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Eve Flare review: Thread makes for a more responsive smart light

Eve Flare now has Thread

Eve Flare (2023)

4.0 / 5

The new Eve Flare smart light looks a lot like the original one, except crucially, it can now connect via Thread and will soon be updated to support Matter.

Eve Flare is one of our favorite smart lights. It's a large, opaque, basketball-sized globe to put atop your dresser, nightstand, or shelf.

Like all of Eve's products, it is certified to work with Apple Home, so you can control it from the Home app or via Siri. If you have other Apple Home accessories, they can be tied together.

You can create a scene that turns on your headboard light and the Eve Flare when you walk into your bedroom during the afternoon. Or set the Flare to turn on when your morning alarm goes off.

Eve Thread is portable, so we use it on our couch for movie night
Eve Thread is portable, so we use it on our couch for movie night

It supports multiple temperatures of white and millions of different colors that can be chosen from the Eve app or Home app.

With HomeKit support, you have tons of options to automate and illuminate your home.

Eve Flare - the same unique design

In the second-generation Eve Flare, the design hasn't changed. It's the same size and shape and offers all the same features as before.

First versus second generation Eve Flare
First versus second generation Eve Flare

The light sits on top of a plastic wireless charging pad that uses standard pogo pins to power up the battery. The light can be lifted and carried around the home, bringing its light wherever you go.

Eve Flare charging base
Eve Flare charging base

After living with the last generation charging pad for years, we wish Eve would've upgraded this new model with a more weighted base. It's so light it has the propensity to slide off your counter when the light isn't there.

Eve Flare buttons
Eve Flare buttons

There is a small button on the bottom of the Flare to wake the light and a second mode button to cycle through your favorite colors. It also has a thin metal handle to carry or hang the lamp.

The Flare is also an indoor-outdoor light, featuring IP65 water resistance to withstand splashes or light rain and a 6-hour battery life.

Eve Flare - thread connectivity

What has gotten an upgrade is how the Flare connects. The first model used Bluetooth, which, by and large, was a slow way of controlling the light.

Carrying the Eve Flare
Carrying the Eve Flare

Especially out of a sleep state, the original Eve Flare took in excess of 30 seconds at times to connect and respond to a request. Thread mostly fixes this issue.

Thread is an emerging connectivity standard, boasting benefits over both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is incredibly battery efficient but even faster than Wi-Fi.

With multiple Thread devices, it will create a mesh network over your home which can extend the network beyond your Wi-Fi range and is self-healing if a device should go offline.

Viewing our Thread network in the Eve app
Viewing our Thread network in the Eve app

In our testing, the new Eve Flare was much improved when we asked Siri to turn the light on or off. It happened almost instantly and was a solid upgrade in performance.

When we moved it around our home, it seemed like it needed to find its place on our Thread network and would occasionally lag, but once it connected, it was back to its zippy performance.

Who the Eve Flare is for

The upgraded Eve Flare is an improvement. You can't argue with the new speed and responsiveness.

Eve Flare in our bedroom
Eve Flare in our bedroom

At the same time, it feels like a boring upgrade. If you have the original, we wouldn't necessarily recommend replacing it with the new one.

We'd have liked to see a better-charging base, an increase in brightness, or a boost to battery life.

If you're in the market for a portable smart light, though, the Eve Flare is well-positioned. Almost no other HomeKit-enabled lights exist that run on battery power and can go outdoors.

Eve Flare control in the Home app
Eve Flare control in the Home app

Matter support is coming too. In a future firmware update, the Eve Flare will adopt Matter to make it compatible with other smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Eve Flare outside
Using the Eve Flare outside

This is a unique smart light that got a much-needed upgrade, even if it was slightly underwhelming for long-time fans.

2023 Eve Flare — Pros

  • Unique globe shape
  • IP65 water resistance
  • Millions of colors
  • Apple Home support
  • New model with Thread networking
  • Matter upgrade coming soon

2023 Eve Flare — Cons

  • No other changes from original model

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy the 2023 Eve Flare

Buy the new Eve Flare with Bluetooth and Thread on Amazon for $99.