The smart light bulb by Xiaomi’s Investment Yeelight gets an update: the second generation, Yeelight YLDP06YL, now looks more modern, works more economically and is supposed to shine with 800 lumen instead of 600. We will also take a look at which functions have been added to the Yeelight App and how the Yeelight products are now networked. Spoiler: It is clearly the best E27 light bulb for your smart home and compatible with many systems such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
Design & Hardware
As in the first generation, you have the choice between two types: Colours and white. The white version can also vary with the colour temperature – and most of the time you only use white for lighting anyway – but the real fun comes up with the colours.
The new bulb also comes in a simple packaging, only that it is red instead of Xiaomi-white. The Yeelight YLDP06YL’s design has changed a lot: it is still made of plastic, but instead of silver it is now white and has a honeycomb pattern. At the base there is a narrow purple ring, which causes the Yeelight V2 to shimmer discreetly purple when it is off. The rest stayed pretty much the same: there is still an E27 base and the light bulb is still not compatible with dimmer switches – Attention: don’t even try it out, you need special dimmable bulbs for this.
Dimensions: Version 2: 121.6 mm long x 59.6 mm diameter at 180g / Version 1: 120.7 mm long x 54.5 mm diameter at 175g
There are also changes below the surface. The new YLDP06YL consumes less power in standby: 1.3 – 1.4 watts, which is about 15% less than the first version. It is specified with a total of 10W and should have a service life of 25,000 hours. The latter corresponds to 13.5 years at 5 hours per day. The Yeelight YLDP06YL shines with up to 800 lumen and a colour temperature of 1700K – 6500K. They are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Voice / Assistant, Apple HomeKit, MIJIA, Tasker and IFTTT. The connection works via WIFI 2.4 GHz and the n-standard. Tip: I have set up a second WiFi for all Smart Home products with the Xiaomi router – this helps to keep the ping low.
Practical use of the 2nd generation
Basically, the new Yeelight YLDP06YL can be used in exactly the same way as the first generation. To set up the lamp, screw it into an appropriate socket and add it either in the Mi Home App or Yeelight App (they are linked to the same Mi account). The smartphone must be connected to the WiFi to which you want to add Yeelight V2. Yeelight already has several servers in the world – China, Singapore, Germany and USA – and you have to choose one. If you want to add a few more products from the Xiaomi Eco System, then you should choose “China”. All actions run via the respective server, so the fastest way is to choose the one that is nearest to you. By the fact that the action goes over the server, you have also the advantage that you can still switch off all lights if you’re not home, in case you forgot to do it. In terms of brightness: unfortunately for most rooms a Yeelight light bulb is not enough to light up the entire room – now all our hope lies in the V2, which is supposed to create 800 lumen instead of 600. We tried to take pictures:
We used the presets to get a comparable result. It is noticeable that the colours are clearly different. If you also place yourself in front of it with a LUX meter you can read differences between 5-10%, unfortunately not more. But the light is perceived a little brighter with the eye. They also diffuse their light further and wider into the room. The hoped-for “enlightenment” thus fails to materialize. So, unfortunately, it is not the case that if you needed 3 smart Yeelights of the first generation for a room, you would only need 2 with the new second version.
Yeelight App & Smart Home control
Now that you already have “smart light bulbs” you might want to operate them accordingly not only via the switch. It works either via the Yeelight App, or via the Mi Home App. To use the full range of functions, you have to download both, whether you like it or not. At least the configuration synchronizes. The app control is basically simple, but more complex actions and sequences and if-then-conditions are also possible.
Of course, the next step is to build up your smart home. The most common ones are normally Amazon Alexa and Google Home (“OK Google”). Both have the corresponding skill (for the Amazon Yeelight skill), which only needs to be activated. Apple HomeKit is now also supported.
Using Google Home, it is best to activate the “Mi Home” skill, then your language assistant will understand you best. Now you are given some examples and can try out some commands. IFTTT is another service that allows the Yeelights to be linked to other devices. Many of these are based on smartphone actions, such as “Turn on the lights when approaching home at x-meter”.
Long-term use of the 1st Yeelight generation
The first generation has now been used in my apartment for 1.5 years: whereas my goal was to install a smart home (i.e. the entire apartment), I actually only control two rooms and some household appliances via a smart sytem. In the living room, the networked light bulbs were quite useful. Due to unfavorable power lines, no ceiling lighting was possible and switching on each lamp in the room individually is more than annoying. There are now 4 lamps in the 30m² living room for a nice decentralized lighting, and they are controlled by a Xiaomi Smart Switch, the Amazon Echo Dot and of course the Yeelight App.
- Via the switch all lamps switch on to a previously defined brightness and color (default state)
- In the app you can adjust each lamp individually, for special occasions.
- You can also just talk to Alexa: “Alexa, dimm the lamps in the living room” – the lights are dimming, the Yeelight close to the TV switches off; or “more light” – much brighter and whiter.
I didn’t take notes about the power consumption – the fact that the light bulbs are smart, make a difference of 2 watt compared to a normal light bulb with the same power. Signs of wear and tear have already occurred: one first-generation Yeelight light bulb came with a production error, but was reimbursed and then broke after exactly one year. Another one hums / beeps quietly. It was now placed in a glass ball lamp so don’t have to hear this anymore.