I really wanted to write a rant about how incompatible smart lights are ruining the world. But... errr... Everything just works.
What else am I going to do except BUY MORE LIGHTBULBS!
As much as I enjoy LIFX, they're bloody expensive. A single GU10 bulb is FIFTY QUID! Our new kitchen has 17 bulbs. Even if bought in bulk, that would cost me £765. Forget that noise!
But Hue's GU10 bulbs cost about £20 each - that's still quite expensive.
Luckily, Zigbee is an open protocol, and there are loads of manufacturers of compatible bulbs. I found a fourpack of Zigbee GU10 for £40 - a tenner per bulb. A fifth of the price of LIFX.
Would they work together? Yup. I don't have anything to rant about. I configured the hub, installed the app, plugged in the bulbs, and - boom! - they were instantly discovered and started working.
There are three very minor niggles.
- Amazon Alexa went absolutely bananas. Discovering all those bulbs at once prompted her to keep saying "I have discovered a new light bulb. You can use it by saying..." Imagine that close to 20 times.
- The Innr bulbs don't support firmware updates unless you have the Innr hub. That's probably not a huge problem. Their website says: "so far it has never been necessary to do a firmware update. All Innr lamps have the latest firmware approved and certified by Zigbee Alliance."
I guess I'll buy and return a hub if necessary.
- The dimming curve is slightly uneven. Using the Hue app's manual control, I can fade the lights out gently. When I turn them off, they dim quickly to about 25% brightness and then shut off. Bit weird, but not a dealbreaker.
If you can recommend a cheap supplier of Zigbee lights - or any other Zigbee gadgets - please let me know.