Yeelight is one of the two companies in the Xiaomi home’s smart ecosystem that also provides HomeKit compatible devices with Aqara being the flagship. Although Aqara typically focuses on Zigbee switches and sensors, Yeelight focuses more on lighting (hence the name), using wifi or Bluetooth networking. Parent companies of both entities* also make HomeKit products compliant to Xiaomi in line with the (yes, complicated) mi or miji label.
* Qingdao Yeelink Technology Technology Company Ltd. and Lumi United Technology Company Ltd
Whist Yeelight modified the firmware very kindly last year for four legacy products (three Yeelight brand and one Mi brand), it seems that many of their lighting items are still coming in for the most part. Compatibility with HomeKit in box. Staria Yeelight (also named & #39; Star & #39;) Desk lamp, which comes in regular and “Pro” models, is one of the latest products to meet these criteria. We’re looking into the Pro version today.
PACKING | unboxing
I mentioned this a lot, but many of these companies have embraced the aesthetics of Apple design in a big way, which is not bad, and in this case, this would not seem out of place on any Apple store shelf at all. The whole box is white, with the lamp in the front, accompanied by the “Works with Apple HomeKit” badge and the product name in a mixture of Chinese and English. When this product first appeared in China about four months ago, it was labeled Desk lamp with star or Star Desk Lamp Pro depending on the model purchased. However, now that it seems to be available to Western consumers locally, the name has changed to Staria desk lamp / Staria Pro desk lamp.
Just to get the difference between standard and professional models, it all comes down to the wireless charging board, with the Pro version including the charging board, while the standard version excludes this.
Back to the packaging and, apart from the back specs, the side of the box has icons to show some of the features of the product itself, though in Chinese;
- Delay the light off
- Night light
- Detecting foreign objects
- 10W fast charging *
- Safety protection
- Intelligent link control
We will analyze some of these functions in a bit, but first here are some basic specifications, according to the information in the box;
- Model Number: YLCT03YL
- Rated Input: 20W (Website 22W)
- Operating temperature: -10ºC ~ 40ºC / 14ºF ~ 104ºF (website -10ºC ~ 35ºC / 14ºF ~ 95ºF)
- Color temperature: 2700 ~ 6500K
- Max. Wireless charging output: 10W
- Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b / g / n 2.4GHz
- Wireless charging distance <3.5mm
* Fast charging only applies to certain phones, but not currently iPhone
The lamp is equipped with some pretty smart internal packaging, which even gives instructions on how to unpack it properly (I don’t make you anymore). This internal protection does an excellent job of keeping the lamp and the power supply all in place, so there is no chance of this lamp being screwed inside the box.
The lamp itself is visually quite utilitarian, being largely white, except for the charging plate, which is gray. The only moving parts of the lamp are multifunctionality the power button, which is not very easy to see due to the fact that it is filled with the base and the shade itself. The shadow can be set to the horizontal position you see in the first image above or at any angle upwards 0º – 30º, as seen in the second image.
Most parts of the lamp have a matte plastic finish, quite familiar, which is slightly soft to the touch. The main stem of the lamp is metallic in a matte white painted finish.
The lamp itself has two distinct lighting sections, the main light source being the down light. The second light source is the top of the lamp, which has a light ring. It would seem that these two separate sections actually share the same source, which, according to the packaging specifications, is a series of 25 individual 0.5W LEDs.
The lamp is able to grow cold white, and since both sections seem to share the same LEDs, regardless of whether you have the lamp set for heating, cooling or any color temperature between the two, the upper and lower light sections will be the same. Of course, this also applies if the light is on or off, as well as the brightness levels, although, because the top of the lamp has a smaller area for the light to be emitted, it will appear lower in brightness. One thing to note is that, while this looks like a lamp, unlike the real thing, the light cannot be seen through the “shadow” itself, so the light emits only from the bottom and top of this shadows. However, as a bedside lamp (for which I use mine) or a small desk lamp, it has sufficient brightness for the two scenarios, which can also be manually adjusted due to the lamp shade. The entire height of the lamp from the top of the shade to the bottom of the base (when the shade is set at an angle of 0º) is 292.5mm / 11.52in, with the wider (lower) part of the shadow section having a diameter of 179.5mm / 7.07in. Abajur is 93mm / 3.66in in height and the upper part of the shadow is 104mm / 4.09in in diameter.
This is a lamp first and foremost, but with the addition of a Qi charging plate, it has additional utility. We’ll get to that in a bit, but for the base of the lamp itself, the measurements come to 164.3mm / 6.46in in diameter, with the depth of the base being 16.4mm / 0.65in.
