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iLuv Launches 'Rainbow8' Smart Bulb With HomeKit Support and Hub-Less Design

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Apr 12, 2001
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iLuv today announced its first Apple HomeKit certified device called the "Rainbow8," an IoT connected smart lightbulb system that includes Siri compatibility and Wi-Fi connectivity so users can interact with their lights from an iPhone or iPad. One of the distinctions between Rainbow8 and Philips Hue is that iLuv's product doesn't require a central, router-connected hub.

To get started the company said that "all you have to do is simply plug in," and Rainbow8 will search for a nearby smartphone with the company's app. Once it's set up, users can set up schedules and geo-fences that activate and deactivate based on their location. Custom lighting scenes can be created and with the addition of HomeKit support, users can ask Siri to turn them on and off.


As an improvement on the company's Rainbow7 Bluetooth smart bulb, the Rainbow8 includes over 16 million color options, has a dimming feature, offers 800 lumens of brightness, and will last for a lifespan of over 20,000 hours.
This user friendly smart bulb is now brighter and longer lasting, saving you money in the long run. "iLuv is very proud of the direction we are going," said Jason Park, head of marketing at iLuv.

"The Rainbow8 is not our first smart product, but it is definitely one of our most impressive ones. Unlike most smart bulbs on the market, the Rainbow8 does not require a hub. All you have to do is simply plug in and get started. Once set up, users can do everything from schedule their lighting to setting triggers that control the lights based on their location. You can also create your own customized lighting scenes and use Siri to turn them on."
iLuv's Rainbow8 smart bulb is available for $49.99 from Amazon, "and other select retailers," beginning today. At the time of writing, only 10 of the bulbs were left in stock on Amazon's U.S. store.

Article Link: iLuv Launches 'Rainbow8' Smart Bulb With HomeKit Support and Hub-Less Design
 

vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,496
6,309
My kids would love this, but it is a little pricey. I really like the hub-less design.

I have been looking into various home automation systems, mostly for security reasons, but I am very hesitant to invest money on these hub-centric designs. They are costly, and if the company drops support for it, then you are pretty much stuck with obsolete equipment.
 
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imola.zhp

macrumors 65816
Jun 1, 2010
1,045
739
Mud Island (Memphis), TN
Actually, considering the bulb has a Homekit chip built in and no hub required... It's not that crazy of a price. Hue bulbs are 50$ as well but still require a separate hub.

If I did this I would want about 12 bulbs, they should do packs, maybe they will at some point in the future. $660 is way out of my budget.
[doublepost=1489675697][/doublepost]
Siri support = fail.

Yes, Siri is usually quite useless, but the bigger benefit I see is no required hub. If no one else has Siri support and Siri supposed isn't something you would use then there is no loss. At some point, however, will your router slow down with so many connected devices? I already have 11 wifi devices, adding 12 bulbs seems like a lot of devices competing for bandwidth. Something I may need to look into before considering something like this.
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,388
10,077
Florida, USA
If I did this I would want about 12 bulbs, they should do packs, maybe they will at some point in the future. $660 is way out of my budget.
[doublepost=1489675697][/doublepost]

Yes, Siri is usually quite useless, but the bigger benefit I see is no required hub. If no one else has Siri support and Siri supposed isn't something you would use then there is no loss. At some point, however, will your router slow down with so many connected devices? I already have 11 wifi devices, adding 12 bulbs seems like a lot of devices competing for bandwidth. Something I may need to look into before considering something like this.

The bridge (hub) is no big deal. You *literally* plug it in and forget it. It actually makes a lot more sense to me to use a lightweight over the air protocol to control simple things like light bulbs, than to have each lightbulb be on the Wifi consuming an IP address. Also, protocols like Zigbee (what Hue uses) implements bulbs as relays so you can have lights outside of the direct range of the bridge and still work.

Also, the bridge can have schedules and automation programmed into it directly, without needing any additional software or cloud services to do that.

