Eve Flare
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Eve Flare

May 27, 2023

The Eve Flare ($99.95) is a portable LED globe that provides soft mood lighting both in and out of your home. It has respectable battery life, offers Bluetooth and Thread connectivity, and displays every possible color. But it's not without downsides: It only works with Apple's HomeKit platform as of this writing and it lacks interesting lighting effects. If you already rely on the HomeKit platform for your smart home, the Eve Flare is a fun way to add a splash of color to your environment. But you should also consider alternatives like the indoor-only Wyze Light Strip Pro ($29.99) for accent lighting because it has better voice control options and more engaging lighting presets.

The Flare, which measures 10 inches in diameter and weighs 1.7 pounds, is almost completely round except for a flat base that allows it to sit on surfaces. The bottom has a power button, a mode button that lets you cycle through seven color presets, and a folding handle that makes it easy to carry around and hang on a hook, branch, or anything else that supports its weight. Also on the bottom are charging terminals that connect the light to its included base. The internal battery should last up to six hours, but note that recharging takes roughly the same amount of time. An IP65 weatherproof rating means you can use the lamp outdoors without worrying about damage from dust and rain, but you shouldn't submerge it in water.

The Flare relies on a dimmable, multicolor 90-lumen LED. The internal bulb isn't very bright, but it's important to remember that this lamp is meant to provide ambiance for a room, not illumination. Regardless, it can display a wide range of colors, as well as warm (yellowish) or cool (bluish) whites that are selectable via the companion app. Missing, however, are the cool programmable lighting effects that you get with the Wyze Light Strip Pro or the Govee Lynx Dream Bluetooth & Wi-Fi Outdoor String Lights ($69.99). The orb won't pulse to music, breathe, or shift colors on the fly, for instance.

Inside is a Bluetooth radio that lets the device connect to your iPhone. The radio also enables Thread networking, one of Matter's underlying protocols, if you pair the orb to a second-gen Apple HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV 4K (second generation or later). The lamp doesn't have a Wi-Fi radio, but you can still control it remotely once you connect it to any Apple hub device.

Like other Eve products, including the Eve Motion sensor and the Eve Outdoor Cam, the Flare works only with Apple HomeKit. That means there's no support for Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands at this time, let alone Android devices. The good news is that HomeKit's Automations and Scenes features make some third-party devices viable for integrations, and a future free firmware update will add support for Matter (thus opening up compatibility with additional platforms). When exactly that update will arrive is somewhat of a mystery though.

You can control the Flare via the Home app on Apple devices, but you get more options in the Eve app (available for iOS only). The light appears in a panel on the Rooms screen, but you can pin it to the home screen for quick access.

Tap the panel to access a power switch for the orb and adjust the brightness. Press the name of the lamp to open a screen with another on/off button and a list of your 12 favorite color selections. Additional color presets (Capri, Cherry, Green, Jade, Orange, or Scarlet), a full color selector, and a white color selector (which shows a palette of warm and cool shades) are accessible via the overflow icon below your favorites.

There are four buttons at the bottom of the app: My Home, Rooms, Automation, and Settings. The My Home button takes you back to the main screen from wherever you are in the app. The Rooms section lists all of the rooms in your home along with their associated devices. Tap any room to access the control panels for each of your devices.

Press the Automation button to create Scenes and Rules that involve other HomeKit devices. You can also set up timers to activate any existing Scenes at a specific time.

Choose the Settings button to edit the lamp's name and room assignment, configure its transmit power (relevant for use with a Thread network), and change what color the light shows upon turning on (the last color or white). Here, you can also choose a Transitions setting that controls how long it takes for the orb to change colors after your selection (Calm, Moderate, Default, or Quick).

Setting up the Flare doesn't take much time, but you have to download the Eve app and create a home location if this is your first Eve device. After plugging in the charging base and charging the lamp for around six hours, I tapped Add Accessory in the app's settings and scanned the HomeKit code from the included setup guide. I tapped Add to Apple Home and waited a few seconds for the app to connect to the lamp. I then gave it a name and assigned it to a room to complete the installation.

The Flare worked well in testing. It responded instantly to app commands to change color and brightness levels and quickly reacted to Siri voice commands to change colors, adjust the brightness, and turn on or off. A HomeKit automation I created for the Flare to turn on for one minute when someone triggered an Eve Motion sensor worked perfectly, as did a rule for the device to turn on and shine green at 12:30 p.m. each day. I managed to get close to seven hours of battery life, which is slightly better than the manufacturer's claim.

At $100, the Eve Flare might seem expensive for an oversized mood light, but its portability, ease of use, wide color support, and weatherproof design are real advantages. However, we wish it offered configurable lighting patterns and included support for Matter out of the box. For now, it is limited to HomeKit only. If you're willing to consider other types of lights, we're fans of the Wyze Light Strip Pro for indoor environments and the Govee Lynx Dream Outdoor String Lights for outside. Neither option is portable, but both cost less and support more lighting effects.