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Aqara testing Apple’s Adaptive Lighting for budget smart lights

Chinese smart home company Aqara has begun a beta test of Apple’s Adaptive Lighting feature for its budget smart lights. This is an iOS 14 feature, which automatically adjust the color temperature of lighting to the time of day …

Here’s how Apple describes the HomeKit feature:

Light bulbs that change color can be automatically adjusted throughout the day to maximize comfort and productivity. You can ease into morning with warmer colors, stay focused and alert midday with cooler colors, and wind down at night by removing blue light …

Aqara lights are not yet available in the US, but the company has already launched other products here, and adding support for the latest Apple feature suggests the company has an eye on the American market for lights also.

HomeKit News notes that the test is currently limited to China.

With Adaptive Lighting introduced along with other new functionality for iOS14 at WWDC 2020, companies are slowly (like, really slowly) updating their products to make this option a reality. So far only Hue and Eve have brought this option to life, with many more brands yet to follow up on it. Now it seems that Aqara is launching a beta for Aqara customers in Mainland China to begin testing this functionality.

However, at this point, one of the only widely available Aqara branded product that uses colour temperature, is the Aqara Tunable LED Light bulb, although a quick look in the Aqara Home app shows both a Spotlight and downlight, both also capable of producing white colour temperatures.

The bulb (and possibly the downlight and spotlight) are currently only available in regions that support 220-240v, which means they’re not suitable for North America, so if this update means they’ll eventually be making 100-120v lights, then that would be a significant step forward for the company.

Extending smart lighting products into the US market is purely speculative at present, but the company’s Smart Home Starter Kit – with hub, smart plug and sensors – is already on sale here, and we found it good value.

At $129, the Aqara smart home starter kit offers a lot of value. It’s worked perfectly with HomeKit, was easy to set up, was easy to bind to HomeKit, and seems like it could be a growing ecosystem of products.

Because the Hub is the key to the HomeKit compatibility, Aqara can easily expand to new products in the future.

Eve was the first company to support Apple’s Adaptive Lighting with its Light Strip. Philips Hue started with a small rollout before extending to everyone earlier this month.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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