AliExpress and Athom Smart Bulbs Compared

Three different Smart lamps compared

A while back I wrote about a really cheap AliExpress Smartlamp – which had to work with the Smartlife App as it was (is) WiFi based. The lamp in question was the AUBESS lamp and I wrote about it here. All very nice – my comments were that this (fairly normal sized) E27 lamp claimed to be 15w and was indeed as bright in WHITE as my normal, somewhat larger (but out of stock at the time) Athom Tasmota pre-programmed lights but dimmer in RGB. I like to control my lights with Node-Red and hence my all-singing Node-Red-Dashboard page-set on my phone which incorporates Zigbee 3.0-compatible devices including lamps, WiFi Tasmota-driven and some Sonoff eWeLink devices (via the Node-Red-Contrib-eWeLink node set) .

AliExpress-sourced Zigbee-2-MQTT-compatible 15w lamp

Of COURSE I can add the likes of SmartLife to my repertoire – indeed for some devices that are simply fixed timer or timeout lamps, I’m happy to do that – but my preference is to keep everything Node-Red-compatible and I’ve yet to find an easy to use the SmartLife-adaptor for Node-Red – hence the original AliExpress WiFi lamp above is sitting in a corner… not bright enough to warrant using under a second APP BUT yet it was CHEAP – but read on.

THIS TIME I took a different route and went for a AliExpress-sources Zigbee-compatible lamp. Same size as the WiFi version, same result in terms of brightness. GOOD in warm or cold white, “ambient” (to put it generously) in RGB. THIS one cost €8.43 (all-inclusive to, in my case, Spain – VAT included so no hassles) – so still cheap, still not as bright as my more expensive 15w Athom lights… but again Athom were out of stock at the time

So what happened this time – this is a sub-€9 light (I’m giving you the link while not specifically recommending AliExpress) (note – first item – Zigbee, not one of the others which may be 110v or may be WiFi) – I’ve compared it with the previous (WiFi) light – side by side – output-wise the same – but works with Zigbee hubs and Im pleased to confirm IS supported by Zigbee2MQTT – which means that if, like me you happen to use the latter with prehaps a dongle in a Node-Red or other setup, you don’t have to go off buying yet another HUB.

So, it seemed that I could use this Zigbee lamp as a replacement for my broken 15w Athom lamp with only minor modification to my Node-red code. I have to say however that almost every lamp I’ve come across to date has good to excellent white light but very poor colour intensity. As this is largely down to how many LEDs are used in the lamp and of course their quality, I don’t know why manufacturers feel the need to limit colour brilliance – calling the result “ambience”. I for one am used to having shed-loads of LED STRIP around the house and for example in our pergola, I like pink light from time to time. It is quite easy to generate decent bright colours of almost any description – so why can’t these guys just add a few more RGB LEDs?

I have this lamp running under Node-Red that is… zigbee2mqtt can control and monitor the light – node-red-contrib-zigbee2mqtt can control and monitor the light (3 nodes needed inc on/off/coloor/mono and actual colour). Your thoughts welcome… Meanwhile, at last, my Athom lamps arrived, nearly twice the price and twice the size BUT without doubt, the colours are far more usable in the Athom (Tasmota-driven – v12.5 Peyton at the time of writing) lights. If anything the WHITE might be slightly brighter on the smaller AliExpress Zigbee light – but only just.

AliExpress-sourced Zigbee-2-MQTT-compatible 15w lamp
AliExpress-sourced Zigbee-2-MQTT-compatible 15w lamp

As a last note – the Node-Red nodes I’m using to control this AliExpress-sources light.

The function node simply converts from my other lamps into a suitable format to either select full on warm white OR an RGB colour #XXXXXX (I’m not a fan of cold white). The 3 node-red-contrib-zigbee2mqtt nodes are set to control STATE, COLOR and COLOR TEMPERATURE.

if (msg.payload == "#00000000ff")
{ msg.payload = 400; return[msg,null]; }
{ msg.payload = msg.payload.slice(0,7); return [null, msg]; }
Node-REd Control of Zigbee lighting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave the field below empty!

The maximum upload file size: 512 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here