The multifunction button (which I will explain in a bit) matches the color of the lamp and is also full with the lamp base, but while it looks aesthetically pleasing, in practice it is difficult to find the button, especially in low light situations. On several occasions, I found myself moving my finger on the surface of the lamp base to find the button and, because it is full of the base, it is not easy to feel it even to see it. I can see why either a raised or indented button might not be the best approach, so perhaps a slightly larger button would have been the answer, or rather, a tiny LED inside the button. The lamp base has one of two HomeKit codes, the other being in the manual.
For power supply, the lamp uses a 12V / 1.5A source with an A type, unpolarized socket and a barrel connection at the end of the power cord. Although not specific on either the packaging or the company’s website, the lamp operates in mainland China, where I use 220-240V and works here in Taiwan, where we use 110-120V, which is, of course, the same for places like the US, Mexico. and Japan, which can also host this type of plug.
The built-in Qi charging kit is a handy feature, especially assuming you have it on a desk or bedside table, where you’ll most likely have your phone and want it charged while you work or fall asleep. The gasket itself is made of rubber and is lightly tactile so that the phone does not slip unnecessarily. The charging pack works with all iPhones that are capable of wireless charging so they include; iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone X/XR/XS/XS Max, and iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max. When you place a Qi compatible phone on the board, a small LED at the base of the lamp will light to indicate charging is taking place. The table also has a feature that when you place a device that is not compatible with the wireless charger, the same LED will start flashing quickly. After removing the incompatible device, the LED will not blink after a few seconds. Although I get the chance to power my cordless phone in my short tests *, the actual amount of power the iPhone has attracted to me has been lower than I expected, reaching about 4.5 – 5.0W. This is with the lamp off. If the lamp is lit at maximum brightness (blue color temperature) while charging, then readings indicate 10w of power being drawn. For the record, the iPhone used was an iPhone 11 Pro Max, and the battery was 66%. This doesn’t sound very powerful, since you can get Qi chargers that can go up to 7.5w, but some of these “branded” chargers are generally as expensive as the lamp itself, so it’s hard to complain when you get a “standard” lamp and charger all run in one package, at the same price as a standalone charger. It has also been reported that for iOS13.1, Apple has limited the wireless charging speed of their phones to 5w with third party chargers, unless they are fully compliant, so this may explain the relatively low efficiency. Indeed, there is nothing to stop you from buying a separate charger if you want some extra juice and just stick to the standard version of the Star Desk lamp. So far, the charger has worked well for me because I tend to put my iPhone on it when I’m ready to go to sleep, and when I wake up 7-8 hours later, the phone is always fully charged, even then when the iPhone starts below 10%.
We did not receive the AirPods, nor the Airpods Pro, but Eric, one of our collaborators, tried to load the AirPods case with this charger, but failed. I’m not sure why this is, although the above image on Yeelight’s own site indicates that it is possible whether the case is actually for AirPods or for AirPods Pro.
* Tested using both an Aqara Smart socket and a Vocolinc PM2 electric tape,
using the energy monitoring functions of the respective applications.
With Xiaomi smart home ecosystem products, there are several different ways in which their devices can be added, which sometimes depends on the manufacturer, but if the product comes with a HomeKit code as this product does, then you can generally just add it to the Home and go from there. It is advisable to get the relevant application for firmware updates or additional features, and, since I am firmly assured in the Mi Home application, which will work with Yeelight products, I first proceeded to add it to Mi Home and from there I tried. to add it to the HomeKit inside Mi Home. Strangely, it didn’t work that way, without the option to add to HomeKit being offered or visible. Since then it could have changed, because I had this lamp for four months now, but at that time I simply could not do it, at least through the Mi Home application, which was the norm. Fortunately, any Yeelight light (or, indeed, Yeelight’s Mi lamps) added to Mi Home will also appear in the Yeelight application, as long as you use the same login certificates you use for the Mi Home application. . This was the case for me and I could easily add the lamp to HomeKit this way, as shown in the video overall. I will not go into this process in depth, but in essence it is;
- Open the Yeelight app and log in if you are logged out
- Select Star Desk Lamp Pro from the list of devices in the “Devices” tab
- Select the “settings” icon in the upper left corner
- Select “Add to home”
Then simply follow the on-screen instructions, which involve all these steps you would see when adding a HomeKit device directly to the Home app.
