Review: Eve Flare is the portable HomeKit light you need for your smart home
Eve Flare is a gorgeous, portable HomeKit smart light that you can take with you everywhere for soft, colorful illumination.
Eve Systems has finally brought the Eve Flare stateside after an initial rollout overseas. This portable light, while on the larger side, is an easy way to bring colorful and functional accent lighting with you anywhere you go.
We've spent the last few weeks toting the Flare around with and trying different use cases for this multi-directional light, and have found it to be one of our favorite HomeKit accessories to date.
Flare is made up of a spherical plastic shell with multi-colored LEDs on the inside. The plastic shell has a matte finish and acts as a diffuser to soften the light emitted and guarantees full 360-degree illumination.
While most of the shell has a slight texture, there is a seam that runs across the center that Eve does its best to minimize. It isn't prominent, but it is noticable upon inspection. When the light is on, the seam disappears.
To control the light, the natural way is to do so through your phone. As a backup, there are physical buttons on the underside that can be of use. One is a power button to turn the light on or off, and the other is a mode button to cycle through a series of common colors and hues. Physical buttons are often omitted on smart lights so it is appreciated that Eve didn't overlook the necessity.
There are also a pair of circles on the bottom of the Flare, which are contact points for the wireless charging dock. This circular pad sets on any table and will charge the Flare whenever it is placed on it. There is no right or wrong way to place the Flare, as long as it is centered on the dock. When charged, Eve says you can expect over six hours of use from the Flare, but during the course of our testing, we got far more when we kept the light dim — as you'd expect.
To make Eve Flare truly an "everywhere" kind of light, Eve Systems also made the light water resistant. It received an IP65 water resistance rating which means it can withstand jets of water for up to 15 minutes without taking damage. That makes it perfect for some rain, or even a quick shower — just don't submerge it in the pool or the tub.
Smart home, smart light
Eve Systems is devoted exclusively to Apple's HomeKit platform, making it the only HomeKit-only portable light currently on the market. There are other portable smart home lights that support HomeKit such as the Hue Go, but there are tradeoffs.
To set up, the Eve Flare is added just as any other HomeKit accessory would be — by scanning the HomeKit code located both in the manual, the box, and on the underside of the light. This can be accomplished through Apple's Home app, or by way of the Eve app. The process is the same regardless so it doesn't matter which route you go.
Once paired, the Home app can adjust the color, the temperature of the light, and the brightness. Automation rules and scenes can also be developed to schedule or trigger the light the way you see fit. For example, maybe a motion sensor could trigger the light to come on at night to a dim pale blue during the night when you get out of bed and then turn back off a few minutes later.
The Eve app can do all of this as well, but it has some additional functionality. Here, you can also create a few presets for your favorite colors so you don't have to spin the color wheel each time. Within the Eve app is also the only place firmware updates can be installed, which is still a limitation of HomeKit. Perhaps in the future firmware updates can be completed directly through the Home app and remove the necessity for third-party manufacturer apps. The good news is, we've long purported that the Eve app is by far one of the best HomeKit apps available — for any accessory.
Roughly the size of a basketball, the Eve Flare is much larger than the similarly spec'd Philips Hue Go. Unlike the Hue Go, the Flare requires no hub and connects over Bluetooth. That means no matter where you go, you can always control it via Siri as well as the Home app. Given those compromises, the Eve Flare is preferable for us.
Illuminate your home
Applications of the Eve Flare are wide in scope. Use it as you walk around your house at night and don't want to turn bright lights on. Maybe keep it in your kid's room as a nightlight. Take it out to the patio for a warmly lit dinner. Even take it with you away from the home for a picnic.
While brainstorming, a fun application we came up with was using the hanger to create a night sky scene on a bedroom wall. We applied several glow-in-the-dark stars and mounted the Eve Flare as a moon/sun that will automatically dim and brighten each day as we go to bed and wake in the morning. It doesn't stay lit long each day which gets us many days out of use before it needs to be charged.
That makes Eve Flare quite unique and somewhat hard to pin down. Each individual scenario is hard to justify as a reason you need to grab the Eve Flare, but when you look at all the possibilities, it paints a clearer and more colorful picture. Eve Flare is a smart light that does a lot of things, and it does them well, but it is still largely an accent light. Does that make it worth the price? For us it did.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Where to buy
Eve Flare is currently available on Amazon for $99.95 and is eligible for Prime shipping.