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TP-Link Tapo L610 and L630 Smart Wi-Fi Projectors Review

Verdict

These new GU10 bulbs from Tapo bring adjustable and dimmable light to your kitchen, bathroom and other downlights. They’re easy to set up, reasonably efficient, and run smoothly through the Tapo app. If you’re expecting a reliable GU10 smart bulb, this is a great choice.

Advantages

  • Smart and efficient
  • Google Assistant or Alexa control
  • No hub needed

The inconvenients

  • Not massively bright
  • No IfTTT or SmartThings support

Availablity

  • UKMSRP: £13
  • UNITED STATESunavailable
  • Europeunavailable
  • Canadaunavailable
  • Australiaunavailable

  • Color Adjustable GU10 Smart BulbYou can adjust the brightness and white temperature of the Tapo L630, or completely change its color

  • Dimmable GU10 smart bulbTapo L610 is dimmable, but fixed at 2700K warm white

Introduction

Until fairly recently, smart bulbs were conventional-looking devices for screw and bayonet fittings. It’s fine for most rooms – and strip lights are good elsewhere – but it’s not very useful where you have recessed downlights.

These two new bulbs from TP-Link’s Tapo range offer a solution, providing dimmable and color changing replacements for existing GU10 bulbs.

Design and features

  • Simple replacement GU10 bulbs
  • Easy to configure
  • Dimmable and color changing versions

To be clear, I am reviewing two bulbs here. The TP-Link Tapo L610 is the most basic, offering soft white light at a fixed color temperature of 2,700 Kelvin. For a few pounds more, the Tapo L630 adds support for 16 million claimed colors and offers a white temperature range of 2,200-6,500K. Both bulbs are dimmable via the Tapo app, but not via a conventional dimmer.

Visually, there’s not much to choose between them. They’re a marvel of packaging, squeezing the necessary mains transformer, Wi-Fi gubbins and LEDs into a standard-sized white plastic GU10 bulb around 5cm in diameter. Both bulbs have an output of 350 lumens with a 40 degree beam angle, which is pretty standard for a 50 watt equivalent LED downlight. Look into the white-only L610’s lens (when off) and you’ll see orange LEDs, while there’s not much to see on the L630.

TP-Link Tapo L630
TP-Link Tapo L610

If you have an existing GU10 bulb, upgrading it should be as simple as turning off the lights, removing the fitting from the ceiling, replacing the bulb, and putting it back in.

I say should because not all GU10 fittings are that simple. Before buying, it is worth checking that your current lamps do indeed have removable bulbs. Otherwise, replacing them will involve purchasing new GU10 fittings and sockets. If you’re not completely sure how to install them, you’ll need an electrician.

One of the things I particularly like about TP-Link’s Tapo and Kasa products is that they don’t need a hub – they just connect to your existing wireless network. Once physically installed, it is simple to add these bulbs in the Tapo application. Tap the + symbol, select the correct bulb from the list, provide your Wi-Fi details, and the app adds and updates each bulb in a minute or two. You can name individual bulbs and combine them into groups, giving you the ability to quickly change settings for an entire room or adjust individual lights to your liking.

Select a bulb and you’ll see its status and capabilities presented in a neat GUI. Tap the bulb icon base to turn it on and off, or swipe to set a brightness. Each bulb offers a set of customizable presets – for the L610 these control brightness, while on the L630 they combine brightness and a color.

On the L630, it’s easy to double-tap a preset to change it. Changing a preset brings up either a white balance slider or a color wheel, depending on whether it’s a color or white preset, as well as a brightness adjustment. You can use these controls to select and optionally save an exact temperature or color, but there’s no shortcut to access them – you can only open them by first selecting a preset.

There are some differences between the characteristics of these bulbs. You can set the L630 to fade on and off – over about a second – but there’s no equivalent on the L610. The L630 also has “Themes”, including Party mode, which cycles through a set of colors quickly, and Relax mode, which is slower and softer. There is no equivalent on the white bulb only. I only tested one of each, so I couldn’t determine if a group of L630 bulbs stay in sync in Party or Relax mode.

Both bulbs offer full scheduling capabilities, allowing you to set up actions for sunrise, sunset, or a specific time, one or more days a week. In Away mode, they will turn on and off randomly to detect potential burglars. Each also gets a simple timer to turn them on or off after a set time has elapsed.

It is worth mentioning a few features that are unfortunately missing from the Tapo app. There’s no geotagging feature, so you can’t set your bulbs to trigger a scene when you leave or come home. There’s also no support for IfTTT, which would otherwise let you trigger lighting changes from other apps or gear. However, Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant are supported, allowing you to control bulbs or groups using your voice.

Performance

  • Not particularly bright
  • Reasonably low power consumption
  • stay cool

These aren’t the brightest GU10 bulbs you can buy, producing around a third of the 1000 lumens you’d get from a powerful 10W example. As a result, they may not be suitable where absolute power is vital – for example in a room or office with a high ceiling. However, they are perfect for many rooms and applications: if in doubt, you can always check the wattage and wattage output of your existing bulbs and see if they fall short.

LED downlights stay much cooler than their halogen ancestors, but they can still get a bit toasty. Luckily, none of these bulbs got too hot, and the L610 in particular seemed to run cooler than the standard LED downlight it replaced. Although it’s rated D on the recently updated EU energy scale, it’s rated at a low 2.9W at full power – impressively efficient.

The L630 is slightly more power-hungry, E-rated and consumes 3.7W for the same output of 350 lumens. I haven’t been able to confirm the actual power consumption of these bulbs, but if true to TP-Link’s ratings, a set of ten L630 bulbs would only use eight watts more than ten L610 bulbs. .

Smart bulbs draw electricity when on standby, but in my experience it’s essentially negligible, with most bulbs I’ve tested falling below my power meter’s 0.1W minimum. . If this is of particular concern to you, you can always turn your bulbs off with the switch when you’re not using them.

Both bulbs responded quickly during the time I had them, with no hitches or loss of communication. It’s rare, but not unheard of, for smart bulbs to make noise, but none of these have, even when dimmed or dimmed.

Latest offers

Should I buy it?

If you want an affordable GU10 smart bulb, these are good options

These bulbs are not suitable if you need maximum brightness

Final Thoughts

Provided you don’t want very bright lighting, it’s hard to fault the L610 or the L630. While the former only offers dimming, it’s cheaper and more efficient than the multi-color alternative, so it’s a great choice if you don’t mind being limited to dimmable warm white. If you want color, the L630 is also ideal. Although it costs a bit more and uses a bit more power, it offers fun features like party mode and can be set to pretty much any color or brightness you want. If you want more control over your bulbs, including wireless controls, check out Philips Hue alternatives.

How we test

Unlike other sites, we test every smart light we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to properly compare features. We will always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product.

Learn more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main smart light for the exam period

Tested for at least a week

We test compatibility with major smart systems (HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, IFTTT and more) to see how easy each light is to automate

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FAQs

What is the difference between the L610 and the L630?

The L610 bulb is dimmable, the L630 can also change color.

How do TP-Link L610 and L630 connect to the app?

These bulbs use Wi-Fi.

UK RRP

US Recommended Retail Price

EU recommended retail price

CA RRP

Recommended retail price in AUD

Maker

Product Description

Quiet Mark Accredited

Size (Dimensions)

A SIN

Release date

Date of first exam

Model number

voice assistant

Networking