IN THE YEAR | MY HOME | HOME APLE
Yeelight is quite simplistic, but it still has many options you may want to access, along with some options that you won’t find in the Apple Home app, including animated lighting that has the effect Candle flicker. risen, and Flash notification. There is another setting in the Yeelight app that you will find in the Mi Home app, called “Moon” which I’ll get to in a bit. Other options available in the Yeelight app include timers. hourly. the default state, and Labor Control. All in all, the Yeelight app is actually quite easy to use.
the Mi Home app has almost the same types of options, presented only in a different way. What the Mi Home app gives you is the ability to control this HomeKit compatible lamp with non-HomeKit devices, such as Aqara Cube, etc.
The Home app has all the basic elements that the other two applications have, minus the lighting effects or the “Moon” option. It has the ability to include your Star Lamp in scenes and automations that involve other HomeKit devices, so from this point of view, from HomeKit’s point of view, it is probably the most important.
Coming back to “Month mode” that you can access it for both Yeelight and Mi Home applications, it operates at a very low level night light, so in normal mode (called Sun mode in both applications) you can decrease to 1%, brightness, although it is quite bright low in brightness, still not low enough to be called night light. This is where the Moon mode comes in handy. I’m not sure how it works, but probably access only a small selection of LEDs to create an even lower level of brightness.
So, you can see from the pictures above that brightness levels can go considerably lower than what you can get in the normal “Sun” mode.
The sharp contrast can be seen here when you set the Sun and Moon modes side by side, set to 1%. Also, it is worth noting that in Moon mode, there are still visible differences in each brightness level between 10-1%. It is unfortunate that you cannot access this mode from the Home app or apparently other third-party HomeKit applications. The only alternative is to create a shortcut to trigger this mode, which can be done in any application, because both work with Siri shortcuts.
USE FROM DAY TO DAY
In general, the lamp does a great job and I found that it has a lamp that can be adjusted in many ways, quite useful. Since I tend to use it only in the evening, cold lighting does not show much, but it is fine. The loading part, although not strong enough, is fine for my needs now, so I have no complaints. The only disadvantage, and not a dealbreaker, is the button that controls it. Yes, I can control it by an automation or a trigger of some kind, but when it comes to manually controlling it, if you don’t want to just turn it on or off, it takes a little getting used to.
To turn the lamp on or off, simply press the button, as expected. each time you turn it on, it will be set to the last brightness and temperature of the color it was at the last stop. So far, so good. If you want to adjust the color temperature, then you have to press and hold the button. Depending on the state you are in before you take this action, you will do one of three things;
- If the lamp is at the lowest setting (in Sun mode), long pressing will gradually increase the brightness of the lamp, before switching to cold white, it will be set to 100% brightness.
- If the lamp is at the highest setting (in Sun mode), long pressing will first switch to warm white at 100% brightness, then gradually reduce the brightness to the lowest level, set to warm white.
- If the lamp is set to Moon mode, regardless of the brightness level, long press of the button will automatically switch to Sun mode, then switch to light according to the first bullet point here.
This is where the button control has the first malfunction, as the lamp can only reduce the brightness set to warm white, not cold white. You can access any of the applications and set the lamp to a cool white and 50%, for example, but with the button, you can start to dim the light only after it has been set to warm white.
- Double pressing the button will allow the lamp to enter a delayed state. The light will then go out after a fixed time interval of 10 minutes. There is a separate timer in the Yeelight app, but then you most likely would configure something in the Home app for a function like this.
For me, turning on or off the light is all I need, because the rest of these types of functions tend to be automated to some extent, so that’s fine. In the end, there are only so many things you can do with a single button before things get too complicated, so I guess they’ve reached the right balance for the switch. It would be great if you could program the dual press function so that it could be designed to make a custom scene.
The bottom line is that I’m a fan of some of the Yeelight products and this is no different. Their industrial designers seem, to a large extent, to know what works and how to make things look modern and conservative at the same time. This one, I think it does the same. It looks like a traditional lamp and largely does the same job, but with an underrated flair. The fact that the Pro version has the advantage of the built-in wireless charger also also points the lamp further towards excellent functionality if it is something you need. As for reliability, it was fine, which was not easy to monitor because of the last few iterations of the Home application being quite unstable (I’m on 13.3.1 now and everything is fine …), so I didn’t may blame Yeelight for that, but it hasn’t failed so far. Problems have been reported with one or two of their products, in particular Yeelight Light Strip Plus (read our review HERE), which seemed to have developed problems after getting HomeKit support, although I personally haven’t seen such issues regularly and even then I suspect that previous iterations of iOS13 are largely at fault here.