As if the (very) recent announcement by Yeelight, regarding their bulbs and light strip getting HomeKit support wasn’t enough, the company has also announced HomeKit support for their forthcoming Bedside lamp that was debuted at CES 2019, as well as support for two of their ceiling light fixtures. We were already aware of the bedside lamp (looking like a ‘half-pint’ version of the Mi Bedside Lamp 2) being HomeKit compatible via information at the Yeelight CES stand, but news of the ceiling fixtures gaining HomeKit support is a new development. As there’s scant information regarding the ceiling lights right now, it would seem that new versions of these will be released with HomeKit support, as opposed to the current ones gaining it.
Possibly the more intriguing news to come from Yeelight’s press conference, however, is the announcement of a HomeKit compatible Bluetooth Mesh Gateway. We’ve already been aware of some Bluetooth products that are currently available from Yeelight, like their downlights for example, but until now, there’s been no mention of a gateway, let alone a gateway that’s also compatible with HomeKit.
If you’re not aware, the basics of Bluetooth mesh are that it uses communication between Bluetooth devices to create a mesh network in much the same way that Zigbee products create a Zigbee mesh. Currently, one particular Yeelight product that uses this technology is the Yeelight Candela. According to the Yeelight website;
With BLE Mesh technology, Candelas can communicate with each other, allowing you to simultaneously control up to 30,000 Candelas at once. Simply rotate any one Candela and watch all the other Candelas collectively spring to life, matching the brightness of the one Candela you are controlling.
While we doubt there’s anyone in the market for 30,000 Candelas, this is all great news for HomeKit, and can’t really come soon enough, as currently Bluetooth hasn’t really gotten the best reputation when it comes to responsiveness, at least within HomeKit, while oddly enough, and from my own personal experience, Bluetooth works really well within the Mi Home app and the Xiaomi Smart Home ecosystem.