Category: Home Automation

What is the best portable air conditioning unit in the UK? Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide 2020

Weather-wise we have had an amazing Spring, shame about everything else. Hopefully, as the lockdown eases the weather will continue to be amazing through summer which will may make the current situation marginally easier. However, with warm weather comes warm nights and uncomfortable sleeping, and there is nothing worse than a bad nights sleep. For me it has a significant impact on my mental health, not what I need right now. Personally I use a fan to help with sleep, if you buy one with a large number of speed settings you can normally get it running silently and...

Read More
Anova Sous-Vide Precision Cooker 2.0 Review – I am a sous-vide convert, but it’s not cheap Score 85%

Anova Sous-Vide Precision Cooker 2.0 Review – I am a sous-vide convert, but it’s not cheap

Anybody that has ever watched a cooking show will be aware of sous vide cooking. The name makes it sound pretentious, and then the concept of cooking your food in a plastic bag of water doesn't sound all that appealing. With the promise of perfect results, it is something I have always wanted to try, but in the past, the devices themselves have been quite expensive, and I feared it would end up being another gadget neglected in my cupboards after a few weeks. While that may still happen in the future, for now, I have loved it my...

Read More

6 Powerful Hubs for Your Smart Home

Your thermostat will raise and lower the temperature — even when you’re not home — with just the press of a button or a voice command. Your lights come on automatically as soon as you enter the house. You can turn your slow cooker on and off remotely. You can tell your voice assistant to play your favorite song — or even when to wake you up in the morning. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a powerful entity. Thanks to the internet and technology, many of the processes we found so tedious will be automated. What’s more, our...

Read More

Sonos Arc vs Beam vs Playbar – Sonos finally updates the Playbar for serious home cinema with eArc offering Dolby Atmos and TrueHD

Sonos was doing smart speakers before they were a thing, and they do them well with some incredible options. However, when it comes to home cinema, they have been flagging behind. The soundbar market has boomed as people realise they can get the benefit of a multi-speaker system from just one device. Sonos first introduced their first attempt at a soundbar, the Playbar back in 2013, followed by the Playbase in 2017. While these were both superb speakers producing excellent sound, for home cinema they were both outdated at launch with their lack of HDMI and limited compatibility with...

Read More
Ring Doorbell 3 Plus Review – Privacy concerns aside, Ring still dominate the battery-powered smart doorbell market Score 90%

Ring Doorbell 3 Plus Review – Privacy concerns aside, Ring still dominate the battery-powered smart doorbell market

[Update 12/05/2020] Ring reached out to me to confirm some of the privacy aspects of their system. I have copied the full statement at the bottom of the review Smart home surveillance and smart doorbells have boomed in the past few years with dozens of options available on Amazon. However, if you are looking for a battery-powered doorbell, there are surprisingly few options from big brand names. There are not even that many options, including wired doorbells, which I find odd because I find a smart doorbell one of the simplest home security and smart home upgrades. I have...

Read More

Ring Video Doorbell 3 vs 3 Plus vs 2 vs Pro vs Eufy Doorbell – What has Ring improved? Which is the best alternative?

There is no getting away from the awful PR Ring has had recently, it has been revealed that the company has some serious issues with privacy as well as agreements with law enforcement to share your data. They are trying to improve though; they claim to have locked down the privacy concerns enforcing mandatory 2FA on their web access as well as new privacy controls within the app. I'll be honest, I still love my Ring Doorbell 2, and apathy has meant I didn't worry too much about the privacy concerns. Ring has now launched the Doorbell 3, which...

Read More
Aranet4 HOME Wireless Indoor Air Quality Monitor measuring CO2, Temperature, Relative Humidity and more Score 78%

Aranet4 HOME Wireless Indoor Air Quality Monitor measuring CO2, Temperature, Relative Humidity and more

IoT devices that measure air quality are becoming increasingly common. I reviewed the Foobot back in 2017, then the Airthings Wave Plus in 2019. Recently I have been testing the Aranet4 HOME from the Latvian company SAF Tehnika. While the effects of high levels of CO2 were long thought to be benign, research has found that concentrations as low as 1,000 ppm can affect people's cognitive function and decision-making performance. Typically we worry about the concentrations of Carbon Monoxide, when not enough oxygen or ventilation is provided to a fire, dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide can build up and be fatal....

Read More

The best Z-Wave & Smart Home Switches & Buttons – Wireless & wired switches for lights and automation

Buttons and switches are a superb addition to any smart home system allowing you to carry commands without reaching for your phone or shouting at Alexa. When I started this post, I knew there were a lot of options, but it turns out there are way more products that I realised. I have been looking at replacing my SmartThings button, which I find to be quite temperamental, which I think is battery related. I use this button to control multiple Hue bulbs and also some TP-Link bulbs, allowing me to switch my bedroom, hallways and office lights on when...

Read More
GeoSmartPro AirGo Smart Fan Review – App controlled fan awarded a quiet mark rating that isn’t very quiet. Score 69%

GeoSmartPro AirGo Smart Fan Review – App controlled fan awarded a quiet mark rating that isn’t very quiet.

You can get pretty much anything app-controlled nowadays; there is even an Alexa controlled microwave.  So it is no surprise there is an app-controlled pedestal fan if anything I was surprised at the lack of competing options. I specifically bought this fan to be able to use it when I go to sleep. I am a very light sleeper, so small sounds wake me up. The fan has a dedicated night mode, and with the benefit of being app-controlled, I had hoped this would be the perfect fan for me. Unfortunately, things didn't go as well as I had...

Read More
Imou Ranger IQ Review – A PTZ human detecting camera compatible with NVRs Score 90%

Imou Ranger IQ Review – A PTZ human detecting camera compatible with NVRs

While I am not a huge fan of indoor cameras for my personal usage, I was quite excited to be offered to review the Imou Ranger Pro, which provides a wide range of impressive features including: PTZ with 355 degree pan and 90 degree tiltHuman detection – which can then smart track with PTZSony starves sensor with colour night vision (dependant on ambient light)Two way talkPrivacy maskWi-Fi and Ethernet connectivityMicroSD and cloud storage optionsONVIF compatibility for network video recording systems such as Blue Iris and Synology Surveillance station.Alexa, Google and IFTTT functionality. That is a whole lot of functionality...

Read More

eufyCam 2C vs Blink XT2 Compared – Which is the best budget wire-free security camera?

The eufyCam 2C has been one of my favourite wire-free cameras in recent times, and what I continue to use personally. The original Blink XT was my long time favourite for a budget camera, and last year the Blink XT2 was launched offering superior battery life, and an improved mounting mechanism. So how do these two affordable options compare? Price Pricing jumps up and down for both products, and with the eufyCam 2C coming as a two-pack I will compare the two-pack of Blink XT2. Blink XT2 seems to have an RRP of £179.99, which is also it's current...

Read More

Setting up Anker Eufycam 2C with a NAS Surveillance Station or BlueIris NVR

The Anker Eufycam 2C is my current favourite wire-free security camera, it is affordable, has a built-in spotlight, offers colour night vision and best of all has human detection to reduce all the annoying false alerts. On top of all this, Eufy cameras also have an RTSP option which allows you to integrate it with an NVR such as BlueIris or a NAS that has surveillance functionality such as QNAP or Synology. With this being a wire-free camera, having an RTSP stream is a bit of an odd feature, 24/7 recording would trash the battery. However, this camera doesn’t...

Read More
Loading
en_GBEnglish
es_ESSpanish en_GBEnglish