AliExpress RGB vs Athom RGB Lamps

This post came from my need-to-know why AliExpress-sourced RGB bulbs (E27) were less than half the price of Athom bulbs of the same power.

The Athom bulb in the link above is one of several of their 15w models I use around the house and they are pre-programmed with Tasmota which means you can control them from their web interface and bring them into your house WiFi (no calling home to China or elsewhere).

If I need to access these externally I have an RPI with NODE-RED setup – which is another way I access the lamps – in groups for example. There are many ways to access Tasmota-programmed lamps and other Tasmota-equipped devices.

By comparison the Aubess (via AliExpress) bulb mentioned here works with the SmartLife APP and works well – but it also claims to be 15W – it cost me a mere 4.27 Euros when I bought the lamp 2 weeks ago, which is a GREAT price for a smart RGBCW lamp with warm/cold white and colour – note: the price in the photo below seems to have risen to little over 5 Euros. As for the bulb – I don’t know what chip it uses as the box claims you should turn on Bluetooth on the phone to set it up – and it WAS easy to set up. I’m guessing it isn’t an ESP32 (for cost reasons).

And there it is in my receipts section of the AleExpress site – with the price I paid all inclusive to Spain –

To be sure, that’s a really cheap price – but is it anything like the Athom lamp brilliance? – NO – at least not for colour. I grabbed a light meter APP for my Samsung S22 Ultra phone – used a thin screwdriver for distance (15cm in each case) and ensured the phone light sensor was pointing straight at the centre of the bulb in each case. The display angle of these bulbs is similar, the Athom is bigger (so you MIGHT expect pointing at the centre of the bulb I’d get slightly less output is anything – wrong).

So on full output warm white, the Athom gave out 4700 lux as did the smaller Aubess lamp. On testing colour however, red as an example – the Athom gave out 126 Lux, the Aubess 43 Lux.

For white – as things stand – I could see the use of these lamps from AliExpress though I really need Tasmota for most of my lamps – for some lamps as used around the house in colour to match mood – no comparison – the Athom wins hands down. As for lamp life – well I can’t really tell without several months use – you’ll see elsewhere in here when I had an issue with one Athom lamp – it was quickly replaced without hassle.

I can on the other hand tell you from bitter experience – that getting replacements out of AliExpress is often a non-starter – they don’t do English at all well and their suppliers will, for example, typically ask you for a video of the problem – even if it is something like a command in an APP not working… this seems to be their standard way of putting you off or maybe getting around not understanding a word you say.

Months ago, I bought a tiny M.2 NVME drive from them which would not work – they insisted I send a video – you can imagine my response “what, of it NOT working??” – I got no response – the SSD went in the bin after 3 attempts to get a refund. That particular supplier is on my spam hit-list now.

Anyway – if you want local control and bright colours – you can forget all about the AliExpress-sourced model – you can see above that the colours are not that bright and the lamp works with the Smartlife APP – i.e. Tuya. I’ve tried getting Tuya devices talking to Node-Red via a contrib node but up to now, setting up a link between Tuya and Node-Red is not working for me. If you want mainly white and don’t care about local control (not calling home to a server somewhere) then the Aubess unit is certainly cheap – the white is fine and the price I paid was very low… otherwise I’d recommend the Athom model with Tasmota (see the blog entry link above as they also make lamps and other devices with other firmware pre-installed).

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