Aqara Release Updated Tunable T1 Bulb

It wouldn’t be a normal week without a bit of Aqara product news, and so the latest tidbit is that China’s leading Smart Home company has announced an update to their original tunable white bulb, but with the T1 suffix. The new bulb boasts not only more accurate whites in both the warm and cool spectrum, with a Ra90 accuracy rating.

Sadly for US consumers, like the previous iteration of the bulb, it still only works with 220-240v, which is the standard for Mainland China, which is ostensibly whom it is marketed at.

The new bulb uses Zigbee 3.0, as expected with ‘T1’ tacked onto the end, but interestingly, the bulb also has a Bluetooth chip. An Aqara representative has stated that the Bluetooth chip is not Thread capable, so it could just be a means for users without a compatible Aqara Zigbee 3.0 hub to still use the bulb.

Whether the bulb connects to the M2, which does have as yet untapped Bluetooth connectivity, we’re not sure, although if you do have an M2, it would make sense to use Zigbee of course, so it could be that Bluetooth in this case, is used in much the same way that Philips Hue approach Bluetooth, as an entry point device for those without a hub. The question also remains as to whether the bulb will work with HomeKit via Bluetooth, however, which would seem less likely, once again much like the Hue bulbs when utilising Bluetooth only.

The Editor

Editor - Musician, graphic designer and HomeKit aficionado.

6 thoughts on “Aqara Release Updated Tunable T1 Bulb

  • 21st May 2021 at 5:48 pm
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    A precision: Thread is not based on Bluetooth but on the same protocol as Zigbee and 6LoWPAN (IEEE 802.15.4). That means that any Zigbee 3.0 product could be flashed by the manufacturer even through OTA and transformed into a Thread product. That is not the case for a product that has only Bluetooth.

    For existing Thread products (like Nanoleaf) the Bluetooth chip is only there for two main purposes:
    – allow the bulb to operate with a smartphone for users who don’t have a Thread-compatible hub (like the HomePod mini).
    – assist the discovery/first setting of the product seamlessly like Apple does when approaching the iPhone near an Airpods case for example.

    This will be kept for upcoming CHIP products (recently renamed “Matter”) based on Thread.

      • 21st May 2021 at 6:36 pm
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        You’re welcome. Keep up the good work, your site (and videos) is the best for everything HomeKit!

        • 21st May 2021 at 6:37 pm
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          I appreciate you saying so! I put in a lot of effort.

  • 25th May 2021 at 9:49 am
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    Has Aqara said anything about a potential version for the US (100-120v)? The bulb is listed in the Mi app under the US region… so fingers crossed. 🤞🏼

    • 25th May 2021 at 10:09 am
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      Hi, I have asked Aqara previously regarding this, and they’ve been quite non-committal. I had hoped this new bulb would be dual voltage, but unfortunately, it isn’t. I checked the Mi Home app set to the US Server, and you’re right, it does have the Aqara bulb listed, although it does seem to be the previous model, as there’s no mention of it being the T1 variant. It would be good to have such a thing, but considering even the new one doesn’t support 110-120v, I would hold my breath…

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