Test: 14 smart products from the Action

After parties such as Philips, Ikea and Trust have already contributed to making your home 'smart', discounter Action also launched its own line of smarthome products at the end of 2019. With the LSC Smart Connect range, the originally Dutch retail chain tries to offer cheap options for your smart home. Time to see how you install these products and how they compare to other products on the market.

The discounter Action has launched a fairly wide range of smart smart products on the market, under the name LSC Smart Connect. The chain comes with a fairly large number of smart bulbs. It not only introduces a simple smart LED light but also has five different types of smart filament LED bulbs (that is, lamps that look like old-fashioned incandescent bulbs) in the range. In addition, there are two types of multicolor LED lamps available and a multicolor spot lamp with GU10 fitting. A ceiling lamp and a smart LED strip are also available.

In addition to the lamp range, this series also includes a siren, a motion detector, a door sensor, a remote control and a smart plug. So you can not only light your home smartly, there are also other options to make your home smarter. This makes Action's collection of smart products quite a complete package.

All these products can be controlled via an app on your smartphone or tablet. You can find the complete range at www.lsc-smartconnect.com.

Test procedure

We purchased fourteen of the fifteen LSC Smart Connect products and tested them at home. Different combinations of products have been tried. The lamps and sensors are placed in a total of two rooms. This was done to see how the products work together in the same, but also in two different spaces. All products have been added to the accompanying app and where possible also to the remote control. Where possible, every scenario, theme and scheme has been tried to map out all functionalities.

Installation procedure and app

The installation of the products is quite simple. The instructions all start the same way. First of all, you need to install the app via the Play Store, App Store or the supplied QR code. First create an account. Then you need to add each product. It actually speaks for itself, but the app also gives clear instructions. Then turn on the devices. The lamps will flash and are then ready for use. You will first have to reset the other devices, such as the door sensor and siren, via a button on the device.

You can then operate the devices in the app. You will probably have to do a small firmware update for each lamp and sensor. This update takes about ten seconds.

To link the lamps to the remote control, you have to switch the lamps on and off once. The devices then go into 'learning mode' for twenty seconds. Then press and hold the power button on the remote control, it will flash three times when the pairing is successful. Now you have the option to turn the lights on and off, create groups, or adjust brightness and color.

Automation

There are various possibilities for automation via the LSC Smart Connect application. You can make certain settings per lamp or per group. You can create groups between the lamps via the app. Here you can distinguish the room in which you have placed the lamps, such as the living room, bedroom, etc. This way you can automatically switch the lamps on and off at different times. This can, for example, depend on the time of day or the weather.

In the app you also have the option to set scenarios. With such a scenario you can link certain actions to each other. When you have both the siren and the door sensor in the app, you can use this to create a scenario that works as follows: if the door is open, the siren will go off. Ideal for when you go on holiday!

Voice Control

The smarthome products can also be controlled with your voice. The devices have support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Log in to your Google Home or Alexa account and link the LSC products to your service of choice. Via Smart Life you can log in with the account you have created to use the LSC Smart Connect app. The smarthome products can now be controlled with your voice. For example, you can dim, switch on or change the color of the lamps.

IFTTT

The scenarios and schedules can also be set via IFTTT (If This Then That). This platform makes it possible to connect different smart home devices with each other. This way you can also connect your LSC products with products from other brands, for example the Philips Hue products. The IFTTT app already contains several pre-programmed 'applets' with which you can set fun things. This way you can, for example, switch off all your lights as soon as you leave the house or have a light flash when you receive an email. You can determine and set these types of scenarios and conditions yourself.

Remote control

As described earlier, the lamp range is supplemented by five other products, namely accessories and sensors. The first product is the remote control. This is a fairly simple model with an on/off button and two buttons for adjusting the brightness. It works indoors up to twenty meters and is supplied with two AAA batteries. The remote control only works with the lamps, or lamps that are connected via the smart plug. You cannot adjust the brightness of the lamps that you have connected with the smart plug: you can only switch these lamps on and off. Unfortunately, the sensors cannot be controlled with the remote control at all. Linking the lamps to the remote control sometimes works a bit difficult: the remote control does not always detect the lamps. This can be solved by switching the lamp in question on and off three times.

door sensor

The door sensor consists of two elements that can easily be attached to the door with an adhesive strip. At first glance, this seems like a pretty useless addition. The sensor only registers when the door opens and closes and lets you know via the app. You will have to give the sensor more meaning through the scenarios and linking it to other devices. Having your lights on as soon as you open the door is very handy! The sensor is therefore only an addition to the range.

Siren

The siren in the LSC range is one of 110 decibels, which can be set in three positions. With these positions you determine the height of the sound. You can set via the app whether the alarm gives sound, light or both. Our experience is that the sound is not very loud. You don't have to be in the same room when it goes off, but we don't think the neighbors just hear the alarm either.

Motion sensor

Both the siren and the door sensor can be linked to the motion sensor. That motion sensor came out as the worst in our test by far. During testing, the sensor was placed in a corner of the room, next to the door. However, the sensor did not register any movements. That movement was only registered when the sensor was flipped in the hand. The sensor would indicate via the app whether little or a lot of movement was detected, unfortunately this could not be tested.

Update: Action has announced that a new version of the motion detector is coming. It should be in stores sometime in May or June of this year. This version of the motion sensor will have a rechargeable battery that can be charged directly via micro USB. In addition, the detection angle is expanded to 150 degrees. We will of course come back to this when we have had the new version in our hands.

