C by GE Sol Wifi Connected Smart Lamp with Amazon Alexa
- Basically it’s a lamp that’s also sort of an Amazon Echo
- You can control the light, set timers, check the weather, tell the time, and even play music from your Alexa enabled library
- Maybe doesn’t do streaming services, though?
- Looks real cool
- Check this video to see it in action
- Model:GE-SOL-SMARTLIGHT, uhh, yeah, not much to say here really
Shed Some Light
With an interesting product like this, you want to separate the marketing jargon from the actual experience. For example, GE has this to say:
Featuring the functionality of a standalone Alexa device, C by GE Sol with Amazon Alexa is wifi connected and allows you to use your voice to control lighting features, set timers, check the weather, tell time, and play music from your Alexa enabled music library.
But is that really indicative of the user experience? To find out, we dove into the Amazon reviews, where this thing earns a 3.5 out of 5, the numerical equivalent of “Eh, who knows?”
The reviews are, honestly, perplexing. They’re either almost too forgiving, or else they’re entirely unforgiving.
Take this one for example. In it, the user simply cannot get the lamp to work. First, the lamp won’t work because some issue with their iPhone. But even when an update supposedly fixes this, the lamp remains non-functional. So they get on the horn with customer service and find out: “some lamp identification stuff hadn’t been added to their [GE’s] cloud and weren’t recognized by their system, but it was all fixed now.” That seems like a major oversight, one worthy of star deduction, and yet user AK rates the product a 5 and titles their review “Best customer service ever.”
Another 5 star reviewer runs into a frustrating router issue and STILL does not complain about the product at all!
Meanwhile, user jonathan dahm gives it just one star. The problem? According to the review title: “It works! - Until the power goes off.” Now, this initially made us wonder what kind of lights jonathan dahm has used in the past, given the long history of tension between lamps that plug into the wall and power outages. Of course, reading further, the issue is more complicated than that: essentially, the lamp had trouble reconnecting after it had been plugged in. This is annoying for sure, but really doesn’t seem wildly unexpected, and definitely not justification for a 1 out of 5 rating.
Another user, TheActualPT, provides a similarly harsh verdict, stating: “Unfortunately, this simply will not work as intended.” Or at least, that’s the beginning of a long tale involving a series of replacements and a list of smart product credentials. Still, frustrating as the ordeal sounds, the review’s placement among others praising the lamp makes the claim a little suspect.
Then, we found it. The perfect review.
Serendipitously titling it “Meh.” user Mountain runs through all the ways in which it works fine enough but not as good as an Amazon Echo, before delivering this closing statement:
Bottom line, if you want a cool lamp with a gimpy alexa, go for it. Otherwise maybe wait for version 2, or for someone else to do this right.
Rarely do we see our idea of salesmanship so perfectly executed in the wild!
Although, we should add, Amazon is offering this thing for $145, whereas we have it for just $59. Which, we think, makes it more palatable if all this ends up being is a “cool lamp.”
And so, what have we learned from all this? Really, not so much.
In conclusion, buy this lamp if it seems like something you’d enjoy.