Proceed with Caution Updates on Yeelight Devices and App

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With a range of Wi-Fi enabled lighting options, Yeelight has carved out a niche in the smart home market for itself. Recently, an issue has emerged that's causing concern among Home Assistant users and Yeelight customers. A tweet from @hkrob highlighted a firmware update that seemingly disrupted local control capabilities. Home Assistant developers have flagged concerns regarding this update, suggesting a significant change. However, the reality is complex and warrants a closer look to fully grasp the implications of these developments. What's the true extent of this situation?

Screenshot of a Home Assistant Alerts webpage, with the heading 'Home Assistant Alerts' and a house logo at the top. The alert is titled 'Yeelight Remove Local API' and includes a summary stating 'Yeelight's latest firmware disables local control at the request of Xiaomi as it's a “risk”, rendering Home Assistant unable to communicate with these devices.' There are links for more information and community discussion, as well as a suggestion to install ESPHome for local control. On the right side, there's a sidebar with details of the alert creation date as March 29, 2021, Home Assistant version requirement 0.89 or higher, and an 'Integrations' section listing Yeelight with a red error symbol. There is also a link to edit the alert on GitHub.


Analysing the Situation with Yeelight

The spotlight falls on the Yeelight Bedside Lamp 2 and the yeelink.light.color3 RGB bulb, which appear to have lost local control post-update. Yeelight has acknowledged the issue for the Bedside Lamp 2, offering a firmware rollback as a remedy. The situation with the yeelink.light.color3 RGB bulb, however, requires further clarification.

With Yeelight being a Chinese country, language barriers and cultural differences may contribute to misunderstandings regarding their communications. For instance, the claim that Xiaomi forced Yeelight to remove local control may not be an accurate representation of the situation. Thus, it's crucial not to hastily assign blame without considering the broader context.

The Intricacies of Yeelight and Xiaomi's Relationship

The partnership between Yeelight and Xiaomi is complex, with both entities intertwined yet occasionally operating with distinct product lines. Despite this, the yeelink.light.color3 light, listed in the Yeelight app, actually belongs to Xiaomi's Mi/Mijia smart home range, suggesting a collaborative manufacturing or branding arrangement.

Statements from Yeelight indicate that Xiaomi's policy changes are responsible for the removal of local control from certain devices. This affects products outside the Yeelight brand, but reportedly won't impact Yeelight-branded devices.

Yeelight Firmware Update 03

The Current State of Yeelight and Home Assistant Compatibility

Yeelight has reassured that its branded products will maintain local control functionality, distinguishing them from Mi/Mijia or Xiaomi products. Users with non-Yeelight devices configured in the Yeelight app should be cautious of updates that might eliminate local control features.

For now, it's advisable to hold off on updating Yeelight, Mi/Mijia, or Xiaomi devices until more information becomes available. Limiting devices to local network access is a precautionary measure to preserve existing firmware functionalities.

Yeelight Firmware Update 02 Edit

Encouraging User Feedback

Past experiences suggest that consumer feedback can influence company decisions. It's important to communicate any concerns to Xiaomi/Mi/Mijia, particularly if local control was a key feature at the point of purchase.

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.

A portrait photo oif Liam Alexander Colman, the author, creator, and owner of Home Assistant Guide wearing a suit.

About Liam Alexander Colman

is an experienced Home Assistant user who has been utilizing the platform for a variety of projects over an extended period. His journey began with a Raspberry Pi, which quickly grew to three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-fledged server. Liam's current operating system of choice is Unraid, with Home Assistant comfortably running in a Docker container.
With a deep understanding of the intricacies of Home Assistant, Liam has an impressive setup, consisting of various Zigbee devices, and seamless integrations with existing products such as his Android TV box. For those interested in learning more about Liam's experience with Home Assistant, he shares his insights on how he first started using the platform and his subsequent journey.

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