Smart Home Gear: Eve Light Strip Review

Thanks to the simplicity and pervasiveness of Apple's Homekit technology, the home automation market continues to rapidly expand with a variety of product offerings. Elgato's eve line has been one of the most prolific on the market, ranging from electrical outlets and temperature monitors to smoke alarms and lighting solutions. A recent addition to eve's growing product catalog is the Eve Light Strip (starting at $79.95).

Related: Your Apple Smart Home: Innovative Tech for Every Room in the House

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Installing the light strip to the back of my standing computer desk was easy thanks to the pre-applied double-sided tape. I also affixed the power converter enclosure that attaches to the power strip to the underside of the table via the two small strips of double-sided tape included in the package.  

Pairing and operating the light strip was even easier thanks to the simple Homekit QR code enrollment and free Eve app user interface. It took me less than five minutes to unbox, attach, power on, pair and operate the light strip. It has certainly come a long way from only a few years ago when I bought light strips from electronic enthusiasts websites, hooked them up to a power supply and an Arduino attached to a Network Shield ethernet add-on, wrote Arduino sketches to manage network activity and a simple web service to turn on and off the light strip.

Once incorporated into your Homekit-enabled automation inventory, controlling the light strip either via the Eve app or Siri integration just works. I really like the convenience of telling Siri to turn on or off the light strip whenever I want to set a flowing computing mood. I can also trigger the light strip to turn on or off based on my location at a certain time of day, which comes in handy when I don't want to accidentally waste electricity when I'm not in the room. The one feature that the Eve light strip lacks is color cycling. Philips Hue and even my home-made hack allows for colors to pulsate and shift for more dramatic lighting effects. I occasionally employ such effects during parties, holidays and when I need to educate or simply impress neophytes to the larger world of home lighting automation. Granted, this ability is more show than practical function, but its still a cool way to emphasize to others that this is more than just an expensive strip of lights.

Pros

  • Bright and colorful lighting solution
  • Easy to install and use
  • Zero lag response time

Cons

  • Exclusively operates with Apple Homekit networks
  • Currently no support for dynamic color cycling

Final Verdict

The Eve Light Strip offers a fast, easy way to add light strip lighting to an Apple Homekit-controlled home automation setup. While it is designed to only work with Apple products, it benefits from the Apple design ethos of elegant ease of use. And unlike the cross-platform accessible Philips Hue light strip, the Eve light strip doesn't require an expensive stand-alone hub to keep powered and hardwired to your network. Response time is also noticeably faster than the Hue alternative. If you are committed to an Apple-only home automation ecosystem and are in need of a dynamic LED lighting situation to set a variety of moods in your rooms, Elgato's Eve Light Strip makes the installation and use of modern lighting easy and fun.

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Mike Riley's picture

Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.