I've been writing about a handful of HomeKit compatible light strips in recent months, but a new model seems to be the best so far. Onvis Kameleon Smart Light Strips bring some unique features to the HomeKit that are worth checking out.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks and everything to do with the smart home frame from Apple.
Onvis Kameleon Smart Light Strips come in two different lengths: two meters and five meters. However, they cannot be extended or connected with additional products.
Unlike some Homekit light strips, which can only display one color at a time, the Onvis model can display different colors simultaneously. Different areas of the light band can display their own color, brightness and saturation. The Onvis app includes some presets like Music, Painting and Twinkle, but you can create your own so you have the perfect scene for any particular holiday or occasion.
Of all the HomeKit light strips I've used, Onvis Kameleon's individually addressable color options are quite unique. If the price is about the same, the feature definitely makes the Onvis band stand out among its competitors.
The band includes a physical start button and a physical brightness button. These buttons are super useful if you use these lights in a child's room and they do not lack a device to control the tape in the Home application.
HomeKit configuration and control
The Onvis Kameleon tape includes HomeKit code, which makes it easy to track in the future. The Onvis Home app is probably worth downloading first, so you can apply a firmware update before you start using it. The Onvis application can manage its integration into your HomeKit environment if you give it permission to access Home data.
I had no problems integrating the tape, but the firmware update took a few tries. Once it finally took off, everything worked smoothly.
As mentioned earlier, individually addressable lights make this product unique. This feature will still require the Onvis application. HomeKit is not available to set this feature. You can still use the Home or Siri application through a HomePod Mini. Obviously, it would be great if all the features of the light strip were exposed in the Home application, but this is a limitation of the HomeKit itself.
Once the tape is in HomeKit, you can do all the usual automations, control the brightness, and so on. If you want to access the light strip remotely via HomeKit, you will need a Homehub, which can be an Apple TV, HomePod, HomePod mini, or an iPad always connected.
How to paint
As I mentioned earlier, the Onvis app has a way of painting and is the most fun part of owning this light strip. Using your finger in the Onvis application, you can "paint" over parts of the tape to give it a unique color. This mode will be perfect for creating a great Christmas or Halloween scene, wherever you have lights.
Once you set your colors, turning it off and on using the Home app will keep the "paint" intact. If you change the brightness in the Home application, it will return to the normal colors of the Home application by default.
End with Onvis Kameleon Light Strip
Overall, Onvis has a great product here with the Kameleon Light Strip. It's affordable, works well with HomeKit (within Apple's limitations) and includes some unique features. Although I have no information about Lumens, I certainly find it brighter than other products I have tried in the past.
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