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PLAYBULB String – The Best Outdoor Holiday Lights

Editor's Rating
4.9?
Discovered on 2016-08-18

Playbulb from MIPOW is a range of connected lighting products with simple Bluetooth controls. With the Playbulb devices, you’re not limited to one color or even a selection of static colors – you have the entire color spectrum at your disposal. It is fun and easy to use right out of the box. You don’t need to worry about spilling water or unfavorable weather conditions. Therefore it can be placed both indoors and outdoors. The latest version of PLAYBULB X supports four stunning lighting effects. There is ­the rainbow, flashing, shake mode for interactive color changing, and pulsing. You can group multiple PLAYBULB string (up to 5) together to share the same color and lighting effect. Maximize color fun with more PLAYBULB strings. You can extend the length of PLAYBULB string with their 5 meters extension pack. With each USB Wall Charger Adapter, you can extend the length up to 20 meters.

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Overview
Overview & Specs
Input Voltage / Current :
5V/2A
Bluetooth Profile :
GATT
Wireless Range :
10 M
Available LED Color :
16.8 million RGB colors
Discovered on:
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Kickstarter Comments (50)

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Mark Rejhon
Review from Kickstarter
Also, once somebody creates an open source API based on this (maybe I will, but time is too scarce right now) -- then it's probably easy enough for a Novice Programmer. Then you can just use any Bluetooth LE/Smart computer or hub to create various plug-ins for existing automation/hub software (HomeSeer, etc) and possibly make PlayBulb compatible with Apple HomeKit through a gateway box. You can still be a huge help by beta testing an open source SDK. I'm looking for other programmers/tweakers/hackers to join me on this journey to figure out if an open source SDK can be created for our big cache of PlayBulb products. markybox[at]gmail.com. P.S. MIPOW hopefully this can help you sell more product. We need this bad.
Mark Rejhon
Review from Kickstarter
There are now instructions on reverse-engineering a Smart Bulb Bluetooth LE protocol here at https://learn.adafruit.com/reverse-engineering-a-bluetooth-low-energy-light-bulb/overview ....With the new software out there, it seems simple enough for an Intermediate Programmer. Doesn't need to be an Advanced programmer anymore, though maybe slightly above Novice.
Philippe C.
Review from Kickstarter
Hey Mark, I'm not that good for reverse engeneering hehe. I'm a self-learning novice at programming but I can do well with a sdk or an api =) You have quite a good idea, but I think you may outskill me a lots, and i'll be kinda useless xD
Mark Rejhon
Review from Kickstarter
Phillipe C, you might want to reach me; google my name. I purchased a Bluetooth LE sniffer from Adafruit ( https://www.adafruit.com/product/2269 ) and am starting to kind of reverse-engineer the PlayBulb Bluetooth protocol (since MIPOW is not releasing API, it would have made PlayBulb more popular with more sales). Hopefully one of us can write our apps such as plug-ins for existing home automation software.
Kirill
Review from Kickstarter
Hello MIPOW USA. I tryed contact with direct letter, but no ansver yet. I am Backer 339 for $75
PLAYBULB string & smart bulb, but in passel I have only 2 PLAYBULB string without smart bulb. It seems to just mistake with passel during sending period. I am big fan of your product MIPOW USA.
Gregory Flack
Review from Kickstarter
I did receive all my packages (Langley, BC, Canada) but just received today a duty charge from UPS Canada for $18.47 CAD. As my packages arrived in two shipments there will probably be another notice coming. Just a heads up!
Gregory Flack
Review from Kickstarter
Love the sphere, the outdoor solar light and we now have three of the candles! Also love the new playbulb string (also got the extender) but I did notice that I can't turn the lights to white. I did get the timer to work but a daily scheduler would be nice.
Mark Rejhon
Review from Kickstarter
And, creatively, the 2way nature of the PLAYBULB bluetooth protocol provides a way of automatically verifying if the color command was successful, so an improved app can verify and repeat/retry until the color-setting is successful.
Mark Rejhon
Review from Kickstarter
I have lots of PLAYBULB products and found out that the protocol is 2way. There is even a way to turn on the white LED at the same time as the color LED, for undocumented color. And there is even a way to query if the light is ON or OFF, and what color it currently is. In theory it is possible to write a smarthome or homekit gateway that even also resets original PlayBulb Rainbow color after it has been switched off by a wall switch, by retransmitting last remembered color as soon as the bulb comes back on, etc. Sooooo MANY things can be done with the PlayBulb Bluetooth protocol.... including faster and slower flashing than permitted by PLAYBULB X.
Mark Rejhon
Review from Kickstarter
PhillipeC, programmer here too. We should set up a programmer bounty at www.bountysource.com to get the PLAYBULB BlueTooth protocol reverse engineered. I'd throw in $200 ... the protocol seems unencrypted and simple according to a Bluetooth sniffer.
