So.....my latest update on my mission to find a low(-ish) cost multicolour smart bulb that actualy works ok. As you know from the above, it wasn't going well. Try as I might with the original set, I found they just don't retain connection to the Internet very well at all, and the remote function (which allows them to be controlled from outside the home WiFi) was dropping all the time.
Time to give up?
Ha ha ha, not on your nelly.
I order 10 more, this time higher wattage and from another supplier in China. Yeah, I'm a sucker for punishment (but they are literally 10 bucks each so it's not a huge risk). Actually, on a whim, I decide to also place another order for 20 more since there's an additional discount on 11/11. I love the feeling of risk. Guess this is why I'm also trading cryptos right now
Anyway, here is what I bought using the AliExpress app (which is excellent - it's like Lazada and Shopee which are also big over here in Asia).
New Hot E27 WiFi Smart Light Bulb,Dimmable,Multicolor,Wake-Up Lights,RGBWW LED Lamp,Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
Anyway....the first 10 arrive. I open them up and this happens to one of them...
Hmm. Not a very good start. But interesting to see how they are constructed inside. And you can literally see the bog-standard Esp8266 nodemcu controller sticking out at the top. So cool.
Anyway, I connect them up to the Magic Home Pro app. This time without incident (having learned before to switch off 3g and "forget" any 5G WiFi networks). And presto, everything connects nicely. The bulbs seemed to work great, nice and bright. Good colours too. Here's a screen shot of the app...
The app is quite nice. It even allows the lights to respond to microphone (to change bulb brightness and colour). It is very cool (although ideally the app should respond to whatever music is played from the phone rather than requiring the use of the microphone). Anyhow it works and is cool for sure. And here is the "Device Manager" page which has caused so much offense with the earlier batch of bulbs continually disconnecting. Note the lovely blue icons showing these bulbs seems to be staying connected (at least for now). I think the physically larger bulb size is maybe allowing the nodemcu better signal access and they seem to be running less hot too which might be affecting performance.
So, fairly good news to report. It seems these might be a viable low-ish cost alternative to the Philips Hue et al bulbs after all.
One final comment is that of course these do not have a direct interface from Stringify (hope that can come one day). And the IFTTT connection is a bit pathetic because it only allows individual bulbs to be addressed, not groups or scenes which can be created in the app. So it makes controlling a set of these bulbs a bit of a headache in IFFF with multiple applets required. The Magic Home Pro guys did respond to my email and state they would consider improving this and finding a way to work with Stringify. Let's see if that happens...