Riversong Juno 10 Smart Bulb Review: An Able Start For Your Smart Home Dreams
Home automation is slowly picking up pace in India, with more users gradually catching on to the “Hey Alexa” and “OK Google” catchphrases. As a result, it is hardly a surprise to see an ongoing effort behind bringing smart bulbs, the most common product in the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, to the mainstream limelight. While you would have seen the likes of Philips and Syska advertise their products on TV and all across the internet, chances are that you may not have heard of Riversong, yet.
The skepticism was reserved by us, too, when we set up the Riversong Juno 10 smart bulb for a three-month-long review process. The bundle that we were sent also included the Riversong Infix smart plug, which also works as a hub for smart devices, and all of Riversong’s products are compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. While this is great, the price sweetens the deal even further — the Juno 10 is priced at Rs 1,499, while the Infix smart plug/hub is priced at Rs 2,499. However, there’s a catch — right now, the Juno 10 is selling on Amazon India at Rs 599, while the Infix plug is out of stock in every online store at the moment.
Setting up the Juno 10 smart bulb is a breeze, thanks to a fairly uncluttered RS Casa app on Android and iOS, which you get complimentary access to. If you already have a smart home setup, simply plug in the bulb, connect the app to the same network, and you’re ready to roll through Google Home/Amazon Alexa’s voice control, depending on which you have set up.
If you don’t, then you plug in both the bulb and the Infix smart plug, and connect the plug to Wi-Fi via the app. It is a simple and app-assisted process. Now, you can also program the bulb to connect to the same network, and control both through the app. It is important to note that you do not necessarily need the plug to operate the bulb, and both work independently of each other.
From the app itself, you can switch the light on/off, change brightness and colour, programme it to switch on automatically at a specified time, or simply with sunset. You can also automate it to switch off at requisite times, or switch to a specific colour at a certain mode should your need be. Then, there are the presets, which make for the fun bit of a smart bulb. You can set the bulb to strobe, or simply keep changing colours, at varying rhythm and intensity.
Living with the duo
To be honest, you really won’t be using the party modes all too often, unless you have an affinity for shifting lights. The useful bit about the bulb’s app interface is that you have a default button that quickly allows you to switch the light colour to white. In this case, the white’s colour temperature is a bit too warm, even a shade more for me, who likes warm lighting at home.
Apart from this, the Riversong Juno 10 smart bulb is a very non-fussy gadget to live with. As expected, there has been no dip in luminance from the bulb in the shade over three months that we’ve had it for. At my home, among three different smart bulbs installed in different rooms, the Juno 10 responds promptly to the Alexa voice command that it is programmed with, while the Philips Hue often takes a tad too long. For reference, both the bulbs are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and are programmed through the same Amazon Echo (2nd gen) smart speakers at home, so there are no network/device differences while operating the two.
Over time, I realised that I barely used the app at all, unless for one occasion when I set an automated timer for the light to switch on, and subsequently turn off. The same applies for the Infix smart plug — I installed it with the geyser in the washroom, and programmed it to switch on every day at 10AM, and switch off by 10:10AM. Given that instant heaters anyway do not take too long to heat the water, it wasn’t really the greatest difference in terms of finding the water already heated prior to a shower. The real convenience is that the geyser would automatically switch off — something that I would often forget to do.
There have so far been no untoward experiences with the products, apart from the fact that both the plug and the bulb automatically switch on after a power cut. But then, so do the Mi bulb and the Philips Hue, both of which are priced higher and come from better-known brands. The Infix smart plug, in particular, is quite durable, since it endured frequent water sprinkles owing to a faulty shower for about one week, and while the incident was duly spotted and fixed before any accident, it was good to know that the plug’s insulation worked as intended.
To be fair, at their market prices, the Riversong Juno 10 and the Infix smart plug are great purchases, if you wish to gradually turn your home into a smart one. Even for those with smart speakers and connected appliances installed, the price factor makes the Juno 10 a great prospect. The only thing you would notice about the Juno 10 against a Philips Hue or a Mi Smart Bulb is that the light fader and switcher do not work as smoothly, or elegantly, as you would hope. That, though, is fine picking for a bulb that costs so less.