Review: Innr garden lighting : In this review we test the Innr spots for outside (OSL 130 C) and the light strip for outside (OFL 140). Both products communicate through ZigBee.
Earlier this month Innr introduced its first products for the garden, Innr garden lighting. The Dutch company comes with a set of spotlights that can be placed in the garden, plus a light strip that can be hung or placed anywhere in the garden. In this review we look at the new Innr outdoor lighting.
Innr Smart Spot Lights
The Innr Smart Spot Lights of Innr garden lighting are smart spots that you can place in the garden. Innr says it has consciously opted for a set of three spots, instead of a single LED lamp with a comparable maximum light intensity. For example, plants, balconies and fences can be illuminated much more individually and from more sides than with a single spot. In addition, the Smart Spot Lights can be flexibly installed in terms of power supply. The products can be expanded with extension cables up to a maximum length of 35 meters. However, the spots cannot be individually adjusted. You always set the brightness and color for the entire set of three.
The spotlights are available in a pack of three and can be expanded on a control box to five spots with the separately available single packs. The price is 139.99 euros for a set of three (OSL 130 C) and an additional spot can be purchased for 34.99 euros. The 2-meter extension cable (OEC 120) costs 14.99 euros, the 5-meter version (OEC 150) is available for 19.99 euros.
Innr Flex Lights
The flexible light strip (Flex Lights) of Innr garden lighting has a length of two meters or four meters. The light strips contain a large number of LEDs that give a diffuse. The LEDs themselves are not visible, which ensures an evenly colored LED strip, from start to finish. The Innr Flex Lights come in two variants: OFL 120 – 2 meters (59.99 euros) and OFL 140 – 4 meters (99.99 euros).
All new Innr outdoor products use the ZigBee protocol and can thus be used in Zigbee networks. They are therefore also compatible with a bridge from market leader Philips Hue.
Both new Innr outdoor products have an IP67 certificate, which means that they can be used in all weather conditions without any problems. That is of course handy, because there is a good chance that both the spots and the light strip can regularly have to deal with a rain shower.
The flexible light strip from Innr (OFL 140) is a fairly thick cable, which consists of two parts. The white, rubber part is used to attach the strip to a wall or ceiling, using the supplied holders. You can also hide this part underground when you put the light strip in the sand. The top part is a diffuse layer that lies over the LEDs and therefore spreads the light from the LEDs tightly and evenly.
The light strip is neatly finished and easy to lay in slight bends. However, don’t expect that you can easily handle a right angle with it. We have both the Hue LightStrip and the Innr light strip in the garden and the difference in design is not great. The Innr light strip is slightly thicker and wider. In addition, the LED strip from Innr has a rounder finish, where the light strip from Philips Hue looks a bit squarer. However, the difference is not perceptible from a distance, so in our view it is also negligible.
The Innr Smart Spot Lights are spotlights of a compact size that you can easily place anywhere. The finish is simple and unobtrusive. In terms of design, they are actually quite traditional spots.
You can see that you are dealing with a slightly cheaper product if we compare the spots with, for example, the Hue Lily spots. You pay more for that, but the finish is more modern, robust and sleek. Again, however, we have to say that the design is not very important. In most cases, the spots are at a distance or you can hide them in the garden.
Assembly and installation
The Innr Smart Spot Lights and Flex Lights do not work on 230v but come with an adapter so that they work on 24v. That is just a bit more convenient and safer for the garden. In addition, the adapters and cables as well as the lamps themselves are resistant to weather influences and can therefore be placed anywhere in the garden without any problems. Note that the connectors are not compatible with connectors from other brands. So you cannot physically link an Innr spot to a set of Hue Lily spots.
The light strip comes in a variant of 2 meters and a variant of 4 meters. Depending on the variant you choose, the number of meters you have also changes from socket to start of the light strip. For example, the 4 meter variant (OFL 140) comes with almost 5 meters of cable to the start of the light strip. This includes two adapters. The strip itself has a length of 4 meters. With this variant you therefore have a lot of leeway to place it somewhere in your garden. If you need some extra length, you can buy an extension of 2 or 5 meters. Unfortunately, the light strip itself cannot be expanded or extended.
For us, however, the 5 meters was more than enough and we chose to place the light strip – just like the Hue light strip – in the sand in the border. The cables can be dug in perfectly and the white underside of the strip makes it possible to place the light strip firmly in the sand. If you want to have the light strip on the ceiling or wall, you can use the supplied holders and screws.
The spots can also be placed flexibly and, like the strip, come with about 5 meters of cable before the first spot has to go into the ground. The spots themselves have 30 centimeters of cable and are connected to the main cable by means of a T-connector. 2 meters of cable is supplied as standard to connect the spots, but here too you can extend it yourself by 2 or 5 meters. You can also add extra spots (maximum 5 in total).
The spots themselves can be placed flexibly thanks to the included earth stake and an extension. This way you can put them firmly in the soil and, if desired, place them a little higher. If you prefer to mount them directly on a wall or terrace, that is also possible. All necessary screws and accessories are included for this. We put the three spots in the sand in the border by means of the earth pin. The 2 meters between the spots was just too little to place them under each espalier so we hid the spots between the plants.
Installation and use
When it comes to installation, you have plenty of choice, just like with the other and previously tested lamps from Innr. The outdoor lighting also has the ZigBee standard, so that they can be connected with hubs and bridges that support this standard. Think of the bridge from Innr itself, the Philips Hue Bridge, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Echo and the Homey. There is also a stand-alone Innr remote control and if you connect the lamps with the Hue Bridge you can also use the accessories from Hue. We have opted for installation through the already installed Hue Bridge.
