Elgato Avea Flare full review
Smart home is becoming an increasingly big thing in the tech world and one of the gadgets in the vast internet of things is the Smart LED bulb. Here's our Elgato Avea review. See all digital home reviews.
You're probably accustomed to paying a few quid for a new lightbulb so you're jaw is likely to drop when you read that the Avea will set you back £39.95. You could buy a mega pack of regular bulbs for that money but this is no ordinary bulb. If something like Philips Hue is too expensive, then the Avea is a good option.
It might look fairly ordinary but the Avea is a smart LED bulb which you can control with your phone or tablet – and you can do a lot more than just switch it on and off from across the room.
The Avea is an 7W LED bulb with a class A energy rating. It's a screw-fit bulb so you'll need an E27/E26 lamp for starters and you'll also need an iPhone 4S or later, iPod touch (5th generation), iPad mini or iPad (3rd generation or later) with iOS 7.1 or later. There's no Android support which is a big shame but support is coming soon we are told.
While it's a standalone bulb, you can control up to 10 with one device so there's plenty of scope for expansion should you want to mood light many areas of your home.
Setting the Avea up is simple – screw it into the lamp you want to use it in, switch the power on and connect to it via the free app. The device uses Bluetooth and you connect the bulb just like you would with any other Bluetooth accessory.
Importantly, Bluetooth Smart means there doesn't need to be a constant connection for the Avea to work meaning it can be switched on and off with a physical switch and saves your device's battey.
As you might expect, you can choose a static colour from a large pallette for the Avea and leave it alone. You can choose from green, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and white and adjust the tone to your liking.
That's the basics but there are also a number of 'scenes' to choose from which slowly flow between pre-set colours. They have slightly cheesy names like 'magic hour' and 'mountain breeze' but they work nicely and you can group multiple bulbs so they are all doing the same thing.
There are seven different scenes to choose from but we'd like the ability to create our own ones. You can't control the speed at which they cycle through the various colours but you can adjust the brightness.
The other mode is called 'wake-up light' which, as you can guess, is an alarm. At a chosen time, the Avea will slowly come to life like a sunrise to wake you up. This can be done with multiple bulbs as with the other modes and there's optional audio which will come from your device – either the app's built-in bird song or locally stored music.
Eglato's app works well but it is a little on the basic side and we feel there could be more features and, of course, support for platforms other than iOS. A key problem we encountered is that the bulb can't actually just be white – the bulb is simply off if the solid white mode tone slider is bang in the middle and it goes either orange or blue depending on which way you slide it. This was a problem with our particular review sample.
Elgato Avea Flare: Specs
- 7W LED / 430 lm
- 3000 K / warm white
- E27 / E26 / A21
- 110-240 V
- Energy efficiency class: A
- Energy consumption: 7 kWh / 1000 h
- Operating temperature: 0° - 50° C / 32° - 122° F