Eve announces a new version of its Flare smart lamp with Thread
By Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, a smart home reviewer who's been testing connected gadgets since 2013. Previously a writer for Wirecutter, Wired, and BBC Science Focus.
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Eve Systems has announced the second generation of its portable LED lamp, the Eve Flare, and the availability of its new Eve Shutter Switch for in-wall roller shutters. Both products from the smart home device maker are Bluetooth- and Thread-enabled and work with Apple Home and Siri voice control. The Eve Flare costs $99.95 / €99.95, as does the Shutter Switch, which is only available in Europe.
The second-gen Eve Flare has the same specs as the original — an IP65-rated, portable indoor / outdoor full-color LED lamp. The difference is that it works over Thread and Bluetooth, while the first-gen Flare worked over Bluetooth. The Flare is the first battery-powered light to support Thread, which is one of the main protocols of Matter, the new smart home standard that offers local control and promises cross-platform interoperability.
According to Eve, Thread technology will make your smart home network more responsive and robust and increase its reach. Thread is also supposed to improve battery life. However, the new Flare claims the same six-hour battery life as the first-gen model.
A spherical lamp, the Flare comes with a wireless charger. There are two buttons: one to turn it on and off and one to change the light between colors. A wire handle allows for carrying or hanging the lamp. At 90 lumens, it's designed as an accent light and is much dimmer than Philips Hue's Go $89.99 table lamp, which has 530 lumens. The Hue lamp is similar in shape but smaller than the Flare and indoor-only.
The Flare is Apple Home-only at launch, and Eve says Matter support is coming later
At launch, the Flare will only work with Apple Home, but Eve has promised an over-the-air update to Matter at a later date. It also supports Bluetooth connectivity, so it can be paired just with your iPhone. If you want out-of-home control and also want to add it to scenes and automations, you will need an Apple Home Hub, such as a HomePod, HomePod Mini, or Apple TV.
The Eve Shutter Switch is a wired switch that allows you to automate an existing roller shutter. It works with Eve's Adaptive Shading function to align the shutter with the Sun's position, automatically adjusting throughout the day. As a wired device, the Shutter Switch can extend Thread connectivity to battery-powered devices like the Flare. Always-powered devices in a Thread network are router nodes and can extend the Thread network, whereas battery-powered ones like the Flare are end nodes. To use Thread connectivity, you need a Thread border router, such as a HomePod (second-gen), HomePod Mini, or Apple TV 4K (second-gen, third-gen 128GB).
Eve says it will update both devices to Matter via an over-the-air update in the future but did not provide a timeline. When Matter support arrives, the Flare and Shutter Switch will be compatible with any Matter platform, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings. However, until they are updated, they are only compatible with Apple Home.
Eve has been at the forefront of Matter and Thread and has now successfully transitioned most of its compatible devices from Bluetooth to Thread. It has also followed through on its promises to update those devices to Matter, including its Eve Energy smart plug, Eve Motion sensor, and Eve Door and Window contact sensor. The only products in its portfolio outside of cameras that don't use Thread are the Eve Button, the Eve Light Strip, and the Eve Energy Strip.
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