I know some of you aren't optimistic about Matter. Is it perfect? No. Does it need more features to truly become the vendor-neutral smart home specification? Yes. However, I do believe in it. I believe in it because every manufacturer wins with Matter. When customers know that your products can work on any platform, such as Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant, they are more likely to buy your products. I recently picked up AiDot's OREiN lights to test out the Matter certification and see how easy it is.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything related to Apple's smart home framework.
In my immediate and extended family, I'm the "tech guy," and I'm sure many of you reading this are too. I think sometimes we get sucked into our bubble of thinking that everyone cares or even understands the differences between smart home platforms. Many people end up with a mix of Amazon Alexas in their home, then end up with some HomeKit light switches, and then add a few Google cameras they found on sale during Prime Day or Black Friday. It is very easy to get a mixture. They don't think about the differences between platforms or why it even matters. The truth is: they're not wrong. Ultimately, they just use a combination of apps and voice devices to manage their devices. They buy what solves a problem that day. They have a lamp that they want to automate, so they buy a smart lamp. If they need a separate app for that, then so be it. This problem is why matter is so important. Users should not have to worry about the performance of their products. Regardless of whether they use an iPhone or a Google Nest Mini, they should be able to control each lamp with Apple Home or Google Assistant. At Matter, not working this way is a business decision – not a technical decision.
This reality is that the OREiN lamps are a good choice. Because they're built on top of Matter first, you can use it anywhere you want. Add it to Apple Home to use with Siri, but you can also activate it from your Echo Dot. This is how technology should work! For my purposes, I only wanted to use HomeKit, so I tested that. OREiN puts the Matter code directly on the light, so if you're in a situation where the bulb isn't visible when plugged in, you'll have to do a little dance to get it on board. What I did was scan the bulb in Apple Home and let the app detect it as a bulb, but not start the pairing process. Instead, I screwed the bulb into the lamp, turned it on, and then started the pairing process in the app. The pairing process took less than 30 seconds, and then I was able to choose a room and name the lamp.
Summary of OREiN Value
AiDot's OREiN lights offer over 16 million colors and dimmable warm to cool white tones (1800K-6500K). It consumes 9 watts of power, but corresponds to 60 watts of brightness. The lifespan of the smart bulbs can last approximately 25,000 hours, depending on how you use them. Overall, it's a fantastic value as a pack of four for under $40. If you want to go beyond Matter and HomeKit, the AiDot app can be used to create scenes and sync the lights to music. However, this is 100% optional. You can easily use the lamps without needing an external app or account. OREiN is a new supplier (these lights came out in late 2022), but with a focus on Matter it's hard to ignore their value when you look at the value for money. If you're looking for a cheap way to expand Matter/HomeKit compatible lights in your home, check out OREiN products on Amazon or directly from AiDot.
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