If there’s one type of light fixture that I think has been underrepresented in the smart appliance world, it’s portable, battery-powered lamps. Sure, it’s possible to control a lot of individual light bulbs plugged into fixtures, and there are light strips that work great via voice control when plugged into the wall outlet. But what about battery-powered lamps that can be used anywhere? Eve’s new Flare Portable Smart LED Lamp (US$99.95) is a well-designed smart lamp featuring HomeKit compatibility and almost infinite color possibilities.
Flare’s a pretty good name, although I keep thinking this device should be called “The Orb” since it is a glowing sphere with a flat bottom so it can stay in one place on a table or the ground. Being battery powered, it can last up to six hours on a charge — perfect for a summer evening out in the yard. If you want the Flare to provide light from above, there’s a hidden handle / hangar on that flat bottom.
You won’t have to worry about a light rain or splashing water on the Flare, as it is tested to IP65 water resistance. Charging is made easy as well, since the Flare comes with a wireless charging pad. I decided that I’d store the charging pad in my office, as the Flare can provide much-needed light in that room and charge up at the same time.
Setup was a total piece of cake; this is a Bluetooth-only device, so there’s no need for Eve Flare to be joined to your Wi-Fi network. The review Flare came with enough of a charge to pair and test it right out of the box.
There are two buttons on the bottom of the Flare. One turns the power on or off, while the other is a mode switch that is used to reset the device. When a new Flare is first turned on, it cycles through a variety of colors. Once paired, it glows in a soft white color.
The color of the light can be changed through the Eve app or Siri. For Siri control, there are six preset colors: orange, scarlet, cherry, capri, jade and green. For manual control through the app, it’s possible to mix your own colors in a color picker. Like a bright yellow light? Tap on the appropriate part of the color picker to get the yellow glow, then tap the “+” button to add it to your favorites. There’s a similar picker for shades of white — cooler (bluer) or warmer (more orange).
The case of the Eve Flare appears to be quite solid, although I don’t know if it would survive a drop onto concrete without a slight scratch.
It’s easy to set up, it can be set to almost any color you’d like, and you can even use Siri to control it. My only negative is the price; even with the technology that’s built into this device, $100 is a bit high.