Just yesterday we revealed a new Aqara branded smart plug for China, using Zigbee 3.0, part of the new series of products with the T1 suffix, that also includes the updates to the company’s existing line of sensors, switches and buttons. In addition, the Shenzhen-based company will also be introducing a few more products that, whilst almost certainly initially limited to a Chinese Mainland release, may be of interest to international HomeKit and Aqara users.
LIGHT SENSOR AND ROLLER BLIND MOTOR
First up are two items, one of which is new to the lineup, with the other a significant upgrade to its current iteration. The new item is the company’s first ambient light sensor, simply named the Aqara Light Sensor T1. As with virtually all Aqara products, this uses Zigbee, and will, in fact, have Zigbee 3.0. This means it’s designed to be used with the forthcoming M1S and M2 hubs, as well as the Zigbee 3.0 hub within the Aqara G2H camera. It uses a single CR2450 coin battery and has a lux measurement range of 0~83,000 lux. Unsurprisingly, it’s identical to the Mi Light Sensor that came out at the end of last year, seeing as they’re both made by the same company. You can read our review of this product below;
The second product, the Aqara Roller Blind Motor, is one that has already been around for some time although it doesn’t use Zigbee 3.0. Aside from that, the biggest improvement, and one that could indicate Aqara’s plans to release the new model internationally, is that it’s suitable for 100-240V at 50/60Hz. The current model (which Eric Yao presented an overview on – see below) only supports 220-240V, and so isn’t suitable for places like North America, Japan and Taiwan, amongst other places.
Like the current version, the motor can support a variety of different types of blinds, including Venetian, Shangri-La, Roman, and standard Roller blinds. The motor will also come with a separate remote to operate the blinds manually in addition to automations or via the Apple Home or Aqara Home apps.
Aqara are readying the introduction of two new lighting drivers, that can control power and brightness to spotlights and downlights. These are broken down into two separate models; the Constant Current Driver T1, and the Dimmer Driver T1. Both use Zigbee, as expected, and are designed to work with HomeKit and Aqara’s own system. The Constant Current Driver can even be set up to turn the lights on in a short but graduated manner, much like what can be achieved with Hue bulbs, to avoid being ‘blinded’ by the lights coming on at full brightness instantly. The Smart Dimming Module T1 is designed to control standard RGBW light strips, as opposed to smart strips, which allows for a wider choice of size and length for your Light strip needs. Finally, the Dimmer Driver T1 allows all of the things that the former driver can do but also allows for control over the colour temperature of suitable lighting.
In addition to many of these devices only being available within Mainland China, some, like the drivers, will only be sold directly to building developers for use in future building projects, although it’s entirely possible, like the current Roller Tube controller, that these will make their way to some resellers eventually.