In the world of smart home devices, Yeelight stands out for its broad range of Wi-Fi enabled lighting solutions. Lately, however, Yeelight users and Home Assistant aficionados are scratching their heads over an issue with local control. Twitter user @hkrob has reported that a firmware update seems to have broken the integration and removed the option for LAN control. What is actually going on?
Yeelight's local control conundrum: What's the story?
As the confusion unfolds, Home Assistant has issued an alert addressing Yeelight's supposed decision. So, is this the whole truth? Well, the situation is a bit murkier than it appears. Let's dive in and untangle this web of misinformation to understand who's really at fault here.
Piecing together the Yeelight puzzle
We've established that both the Yeelight Bedside Lamp 2 and the
yeelink.light.color3 RGB bulb seem to have lost their local control capabilities after a firmware update. Let's delve into each case and unravel the mystery. In the case of the Yeelight Bedside Lamp 2, it seems Yeelight is indeed responsible for the issue, and they've offered to roll back the firmware as a solution. The situation with the
yeelink.light.color3 RGB bulb, however, calls for a more extensive explanation.
It's crucial to remember that Yeelight is a Chinese company, and their social media communications may not always come across as intended due to language barriers. For instance, the claim that Xiaomi forced Yeelight to remove local control may not be an accurate representation of the situation. So, let's not jump to conclusions and point fingers without understanding the full context.
Untangling the Xiaomi-Yeelight connection
The relationship between Yeelight and Xiaomi is a rather enigmatic one, with the two companies being closely linked and sometimes even offering similar products under different names. As we venture deeper into this connection, things only get more perplexing.
Take, for example, the
yeelink.light.color3 light in the Yeelight app. Surprisingly, it's not a Yeelight product at all; it's part of the Mi/Mijia smart home line-up. However, there's a strong possibility that Yeelight manufactures it, or perhaps Xiaomi is responsible for producing all Yeelight devices. The confusion doesn't end there, as
yeelink.light.color3 can be added to the Yeelight app, and Yeelight devices can be integrated with the Mi Home app.
Hey, dear, Yeelight-BRANDED products still support LAN control and you can still toggle LAN control on/off on Yeelight App. Cheers.— Yeelight (@Yeelight) March 30, 2021
According to Yeelight representatives, it's Xiaomi that has decided to remove local control from their lights, which explains why
yeelink.light.color3 has lost this feature. This change will affect any device without Yeelight branding, but will not impact those that do carry the Yeelight name.
The future of Home Assistant and Yeelight integration
At this time, Yeelight-branded devices, as opposed to Mijia/Mi or Xiaomi products, are expected to retain local control capabilities. Yeelight has even affirmed their commitment to maintaining an open ecosystem, though only time will tell if they stay true to their word. I must note, however, that I don't personally own any Yeelight devices.
If you have non-Yeelight devices linked to the Yeelight app, be aware that local control could be removed through firmware or app updates (if it hasn't been already).
In the short term, avoid updating any Yeelight, Mi/Mijia, or Xiaomi devices until the situation becomes clearer. Ideally, keep all your devices local and restrict their internet access. Since Xiaomi is unlikely to reverse their decision, your focus should be on preserving your devices' current firmware.
Make your voice heard
As experiences have shown, expressing disappointment to the vendor can sometimes make a difference. Remember to direct your concerns to Xiaomi/Mi/Mijia rather than Yeelight. If you purchased a device with the promise of local control, you have a right to expect that feature.
Embracing Zigbee for a secure smart home future
Looking ahead, there is a chance that Yeelight might eventually follow suit and remove local control from their devices. To avoid any potential disappointment, I recommend opting for devices that don't depend on cloud services and don't require communication with their parent company. Xiaomi even offers affordable options that fit this bill. Enter Zigbee, the prime solution for those seeking an open and locally controlled ecosystem.