Holi Smart Lamp for iPad & iPhone review
The Holi is a lamp with a difference. It can connect to an iPhone or iPad through the dedicated Holi app to help you create the perfect lighting for any occasion thanks to its colour changing LED lights. Plus, it's also able to wake you up slowly in the morning and can sync with your music to create a rather cool party atmosphere.
Here's the catch: Holi costs a whopping £180. Is it worth the money? Read on to find out.
Holi Smart Lamp review: design
We do really like the Holi's minimalist, modern design that fits in with the style of Apple products and looks super-sleek and smart. It's a surprisingly small, smooth aluminium square with a hole in the centre and a Home-button-like control at the bottom.
It's a shame about the thick blue cable that runs from it though, as shown in the photograph below. If you've not got a perfect place to put the Holi it can be very difficult to hide the cable from sight.
Holi Smart Lamp review: setup
Holi comes with minimal instructions, but we found it easy enough to get started. You press and hold the aforementioned button on the bottom of the Holi lamp until the light glows blue. You can now connect your iPhone or iPad to the lamp using Bluetooth, and if the pairing is successful, the light will become green. So far so good, and we were pretty impressed.
Holi Smart Lamp review: Theme collection
With the free app installed on your iOS device, you can now begin making the most of the Holi's features. There's no denying that it looks really great when activated, projecting themed light onto any surface. Themes include Candles, Feel Good and Inspiration, all of which we rather enjoyed.
There are some more unusual themes that are certainly not to everyone's tastes, including Candy, Rainbow and Twist, but if you can't find the exact theme you're looking for you can also create your own using the Light Composer Pro tool. Colour combinations are almost unlimited, enabling you to create any light pattern or shade you can imagine. You can also use a photograph of your choice to pick out colours for your custom theme.
However, we did have a bit of trouble with the connectivity of the app on multiple occasions when choosing light themes, which was frustrating when we tried out a bright, lively disco effect and struggled to change it to something calmer after it had started to hurt our eyes.
Plus, it appears that you need to reconnect with Holi every time you use it, rather than getting an automatic connection.
Holi Smart Lamp review: Music mode
We were rather impressed by Music mode. Described by the makers as "music for the eyes," Holi is able to intelligently display a surprisingly well synchronised light show based on the current song you're playing. It works with songs in your iTunes library, as well as songs from Deezer and Spotify, which is handy.
We'd like a better way of choosing which songs we want to play next, and we'd also like to be able to access our iTunes playlists, but aside from those minor irritations we found that the Music mode worked well and produced impressive results.
Holi Smart Lamp review: Wake Up mode
Finally, there's Wake Up mode. The idea is that you can set an alarm through the Holi app that'll not only wake you up in the morning with a subtle tune, but also with a light that mimics the Northern Lights or the ocean, for example. Honestly, this feature just doesn't work properly and hasn't been thought out well.
You can't preview any of the four alarm options, so you won't know what to expect in the morning, and you can also only set one alarm at a time, which is incredibly frustrating. Additionally, activating the alarm turns off the Holi so you'll need to make sure you've finished using it before activating the alarm.
Unfortunately, we were unable to actually get the alarm to work. There's no indication anywhere on the iOS device or in the app to suggest that the alarm is still set, so we had to assume that we'd successfully activated it. On multiple occasions, the alarm didn't go off at all. Thankfully, we'd set a backup!
It's a real shame that the Holi carries such a high price tag, at £180, because we really loved having it in our home, picking the theme to suit our mood. Plus, with one of the features proving to be a complete dud, it does make us feel a little conned, so we hope FiveFive is able to fix that with an app update soon.
Those are the main reasons we wouldn't recommend the Holi – the price and the Wake Up mode - but if you've got that sort of cash to spare and like the idea of having a light that also sync with your music playlist and be adapted to suit your mood then you won't be disappointed with the build quality and effectiveness of Holi.
We'd even suggest that the price tag should be closer to the £70 mark, and we may have given an extra star or two if that had been the case provided FiveFive was able to issue a software fix for the connectivity and alarm problems we experienced.
Holi's main rival, the Philips Hue Connected Bulb Starter Pack, also costs £180, but there are other options from Philips such as the LivingColors range, which produce similar effects but are available for under £70.