Home automation used to be an extremely futuristic concept. However the world of smart homes and home automation is now a reality thanks to the progression made over the last few years. Energenie provide a wide range of smart home automation products, and we’ve been sent a selection of these from their MiHome range to take a closer look at.
Pioneers in energy management
Energenie provides an easy way of cutting the amount of energy used in the homes, saving money on electricity bills, saving energy and reducing the risk of fires caused by electrical appliances.
Without doubt, Britain’s consumers have become increasingly aware of green issues in recent years. However, there are still those who associate environmentally-friendly with time consuming hassle: Energenie removes the excuses by making it easy and achievable to help the planet, be safer in your home and to save money.
At the centre of any home automation system is the hub. The MiHome Hub is the gateway that provides communication between all of your home automation devices.
The Hub connects to your router, via Ethernet.
The design of the hub is fairly simplistic, sporting a plain white colour scheme, and features both a micro-USB power port and Ethernet socket on the rear of the hub.
We’ve been sent a small selection of some of the home automation products that Energenie have to offer. We’ve got the Adapter Plus, Motion Sensor & Open Sensor.
The adapter plus is a standard UK adapter plug, but with the ability to both transmit and receive actions and commands. The plug can monitor the energy usage, of the connected product, and can also be integrated with the IFTTT service – allowing you to use special commands to turn the plug on or off when you’ve returned home, if the weather is sunny or even turn the device off it it uses too much power.
The Adapter Plus wall adapter retails for £34.99.
The motion sensor, available for £27.99, is fairly self-explanatory. With the sensor hooked up to the MiHome Hub, you can set up a variety of different options using both the built-in services and external services from IFTTT.
These can include, but aren’t limited to, alerting you via a notification if movement is detected, logging the motion detection in a Google spreadsheet, or you could even set something up to turn your Philips Hue lights on when motion is detected.
The Open Sensor is similar to the Motion Sensor, but is primarily for use on doors and windows – for monitoring, and alerting you, when windows and doors are opened or closed.
Just like the previous products, IFTTT can also be used here to further enhance the product’s capabilities.
As well as the three products we had sent across, there are quite a few other products to build the ultimate smart home, ranging from devices to detect and control the temperature and also light switches for controlling the lighting in your home.
You can find the full range here: MiHome
Setting up the Energenie MiHome products is extremely straight forward.
First off, you’ll need to connect the MiHome Hub to your router. To do this, you just need to use an ethernet cable (included) to connect the hub and your router together. The MiHome hub does require power, so you’ll need to make sure you have a spare wall outlet available.
Once this is completed, you’ll need to create your online account to manage the devices. Once logged in you’ll need to connect the hub by simply inputting the MiHome Hub code (located on the underside of the hub) into the related field on the website. Once connected, your hub will update itself to the latest firmware and you’re good to go.
Next up, you’ll need to connect one of your home automation products to the hub. This is an extremely simple process, and the online device manager runs you through the process of getting your devices connected.
To add a new device, you just click the “Pair New Device” link, follow the pairing instructions, which usually requires you to press the button on the device so that the MiHome Hub can detect it, and that should be it.
Once paired, you’ll be able to access a control panel, either on the website or by using the dedicated MiHome smartphone application. From here, you’ll be able to add and adjust different settings, including timers for turning the device on / off (depending on which home automation device you’re using).
Overall, the Energenie MiHome home automation products have worked incredibly well. Installation and setup was effortless, as was using the devices themselves.
A few of the best features of the products were their ability to use the IFTTT service to further extend the usability of the home automation products, and also how easy they are to use. I managed to set up my Philips Hue lighting with the open sensor so that my office light would come on when the sensor detected me, which worked incredibly well.
With regards to pricing you’re looking at around £30 for each home automation product. Remember that you’ll also need the MiHome Hub to make everything work – this retails for £69.99.
All in all you’re looking at spending at least £100 to get started, which is a very reasonable price considering the control you will have over appliances, lighting and heating. Obviously there’s no requirement to buy every automation product from the range, if you don’t wish to.
With the MiHome product range from Energenie, you’ll be able to convert your home in to a smart home without any effort at all.
If you’re interested in checking out the Energenie MiHome range then you can do so by clicking here.