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Aqara’s new Zigbee light strip supports HomeKit Adaptive Lighting and Matter



Aqara has released a new Zigbee RGB smart light strip called the LED Strip T1. It costs $49.99, requires an Aqara hub, and is compatible with Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT. When paired with certain hubs, including the Aqara Hub M2, the light strip is also compatible with the Matter smart home protocol.

The T1 is one of the very few light strips that support Apple’s Adaptive Lighting feature — and the only one that supports both Adaptive Lighting and Matter. It doesn’t support Adaptive Lighting through Matter, unfortunately; nothing does. Still, it’s nice to see new, Matter-compliant lighting come to market using the solid Zigbee standard. (Whatever happened to that Hue-to-Matter bridge, I wonder?)

The 6.6ft (2m)-long light strip’s Adaptive Lighting support means you can set it to automatically tune its colors throughout the day to be warmer or cooler depending on the time. The only other light strips that support Apple’s circadian lighting feature at the moment come from Hue and Eve (also the old Nanoleaf Essentials strip, which doesn’t, er, Matter).

The Aqara LED Strip T1.
Image: Aqara

As I said though, connecting the Aqara Strip T1 to Apple Home using the Matter protocol instead of the old-fashioned way means you’ll lose Adaptive Lighting, since the still-nascent “universal” smart home standard doesn’t currently support it. The nice thing is that — unlike Nanoleaf’s Matter Essentials strip, which only supports Apple Home through Matter and thus doesn’t support Adaptive Lighting at all — Aqara’s Apple HomeKit certification means you don’t have to give that up.

The T1 is an RGBIC strip, meaning it can show multiple colors simultaneously (as opposed to older-style light strips that can only show one color at a time). Also, Aqara says each of its ten segments is addressable, so you can control them individually when changing colors, though that doesn’t apply to the tunable white light portion of the LEDs, which applies to the entire strip at once.

Finally, like other colorful smart bulbs and light strips from companies like Govee, you can set up custom effects within the Aqara app if you want to show off fun snaking gradients or flashing colors — it can even sync to music using a built-in microphone.

The trimmable, IP44-rated Aqara T1 LED Strip costs $49.99, and a 1-meter extension kit costs $14.99. It’s available at Amazon in the US, Canada, and several European countries and at other retailers listed on its “where to buy” page.

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