Last year, Yeelight announced that three of their branded products that weren’t previously HomeKit compatible would get updated, allowing them to be added to HomeKit, despite these products (Yeelight Strip Plus, Yeelight Colour Bulb, Yeelight Tunable White) not coming with a HomeKit code. This meant they could only be added to HomeKit via the Yeelight app.
Fast forward to 2020, and Yeelight are releasing a new and updated LED strip, the Yeelight LED Lightstrip 1S, which in this instance comes with native HomeKit support via a standard HomeKit QR Code. This means you can add the strip to HomeKit without having to sign up for a Yeelight account, although if you already have a Xiaomi account that you use with Mi Home, you can use this to sign into the Yeelight app anyway. As with the previous-gen strip, it also supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings, in addition to a few lesser-known platforms.
Along with this update, the company have also announced that both the new Lightstrip 1S and their updated colour bulb, the Smart LED Bulb 1S (Color) will support Razer Chroma integration. Now, this may mean nothing to HomeKit users especially, but if you’re a gamer who also uses Razer Chroma compatible products or play games compatible with Razer (Fortnite, Overwatch, Apex Legends etc), this means that you will be able to integrate colour from the light strip and bulb into your game playing in much the same way that the Hue Sync app works – the colours from all of your compatible connected Yeelight products will work in tandem with the colours in your game to extend the palette beyond the screen.
To bring gaming to the next level, all gamers need to do is enable the LAN control of the products in Yeelight App, and the lights will automatically be connected to Razer Chroma via the Yeelight Chroma Connector plug-in. This is free to download on both Razer and Yeelight website.
“Gaming and light have always been a perfect match. We’re excited to have this partnership with Razer for the Chroma integration,” according to Coaster Li, VP and Head of Yeelight Overseas Division. “Many of our users love to decorate the gaming desks with Yeelight. Now we’re happy to bring this to the next level with a more immersive experience!”
“We’re really excited to have Yeelight join the Razer Chroma Connected device program,” says Kushal Tandon, Director of Software Marketing at Razer. “Gamers now have the freedom to choose between various Yeelight LED bulbs and light strips to integrate with Razer Chroma RGB for a truly colourful gaming experience.”
Although at present only the two aforementioned products are compatible with Razer Chroma, Yeelight plan to add compatibility to further products going forward. You can find more information on this new functionality via a dedicated page on Yeelight’s website HERE.
Going back to the subject of HomeKit, both the Light Strip and colour bulb have had some under the hood improvements. The size of Light strip’s power supply has been reduced by around 20%, and can still be extended by up to 10m/33ft. The lumen count, whilst not amazing, has been increased from 180lm per metre to 200lm per metre, whilst actually drawing less power. This increase in brightness alongside a decrease in power usage is also reflected in the Colour Bulb 1S; both the previous generation colour bulb and the 1S are capable of 800lm, but the newer model only draws 8.5w compared to 10w for the previous model. Both the light strip and colour bulb use WiFi on the 2.4GHz band, and as previously mentioned, come with an individual HomeKit code as standard now.