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Yeelight Cube review: This Matter-enabled modular smart light is unlike anything I've used before

Yeelight Cube review: This Matter-enabled modular smart light is unlike anything I've used before

Original link:Yeelight Cube review: This Matter-enabled modular smart light is unlike anything I've used before

The Cube is Yeelight's most ambitious product yet, and the brand has nailed the feature-set. The modular light has three different lighting cubes, and you get a lot of freedom in setting it up and tailoring the lighting effects to your tastes. It also has Matter integration, and thanks to extensive customizability and exciting lighting effects, the Cube may just be the best smart ambient light you've used — it's certainly my favorite.

Pros

  • Modular design with three unique light variations
  • Highly configurable
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Matter integration
  • Decent variety of scenes and effects out of the box

Cons

  • Magnetic connectors could be a little stronger
  • No 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity

Yeelight is one of the largest names in the smart lighting category, and while the brand is still predominantly known for its smart light bulbs, it is branching out into new areas. Last year saw the introduction of the RGB wall panels that go up against the likes of Nanoleaf, and a monitor light bar that I use to this day. Yeelight is doing a better job with availability — it has a storefront in the U.S., and makes its best products available outside China.

The brand has a lot in store for 2023, and kicking things off is its most ambitious effort yet: the Cube Smart Lamp. This is a modular smart light that has three distinct light panels that can be slotted in various configurations. The Cube is Yeelight's first product to feature Matter integration, and it works with the brand-new Yeelight Station utility that's available for Android as well as Windows.

Yeelight Cube smart light review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The Cube looks very different to other smart lights, and that's down to its modularity. Essentially, it consists of three varieties of cubes: a light panel that produces diffused ambient lighting, a dot matrix panel with 25 individually addressable LEDs, and a spotlight with a 350-degree horizontal and 90-degree vertical adjustments.

Yeelight Cube smart light review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

These three panels can be joined together to create the Cube, and the best part is that you can arrange the panels in any configuration you want. The standard pack comes with the base station module and a dot matrix panel, and you can buy additional cubes — called extensions — as you see fit. Yeelight is selling the Cube as a $199 package that includes the standard pack along with four cubes of your choice. 

If you want to buy individual panels, the dot matrix and panel cube will set you back $28, and the spotlight is currently $33 each. The product is being crowdfunded at the moment on Indiegogo, and should make its way to Yeelight's store in the coming weeks. 

Yeelight Cube smart light review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

One power connector can drive six cubes in total, and Yeelight sent over two kits along with a lot of extensions: four light panels, two spotlights, and four dot matrix panels. The freedom to choose your panels and set up lighting the way you want is the biggest differentiator for the Cube. As I had a decent number of extensions, I started out mixing and matching dot matrix panels with the light panels, and they blend seamless together; the panels interconnect via magnets, and you can effortlessly change the configuration.

Yeelight Cube smart light review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What I like the most is how easy it is to set up and use the Cube; you won't find a manual in the box, and you don't really need one — all it takes to get started is connecting the power connector module to a wall outlet and attaching extensions as needed. It's effortless to pair the Cube to Yeelight Station, and all you'll need to do is scan the QR code that's in the base kit. And thanks to Matter integration, it works with all digital assistants.

Yeelight Cube smart light review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

On that note, I had a lot of issues with Yeelight's software in the past, and thankfully, that hasn't been a problem at all with the Cube. Yeelight Station is a brand-new utility that has a modern design and plenty of customization out of the box, and it is leagues better than the standard Yeelight app.

Yeelight Cube smart light review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

You can add the current configuration of the Cube within Yeelight Station, and there's also a button on the base module that hooks up to the power connector that lets you change scenes on the fly. There are a lot of scenes and effects available out of the box, and it's easy to set up your own — whether that's for the dot matrix panels, or the ambient light cubes. 

Yeelight Cube smart light review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

A unique use case is a clock; if you have four dot matrix panels, you can add them together and set up a digital clock. There are a few styles to play with here, and while it is on the larger side, it is a great way to use the Cube. 

Yeelight Cube smart light review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

In fact, the configurability is what I like the most about the Cube — there is a lot of interesting combinations you can come up with, and switching between the various lights is about as straightforward as it gets.

You can lay out the cubes in horizontal or vertical orientations, and twist them around in various positions. The interlocking magnets detach easily, and I would have liked the connection to be a bit stronger — as it is, you need to be careful maneuvering the cubes when slotting them in. But other than that, there isn't much missing here.

Yeelight Cube smart light review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The only limitation that I can think of is that there's no portable option — the Cube has to be plugged in to work. That said, you get excellent ambient lighting from all three panels, and the dot matrix cubes in particular have been a favorite — you can customize individual LEDs on each panel, and that just opens up an entirely new set of customizability.

Yeelight Cube smart light review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Honestly, if you're looking for ambient lights that work in a variety of configurations, the Cube is about the best product you'll find today. It's easy to set up and use, and the various light panels along with the inherent modularity makes it highly enjoyable. It's safe to say that the Yeelight Cube is the best ambient lighting product if you care about customizability. There, I got to the end of the review without mentioning Lego once. 

 

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