Xiaomi/Yeelight Arwen: test / reviewCategory: Connected objects
[b][b]I mainly test smartphones but as the covid19 crisis has slowed down the launch of phones, I diversified by testing everyday objects. After toothbrushes and hoovers, I'm going to test a connected lamp or more precisely a connected ceiling light from Yeelight (which is part of the Xiaomi ecosystem). Yeelight is a Chinese brand specialized in lighting products. The Yeelight Arwen is not the first ceiling light marketed by Yeelight but it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful, it will undoubtedly fit much better in a living room than the previous models.[b][b][b][b][b]
Yeelight Arwen: what is it[b]The Yeelight Arwen range comes in two versions, the A version and the C version. I tested the Yeelight Arwen C series which is rounded in shape (the A series is rectangular) and offers additional features. The purpose of a lamp is to illuminate, so whether it is connected or not will not change its main mission. This is also true for the Yeelight Arwen, but beyond the connected features, I will focus on other features that make this product a little different. [b][b]The Yeelight Arwen is not just a lamp, it's a beautifully designed ceiling light that can be integrated into a living space. I have other connected lights at home but they are bulbs and the exterior is much more basic. The Yeelight Arwen is very large, almost 50cm tall and emits a very powerful 4000lm of light that you can dim to your preference (intensity and colour). Its circular shape allows the light to be spread evenly in all directions, so you don't risk having a more powerful beam that will illuminate a very specific area and risk bothering the person in the beam's axis. The Yeelight Arwen's light is powerful but it also respects the colours, which is one of the strengths of the product. Powerful lights have a tendency to distort colours giving a dull colour to walls or furniture in your living areas. The Yeelight Arwen has a CRI rating of over 95, which means that the colours will retain their hue despite the strong light. [b][b]For the connected part, you can control the ceiling light with the Yeelight app or associate it with your Google Home or Alexa account. I'll come back to this point later in this test.[b][b]Its strong points in summary:[b]- neat design[b]- high luminosity[b]- respect of colours[b]- two light sources (one towards the ceiling, one towards the floor)[b][b]
Unpacking[b][b]The box contains the Yeelight Arwen, a ceiling mount base, a remote control, a manual and screws to attach the base to the ceiling.[b][b][b]
Installation[b][b]I'm not an electrical pro, but I managed to make all the necessary connections to get the Yeelight working, so anyone can do it. For ease of use, I attached the light to a mains socket so that I could handle the light and test it in my mini photo studio.[b][b]The Yeelight consists of a detachable base and the main lamp. The detachable base should be connected to the mains using the usual 3 wires (yellow/green for earth and the other two blue and brown). Remember to switch off the power supply before making the connections and then connect the wires to the base. The base has a small box with three red buttons on top, simply press the red buttons to insert a slightly bare wire into the base and release the red button. You then need to fix the base to the ceiling. You will find screws in the box, the base is drilled in several places to ensure an optimal fixation with your ceiling. Once installed on the ceiling, simply push the lamp into the base, the whole thing holds together with the two red locking buttons on the sides.[b][b][b]
Application[b]The Yeelight Arwen can be controlled by the free Yeelight app. This app is ultra simple to use. To link your lamp to the app, simply choose the type of device to add from the list and follow the instructions. It is possible to add multiple lamps to the app but as I don't have any other Yeelight lamps, I will focus on the Yeelight Arwen. The main screen has two tabs, one for the main lamp (which projects downwards) and one for the ambient lamp which projects to the sides. For each lamp you can choose predefined scenarios that will automatically adjust the lamps according to colour and intensity. You can also set everything yourself by choosing a different colour and intensity for each lamp.[b][b]If you want to go further with the application, it also offers you other possibilities:[b]- link your Yeelight to Google Home, Alexa, Mi Home and other voice-controlled systems[b]- create rooms with different objects controlled by a single application[b]- create scenarios[b]- create colour combinations and program them [b]- link your Mi Band bracelet so that the lamp turns off when you fall asleep[b]- ... etc...[b][b]The application is quite complete and easy to use, there are still some translation errors as it is often the case with Chinese applications but I did not encounter anything really blocking.[b][b][b][b]
Light intensity[b]You've probably seen some great photos where products like the Yeelight are staged but these are often reworked images in Photoshop. Photographing a light to give an idea of its power is not an easy or very telling thing from a photo. So I used a meter that I placed 60cm below the Yeelight and then used the app to vary the intensity and colour of the light. At 50% intensity I get just over 2000 lux. If I switch the brightness to 100%, I get close to 5000 lux. [b][b][b][b][b]
Colour test[b]The CRI/RA 95+ is a good indicator for colour fidelity and a value of 95+ represents very high colour fidelity. This may seem very technical or unhelpful to you, so I'll use a concrete example to show the difference.[b][b]Here is an image taken with a lamp with a CRI/RA of 80+. The white on which the character is standing is not white, it is grey and all the colours are covered by a greyish veil.[b][b][b]Here's what it looks like with the Yeelight set to 70% intensity and a colour close to pure white.[b][b]The background colour is almost pure white, the face colour is much more faithful, the colours are more vibrant. This shows how bad light can make a room look worse. I've been looking for good lamps for my studio with a high CRI rating for a long time, and testing this ceiling light, I'm thinking that maybe I could use it for my studio too.[b][b]
Power consumption[b]I measured the power consumption of the Yeelight Arwen with a wattmeter and with the brightness at maximum of both lamps, I have a consumption of about 50W.[b][b]
Demo[b]I can probably write many things about this ceiling light but I think it would be best to show it in action. I made a little video where I interact with the Yeelight app by filming both lamps at the same time. As you can see, you can configure these lamps as you like. You have full control of the colours for the mood lamp while for the main lamp you have to stay within a range of colours from orange to blue to white.[b][b][b][b]
Review/Test of the Yeelight Arwen[b]I was already using connected lights (bulbs) in several rooms in my house and I mainly use them to change the type of colour depending on the time of day. I was wondering what a ceiling light would do for me because after all, it's just a big lamp. I thought I could use it to create a light atmosphere when I have people over. So I didn't have high expectations of this product.[b][b]I was initially surprised by the brightness and quality of the light, my other ceiling lights now seem dull and not very bright next to this Yeelight Arwen. The quality of the colour rendering is so good that I could use it in the studio to take photos for my other tests. The app offers more or less the same functionality as other products of this type and if you want to control it by voice, the configuration is quite simple. I use Google Home and can control the Yeelight from Google with basic instructions.[b][b]Highlights:[b]- brightness power[b]- quality of colour rendering[b]- consumption in relation to brightness[b]- even light distribution[b]- customisation possibilities[b]- easy to install[b]- hermetic lamp, insects can't get inside[b][b]Weaknesses:[b]- the main lamp cover is made of soft plastic, so care must be taken not to damage it when handling the lamp[b]- the main lamp cannot display all colours of the RGB spectrum (the secondary one can)[b][b][b]
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