Many light fixtures on the market follow similar design principles. While there is a multitude of styles and colors to fit every home, most fixtures rely on traditional bulbs to provide light, meaning that they look incredibly similar to one another at the end of the day. But what if a fixture weren't reliant on a traditional screw-in bulb? What if the light were built into the fixture itself?
ET2's latest line of smart light fixtures builds the light-emitting diodes (LEDs) right into the printed circuitry board (PCB) inside of the fixture, giving ET2 significantly more elegant and seamless designs than most other light fixtures. On top of a superior design language, ET2 builds a Philips Hue component right into these lights, making them part of the Friends of Hue ecosystem and proving that beauty and brains can come in the same package.
ET2 and Maxim Lighting sell hundreds of different styles and colors of light fixtures, but this review focuses on the IQ line, which is made up of three fixture styles. This review is for the flush mount, which is model E31252-BBK. ET2 also sells a hanging pendant version with an identical 17.75-inch diameter (model 31254, $526 at Amazon), as well as a larger version with a 23.5-inch diameter (model 31256, $628 at Amazon).
The first thing you notice when walking into the room
Bottom line: ET2's IQ line looks incredible in any room, and a choice of flush mount or hanging pendant grants versatility for multiple different ceiling heights. A PCB integrated LED means this fixture is as simple as it gets, and a 30,000-hour rating means you'd likely never have to replace any component on these lights, anyway. But it's the integration into the Philips Hue family that makes this lamp a truly brilliant mix of perfect design and ideal function.
- Gorgeous design with high-quality materials
- Philips Hue integration makes this a perfect smart-home companion
- High-quality components that'll last for years
- Twice as bright as a regular 100W-equivalent bulb, yet can dim as low as a candle
- Need a Hue bridge (no Bluetooth connectivity)
- Can't change the "bulb" if it ever dies
- Only dimmable via Philips Hue
|Light Type||PCB Integrated LED|
|Rated bulb life||30,000 hours|
|Materials||Aluminum, Steel, Acrylic|
|Connectivity||Philips Hue bridge, Zigbee|
|Virtual Assistant support||Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri|
Gorgeous, minimalist styling
Much of ET2's portfolio of products focuses on a modern aesthetic of minimalism and elemental beauty. Thanks to a genius concept of integrating the lighting directly into the PCB board inside the light, ET2 can create more organic designs than what would be possible to achieve with a traditional screw-in bulb. Some of ET2's products reflect this in whimsical, flowy designs, but the ET2 IQ utilizes the integrated design concept to create one of the most minimalist-looking light fixtures I've ever seen.
At first glance, you wouldn't know there was no bulb hiding inside. The sleek, round form is juxtapositioned by the rough, brushed metal exterior surface, which wraps into the cool, smooth white interior. Where you would expect a bulb, there is only a vast empty space that calls the attention of your eyes. It's a quality of openness that most light fixtures simply couldn't create because of their reliance on a bulb.
The light actually comes from up inside of the innermost part of the fixture and is hidden away behind the opaque white interior. The white material works to reflect the built-in LEDs and bring an incredible level of illumination of up to 2800 rated lumens. For comparison, the average 100-watt equivalent LED screw-in bulb is somewhere around 1500 lumens in brightness. When I turn this thing on at night, my dining room is bright. Like, seriously bright.
The opaque white interior and circular shape of the ET2 IQ work to evenly scatter the light throughout the room, so there's no obvious dark areas or corners to be found. It also keeps the light from creating harsh shadows at night, which I found to be a rather beautiful design. The light can also be dimmed when hooked up to a Philips Hue bridge, all the way down to a beautiful candle-lit level of brightness. My wife and I had to celebrate our anniversary at home this year, and we were thankful for the romantically-lit setting this light helped create!
ET2's packaging for the IQ light is done impeccably well. Everything was well padded and covered to ensure it won't break or dent, and the design of the product means there's really nothing to break in shipping, anyway. When I first took the IQ out of the box, I was surprised at how light it was. At 5.72lb, the IQ is probably the lightest light fixture I've ever installed.
The bracket included in this package was a flush mount one, but ET2 has options for hanging pendant designs, as well. I found the flush-mount design challenging to install by myself and needed someone else to hold it up while I screwed it into the IQ fixture. Other than that, installation is a breeze. There's only two wires and a ground to hook up, and you're done. It only takes a Phillips head screwdriver to install the entire thing, and all the cabling accessories are included. It even includes a pair of cloth gloves to keep fingerprints off the interior!
Connected and fully integrated
While the 30,000-hour rating of the integrated LEDs doesn't sound like a lot, it's important to consider a few factors. Most LED bulbs feature a similar lifespan rating, but many of them don't ever meet the rated hours because of the power supply that's built into the base. Integrating the LEDs right into the circuit boards inside the light fixture eliminates two critical components of breakdown; that individual power supply for the light itself, and the connection point that traditional screw-in bulbs have.
In a nutshell, the 30,000-hour lifespan rating is far, far more likely to be achieved by ET2's integrated design than if the IQ used traditional bulbs. It also means that ET2 can design a far sleeker light fixture than one that relies on screwing lightbulbs into sockets, as previously covered.
As a partner in the Friends of Hue program, the ET2 IQ sports built-in Philips Hue functionality. Folks with a Philips Hue bridge can easily connect to the ET2 IQ from within the Philips Hue app, and it can easily be added to your existing smart home setup through Google Home or Amazon Alexa.
For this review, I installed the ET2 IQ in place of my existing dining room light, which was hooked up to a single light switch. This is the only supported configuration, as the dimmer inside the ET2 IQ is entirely controlled through the Philips Hue light engine. That's a bit of a bummer for anyone who might prefer a physical dimmer switch, and it also means that the only way to dim the light at all is via Philips Hue.
The likelihood is that anyone who buys this light already has a Philips Hue ecosystem or is ready to invest in one, so this isn't a huge problem, but it does present a shortcoming in the design. There's also no Bluetooth support as some other Philips Hue bulbs have, which means you'll have to have a Philips Hue bridge in order to take full advantage of this unit. Otherwise, it's a simple on/off light that's always at maximum brightness.
One of the many advantages of the Philips Hue ecosystem is the incredible control and compatibility with basically every other smart home product on the market. As this is a color-changing LED array, you can make the light any color you'd like, and it even supports advanced room scenes and programs that can be found in the Philips Hue app.
Want it to change color at sunset to make your home feel warmer and more inviting at night? How about syncing the colors up with your TV via the Philips Hue Play HDMI sync box? What might be complicated in other smart home ecosystems is easy with Philips Hue, and that's part of why Hue integration in the ET2 IQ is so important.
Lighting fixtures come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and prices, but most of the options you'll find at your local hardware store aren't anywhere near as sleek or gorgeous-looking as the ET2 IQ. With an impressively minimalist design language, simple integrated LED array, and brilliant Philips Hue integration, the ET2 IQ is one impressive light fixture.
Its understated design becomes a focal point in any room, yet its elegant and simple looks easily blend in well with most modern designs. It also sports an incredible range of brightness, from double a regular 100W equivalent bulb all the way down to a dim, candle-lit romantic setting. It's a shame you'll need a Philips Hue bulb to do more than merely turning it on and off, but it's likely you've already got this or have little issue buying a little $60 box to take full advantage of your $600 light fixture.
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