Update 2: We have not yet been informed about this. The coronavirus could play a role in this delay

smart plug

The smart plug is still a welcome addition. With this plug you ensure that products that cannot normally be operated with an app can be operated via the Smart Connect app. This way you can switch an old desk lamp or your coffee machine on and off remotely.

LSC Smart Connect door sensor

Price

€9.95 8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Detects excellent
  • Negatives
  • Can only be linked via scenarios or IFTTT

LSC Smart Connect motion detector

Price

€9.95 4 Score 40

  • Pros
  • Price
  • Negatives
  • Doesn't detect well

LSC Smart Connect remote control

Price

€9.95 7 Score 70

  • Pros
  • simple design
  • Ability to dim lights
  • Negatives
  • Can only be linked to the lamps

LSC Smart Connect smart plug

Price

€8.49 8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Integrates older devices
  • Negatives
  • Can only turn on or off

LSC Smart Connect smart siren

Price €8.49 7 Score 70
  • Pros
  • Can be linked to other sensors
  • Choice of sound and light
  • Negatives
  • Relatively soft sound

Filament lamps

LSC supplies various smart lamps. There are five types of smart filament bulbs. These are all gold-colored LED lamps, of which you can adjust the brightness and color temperature via the app. One lamp has an E14 fitting, the rest an E27 fitting. The appearance difference: one is round and the other is more pointed in shape. The lamps have a very nice warm glow, especially when you adjust the color temperature. Some lamps seem to change less or not at all than other lamps in the same group. When you have created a group and adjust the brightness, in some cases not all lamps will last at the same level.

You have many options when it comes to scenarios. For example, you can have the lights turn on or off at specific times. Unfortunately, you cannot set the app to switch on the lights slowly in the morning, for example, where the brightness is slowly built up. This also applies to all lamps in the range.

Multicolor LED lamp

In addition to the filament lamps, there are three multicolor LED lamps. These are available in an E14, E27 and GU10 version. Unfortunately we were unable to test the GU10 version. It is striking that these RGB lamps actually have a fairly large color range. As with the other lamps, you can set scenarios and schedules. With these lamps you can also set themes where the color changes after a few seconds. The app itself already has a range of themes, but you can also choose to determine the color gradient yourself and create your own theme.

Multicolor LED Strip

You can also set a color gradient with the multicolor LED strip. The low price of less than two bucks makes this a really good deal. Alternative 1500 lumen multicolor LED strips usually cost about double. The length of five meters is enough LED strip to place behind your television for a nice light effect, or to illuminate it nicely on a cabinet, shelf or wall. The strip can display beautiful warm white light and all kinds of other colors.

Ceiling light

The latest addition is the ceiling lamp. This ceiling lamp of 1400 lumen gives a nice warm and white light. Another advantage is that the lamp remembers settings. When you adjust the brightness or color temperature, the lamp will keep these settings when you turn off the device. A small side note is that the lamp does not have the correct holes for direct mounting on a central box.

LSC Smart Connect smart filament LED lamp

Price

€7.95, €8.95 and €9.95 9 Score 90

  • Pros
  • Nice warm color
  • Large assortment
  • economical
  • Negatives
  • Not every lamp changes with it

LSC Smart Connect Smart Multicolor LED Bulb

Price

€7.95 10 Score 100

  • Pros
  • Color range
  • Setting themes
  • Negatives
  • No

LSC Smart Connect smart multicolor LED strip

Price

€19.95 10 Score 100

  • Pros
  • Price
  • Length
  • Themes and scenarios
  • Negatives
  • No

Ceiling light

Price

€16.95 8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Saves settings
  • Warm color temperature
  • Negatives
  • Holes don't fit

Tuya platform

Many smart products that we know, especially lighting, work through a bridge or a hub. You can connect the smart products to your home network and internet connection via this bridge. The Action products tested work directly on a WiFi connection (2.4 GHz). However, this does affect the reliability of the products. A bridge is in fact able to store settings such as time schedules locally. When the internet connection goes down or interrupts for a while, the bridge will still remember all the rules you have set. For example, have you set that you want the lamps in the living room to be on every evening around 6:00 pm? Then this will continue to happen despite the connection being lost. Since the Action products work on WiFi in combination with relatively simple chips, if the connection fails, your preset rules will also disappear.

The accompanying app and the (software on the) WiFi microcontroller in the smart products were developed by Tuya. This is a Chinese cloud platform for smarthome products. Other manufacturers also use Tuya technology. For example, you can use the HiHome Smart or Woox home apps for operation. All these apps have different names and logos, but they are built on the same architecture and work the same. After a firmware upgrade, Tuya uses encryption for all traffic between devices, app and the underlying cloud service.

Conclusion

One thing is certain: the price could easily have been mentioned as a plus for each product. Action offers extremely cheap options and a fairly complete package. The door sensor, siren and remote control work nicely with the lamps. The motion sensor leaves a lot to be desired. The lamps perform very well and the LED strip is definitely recommended in terms of price-quality ratio. In addition, it is possible to integrate these cheaper products via IFTTT with other smart devices that you already have at home. They can also be controlled with your voice via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

The app offers enough options to change color, brightness and other settings. For a perfect adjustment, however, you will have to create scenarios yourself or look for additional functionality in apps such as IFTTT.

In any case, thanks to the low price, LSC Smart Connect is an excellent set to discover what is possible with a smart home. Even if you only purchase a light, you can't really go wrong in that regard. In any case, Action's LSC Smart Connect products cannot be dismissed as odds and ends.

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