Inspect-a-Gadget: Color-Changing Bulbs

By Sky Gidge, January 10, 2018

2 0

Inspect-a-Gadget is a monthly segment where we feature a tech toy our editors have been playing with.

Oh, smart home: your promises grand, and only – as always – ‘a few years’ away. There’s the milk-ordering fridge, the self-adjusting thermostat and ‘smart’ lights. 

Despite corporate commercials, that’s not the home we live in – though some tech has made inroads on the domestic abode, namely color-changing lighting in the form of remotely controlled bulbs. 

Of the dozen or so prominent options, the features are similar: dimmable bulbs packing 16 million colors and controlled via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or ZigBee.


After getting hands on with a few color-changing competitors, the Heelight didn’t impress us with what it did, but what it didn’t: no Wi-Fi and no Bluetooth. 

Like the telephone systems of the ’60s, the standard-sized bulb is controlled via sound played at specific frequencies – a chirp emitted by your smartphone. 

While controllable via mobile-friendly website (scan a QR code and a controller loads in your phone), the app offers more options, ranging from the normal to the naughty: ‘nightlight mode’ brightens with the sounds of your stirring, while ‘sex mode’ sets the bulb at a red glow, adding color to your... louder moments.


Yes, the Heelight reacts almost instantly to audio, but being sound-centric comes at a price: commands from your phone might go unheard in a loud room, forcing you to turn off the music to adjust the bulb. 

Overall, the Heelight is fun, and at times legitimately useful – though it won’t have a place next to the robo-butler, if he ever gets here. 

RMB48 on Taobao.

Click here for more Inspect-a-Gadget.

more news

4 Essential Phone Accessories on Sale Now

These handy gizmos will help you stay fully charged this summer!

6 Smartphone Charging Cables Under ¥100

Need a new cable to charge your phone fast? We've got you covered.

Charlene Liu on Ladies Who Tech's First Shanghai Convention

The Ladies Who Tech boss lady on empowerment and the need for more women in STEM industries.

Inspect-a-Gadget: Cinera 'IMAX' Headset

A wearable VR headset, tailor-made for movie-lovers, designed to bring the wide-angle pleasure of IMAX to your face.

Inspect-a-Gadget: Playable Game Boy Phone Case

Wrapped around an iPhone 6 or newer model, this month's gadget looks like the handheld toy that set the industry standard in the early '90s.

Inspect-a-Gadget: Maibu Smart Watch

A smart watch at a smart price.

11 of the Biggest China Technology Trends of 2017

Here are some of the top tech trends and stories to make headlines in China in 2017.

Inspect-a-Gadget: USD17 Bluetooth Headphones

Price drops in 2017 make solid Bluetooth headphones less a show of buying power than a natural next step.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.