GE’s new Sol pairs an LED ring lamp with Amazon Alexa-enabled speaker

Internet-connected gadgets have been on the rise for some time, with no end in sight for the trend. While internet-connected lights are already fairly common, GE’s new Sol kicks things up a notch by being ‘the first Alexa-enabled lamp.’ After having caught a glimpse at the new Alexa-enabled device nearly a year ago the Sol is now finally available for purchase.

Gadgets like the Amazon Echo Dot have only continued to gain popularity. And with a seemingly ever-expanding list of features there’s no denying the utility these voice-activated speakers bring to our homes. With its latest release, GE has paired Amazon’s lovely assistant with a ring-based LED lamp in an attempt to differentiate itself from being just another Alexa-enabled speaker.

GE’s new Sol lamp is based around a cylindrical base stacking up to be just a little taller than the competing Echo Dot. Control-wise, the unit has the same buttons you’d expect to find on the Dot, volume up and down, a mute for Alexa and then an extra toggle for the built-in lamp. Packed within the silver base is a similar assortment of tech to that of Amazon’s devices. Inside you’ll find 2-far field microphones, a sound system outputting 360-degree omnidirectional audio and the typical array of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Where things start to differ from the traditional Alexa-laden speaker design is the protrusion of the gadget’s LED light ring. The Sol’s built-in lamp is entirely controllable through Alexa and sports a wide range of color warmth settings. Aside from its interesting ring design the light also allows for some standout features. Thanks to its wide array of light hues, it can simulate a sunrise and gradually wake you up in place of a sound-based alarm. The ring also doubles as a clock, with red and blue dots circling the rim to indicate the time.

If your home is already filled with Echo devices, one drawback is that the Sol lacks the ESP feature found on Amazon’s devices. The feature allows only the closest of your Echo devices to respond to your command. Meaning if the Sol is located within earshot of another Alexa gadget, both may be triggered by your command.

Coming in with a $200 price tag, the Sol isn’t the most affordable way to bring Alexa into your home. But if the idea of an all-in-one smart lamp piques your interest then GE’s foray into the smart speaker market may be the perfect combination. The Sol is currently available for purchase on Amazon for $199.99, but is currently out of stock.

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