Meross makes a wide range of HomeKit-compatible smart home devices for multiple regions around the world, including garage door openers, air purifiers, smart plugs, and more. With Meross's smart LED bulb, LED light strip, ambient light, and desk lamp, I was able to create a HomeKit lighting setup to put the company's smart home accessories to the test.
Compared to its direct competitors, Meross's smart lighting products are among the most affordable HomeKit-compatible devices on the market and set themselves apart with no need for a hub or a third-party app. It is possible to add, control, automate, and manage Meross's devices entirely through Apple's Home app, providing a more streamlined HomeKit experience.
Meross's smart home offerings differ from many other brands in the same space, such as Philips Hue smart lighting, because they do not require a hub or use of a third-party app. In theory, you need only open the Home app on your iPhone, tap Add Accessory, and scan the code on the device. Accumulatively, this significantly eases the setup process compared to the clunky hubs and apps that many other smart home brands demand.
While this is the ideal scenario for most smart home accessories, I had issues setting up some of Meross's devices on my network, where they repeatedly failed to connect with the Home app. Some users may need to temporarily disable their router's firewall and the 5GHz portion of their network during pairing to get around these potential problems. This may not be necessary in your case, and Meross's setup experience is generally very good, but prospective customers should be prepared to troubleshoot their network in the event of any problems.
Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb
The Meross Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb features an all-white enclosure and a frosted diffuser, with a HomeKit pairing code on the side. The bulb is a standard size and can be purchased with a range of bases for different light fittings, including the E26, E27, and B22. It is not weatherproof or suitable for outdoors use.
The bulb can emit up to 810 Lumens, which means it can be as bright as a 60W bulb, and can display up to 16 million colors, with color temperature adjustments from 2,700K to 6,500K. The bulb handles small adjustments in color temperature well and color reproduction is good, particularly for blues, reds, and pinks. The greens, yellows, and oranges are a little flat, with more faint, pastel tones, but overall vibrancy and dynamic range is good for a low-cost bulb of its type.
Meross's bulb is bright and vibrant enough for most uses, but more expensive competitors are slightly more dynamic in terms of brightness and and color reproduction. That being said, it is vital to remember that Meross's Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb is one of the cheapest HomeKit-enabled bulbs available starting at just $18.99 each, and is more than sufficient for most HomeKit setups. The company also offers multi-packs, with two-bulbs available for $27.99.
Smart Wi-Fi Light Strip
Retailing for $34.99, the Smart Wi-Fi Light Strip looks fairly standard for products in its category, featuring a series of LEDs evenly spaced along its length. The strip is 16.4ft long and comes wrapped around a plastic reel, and it comes with a control module, power adapter, and a range of mounting clips and adhesive pads.
Setting up the strip was easy, simply needing to connect the strip to the controller module, and the controller module to the power adapter. A button on the module functions as a manual control and can be used to reset the strip, and Meross includes an adhesive pad specifically to help keep it out of the way.
The strip delivers up to 16 million different colors and lights up evenly across different brightness levels. Red tones are very rich, and blues are also quite good. Yellows and purples are not reproduced very well, but the overall range of colors is more than serviceable.
The light strip can be mounted with the adhesive mounting clips included in the box, but the strip itself also has an adhesive back if that is more suitable for your implementation. The strip is also easy to cut down to size thanks to guides along its length.
Meross's light strip is ideal for accent lighting, such as running along the underside edge of furniture, rather than as a room's sole light source. The strip's even glow along its length makes for a great, understated lighting addition to any room.
Smart Wi-Fi Ambient Light
The Meross Smart Wi-Fi Ambient Light is a lamp with a sleek, cylindrical design, featuring white glossy plastic at the base and transparent plastic extending over the rest of the device. The top of the lamp contains a touch-sensitive capacitive area embedded below the plastic enclosure.
The lamp is just under eight-inches tall and four-inches wide, making it the perfect size for small side tables or nightstands. The design looks good, even when it is turned off, and its cylindrical shape puts the hues of the lamp at the forefront since it can emit light around its entire circumference. The light inside the diffuser is distributed fairly well, even though you can tell that the actual light source is at the bottom of the enclosure, but it doesn't negatively affect the overall look.
The lamp features touch-sensitive controls for added convenience, working to turn the lamp on and off, adjust brightness, and cycle through colors. The manual control option is definitely a worthwhile feature. For example, simply double tapping of the top control area turns the lamp off, which is perfect for when you don't have a device with the Home app or Siri nearby.
The lamp is powered by a barrel connector port on the back, which is not as convenient, secure, or easily replaceable as a USB connection. Strangely, there is also a superfluous small LED power indicator light at the back, which doesn't seem very useful since it is very small, obscured from view, and unnecessary for determining if the lamp is powered.
