Cync is trying to build an affordable smart home ecosystem, and it might work

Cync’s line of smart home products now includes new bulb options, an outdoor camera, and a smart thermostat. | Image: GE Lighting

Cync, the brand born from C by GE, showed off a huge expansion of its smart lighting line at CES 2022 (yes, in person). Eleven new smart bulbs join its already comprehensive offerings. Plus, the company is expanding further into the smart home with a new outdoor camera and the release of its first smart thermostat, complete with room sensors.

Cync also shared its commitment to the new Matter smart home standard, telling The Verge that its color A19 bulb and light strip will be Matter-compatible via a firmware update when the standard launches in mid-2022.

Cync’s products — which include light switches, indoor and outdoor bulbs, smart plugs, an indoor camera, and a motion sensor — use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Mesh for connectivity. They don’t require a hub and are compatible with Google and Alexa smart home platforms.

Since its acquisition by Savant Systems in May 2020, Cync has had aspirations of becoming a complete smart home solution, offering one app for users to control their smart home. Hence more security cameras (it released an indoor camera at last CES and this year has two outdoor versions) and a smart thermostat.

“We want the Cync app to become a bigger part of the smart home and be a single place for a consumer to interact with their home,” Paul Williams, vice president of Experiences GE Lighting, told The Verge.

Image: GE Lighting
The Cync app has some innovative features, including TrueImage — which shows you what your home looks like when you adjust the lighting.

Currently, it’s hardly a complete smart home, but if Matter allows it to bring third parties into its app, those aspirations become more achievable. “For us, Matter is an easier way to bring other products into our ecosystem, something that really comes into play with the Cync app,” says Williams. It won’t be a free for all; however, Cync would curate the devices that worked in its app to “make sure it’s a quality experience for the consumer.”

Cync sits in the mid-range of the smart home in terms of pricing, cheaper than Hue, Eve, and Google Nest for the most part, but more expensive than some of the budget options out there. Its backing by Savant, a high-end, professionally installed smart home system, does give it some impressive credentials. But to date, we’ve yet to see that really manifest itself in usable integrations between its products, although Williams says those are coming soon.

Here’s a look at the specs, pricing, and release dates of the products Cync announced this week:

Image: GE Lighting
Decorative bulbs such as candelabras and Globes are now part of GE Lighting’s Cync line.

Cync smart bulbs

Cync is adding six decorative smart bulbs that fit in fixtures such as chandeliers and vanity lighting. The line starts at $11.99 and includes a soft white candelabra and soft white and color ST19 bulbs, plus soft white and color Globes (G25). The new Cync smart bulbs will be available to order in March from Lowe’s, Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.

Recessed smart lighting is also a new addition, featuring 4-inch and 6-inch color LED downlights, starting at $35 and offering 760 lumens at 2700 Kelvins. Plus, there are also three new, general-purpose bulbs part of a new line called Reveal, which offers better clarity and contrast.

Image: GE Lighting
The Cync Outdoor Camera is battery-powered or hardwired and offers local storage.

Cync Outdoor Camera

Following up on its indoor camera, Cync’s new outdoor camera comes in both wired and battery / solar-powered options. It features 2K/1280P HD video, night vision, and a swivel head to manually angle the camera to cover an optimal area.

Video can be stored locally on an SD card or in the Cync cloud using CamSync ($3 per month, per camera). The camera launches in February at Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Amazon. The wired version will cost $100, the battery option $130, and the solar panel add-on accessory $45. There will also be extra batteries available for $30.

Image: GE Lighting
Cync’s new smart thermostat works with remote room sensors.

Cync Smart Thermostat

The Cync Smart Thermostat is a Wi-Fi-controlled thermostat with a large touchscreen display for on-device control, as well as the option to program and control it from the Cync app.

An included power extension kit can be used if a user doesn’t have a C-Wire installed, and the thermostat can be used alone or with the new Cync Room Temperature Sensors. The sensors can monitor individual rooms or average the temperature across the entire home. They are temperature-only, no motion or humidity sensors, although the thermostat itself has a humidity sensor.

The thermostat costs $120 and the sensors $30 each. They will be available starting in January from Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Amazon.

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