Smart bulbs comparison from Things Gateway perspective?

Hi all,

I’m considering getting a smart bulb or two to test out with a view to getting more if the experience goes well. I see that the Things Gateway currently supports a few different products via different add-ons:

  • EUFY
  • LIFX
  • MEROSS (or are only plugs supported?)
  • Philips Hue (via Zigbee)
  • Sengled
  • TP-Link
  • Wemo
  • Yeelight
  • Via Zigbee - Cree, Tradfri, Osram, Sylvania,
  • Via Z-Wave - GoControl

From the gateway’s point of view, what are the significant differences between these? Are all functions supported, or only a subset? Some of the above I’ve noted need an adapter for Zigbee or Z-Wave, do the others work directly on WiFi or do they need another adapter/bridge/hub?

Cheers :slight_smile:

It really just comes down to the feature set that you want. Some of those bulbs are dimmable, some are RGB, some let you change color temperature, etc. The adapters should expose all available functionality, so I would just go with whatever brand, price point, features, and protocol you prefer.

A couple notes, though:

  • Meross - yes, only plugs are supported
  • TP-Link - these will work locally with no cloud connection and no account
  • LIFX/Yeelight/Wemo - you have to attach these to an account, but control is done locally
  • Eufy/Sengled - you have to attach these to an account, control is done through the cloud
  • Philips Hue - you can control these either via Zigbee or through the Hue Hub
  • Zigbee - you’ll need a Zigbee USB dongle
  • Z-Wave - you’ll need a Z-Wave USB dongle
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Hi @mstegeman,
Thanks for the comparison - so for me, since I don’t have any hubs, dongles or existing accounts, I think the TP-Link option is best.
Cheers :smile:

I agree that (without free as in freedom options) the TP-Link light bulbs are a good choice. At home I have one of their multi color bulbs, which I listed the pros and cons here:

If anyone bought different devices and could describe it like this, we could built a more detailed version of the Supported Hardware page (and a summary for easy consumption).


I started building a more complete list here:

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Thanks @jaller94 for the info and good work @mstegeman for that repo, I find that much more useful than the wiki page.

I’m also interested in a smart plug, again only for trial for now. @mstegeman is your summary above applicable also for the smart plugs from those brands which make them? I note that in the wiki and your list there are these additional brands:

  • Elgato Eve Energy
  • iDevices IDEV0001
  • Koogeek P1
  • Etekcity

Cheers :slight_smile:

Pretty much the same story with smart plugs. TP-Link tends to be a great option.

Comments on the other ones you mentioned:

  • Etekcity: you have to attach these to an account, control is done through the cloud
  • iDevices/Koogeek: these are both HomeKit devices which will work 100% locally with no account
  • Elgato: also HomeKit, 100% local, but this one is Bluetooth instead of wi-fi. There are currently some unfortunate Bluetooth issues in the HomeKit adapter which I’ve been unable to resolve yet, so this is probably not your best option.
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Thanks again @mstegeman!

The TP-Link bulbs are pretty pricey here so I might be it might be better value to get a Zigbee or Z-Wave dongle and a Philips Hue or other bulb that use one of those protocols.

Where do the Zigbee and Z-Wave smart bulbs and plugs sit with the needing an account or control via the cloud? Do these protocols negate the need for that or are they just another communication medium?

Cheers :slight_smile:

EDIT: Also the TP-Link ones aren’t bright enough for what we need in our house, so I have to look at the other options anyway.

Zigbee and Z-Wave both work 100% locally, no need for an account at all. Since you’re going with bulbs, I’d probably stick with Zigbee. Bulbs are not supported well with Z-Wave right now (see this thread).

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Hi @mstegeman, again very helpful thank! :smile:

Hi @mstegeman, I got distracted from this smart bulb thing but am back on it now. Have things changed in the last few months?

Is this online yet?

I started building a more complete list here:

A friend has suggested the Mi-Light range to me, but these use a proprietary protocol over 2.4GHz so I would either need to write an adapter for their gateway or for the custom firmware I could use (for which I would also need to build a custom device).

Nope, nothing has really changed.

I remember someone trying to make an adapter for the Mi bulbs a while back, but things didn’t work too well. Yeelight is also made by Xiaomi, but those are Wi-Fi.

I wish I had seen that page BEFORE I set up all my TP-Link devices with an account…

Now, I have to decide if I want to de-link them from TP-Link and update all of my Rules.

Thank you for this great document.

Well if I use these bulbs I will probably make my own hub following this guide:

And then try to write an adapter for it using the REST API.

Let us know how it goes, or if you need help.

Will do thanks :smile:

@jaller94, as a side note:

If you added the devices by connecting them to TP-Link and want to de-link them. Simply removing them from your Kasa account and then re-adding them locally does not interrupt service from the gateway. When the devices are added locally, all of the information for the device is the same as far as the gateway is concerned.

Again, many thanks for the documentation.

Hi all,
New home, new home automation projects :smile:

I had a quick search of the forum and the online docs and didn’t see any notable changes in the smart bulb space, but have there been any major changes, new products worth knowing about?

Cheers :slight_smile: