Smart home systems are all about gadgets and devices that work well together and can seamlessly integrate into your routines. For the last few years I’ve been using systems like Ring for security as well as Philips Hue for lighting, but recently I learned about GE Cync smart home system. GE’s system has a few more options than either Ring or Philips Hue so I was keep to give it a try. In this review I’ll talk about how the system as a whole works and then break out some of the products I got to sample including :
- Cync Wire Free Dimmer Switch
- Smart Motion Sensor
- Direct Connect Colour Smart Bulb
- Direct Connect Light Strip
- Outdoor Smart Plug
GE Cync Smart Lights
I’ve been really impressed with the GE Cync Smart Home system. There’s a wide array of devices, it’s super easy to set up, a breeze to use, and uncomplicated to manage multiple home devices.
- Super easy to set up
- Easy to use
- Great color options
- Excellent variety of lights
- App is easy to navigate
- Motion Sensor didn’t work properly
- Sunrise/sunset schedule would be nice
Setting up GE Cync using Cync app
This is definitely a very easy smart home system to get set up and install. The first thing you will need is the GE Cync app. As the nerve centre of your smart home, the app will allow you to remotely control and view devices, set lights on schedules and group deices as you may need them; getting a motion detector set up with a light for example.
To get started you merely need to create an account. The app is delightfully uncluttered, modern looking and easy to navigate… Even for new users. You’ll start by creating your home, then you’ll add rooms and finally you’ll set up each of your devices in a room. Adding devices is as simple as clicking the + then choosing the type of device you’d like to set up. This system has everything from lights and light strips, to downlights or what are called wafers, as well as indoor and outdoor cameras wired and wire free switches, plus a thermostat, temperature and motion sensors and more. It’s quite a versatile and robust collection and I’m actually surprised it’s taken me this long to get turned onto the brand.
Every single device I set up inside the app was ready to roll in second. The system appears to work quite seamlessly.
Does GE Cync use a hub or bridge?
I will pause here for a second and point out what this system does not have… and that is a hub or bridge. While many smart home and lighting systems currently use pubs or bridges to connect these devices to your homes Wi-Fi net work, GE Cync has opted to make its devices direct-connect, meaning no extra (and expensive) components to buy.
GE Cync Smart Colour Bulbs & wire-free wall switch
In my home I set up the GE Cync Direct Connect Colour Smart Bulb to be connected with the Cync Wire Free Dimmer Switch in my bedroom so that I could turn on my bedside lamp from across the room. Getting both the lightbulb and the switch set up was very easy inside the LG app requiring just a couple of tabs on the screen and everything was connected.
The light bulb changes colors, and has different temperaturs of white light too; perfect for setting a mood.The Dimmer Switch works great with it, and gives me additional control where I don’t previously have a switch for this light.
It’s also possible to set a timer and you do this using Scenes in the Cync app. I set my Scene to turn the light on dimly just before I’d head in to bed. The Scenes feature is easy to figure out and works well.
GE Cync Direct Connect Light Strip & Motion Sensor
Next I set up the Direct Connect Light Strip. This one I chose to be a background ambient light in my living room, and ran the strip behind the sofa. I also set up the motion sensor to turn on the light when I enter the room.
Except for me the motion sensor didn’t actually seem to work. I would not trip the strip lights for me whatsoever. I switched its connection to the light bulb and had better luck this time, but it would generally take about 20 seconds before that motion would trigger the light bulb. Not ideal.
I also didn’t like the fact I needed to turn the sensor on physically to make any changes whatsoever.
GE Cync Outdoor Smart Plug
Lastly I tried the outdoor Smart Plug, and this is a great device for automating older patio lights, or something like a water fountain.
While the case is quite large, it feels well made, and there’s two plugs here that can be turned on and off with a press of the button, or using the app and a timer function. You can mount the plug to the wall too for stability.
My husband found the button feature handy when when he didn’t wan to mess with finding his phone, while I loved getting the patio lights, and fountain on a schedule so they’d com on each evening and turn off at bedtime.
Is GE Cync a good alternative to Philips Hue?
During my review, I found the entire system to be refreshingly simple, uncluttered, and uncomplicated to use. In my opinion this would be an ideal system to gift to someone who is not super tech savvy, as they should be able to get an entire home system set up and configured easily.
One thing I was not able to do was figure out how to link devices together into more complicated scenes. For example if I wanted the lights to turn on when the motion sensor was tripped and the cameras to start recording (Ring can do this, for example), it seems that type of interconnectedness is not yet available in this app. And perhaps that’s not a bad thing… Since I just got finished praising the simplicity of the system.
The other feature I like that’s missing is a sunrise/sunset automated timer that will manage lights coming on and off at sunrise and sunset.
In short, this is a big competitor for Philips Hue, and a great system.
Overall review: GE Cync smart home
Overall I have to say I’ve been really impressed with the GE Cync Smart Home system. There’s a wide array of devices, it’s super easy to set up, a breeze to use, and uncomplicated to manage multiple home devices. Downsides? I really have nothing bad to say about this system. Anything that’s missing—like that extra connectedness of devices or sunrise sunset timers—isn’t a must have, just a ‘maybe down the road’.
I was also a bit stumped by the motion sensor and why it didn’t respond better to my bulbs and not at all with the light strip.
Despite this issue, I’m really happy with the system overall and I can recommend all the components, with the exception of that motion sensor for now.
I’m really pleased with this system and I can absolutely recommend the entire GE Cync home system to you.
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