Installing and adding the Innr spots and light strip is just as easy as a Hue lamp. You connect the lamps, put the plug in the socket and open the Hue app. Then let you search for new lamps. It may take a while, but then the new lamps will appear in the list, you can change the names and place them in a specific room. A child can do the laundry.
Since the Innr lamps are now placed in the Hue app, they can also be operated as Hue lamps. So you can place them in a scene with Hue lamps or simply choose the color via the Hue app. You can also operate them with the Hue remote control or sensors. You can read more about all the possibilities of the Hue app in our previous reviews about Philips Hue .
We have little to complain about the use of the Innr lamps. The spots and light strip respond quickly to adjustments via the app and in this respect there is hardly any difference between a Hue and an Innr lamp. What is striking is that the Innr lamps do not react exactly like the Hue lamps. If we place the Innr light strip in the app on exactly the same color as the Hue light strip, the colors do not match exactly. You have to play with the brightness and surrounding colors to get exactly the same color. In any case, the brightness of the Innr light strip must be higher than the Hue light strip in order to achieve the same color with the same brightness. Is that bad? No, because you will eventually get there. In addition, most people will not put both strips directly next to each other, if they already have a strip of both brands.
Quality and comparison to Hue
Let’s start with the fact that the spots and the light strip do exactly what you can expect from them. They are easy to install, easy to assemble and easy to use lights that won’t look out of place in any garden. In terms of color range and brightness, with both solutions you have enough options to give your garden its own atmosphere.
Regarding the Innr Smart Spot Lights, it is striking that the price difference with the Hue Lily is more than 100 euros. So it is a solution that is a lot cheaper. But where do you yield? Part of it is in the design. The Hue spots look a bit sleeker, more robust and more modern.
Another difference is in the clarity. The Hue Lily spots offer 640 lumens of brightness per lamp, while the Innr spots offer 690 lumens with three lamps (230 lumens each). Whether this is an important difference depends on how and where you use the lamps. In our setup, where the spots illuminate some plants and a piece of fence, that lower number of lumens per lamp does not matter much. Certainly not when you usually do not use the spots at 100 percent brightness.
If you want to highlight a large object (a tree for example), then you have more reach with a Lily spot than with an Innr spot. However, you can also choose to illuminate the tree with three Innr spots, which gives a more dynamic effect. So it just depends on how you use the lamps and at what brightness. Finally, the operation is another difference. The Hue Lily spots can each be individually controlled in terms of color and brightness, while the Innr spots only function as a team. So you can only choose one color and brightness for all three spots. Again, it can be a disadvantage if you want to use the spots in a specific way.
The Innr Smart Spot Lights are therefore not as premium as the Hue Lily spotlights and are less flexible in use, but if they meet your requirements despite the limitations, they are a great and much cheaper alternative. We are very pleased with the color rendering, the brightness of 230 lumens per lamp is more than sufficient for illuminating one part of your garden and the three spots together can provide your garden with a nice atmosphere.
The Innr Flex Light (light strip) can also largely be compared with the light strip from market leader Hue. However, it is about 60 euros cheaper, although that comparison is not entirely fair since the Hue Lightstrip Outdoor is 5 meters long and the Innr Flex Light is 4 meters long. In addition, the brightness of the Hue light strip is 1810 lumens, while the Innr light strip has to do with 1000 lumens. You actually only notice this difference when you turn the light strip quite bright, for example to functionally illuminate a terrace. In our scenes, we have not yet experienced the number of lumens as a limiting factor.
Apart from the fact that it is a bit difficult to get the Hue light strip and the Innr light strip in exactly the same color (which is due to the difference in maximum brightness), there is actually no difference to be observed, especially when you do not use both products in the same garden lying or hanging. The light strip displays 16 million colors, with a color temperature of 1,800K to 6,500K.
If you lower the brightness, the color seems to change more than with the Hue light strip, but here too the difference in lumen is the cause of this and that with a little play you can always find the right color setting. The light strip reacts quickly, displays colors dynamically, gives nice even and diffuse light and can easily be hidden in a garden.
Innr garden lighting – Conclusion
The Innr flexible light strip (Flex Lights) and the Innr Smart Spot Lights are products of good quality, which are easy to install and use, and which can provide your garden with extra atmosphere with beautiful and dynamic light. If you do not necessarily have to be able to adjust the spots individually, a high maximum brightness is not a requirement and you do not have high demands on the design, you can save a lot of money by choosing the Innr spots instead of the Philips Hue Lily spots.
The differences between the Hue light strip and the Innr light strip are even smaller and with this product it mainly comes down to a higher maximum brightness of the Hue strip. However, it also applies here; if you don’t need it, you can save a few bucks by choosing the Innr light strip. The possibilities are the same and the difference in design and build quality is hardly visible. All in all, the Innr outdoor products are more than excellent alternatives for those who do not want to spend a lot of money and still want to provide the garden with beautiful and high-quality mood lighting. An important plus is that, thanks to the use of ZigBee, they effortlessly work together with other ZigBee products such as Philips Hue and various smart home hubs.
Positives of Innr garden lighting
- Very good value for money
- Good light quality
- Compatible with Hue (and other hubs)
- Gives the garden a nice atmosphere
Negatives of Innr garden lighting
- Spots cannot be operated individually
- Maximum brightness of spots and strip light lower than with Hue
- Design slightly less sleek than premium lighting