I came home from a Christmas party on Saturday night with a couple of nice prizes. One of them was an uber sleek Mi LED Desk Lamp.
Mi is the company that makes Xiaomi smartphones. So it’s not a surprise that appliances and gadgets that they make — such as weighing scales, light bulbs, vacuum cleaner, security cams — have the smarts to function in a Smart Home.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Mi or Xiaomi in any way. The lamp I got was a raffle prize at a Christmas party, which also has no affiliation with the said brands.
The Mi LED Desk Lamp is priced at around USD 50 at online stores, and around PHP 1,590 tp Php 2,000 in the Philippines. [Info as of December 2018]
Okay, that’s enough background info on the desk lamp. What I really want to talk about here is… using my new desk lamp.
Plug-and-play… not quite.
On Sunday, I excitedly unboxed and started setting up my new lamp.
We do have Mi Stores here in the Philippines, but the user manual is in Mandarin Chinese. I don’t like suffering so I go to the English language Mi website and learn that it has 4 lighting modes. Oooooh!
- Focus mode is based on the Pomodoro Technique on productivity, and is customizable. It lets you specify a focus duration time and a rest duration time. When in this mode, the lamp will change color temperature to signify that focus time has passed and that it’s time to take a break. After rest time, it goes back to focus time with the appropriate lighting, and it just keeps switching.
- Read mode gives full brightness and a neutral color temperature.
- Computer mode keeps the color temperature at 2700k to protect your eyes.
- Child mode limits color temperature to not exceed 4000k to protect your young ones’ eyes.
As a basic lamp, I love it. The pros:
✅ minimalist (and rather pretty)
✅ adjustable brightness
✅ adjustable color temperature
✅ single switch (i.e. press to turn on/off, turn to adjust brightness, press and turn to adjust the color temperature)
The big con is in it being a supposedly smart lamp.
❎ I had way too much trouble using it with their Mi Home a.k.a. Mijia app.
How much trouble was it to use as a smart lamp? Let me tell you…
So I tried to get it connected to the Mi Home app (available for iOS and for Android)…
I got really side-tracked by the instructions on the app. It says, to get started, to reset the lamp by turning it on and off five times (on for 2 seconds, off for 2 seconds), after which the light should start pulsing, indicating that it is resetting.
Well the light never glowed or pulsed by doing the on-and-off-5x technique. That was a real waste of time! The app should’ve simply instructed to use the Reset button on the underside of the lamp. Sheesh…
So I reset the lamp, got the light glowing, got back on the app and tried to get the app to detect the lamp. It wouldn’t do it at first because I had not allowed it Permission to Access Location. I didn’t think it was necessary. Anyway, once I gave it Location permission, it could find the lamp.
Then the app finds the lamp, connects to it, but then the lamp could not connect to the network. Bummer.
I tried to get it to connect to the home router’s Guest WiFi, to my computer’s WiFi Hotspot, to my GLi mini travel router (which was acting temperamental itself) and to my old HooToo travel router.
I gave up.
It was fine being a dumb lamp. I was pleased with it nonetheless.
The next day…
On Monday, I tried again.
For no special reason and having done nothing different from what I did yesterday, the lamp successfully connected to the network this time. 🤔
Once connected, I just…
✅ updated the lamp’s firmware
✅ set its double-press function to Focus mode a.k.a. Pomodoro (which means it’s on focus time for 45 minutes then reminds me to take a break for 10 mins)
✅ set a default brightness & temperature which should be the settings I get whenever I turn on the lamp
Don’t need the app anymore. Uninstall! 😋
#technology #gadgets #mi #home