MIPOW USA
Review from Kickstarter
@Missy Hp > We send it together STRING + SPHERE. Please verify again.
Missy Hp
Review from Kickstarter
Go my lights but not my sphere..
MIPOW USA
Review from Kickstarter
Dear backers. Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. We will make sure to improve step by step. Please visit Google Play & Apple iOS store to update our latest app PLAYBULB X 1.5.1 in case if you have the older versions. Thanks again for all your support :)
Paul
Review from Kickstarter
How did you guys get the timer & sleep functions to work? Is it possible to have the lights turn on & off everyday at the same times AND remember the settings?
Yves Bouyssounouse
Review from Kickstarter
I totally agree that a better app somehow someway needs to be available.
Philippe C.
Review from Kickstarter
@Yves Well for the other lights in their collection, it does not work this way.
I think the playbulb series need more consistency. And the app need more functions, for me, it isn't enough. Timer are great for something that need regularity. but otherwise.... If they don't want to use ressources to make a better app, they should release an api or sdk, and I will make an app. Maybe better, release a premium paid app with more functions, i'll buy it right now. Or do a kickstarted campaign to make a better app.
Yves Bouyssounouse
Review from Kickstarter
@Brett @PhillipeC
I have 5 sets on my tree and I set each string to do rainbow at slightly different rates. To my pleasant surprise when power is cut to all of them, they "remember" their settings so I get 5 multi colors changing at different rates. Looks really nice. So timer should work fine. I have them hooked into a WeMo switch and even my two year old can say "Alexa turn on the Christmas tree" and it works! You can set a wemo switch to be a timer too.
Kimberly Apple Deinlein
Review from Kickstarter
Well. I guess I'm just kind of let down. At the planned price point I really expected much more functionality. I have lights that were much less costly that allow for far more variety. They allow up to 3 colors at once, chasing colors etc. All in all, unless the app gets a major update, they are just boring. Now, to boot, after only being up for 10 days they are no longer functioning correctly. Have lost all colors except blue, green and white. No longer have rainbow function at all. The other effects only work in the three remaining colors.
Adam
Review from Kickstarter
@MIPOW USA - how do we get alternating colors like we see in the main video still? I can only seem to make the strand be one color at a time. How can I do multi-color or two color? Am I missing something? Configuration options for the lights seems severely lacking, there is so much potential but currently it is a little limiting.
David Lamond
Review from Kickstarter
Got mine and have decorated the Christmas tree. Looks awesome.
Henric Carlsson
Review from Kickstarter
My adapter broke after 3 days so i had to get another, first i thought the stringlight was broken. But the extension got a different light from the first string, and some lights are in different color. The app isn't that good either, it should not be that hard to add some effects thats very useful with this kind of lights.
Jimmy Reyes
Review from Kickstarter
I haven't received my gifts.
Mark Johnston
Review from Kickstarter
Still waiting (patiently) on mine...but one thing I've wanted to request for the app is a brightness slider for the effects, so that when I want a slow rainbow fade it's not glaringly bright if I don't need it to be.
Chris Mibus
Review from Kickstarter
Love these working great. As some have said app is flakey but I knew that from the Garden lights. Not sure if this is possible but can the string have different colours at the same time. Would love to see a running effect like many normal Christmas light have and a random colour flash. The app is designed for all the other lights, would be nice to see an update for some effects specific to the string.
DePeer
Review from Kickstarter
Mine was shipped with a faulty adapter. I found this out after initial shock it wouldn't work at al. Still a bummer though.
Dru
Review from Kickstarter
Got mine they are amazing Just waiting on my other bits to ship from the pledge Dru
David Mason
Review from Kickstarter
Hello, I received my 2 strings + 2 extensions last week. I believe one of my extensions is faulty. Past the first bulb, the blue emitters barely work on the string. I'll contact customer service about a replacement but beyond that technical issue, I love the lights and I really appreciate the fast delivery!
Nathan Hiatt
Review from Kickstarter
Installed these on my house recently and loved them. My only regret was seriously that I didn't order more. The Amazon prices (retail) was just too much. So when I got the email about their Black Friday sale, I ordered more on Amazon! If anyone else wants more, now is the time people!
Russ Ratzlaff
Review from Kickstarter
Paul, I am from Canada, live in the west and just received my packages by Canada post.
Russ Ratzlaff
Review from Kickstarter
Received all my goodies!! They are all working! App may be a bit flakey but it is not bad. Love this technology!
Paul
Review from Kickstarter
Had anybody in Canada received strings? If yes, when & how? Canada Post?
Russ Ratzlaff
Review from Kickstarter
Just received my light strings today! Haven't had a chance to try them out them out yet but if they are anything like the garden lights, they will be great, but I am missing half of pledge items, no candle, no bulb, are they coming in a separate shipment?
Joe
Review from Kickstarter
Considering the app is the one thing that ties all the products together, it's amazing that it's hardly changed since the Playbulb candle (which I've got 4 of, in front of me now - I've been a repeat backer!)
