The first thing you’ll notice about the Yeelight (from Chinese behemoth Xiaomi) is its design. It’s simple, smooth, and elegant. And—I’ll be honest—it’s one of it’s best features. Not that the other features are bad; not by any means. But the simple design is so stunning that it can feel at home practically anywhere in the house. Yes, it’s made for the bedside, but it’s also perfect for ambient lighting (and won’t feel out of place) in the kids’ room, baby’s room, dining room, or living room.
Xiaomi is primarily known in China as a maker of smartphones, but they were recently named the world’s most valuable tech startup. And with a valuation of a staggering $46 billion, they completely dwarf every other company. But their mission is one of democratization. They’re at the forefront of a movement that’s come to be known as “Xiaomization” – producing products that are quick to market, high quality, and a fraction of the price of their competitors.
The Yeelight is meant to challenge the Philips Hue, but this is a standalone beside lamp rather than separate cloud-connected light bulbs. (See GeekDad’s review of the Hue here.) Even so, the Yeelight comes with an MSRP of $79.99, which is significantly cheaper than the Hue.
So what is it, exactly, and do you need one beside your bed? The first question is easy; the second is a bit more subjective.
They claim the Yeelight is capable of producing 16 million different colors. Obviously, there’s no way I can verify that, but you do have an impressive variety of colors to choose from. If you’re using the lamp as a reading light, you’re most likely going to stick with white, but you do have an entire rainbow to play with, if that’s your thing. The colors would make a good nightlight, create a soothing light in baby’s room during nap or bottle time, or set a uniquely romantic mood during…adult time.
The light (with all colors) is also incredibly adjustable with respect to brightness. Fancy a bright white while reading but want to fall asleep to a dim blue? Totally possible. Want the light to rotate through all the colors, giving the room a bit of a soothing disco vibe? Yep, totally possible. Want to set a timer so the kids can fall asleep to a nightlight but not have it on all night? Yep, the Yeelight’s got you there, too.
And that’s basically it. I mean, it’s a bedside lamp. What else did you really expect it to do? Make you breakfast?
Control of the light is ridiculously simple. There are just two small buttons on top of the unit. One turns the light on and off (and sets the timer), and the other switches between white/hue/flow. Surrounding the buttons is a touch-sensitive ring where you can adjust the color and brightness. Just slide your finger around the rim (clockwise) to make it brighter. Slide counter-clockwise to make it dimmer. Press the small button and slide your finger and – voila! – the colors change.
There’s also an app available to download (iOS and Android) that gives you a bit more freedom to control the unit from your phone. Power, hue, color, brightness, timer, and speed (when rotating among different colors) are all just a tap away. You don’t even need to reach over to the unit. Thanks to modern technology, you can be as lazy as you want!
If you’re in the market for a new bedside lamp or just enjoy soft mood lighting (not gonna judge), then you certainly can’t go wrong with the Yeelight. It’s a great little lamp for the price, and I’ve gotten quite a bit of use out of it – though, admittedly, I primarily use the white light for reading.
Disclosure: GeekDad was provided with a unit to review in exchange for our honest opinion, and yes, all opinions remain my own.