by David Redmond
Right, I won a smart light for Halloween. I entered a fun competition from smart home device maker Eve on social media platform X, and I was lucky enough to win. A few days later I got an Eve Flare smart Lampshade, Eve motion sensor/ light detector which we’ve discussed in podcast quick picks before, and a load of sweets. It was super cool and was my first time winning something on social media, so I must say I felt unreal. Thanks, Eve.
Here’s the catch though. Not everyone is lucky enough to get an Eve Flare for free, and it is quite a pricy lamp. I just added one to my Amazon cart, and even with my free Prime shipping it would still cost me around €108 if I were to actually buy one.
Let’s put all the sweets, freebies, and all the cool stuff aside and just answer one simple question. Is the Eve Flare worth it?
When the Eve Flare arrived, I knew from the box that it was bigger than I anticipated. The lamp is shaped in a smooth sphere and sits on a wireless charging stand. I was expecting the lamp to be around the size of a football, but it’s probably closer to a well-inflated basketball in reality. The sphere is frosted and feels nice to the touch. If Aladdin were to rub this lamp, I’m sure he’d be impressed as it does have a nice quality feel.
The lamp uses Apple HomeKit and communicates via Thread and Bluetooth. Like all HomeKit devices, you scan a pairing code to add the device to the Home app, and it’s good to go. The code is printed on the bottom of the device, but this didn’t immediately work for me. There was a tiny booklet in the box, and holding my phone over that did the trick.
The HomeKit pairing experience is a typical accessible experience for VoiceOver users, so if you didn’t want to use Eve’s app then you don’t need to.
After adding I ran into an issue in the home app where the device was permanently being displayed as on. This meant I could turn the light off in the Home app, but to turn it on again I had to ask Siri. A restart of the Home app fixed this though, so I’m guessing this was an Apple glitch rather than an Eve issue. After this, I’ve had absolutely no issues.
The lamp isn’t the fastest, even when I adjust the transition speed in the Eve app. I honestly did expect response times to be a bit faster, but I was relatively far away from a HomeKit hub so that might be to blame. The lamp isn’t quite as bright as the Philips Hue Go 2, but it’s been far more reliable than the likes of the Meross smart lamp. (Side note, don’t buy a Meross lamp).
The fact that there’s no Alexa support right now is a dose, but I’d expect Eve will sort this out soon with a Matter over thread update. For now, though, considering the price and the fact that Thread is built in, this is disappointing.
The lamp has a great colour range and does work well in many environments. The HomeKit integration is superb as you can check both battery level and charging status in the home app. This is not possible with the Philips Hue Go 2.
The fact you don’t need an additional hub outside of a HomePod or Apple TV is another win for the Flare over Hue. Once there’s a Matter update for the product, being able to connect directly to any smart speaker will give Eve a huge leg up.
Should you buy it?
The Eve Flare is a great product. So is the Phillips Hue Go.
The Eve Flare is around €108 but can’t work outside of HomeKit right now. The Hue Go is cheaper at around €84, but it requires a dedicated hub to work with HomeKit. That hub will set you back around €54, so your costs are now adding up on Hue’s side.
If you’re exclusively an Apple Home user and want a one-off accent lamp, then it’s hard to go wrong with Eve Flare, but if you’re looking for the ultimate smart home lamp in a wider smart home setup? For now, I’d probably still be looking at Hue Go. It’s brighter, and at least for now more functional across systems.
With that said, Eve Flare is a fantastic device. There are certainly areas where it’s the best in the market, and that will become truer once it gets Matter Support.
The Eve Flare is an expensive great product. If I rubbed my lamp like Aladdin and got three wishes, I’d have the light a bit brighter, faster response, and the biggest one, Matter support. I’m really hoping Eve pulls this off, as I’m excited for Philips Hue to have some competition.