Home improvement and health monitoring — wellness for short — are the most exciting new markets for technology to tap into currently. Apple has its kits. Elgato has Avea, which is a combination of an iOS app and a LED lamp that can be switched on and off on command — a mood light.
Avea is a 7 Watt LED lamp with Bluetooth built-in. It’s what is commonly known as a mood light. The associated iOS app’s mood presets make the light cycle through various colours in order to create a pleasant atmosphere. As it has been scientifically proven that specific colours make people behave and feel differently, the Avea are bound to crank up your energy levels when you’re feeling low or make you relax when you’re all worked up after a day at the office.
The lamps themselves are relatively small, fitting snugly inside almost any E27/E26/A21 socket light fixture. At full brightness, they generate about 430 lumen, which is quite a high level for a lamp that only costs 39.90 euros. But the lamps by themselves are not what makes the Avea system a good buy. It’s always the software that makes the difference, isn’t it?
In this case, the Avea app gives you a simple interface with some eight dynamic light moods as well as the ability to use solid colours. The first time you start the app, it searches for the lamps. Mine were found after a couple of seconds. The app will ask you to name each lamp, which you’d better do in order to know them apart as you’ll be able to command up to 10 Avea individually.
When all that has been done, you are ready to turn the lamps on and off, switch dynamic light moods or use solid colours. The dynamic light moods make the lamps cycle through a series of subtly different, adjacent colour hues. For example, the Mountain Breeze setting cycles through bluish and subtle purple hues — the hues of the light you’d expect when hiking high up in the mountains.
You can easily adjust the dynamic light moods’ brightness and saturation levels. For example, “Calm Provence” recalls endless lavender fields in the French Provence. By turning down “Vividness” in the app’s controls, you can make the mood more subtle. Turn it up and you’ll end up with more saturated — hard — coloured light, which can be quite effective in larger rooms.
You can also easily switch on/off individual lamps that you want to use a dynamic light mood or solid colour with. All you do is check the mark next to the lamp(s) you named when you installed them and had the app recognise them.
A very nice surprise was the presence of a dynamic light mood that allows you to use the Avea system as a combination of light and sound alarm. The “Wake-Up Light” setting lets you schedule the lamps to brighten up over a period of about a quarter of an hour, in combination with a sound alarm that either is a recording of birds twittering or a sound from your music library (or none at all).
Another nice feature of Avea is that turning on or off a setting only involves sliding its selection bar briefly to the right.