I've been very happy with the Hue system so far. The bulbs respond near instantly and have been extremely reliable. I suppose both systems have their merits, but I just wanted to point out that needing a bridge isn't a huge deal.
 
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H3LL5P4WN

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,694
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Pittsburgh PA
Not as expensive as Hue or Lifx

...it's exactly as expensive as Hue. May be more so, since every now and then Hue Gen 3 bulbs go on sale.

The bridge (hub) is no big deal. You *literally* plug it in and forget it. It actually makes a lot more sense to me to use a lightweight over the air protocol to control simple things like light bulbs, than to have each lightbulb be on the Wifi consuming an IP address. Also, protocols like Zigbee (what Hue uses) implements bulbs as relays so you can have lights outside of the direct range of the bridge and still work.

Also, the bridge can have schedules and automation programmed into it directly, without needing any additional software or cloud services to do that.

I've been very happy with the Hue system so far. The bulbs respond near instantly and have been extremely reliable. I suppose both systems have their merits, but I just wanted to point out that needing a bridge isn't a huge deal.

This, this right here. I have one device on my router, wired (the bridge), instead of 6 bulbs all with their own connections.
 
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Quu

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2007
3,041
5,273
Honestly I got 3 hue bulbs and the homekit enabled hub for $100 from Amazon in a sale. They go on sale frequently.
 
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3rdiguy

macrumors 65816
Sep 17, 2012
1,221
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This is Bluetooth and I don't see where it says HomeKit support. I have a bulb like this and it gets really annoying when it drops Bluetooth connection. Update: sorry I didn't catch the Rainbow 8 part. I was speaking about the Rainbow 7
 
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iamgalt

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2012
222
599
At some point, however, will your router slow down with so many connected devices? I already have 11 wifi devices, adding 12 bulbs seems like a lot of devices competing for bandwidth. Something I may need to look into before considering something like this.

Somehow, I got a feeling that a light bulb, even 12 of them, are not going to use anywhere near as much bandwidth as watching youtube or netflix. I doubt a noticeable difference would be experienced. But as I don't have any experience with smart bulbs, I could be wrong.
 
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JRobinsonJr

macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2015
657
1,163
Arlington, Texas
The notion of a hub-less approach *sounds* good but I'm wary of the actual implementation. In addition to all of the obvious potential issues - number of IP devices, connectivity/bandwidth, cloud-based management, etc. - I wonder about the security of these. Does each bulb require a separate authentication? If not... what's to stop someone from hijacking these? The next evolutionary wave of DoS (denial of service) attacks will leverage IoT devices... and these could have potential.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
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Not as expensive as Hue or Lifx

At $49 is the same price as Hue and just $10 less than Lifx IF you are only buying a single bulb. If you are buying multiple LIFX bulbs the price drops to $49 plus LIFX bulbs are 1100 lumens. iLuv is 200 less. LIFX is also hubless.

I started out with Hue as they were the only Homekit game in town. But I lusted after LIFX because they had bulbs greater than 60w incandescent equivalent. When LIFX announced HomeKit compatibility a couple months ago I jumped for joy. I have not bought any yet but will probably sell my Hue bulbs soon and switch out. I don't know why anyone would consider the iLuv bulbs.
 
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nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
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Middle Earth
Hubless is the future. Most consumers have WiFi and maybe 2-3 free LAN ports on their router and not enough tech know-how to go out and buy a switch and make it work. Screw in a bulb, add it via an app is very easy.

Only because the future is IP. Bridges aren't hard to setup and if you struggle then Home Automation isn't for you.
[doublepost=1489683142][/doublepost]
Actually, considering the bulb has a Homekit chip built in and no hub required... It's not that crazy of a price. Hue bulbs are 50$ as well but still require a separate hub.

