smart bulbs tend to be a little on the dim side, with very few reaching over 1,000 lumens.

The smart bulbs that do offer high brightness levels, such as LIFX's popular A19 color light bulb, come with a price tag that can be a little hard to swallow at $60. Progress is definitely being made on this front, though, from companies like Novostella, offering the best of both worlds. I recently had a chance to test out the Novostella 13w Smart LED Light Bulb, and I am really enjoying having connected bulbs that can light up an entire room.

Bright and budget friendly

Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb

Bottom line: The Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb offers vivid colors, and extremely bright lighting, all at an affordable price tag. If you want the smarts, but don't want to sacrifice on brightness, then this bulb should definitely be on your list.

The Good

  • Bright and colorful
  • Affordable price tag
  • Dimming and color temperature adjustments
  • Fast response times
  • Supports Alexa and Google Assistant

The Bad

  • Heavy, bulky base
  • Doesn't support 5GHz Wi-Fi
  • Doesn't work with HomeKit


Covers all of the bases

Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb: The features

Novostella Smart Led Light Bulb OffSource: Christopher Close / iMore

The Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb is one of the brighter A19/E26 smart bulbs around, capable of reaching up to 1,300 lumens. Despite its high brightness, the bulb still sips energy, rated at just 13 watts when in use.

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Novostella's offering can display the industry standard 16 million colors and shades of whites and is fully dimmable. Color temperature adjustments ranging from 2700K to 6500K are also available via smart app control.

The bulb connects directly to a home network via 2.4ghz Wi-Fi, with no additional hub required. Like many smart home accessories, the bulb does not work with 5ghz networks, which is something to keep in mind if your router doesn't support separate channels.

Novostella Smart Led Light Bulb Review Settings ScreensSource: Christopher Close / iMore

Smart control is available through the Smart Life app, which is an app that works with a variety of accessories from different manufacturers. The app supports basics like sliders for adjustments, toggles for on/off, timers, and scenes.

Through the Smart Life app, voice control integration with Amazon's Alexa, and the Google Assistant are just a few taps away. The app also supports automations, as well as platforms such as IFTTT for convenient controls.

Finally, the bulb is rated for indoor use only, with no weather resistance on-board. Novostella lists the bulb's lifespan at 50,000 hours, and it includes a one-year limited warranty.

Bright and beautiful

Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb: What I like

Novostella Smart Led Light Bulb ColorsSource: Christopher Close / iMore

Novostella's smart light bulb is bright, really bright, instantly lighting up the area around it the moment I turned it on. The 1,300 lumens of brightness was really nice to have in a smart bulb, as most that I have tried over the years have always ranged between 400-800, which is not quite bright enough for some areas.

Colors from the light bulb were also bright and vivid, easily handling any color thrown at it from the Smart Life app. The one exception to this is greens, which for some reason, is a sore spot for many smart bulbs, but I am positively impressed by Novostella's color reproduction.

Novostella Smart Led Light Bulb Review Control ScreensSource: Christopher Close / iMore

Adjustments to colors and brightness made through the Smart Life app took effect almost immediately on the bulb itself. Navigating the Smart Life app was rather easy, with clearly labeled tabs at the bottom leading to things such as scenes, schedules, and colors.

I like how the app puts the main controls up front, with a large color ring around a bulb icon, and sliders separate from the navigation area. For an app that can be a little overwhelming at first, with tons of different accessories available to select when pairing, the app does get the actual control portion right.

Bulky base

Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb: What I don't like

Novostella Smart Led Light Bulb ComparisonSource: Christopher Close / iMore

While physically installing the Novostella light bulb is quite easy, the base of the bulb is rather bulky and heavy when compared to traditional LEDs. In most cases, the bulb should fit within most lamps, but its size may prevent it from working with enclosed fixtures or small lights in general.

As previously mentioned, the Novostella smart bulb only works with 2.4ghz networks. Your mileage may vary, but some routers, such as my eero system, may cause an issue with pairing due to it using the same SSID for both 2.4 and 5ghz.

Novostella Smart Led Light Bulb Review Setup ScreensSource: Christopher Close / iMore

Having dealt with this issue before for other accessories, I was ready for pairing trouble, using an old AirPort Extreme router that can separate SSIDs. There is no doubt in my mind that this limitation will cause frustrations for many, likely leading to cases where people simply give up trying to pair it.

For voice control, the Novostella smart light bulb works with Alexa and the Google Assistant, but unfortunately, Apple's HomeKit is not supported. Support for Siri Shortcuts is available through a Tap-to-Run automation in the "Smart" tab in the app, and once created, you can toggle the light bulb on and off through Siri on your iPhone or HomePod.

Smart and bright

Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb: The Bottom Line

4 out of 5

Despite some of its flaws, such as lack of 5.ghz and HomeKit support, Novostella's Smart LED light bulb is a great alternative to the more pricey offerings available. At 1,300 lumens, this bulb is one of the brightest around, and it matches its competitors in color reproduction, at 16 million shades of beautiful colors and whites.

Novostella's bulb also features quick response times using the Smart Life app, and even though Siri is not around, having Alexa and Google Assistant support is good enough for most. If you are in the market for a bright, affordable bulb, and know-how to get around the 2.4ghz limitation, then this bulb is undoubtedly worth a look.

Novostella is collaborating with iMore to bring our readers a special exclusive 15% discount for this product. Enter promo code IMORENOVO at checkout to receive this discount at Amazon. Offer is valid from 04/17/20 through 04/23/20.

Bright and budget friendly

Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb

Bottom line: The Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb offers vivid colors, and extremely bright lighting, all at an affordable price tag. If you want the smarts, but don't want to sacrifice on brightness, then this bulb should definitely be on your list.

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