The Best Smart Locks for uPVC External Doors With Multi-Point Locks in the UK

A quick Google search for the best smart locks in the UK reveals a lot of poor advice that is not tailored to the UK market. You have plenty of night latch options available, including the Yale Keyless Connected Smart Lock; these are excellent but generally not the primary lock used on our external doors. … Read more

Netatmo Smart Outdoor Cameras now work with Apple HomeKit Secure Video

The Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera (formerly Presence) was one of the first floodlight cameras to enter the market and it is still one of the best. While Netatmo haven’t flooded the market with new devices each year (currently just 7 options in their security range) they have continued to improve things over the years. The … Read more

Reolink Argus 2E Review – The cheapest battery-powered outdoor Wi-Fi camera on the market

Following on from the review of the flagship Reolink Argus 3 Pro, I have also been testing the most affordable option in the range, the Reolink Argus 2E. Priced at around £65 with no need for a home base, this is one of the cheapest brand name options on the market. Specification Video Resolution: 1080p … Read more

The Best Affordable Smart Home Technology and System For 2021

Most of us think that having a smart home means a newly constructed house with very complicated systems.  It’s a myth! The idea of a smart home is simple yet beneficial. It simply means that your place has smart home technology that connects with your appliances.  It automates common tasks and can program almost every … Read more

Annke C800 Zoom Review: 4K 8MP & 4x optical zoom for business surveillance that is an affordable alternative to Hikvision

The Annke C800 Zoom is a slight departure from my regular POE camera reviews as I would regard it as a more business orientated camera ideal for providing surveillance for SMBs. Annke C800 Zoom Specification & Features Image Sensor:1/2.5″ Sony STARVIS IMX274 Image Sensor              Video Resolution: 8MP (3840 X [email protected]/15 fps) Video Compression: H.265+/H.265/H.264+/H.264 Lens: … Read more

Reolink Argus 3 Pro Review – A great alternative vs Eufy 2C & Arlo Pro 3

The new Argus 3 Pro sits at the top of the range for the wireless cameras from Reolink. Compared to the Argus 3, you now get 2K video, and this is the first wireless camera from the brand to offer person/vehicle detection. Specification Image Sensor: 1/3″ CMOS Sensor Video Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (4.0 Megapixels) … Read more

Remote-Controlled Lights – A Complete Game Changer for Your Home

Energy efficiency is an important aspect of home budgeting. Not only that – keeping your electricity costs low adds to your ecological awareness. In line with the above, installing remote-controlled lights is a clever way of increasing the energy efficiency of your home. They will increase the comfort and convenience of living in your home … Read more

Ring Video Doorbell 4 vs Video Doorbell 3 Plus Compared – What’s different?

This is a quick short post to highlight the specs of the new Ring Video Doorbell 4 and how it is different to the existing Video Doorbell 3. Key differences This post can be condensed down to 4 lines of differences: Plus model dropped Standard model now includes pre-roll Pre-roll is now colour Video Doorbell … Read more

Ring Video Doorbell 4 & Floodlight Cam Wired Pro Announced for £179 & £219 – New colour pre-roll

Ring has been on one with product launches recently; with pressure increasing from competing brands, they will likely want to establish their dominance (in the doorbell market at least). Ring Video Doorbell 4 with colour pre-roll for £179 – No Plus model? I was provided with an embargoed announcement to write this up, which is … Read more

Reolink RLC-811A Review – A 4K PoE camera with person detection spotlight, colour night vision & 5x optical zoom

Following on from my Reolink RLC-511WA review, I have been using the RLC-811A, which is the 4K POE model. It follows the same pattern as the previous model; this has a 5X optical zoom lens (not PTZ) with a built-in spotlight which will enable night-time colour video. It also includes the AI object detection we … Read more

Safely Smart Home Alarm Review – A DIY smart home security system with extensive options by SafelyTeam

The Safely DIY home alarm system by SafelyTeam is the latest smart home alarm system to enter the market. This is a new company hoping to compete with big players like Ring and SimpliSafe. The Safely alarm system is more advanced than many off the shelf solutions from the likes of Ring and Eufy, offering … Read more

Yale Smart Wi-Fi Indoor Pan Tilt and Outdoor Light and Siren Cameras Launched

This month, Yale expanded its home surveillance product range with some new cameras. One of the big advantages of the Yale cameras is that there is no monthly fee, unlike Ring and Arlo. You have options to record to microSD or the Yale Smart Home CCTV system. However, it is worth noting the Yale CCTV … Read more

SwitchBot Curtain Review – Combo pack with meter & button – Easy smart home automated curtains

The SwitchBot Bot, a smart button presser, has been a hugely successful smart home device that is incredibly innovative. It is one of those things I have always meant to buy but never go round to.

SwitchBot has kindly sent me their Curtain Combo pack to try out, including the newest SwitchBot Curtain, a hub, a remote and a temperature/humidity sensor.

I have been contemplating automating my bedroom curtains or turning them into automated blinds for a while now. I wake up very early, only use the bedroom for sleeping, and have a terrible habit of leaving the curtains shut, which can extend for days at a time. So this product looks great for me and is considerably more affordable than some of the alternatives I have been looking at.

SwitchBot Curtain vs other automated curtains & blinds such as Somfy

One of these issues I have with automating curtains or blinds is that it almost certainly would have required me replacing everything with only certain types of curtains and blinds that can be retrofitted.

There are various automated blind rollers, but in the rooms that I have blinds, they are Venetian so not compatible with automated solutions. Similarily all the older automated curtain solutions required the roller style curtain to manage opening and closing.

If you want proper automated blinds or electric curtain rails from the likes of Somfy you will have to pay quite a high price. Blinds are around £240, but the Somfy Irismo 45 curtain rail is £579.

The SwitchBot Curtain is the first solution I am aware of that allows for easy retrofitting on your existing curtains.

The concept is simple and effective. It is literally a little motor with a roller than sits in between the 1st and 2nd connectors of your curtain then rolls left or right to open/close.

The unit itself is quite big and ugly, but it sits behind your curtain, so there should be no visible sign of it.

SwitchBot Curtain Cobo Features and Specification

  • Compatible with rod, U rail and I rail
  • Curtain Rod type supports Grommet, Ring Top, Back Tab and Tab Top curtains.
  • App-controlled
  • Sunlight sensor
  • Up to 8 months battery
  • Optional solar panel to extend battery
  • Compatible with SwitchBot button for easy remote control.
  • Works with Alexa, Google, IFTTT and SmartThings

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EZVIZ C8C Smart Pan/Tilt Outdoor Colour Night Vision Camera with AI launched for £109.99

Home surveillance tech is getting scarily advanced, Ezviz is one of the companies at the forefront of this technology. I am a huge fan of both colour night vision and AI object detection. Now, these have been combined with a PTZ camera to offer AI automatic tracking of anyone that enters your property. This model … Read more