In terms of lighting, the lamp can emit up to 400 lumens, which is respectable for its size. With its small design, the lamp does not really provide enough lighting to be used as a sole light source in a room and works better as an accent piece depending on the other lighting conditions in the environment. I would have appreciated greater peak brightness to make the lamp more useful, but positioned as an accent, it is still a worthwhile part of virtually any HomeKit lighting setup.
Colors were much the same as Meross's other offerings, with white, red, and blue looking rich and vivid, while greens and yellows look a little washed out in darker shades. The lamp seems to be priced very fairly at $42.99, offering plenty of versatility with its design, controls, and HomeKit functionality.
Smart LED Desk Lamp
At $68.99, the Smart LED Desk Lamp is one of Meross's pricier smart lighting items. The lamp features an ultra-slim matte-black design that is perfect for minimalist desk setups. The base is made of plastic, but the top two sections of the lamp are made from aluminium for better heat dissipation and durability. The design seems to dissipate heat well in daily use, and while it gets warm at full brightness, it is never uncomfortably hot.
The top arm articulates easily and holds its position well, and there is a magnet toward the base of the lamp to keep it closed shut when desired. There is also a set screw that you have to screw in to attach the light to the base, but there is no stop for the screw and it is very easy to accidentally screw it in too far, which seemed like a small design oversight.
Unfortunately, I feel that the hollow plastic base let down the lamp's design significantly. The matte plastic looks considerably less premium than the top of the lamp and shows any scuffs and scratches very easily, with my lamp already having plenty of scuffs straight out of the box. The base looks and feels cheap, which stands in stark contrast to the premium, solid aluminium design of the rest of the accessory. Moreover, it feels as if there is not enough weight in the plastic base, making the lamp a little more precarious and wobbly than it should be.
The arm houses 46 LEDs that can produce up to 400 lumens of brightness. The light has no flicker, even on lower brightness settings, which is essential for avoiding eye strain with a desk lamp. While it cannot display colors, the Meross desk lamp supports white color temperature adjustments ranging from 2,700K to 6,000K.
The base features touch-sensitive controls for added convenience, allowing the lamp to be turned on and off and brightness to be changed with just a tap, which is often more convenient than calling out to Siri or using the Home app at a desk.
The desk lamp is excellent at lighting for a specific task since it is concentrated in a small area, but not great for lighting an entire desk. It works very well, offering practical functionality with a premium feel, but it is a shame that the design is let down by the plastic base.
Connectivity and HomeKit Support
Once the devices were paired, they had good responsiveness and provided a reliable connection to the Home app, and worked well with automations. Unlike some of the other HomeKit devices I use, the Meross offerings are consistently connected to my network, with no "no response" alerts. Meross's smart lighting is also quick to respond to app and voice commands, including toggling on and off, switching colors, and adjusting brightness, which all takes place within seconds.
Colors were not always accurately translated from the Home app to the accessory, so it can occasionally take a little longer to find your preferred shade in the app. This is due to the slight issue with color reproduction with some shades on some devices, but this is fairly normal for LED smart lighting, particularly for shades such as green and purple, and most users are unlikely to notice it.
The devices work over 2.4GHz Wi-Fi only, directly connecting to the router rather than via a hub. As a result, the Meross devices can be slow or refuse to reconnect to the network when Wi-Fi is temporarily unavailable, but this is a random occurrence and cycling power seems to fix the problem.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Meross's HomeKit accessories are good, cost-effective smart lighting solutions. The company's devices are well-designed, with practical benefits such as intuitive manual controls and no need for a hub or third-party app. Occasional problems with my network during setup and slight oversights such as the plastic base of the desk lamp are easy to overlook and I would not hesitate to grow my HomeKit setup with more Meross devices.
If you are looking for smart lighting with the best possible color reproduction, high brightness output, or weather-resistance, then Meross's devices may not be for you, but they are excellent for their price point and are worthy rivals to many of their competitors. For users looking to kickstart a HomeKit setup on a budget, Meross's smart lighting is a very good place to start.
How to Buy
In the U.S., Meross's range of devices are available from Amazon as well as the company's own website:
- Meross Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb (two-pack) – $27.99
- Meross Smart Wi-Fi Light Strip – $34.99
- Meross Smart Wi-Fi Ambient Light – $42.99
- Meross Smart LED Desk Lamp – $68.99
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner of Meross. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Meross provided MacRumors with a Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb, Smart Wi-Fi Light Strip, Smart Wi-Fi Ambient Light, and Smart LED Desk Lamp for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.