Home Apple Luke Roberts Model F Smart Pendant Lamp review: A pricey, high-end smart...

Luke Roberts Model F Smart Pendant Lamp review: A pricey, high-end smart light with a bevy of configuration options


Whereas most smart-home product producers are in a race to the underside as a part of a long-running worth battle, just a few distributors are taking a decidedly totally different strategy. Witness Luke Roberts, a brand new model that wishes to mix sensible know-how with luxurious design.

The Luke Roberts Mannequin F is a hefty pendant lamp designed for everlasting set up. The bulbs are hardwired into the lamp and may’t be swapped out. The fixture is designed in two items: The wiring and a few electronics are housed in a base unit that’s instantly mounted to the ceiling. The pendant itself dangles from this unit instantly from its wire.

This a part of the lamp is a saucer-shaped gadget a couple of foot throughout which comprises a whopping 300-plus LEDs. These LEDs are organized into 100 “segments” which every act as a unit. Eighty 4 of these segments intention downward from the underside of the lamp, and 16 are aimed to fireplace upward and supply oblique lighting. The uplights will be tuned to any shade within the rainbow, however the downlights are tunable white solely.

02luke roberts model f spotlight Luke Roberts

The distinctive design of Luke Roberts’ Mannequin F pendant lamp permits it to forged white tunable mild down and any shade of sunshine upward. And each are directional.

The downlights should all be tuned to the identical shade temperature, however you could have immense management over the precise places the place the sunshine is emitted. By means of Luke Roberts’ app, you possibly can “paint” the fixture to, say, solely emit mild from the best aspect of the unit, and go away the left aspect darkish. You may drop pinpricks of sunshine across the fixture, or you possibly can go away the entire thing uniform.

The uplight is much more versatile. Right here you possibly can choose a number of colours to seem concurrently, so you may make the uplighting half purple and half inexperienced, or paint a design to appear to be a rainbow, with a dozen totally different colours sprayed throughout the highest of the fixture.

Luke Roberts app Christopher Null / IDG

This a part of the app permits you to configure the Mannequin F’s uplight to forged a number of colours in numerous instructions, unexpectedly.

Every half of the fixture will be dimmed independently, and you’ll create quite a few scenes throughout the app to suit your temper for various instances of the day. With a complete out there output of 4,000 lumens down and 1,400 lumens up, there’s no scarcity of lighting energy right here. Whole energy draw below full load is 75 watts.

To put in the Mannequin F, you’ll have to be a bit extra comfy with electrical work than wiring a normal swap or outlet receptacle. Not solely will you be working over your head on a ladder, the connections inside the bottom will be tough to handle. You’ll discover two units of spring clips inside, certainly one of which attaches to your family wiring. The opposite set attaches to the wires that result in the pendant. The issue is that every one these clips are difficult to work with, particularly in cramped quarters. It’s troublesome to get the wiring results in catch on the clips, and greater than as soon as throughout my set up I used to be pissed off to discover a wire had fallen out. The excellent news is that there are solely 5 wires in whole that have to be related this fashion, but it surely’s a design that in the end wants a revision.

As famous, the pendant hangs instantly from the facility wire, and this lets you regulate the peak at which the pendant hangs (as much as 4 toes under the ceiling). Extra wiring is coiled up throughout the base, and a collection of metallic hooks is designed to carry the wire in place the place you need it with out slipping. As with the connections, getting the wire wrapped simply so takes some doing, and once more it’s sophisticated by having to work overhead.

model f black 3 Luke Roberts

You’ll love or hate the Mannequin F’s completely trendy industrial design. There is no such thing as a in between.

After I had the {hardware} handled, it was time to show to software program. Luke Roberts has its personal app, and for the reason that system doesn’t combine with every other sensible residence gear, you’ll want it. The excellent news: Setup is simple. I put in the app and it related to the lamp robotically, with no pairing required. The dangerous information: It’s Bluetooth solely, so that you’ll have to be in the identical room because the lamp to make any configuration adjustments or to show it on and off. And as with every sensible mild fixture or bulb, in the event you wire it to a circuit managed by a wall swap, you’ll wish to make it possible for swap stays within the on place so you possibly can management it with the app.

Throughout the app, you’re rapidly dropped right into a handful of preset configurations, any of which you’ll tweak to satisfy your wants. Paint the uplight with varied colours and fine-tune the downlight by portray the place you need mild to be emitted. Every half of the Mannequin F has its personal dimming system, and an built-in directional system permits you to align the system’s lighting design with whichever path you take into account “up” throughout the app.

Luke Roberts lamp app Christopher Null / iDG

Working with the Luke Roberts app isn’t all the time intuitive.

The app is minimalistic by design and isn’t instantly intuitive, requiring numerous uncommon tap-and-dragging with the intention to launch the enhancing wheel or to “erase” a shade. Attending to the dimming system is especially troublesome, and there’s no strategy to simply make impromptu brightness adjustments. It’s a lightweight designed to be tuned to a sure theme, after which left that method till you’re prepared for one thing totally new quite than continuously being fiddled with.

And to be sincere, the sunshine seems to be nice. Whether or not you desire a moody candlelight impact or one thing nearer to a highlight—or each, after all—you’re coated. The aesthetic of the {hardware} itself could possibly be extra polarizing—the design is decidedly trendy and stark.

A couple of further options embody one that allows you to decide which scene the lamp ought to begin off with (a preset, the last-used scene, or a “sensible” selection that the lamp determines based mostly in your utilization patterns). There’s additionally one that provides the choice to cycle by means of scenes by turning the sunshine on and off rapidly; in any other case, there’s not way more to the app. The product helps Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri, however configuring the lamp to work with these digital assistants is convoluted. You should undergo 11 steps, for instance, to hyperlink it with Alexa.

The Mannequin F is available in your selection of three colours—white, grey, or black—and every is priced at a whopping $799. It is a high-end product with a high-end price ticket. The associated fee alone will render it a non-starter for a lot of potential patrons, however in the event you’re searching for an opulent trendy mild fixture with a smattering of sensible options—and also you don’t thoughts that it might probably’t be built-in into the remainder of your sensible residence system—it’s probably price saving up for.

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Newton Allan
Newton Allan is an expert of Apple and has started as a journalist for us (Trevino). He currently contributes for Trevino by writing about the latest happenings in the Apple INC.

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