Novostella Wifi Controlled Outdoor Floodlights Review

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Ever since the words "let there be light" were spoken, lighting has been an integral part of our everyday life. Despite the leaps and bounds in lighting technology, man-made achievements are yet to match the brightness, warmth and coverage of the sun, which is the oldest type of floodlighting technology. The sun has been, indeed, a big inspiration for the creation of artificial lighting. Anything from incandescent light-bulbs to smart leds such as the Novostella Wifi outdoor floodlights, artificial lighting is a neat backup for when the sun don't shine!
The Novostella Wifi outdoor floodlights consist of a total of 48 leds (24 orange leds and 24 yellow leds) housed inside a solid piece of die-cast aluminium casing with a tempered glass front panel, which is watertight and sealed off from the outside, providing IP66 water and dust resistance. The glass panel measures 7.5cm high and 14.3cm long. 

The see-through clear section of the floodlight glass measures 11cm long and 3.6cm high. Being a floodlight, the Novostella floodlight is able to output a wide angle beam (120 degree) of light capable of 43 feet (16 meters) beam spread from a distance of 20 feet (6 meters). The Novostella leds are lined up along four rows mounted on a 6cm long by 2cm high rectangular white circuit board. The leds cannot be replaced but, they have a long lifespan, as well as an energy-efficiency rating between A and A++

The Novostella outdoor floodlights are designed to run on high voltage (100V-240V) and low current (0.1A) and can output 20 watts of power. This may not sound like a lot but the Novostella outdoor floodlights are capable of 2000 luminous flux when using 100% brightness in white color mode. To put this in perspective, a 100 watt incandescent bulb has a luminous flux of about 1700 lumens, which means the Novostella floodlights consume less power yet, they are brighter.

Being die-cast, the Novostella metal casing is weighty and much more durable than wrought iron. The casing body has a raised-fin design with long ridged lines across it. The casing has been coated with matte black epoxy to prevent scratches, rust and extreme temperature (from 40C to -25C) fluctuations.

The Novostella floodlight casing measures 1.5cm long, 10cm high (without the Wifi antenna) and 7cm deep, including the rear wall mounting bracket (3cm deep without the bracket). Taking the Wifi antenna into account, the height of the casing is 14cm high. The antenna measures 5.5cm long and 0.7cm in diameter. It's made of plastic and can be removed by simply unscrewing it from the body.

The wall mounting bracket is also made of solid metal and, it can be detached from the body by removing the retaining A2-70 bolts, which also double as pivot joints, allowing the flood light to be adjusted at different angles. The A2-70 bolts are made of A2 grade stainless steel (304 Stainless) and have an hexagon socket cap with a thread size of 20mm. A2 bolts are very durable (acid proof) and, they are typically used in cars for holding body panels and bumpers.

The Novostella wall mounting bracket measures 13.5cm long and 5.5cm deep and, it has three openings for screwing the floodlight into a wall (screws are included). The Novostella floodlight casing has a detachable power cable coming out of it from the bottom side, which is attached to the casing via a metal nut fastener with o-ring gaskets on both ends to prevent dust and water ingress. 

The power cable measures 15 meters long and, it's a H05RN-F type cable made of flexible rubber that is insulated with a Neoprene sleeve. It is the same type of harmonized cable used in cookers and other kitchen appliances. The cable is thick and durable and, most importantly, it is highly resistance against heat (80°C) and damp, making it ideal for the outdoors.

Being smart lights, the Novostella floodlights are controlled via a mobile app - the Smart Life mobile app. The floodlights cannot be controlled any other way since there is no psychical IR remote included, which would be handy because if the Internet goes down, you won't be able to control the floodlights. . The Smart Life app can be used without having to register an account, which is convenient. The only requirements are having Wifi, Bluetooth and location enabled on the phone.

The Smart Life mobile app works without glitches, although it's worth pointing out that the app is not made by Novostella. It's an open source app made by Tuya that is designed to be compatible with most smart devices; hence you can potentially use the Smart Life to run all your smart devices from a single app, which is super convenient. The Smart Life app even supports voice control via Google or Alexa, although you will need a Google Nest smart speaker or Alexa smart speaker. Speaking of Tuya, the Smart Life app is based on the Tuya mobile app, which you can also use to connect the Novostella floodlights. You can connect up to 20 floodlights via the Smart Life app. The Novostella floodlights do not support IFTTT nor Apple devices.

Setting up the Novostella smart led floodlights with the app is easy, although the instructions could be clearer. Before plugging the floodlights into the mains, you have to setup the Smart Life on your phone by selecting Light Source (Wi-Fi) from the Lighting category. Then, you select a Wifi network, which has to 2.4Ghz since 5Ghz isn't supported. You can use a Wifi router to connect to or a Wifi powerline adapter if you have one. You have to keep the floodlights on the 2.4Ghz Wifi network at all times. This means, you cannot revert the router back on 5Ghz.

The floodlights have to be put in pairing mode, which causes the led lights to flash continuously. When you plug the floodlights into a wall socket, they should automatically start flashing. If they don't, you have to manually enter pairing mode by unplugging the power cable from the gang socket three times consecutively. If you live in the UK, you don't have to unplug the cable from the gang socket since UK households have on/off switch gang sockets.

There are three main tabs: Color, White and Scenes. The Color tab contains a palette circular slider for controlling a range of colors, as well as two sliders (brightness and opacity). The opacity slider, essentially, whitens up the color by making it lighter. The White tab lets you make the white light cooler (down to 2700k) or warmer (up to 6500k). 

The Scenes tab contains a mixture of white and color preset lighting modes with different effects (color, breathing, strobe, etc). The preset lighting modes can be edited out manually so, you can tweak the flashing speed, pattern and color. 

The app also has a power button, a timer button and a schedule button for setting up a time to turn on and off the floodlights. There is also "smart scenes", which lets you program the light anyway you want so, you can have the floodlights turn on at different times with different brightness and colors. For instance, you can program white lights to come on at 100% brightness at 7pm and 50% brightness at 8pm and then, at 9pm make the floodlights turn on green, which is pretty cool. You can buy the Novostella NTF36 floodlights from amazon. Check out the review of the Novostella Blink bluetooth version.

Similar Gadget Explained Reviews


Connect With Gadget Explained