How are you going to do remote control of your bulbs without a bridge?
[doublepost=1489683615][/doublepost]
The notion of a hub-less approach *sounds* good but I'm wary of the actual implementation. In addition to all of the obvious potential issues - number of IP devices, connectivity/bandwidth, cloud-based management, etc. - I wonder about the security of these. Does each bulb require a separate authentication? If not... what's to stop someone from hijacking these? The next evolutionary wave of DoS (denial of service) attacks will leverage IoT devices... and these could have potential.

HK offers encryption so it's not too bad but bridges are certainly more flexible which is why most vendors use them. It's easier to offer upgrades to the bridge than it is to upgrade each individual device.
 
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RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
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Iowa, USA
Do these bulbs only work with WiFi, or is it sort of like LIFX where one acts as the "hub" and then connects with a non-WiFi mesh network to the remaining bulbs? If they all connect directly via WiFi, I see this being a problem for people who might have bulbs at places in their houses where the WiFi signal is poor. I've read their site and any documentation I can find and don't see this question addressed, which might lead one to believe they are all WiFi. That sounds like such a bad idea that I can't believe they would do it (a bad idea for both my previously stated reason and a few others: a proliferation of clients on your network if you have a lot of bulbs, greater power consumption for a WiFi vs ZigBee or Z-wave radio, etc.).

I don't know why people complain about hubs/bridges. Sure, you need to plug it in to a wired port, but even a simple home router (with a built-in WiFi access point) should at least have one, and many have three to four. If you're at all tech-y (as these products are geared towards) you're likely to have a network switch with many more. It also allows you to simply swap out the bridge (like Philips did when Hue added HomeKit support) for upgrades that otherwise might only be possible with bulb replacement. And while it's certainly possible to be like LIFX (no idea how Rainbow8 handles it, again), that's effectively the same model, just using WiFi rather than Ethernet and moving it to the bulb itself--in fact, every bulb despite the fact that the hardware is only used in one, which seems like it would drive the cost up. Hue does actually have some white-only LEDs that are very competitively priced for smart bulbs and aren't that much more expensive than many regular LEDs.
 
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nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,502
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Middle Earth
I think Thread is going to dominate the HA landscape. They have all the all the big partners they need and it's IP Addressable. In the future most of the devices I purchase will have to support Thread
 
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Laird Knox

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2010
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At $49 is the same price as Hue and just $10 less than Lifx IF you are only buying a single bulb. If you are buying multiple LIFX bulbs the price drops to $49 plus LIFX bulbs are 1100 lumens. iLuv is 200 less. LIFX is also hubless.

I started out with Hue as they were the only Homekit game in town. But I lusted after LIFX because they had bulbs greater than 60w incandescent equivalent. When LIFX announced HomeKit compatibility a couple months ago I jumped for joy. I have not bought any yet but will probably sell my Hue bulbs soon and switch out. I don't know why anyone would consider the iLuv bulbs.
For light output I went with Cree 100w equivalent bulbs. For example, in my kitchen I have the kitchen task lights with Cree bulbs wired to a Lutron switch for smarts. The center light is Hue and I have a Lightify LED strip over the cabinets for ambient light. It is a bit of a patchwork but it gives me good light along with the scene setting atmosphere I want.

I have a crazy mix of gear: Hue bulbs, Lightify down lights and strip LEDs, Lutron dimmers and plugs, and MiLight GU-10 and E26 bulbs. It is the result of being an early adopter, looking for better solutions, and price concerns (I have more than 50 lamps currently smartified).
 
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CarlJ

macrumors 603
Feb 23, 2004
5,275
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San Diego, CA, USA
Yes, Siri is usually quite useless, but the bigger benefit I see is no required hub. If no one else has Siri support and Siri supposed isn't something you would use then there is no loss. At some point, however, will your router slow down with so many connected devices? I already have 11 wifi devices, adding 12 bulbs seems like a lot of devices competing for bandwidth.
Siri does have her problems, but pushing the Siri button on my AppleTV remote and saying "turn off my hallway light" works both immediately and with very high reliability.

