Top critical review
Works most of the time + possible diagnosis on the problem people are having
December 20, 2017
I'm updating my review of these lights as I've now had them for a number of months. I'm lowering my review to 1 star. Why? Because they regularly fail to connect to our network even after upgrading our network, putting the lights on their very own wifi network, it is almost daily that one or more of them needs to be power cycled to get them back online. We actually have 29 bulbs ( a mix of a19s, a30s, the minis, and the strips), so we went all in. When you have as many as we have, failing every day or so becomes very frustrating. If you only had a few bulbs, the mean time to failure would be much greater and it wouldn't be as frustrating.
So to summarize, great quality lights, terrible wifi implementation, so much so that they might as well be controlled from the bulb itself.
I've purchased quite a few of these bulbs (perhaps 20, believe it or not) taking advantage of recent sales. I purchased some of these, as well as some of the BR30s (which are a bit larger in circumference, and more concentrated, meaning the BR30s are better as a flood while the A19 are better as a regular bulb). I was able to get them all online and they *mostly* stay connected most of the time, but at the same time I believe the reviews that you are seeing saying people are having trouble getting them connected and keeping them connected at all. I think the issue is that because they are bulbs, and get a bit hotter than the typical device that you have on a network (e.g., a laptop, smart phone, etc.) and their wifi radio signals are a bit weaker than normal. Hence, when you have a wifi hotspot that is weak at times (or at locations in a house), you'll have trouble keeping them connected. In our house, we have two access points, located at very different spots in the house so that we get great coverage everywhere, and this might be why it is working (mostly) for us. The other thing I notice is that is is very time dependent - during the day on weekdays, the lights work perfectly and very reliably. On weeknights (and in particular on Fri/Sat night) the lights become less reliable (we have quite a few neighboring wifi networks in our neighborhood, and during those times the radio environment probably becomes more hostile to weak wifi signals). What happens during those times is that some of the lights don't respond for a few minutes, but then eventually recover after a few minutes (a problem that never happens during weekday days).
My guess is that the reviewers who are having problems have an even more hostile (i.e., crowded) wifi environment than what we have and perhaps also poorer wifi coverage than what we have. The only way to know for certain if the lights will work reliably for you is to try them out unfortunately.
Regarding the lights themselves, when they work, they work fantastically. The colors are superb, and it is great to have all of the different varieties and themes of colors for different times of the day, and the app (on the iphone at least) is good. We have decided to keep all of our lights (and will probably get more), but then at the same time we are planning to further upgrade our wifi equipment (and make it more hostile for our neighbors, it's an arms race :-).
Part of me feels like all of the smart devices in the home are using a solution that is a patch over existing old fashioned infrastructure. We have electric power (and hence wired cable) going to every one of these devices. It would be much better to have a universal wired in-home standard for both power and data, and a standard universal plug that could serve power + data within the home (and a bulb socket that did the same). If such infrastructure existed and was pervasive (certainly technologically possible today) it would work much better (although this would not be logistically cost effective and so we are stuck using wifi for our smart home devices unfortunately). I suppose this is, however, not the worst problem in the world.