A few days ago, the Osram Smart + Flex arrived with HomeKit support. We have already dared to take a first look.
We often and often like to talk about Philips Hue, meanwhile even on an additional blog. But we can also understand that not everyone wants to rely directly on a complete system from Philips, after all, there is also a bridge required in addition, which would like to be clamped to the house router. Fortunately, there are also alternatives on the market.
At the end of November, we presented you a low-priced solution, the LED strip from the Chinese manufacturer Koogeek, who wanted to score points for a direct connection to HomeKit’s 2.4 GHz Wifi and above all to score a low price.
The Osram Smart + Flex LED strip costs $59.99 twice, but also offers some interesting extras and relies on a slightly different technology, but more later. In any case, the product has the edge over the pure light output: The 180 cm long strip has a light output of 600 lumens.
Particularly interesting: The Osram Smart + Flex is divided into three 60-centimeter-long sections, and the strip can be extended up to six meters. An extension of two times 60 centimeters currently costs just under $40. This results in a light output of about 1000 lumens spread over three meters, only with further extensions, the luminosity per LED will decrease slightly.
In addition, the manufacturer has come up with something very special: The base set includes a 90 centimeter long extension, which can be placed not only between the controller and the beginning of the LED strip, but also between the individual sections. For example, it is possible to bridge hidden surfaces behind cabinets with little effort and without additional accessories.
Also great: If you disconnect the Osram Smart + Flex from the power, for example, if it hangs on the multi-outlet in your multimedia corner, it will then turn on in the previously set configuration again. Here the Philips Hue LightStrips have to fit, after a complete disconnection from the power they turn on with white light.
The complete configuration and control of the Osram Smart + Flex is done by HomeKit and Siri. No matter whether you control the LED strip via Siri, turn it on and off or change the color, a simple voice command is sufficient. If you have an Apple TV or iPad set up as a control center, automations are also possible. There are no limits to your creativity, meanwhile HomeKit offers many options in terms of accessories, presence and times of day.
Osram Smart + Flex with HomeKit, but without Alexa and Google
However, with the Osram Smart + Flex you can quickly reach the limits of the feasible. For example, the controller only works with Bluetooth and not via WLAN. Depending on the living situation, it can happen that problems can arise in terms of reach. We also noticed that the switching times of the Osram Smart + Flex sometimes take a bit longer than with comparable products with WLAN connectivity.
The Osram Smart + Flex works currently only with HomeKit and Siri. He has not been contacted yet with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant. These functions should follow later, when exactly that will be, but the manufacturer has not yet been able to tell us.
And so it’s mixed feelings in the end. The Osram Smart + Flex scores with some interesting extras, such as the included extension, but there are also some minus points. Anyone who already uses Philips Hue will not have any use for the LED strip, everyone else is welcome to take a look.