And there shouldn't be any router slowdown in the way you're thinking - merely having something on the network imposes almost zero burden, a router can track thousands of devices with no problem (the device is just one row in an array to the router), it's all a question of how much network traffic is going to and from each device. A HomeKit device will spend a fraction of a second every 4 hours or so asking the router if it can still keep using the same IP address (via DHCP), and it'll spend a few milliseconds every minute or two announcing on the local network that it is a device that can be controlled via HAP (HomeKit Accessory Protocol) - this is how your iOS device finds your HomeKit devices, by listening for these announcements. There's no other traffic to, or from, a HomeKit device unless you're actively doing something with/to it (i.e. no continuous traffic for a light _being_ on, only for a few milliseconds on the comparatively rare occasions when you tell it to turn on, or turn off). It would take many thousands of HomeKit devices on your network for their periodic announcements to add up to any noticeable fraction of your network traffic. Your Mac is generating orders of magnitude more traffic just having a few open tabs in a browser.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
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For light output I went with Cree 100w equivalent bulbs. For example, in my kitchen I have the kitchen task lights with Cree bulbs wired to a Lutron switch for smarts. The center light is Hue and I have a Lightify LED strip over the cabinets for ambient light. It is a bit of a patchwork but it gives me good light along with the scene setting atmosphere I want.

I have a crazy mix of gear: Hue bulbs, Lightify down lights and strip LEDs, Lutron dimmers and plugs, and MiLight GU-10 and E26 bulbs. It is the result of being an early adopter, looking for better solutions, and price concerns (I have more than 50 lamps currently smartified).

Thanks for your set up. Does it all work seemlessly (or as seemlessly as Siri can be) with Homekit?
 
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Laird Knox

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2010
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Thanks for your set up. Does it all work seemlessly (or as seemlessly as Siri can be) with Homekit?

I haven't worked with Homekit yet. Right now I'm working with Wink and Echo. I figured that the part of using Cree bulbs with a Lutron dimmer might be helpful to you. I realized I didn't need every single lamp to be a fancy RBG smart bulb. If you look around you might find a similar solution is possible where you need more light. I currently use the standard Cree bulbs and Lutron dimmers in the kitchen and pantry.

I expect that any of the major products will work (or eventually work) well with Homekit. I have been very impressed with the Lightify line and used their down light retrofit kits on the exterior of my house. It is more responsive than Hue and plays well with Wink and Echo.



MiLight on the other hand doesn't play with anything. To solve that problem I use the ha-bridge software to communicate with them. You have to create some devices to make it all work but then it looks like a Hue hub to your other devices. For example, turning on a light, setting it to white and 100% brightness looks like this:

[{"item":"udp://192.168.0.4:8899/0x450055"},
{"item":"udp://192.168.0.4:8899/0xC50055"},
{"item":"udp://192.168.0.4:8899/0x4E1B55"}]

A pain but once it is in place it works well. The hub they use only allows four channels and that works for me at the moment. I have 30 lights setup on four channels in my living room. You can add additional hubs for about $12 to expand the system. Why go to all this trouble? Well I got 30 GU-10 bulbs shipped directly from the manufacturer for $300. Hue would have set me back $1500 for the same setup. You can also get four E26 lamps with a remote controller from Amazon for about $50.

The other nice thing about the LEDs is that when all 30 track lights are on full it only pulls 57 watts. :D

Testing the bulbs when they arrived:



How I use them:



Definitely look into the wall switches. It was a bit of an "ahah!" moment for me. ;)
 
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JustSomeInfo

macrumors member
Nov 28, 2016
36
130

If you don't mind, can you tell me which brand/lights are doing your 'green'? I steered away from Hue because I read many a complaint about its green color which is the most important color to me. The green lights in your pics look great and I was curious who made them.
 
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