Interface with home automation will be difficult due to the bluetooth nature of the products - they'd need some sort of hub device to enable that, but new, customisable colour transitions should be pretty easy. I'd love to see that, or just the API to allow others to do it.
Philippe C.
Review from Kickstarter
The app is one of the major problem with Mipow products, and I still look foward any subtancial update before buying anymore of their products. But I will always keep a look on them, they still have great potential. Another problem is that they are NOT compatible with any home automation system, and it is another BIG and important issue. @Allen Rogers, I really have my doupt you will get a christmas transition light. I waited for them for almost 2 years. @Bert Venezian, your timer idea will not work. If you cut the power of the bulb, they generally reset without any effect when you open them again.
Forar
Review from Kickstarter
Lights received in Canada, working as expected and a great addition to my Playbulb collection.
Allen Rogers
Review from Kickstarter
Got the lights today and set them up - working great. I do echo that I wish there were a few more options in the app like being able to select my own color transition. Would like to just go between red and green with a smooth transition. Would this be possible? Thanks guys!
Bert Venezian
Review from Kickstarter
Received my lights and have them installed on my house. I little them a lot, but the app is very lacking. The wake tuner looks like it's only good for 30 mounties of use. There is no FAQ or user guide available. I would like for the lights to come on with the rainbow effect at 5:30 pm and turn off at 3:00 am. Maybe I'll just get over of riser timers from home depot.
Bwired.nl
Review from Kickstarter
received today and i am not that happy, the leds with housing are very bulky together with bulky string:-) also white light is not while at all but blue! also the variaty of programs not so smooth for a xtree :-(. I liked the other products better! i think these will stay in the box...
Mark Rejhon
Review from Kickstarter
Hello!
I was on vacation then I paid DHL customs online.
Now DHL says my string is being returned to sender, DHL says you have to call them to get them to intercept the shipment and reverse the shipment direction back to me. Please? :) ....I am looking forward to them
Kai Krieger
Review from Kickstarter
I would also like to know which chemical in the string can cause cancer/birth defects and how someone can be exposed to it, by touching it or by just by breathing evaporations.
Maybe it is not that dangerous, but my wife is pregnant and I don' t want her to take the risk.
Crispin
Review from Kickstarter
Thank you very much for the String! Received String + Extension + AU USB adaptor all OK here in New Zealand, and all working great! Am I right in believing that it is not possible to set an effect like Rainbow and also control the brightness? I was trying to have a slow colour change effect (Rainbow) but just a soft brightness for mood lighting that wasn't too intense. Is this possible in the app? And one random question about integrating with other systems: is there any chance this might interact with IFTTT for example, so we can link the String (and other Mipow lights) to home automation recipes? Thank you again, great job for yet another Mipow campaign!
MIPOW USA
Review from Kickstarter
@Backers >> We will upload the "Safety and Regulatory Information" to our website soon and update the link here soon for reference. Thanks for your patience.
Philippe C.
Review from Kickstarter
@Clare Marie The warning you talk about is probably about the californian law Proposition 65. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/cancer-warning-labels-based-on-californias-proposition-65 Chance are that some materials from the bulb / string should not be eaten, chewed or disasembled. You don't see this labelling often because most of all country don't thing it's realy an issues. Who would eat or chew this kind of product ? :P (Well maybe a dog, or a baby...)
Kazu
Review from Kickstarter
I got mine in Japan. Thanks!
François Pellerin
Review from Kickstarter
Got thanks! Quebec city, Canada. Is it possible to add to the app a christmas settings so it light up 3-4 colors in loop(blue, green, red, yellow)?? Would be great!!
Clare Marie
Review from Kickstarter
Can I please get some more info about the cancer/birth defect warning that is mentioned on the light boxes .. I did ask this privately via message, but your reply never even mentioned my question??
Angelo Santia
Review from Kickstarter
Got it yesterday and tested them out (main plus extended string) all working perfectly. Thank you.
Marie-Andree Poisson
Review from Kickstarter
Received today.
Nathan Hiatt
Review from Kickstarter
I got mine on Thursday of this week and tested both the 2 main strings as well as the four extensions. All worked perfectly and the app controlled everything easily. Then today I spend 5 hours installing them all along the front and side of my house. I powered them in and played with various settings and I am super happy with the whole system. I don't plan on taking these down ever again. To install them I drove a short wood screw on the underside of my eves along the roof line. Then I zip tied them to the screw heads and through the little circle on each light. I skipped every other light and just zip tied half of them. They installed easily and quickly that way. I am super happy with them! Thanks for a great product at a fantastic price!!! My neighbors will be jealous this year for sure
Joe
Review from Kickstarter
Mine received in the UK yesterday.
Looks good, hoping that the commitment to an API is still going forwards.
For example, I want to be able to program custom sequences of colours (red, green), not just a pre determined rainbow.