Aqara Camera Hub G3 Announced for €120/£100 with 2K, pan-and-tilt camera with the local facial and gesture recognition features

Today, Aqara have added another Zigbee hub to their product lineup with availability on the Amazon US, Canada and France. It should come to the UK in the next few weeks. Buy from Amazon: The new camera is a 2K, pan-and-tilt camera with the local facial and gesture recognition features, and it integrates a built-in … Read more

Twinkly Flex & Line Smart LED Lights Review – More customisation & creativity vs Philips Hue

I don’t really follow the tech trends for Christmas lighting, but it turns out Twinkly the Philips Hue of Christmas tree lights. The Twinkly range of lighting provides full smart control of your lighting and unlimited design options mapped to how you have placed your own lights. Twinkly has been expanding into more mainstream smart … Read more

Aqara Smart Hub E1 Review – A new affordable HomeKit compatible Zigbee smart home hub

This week, Aqara announced their latest Hub E1 and is the most affordable hub they have launched on Amazon to date. Currently, this would make it the firth hub they have on Amazon but they have around eight different hubs in total, which seems a little excessive. The new Smart Hub E1 is priced at … Read more

Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1 Review – Smart Home Automated Blinds on the Cheap

Shortly after reviewing the £1k+ Luxaflex PowerView automatic blinds, Aqara offered me a more affordable alternative, the new Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1. This is an adaptor that will convert existing roller blinds that have a beaded chain into automatic blinds. As the Luxaflex blinds let in too much light during the daytime, I decided … Read more

Aqara M1S and M2 will be upgraded to support Matter a new connectivity standard for IoT devices

The world of home automation has always been a little confusing thanks to all the competing technologies. The two big ones are Zigbee and Z-Wave, but you then also have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and many proprietary systems from the likes of Philips Hue, Lightwave, Den Automation and others. To make things simpler, but also more confusing, … Read more

Luxaflex PowerView Smart Home Blinds Review

Most of the smart home tech I cover leans towards the more affordable end of the spectrum that most consumers can implement themselves. However, higher-end products are always in demand giving buyers more options. I recently was had the chance to try out Luxaflex PowerView for a basic installation in my spare bedroom. This is … Read more

Aqara Smart Wall Switch H1 EU Double Rocker Review – EU/UK smart light switch with no neutral wire

Following my review of the Aqara Camera Hub G2H, I have been checking out the Aqara M2 Smart Hub and the new Aqara Smart Wall Switch H1. The Aqara Smart Wall Switch H1 model I have used is the no neutral, double rocker EU variant. It is exactly the same as the standard H1, but … Read more

Aqara Smart Home Launches Official Amazon Store – 10% discount code with new Aqara Camera Hub G2H available for £58.49

Aqara has been a popular smart home system for many users looking for an affordable solution for a while now. In the early days, this meant buyers were importing products from various grey import sites such as AliExpress. In recent years the brand has expanded into the European market, with a large range of official … Read more

SwitchBot Bot Review – An innovative & affordable smart home solution

The SwitchBot Bot has been around for about 3 years on Amazon, originally funded on Kickstarter. The Bot is a simple and relatively affordable way to add smart home controls to your old none smart devices. The device itself is battery operated and sticks onto whatever device you plan to automate. When activated, a little … 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

Read more

Amazon Echo Flex + Motion Sensor Review – Doorbell alerts and Philips Hue motion sensing on the cheap but is it good vs the Philips Hue sensor?

I impulsively bought the Amazon Echo Flex and the addon motion sensor during the Black Friday period. The Flex was £14 but the motion sensor £15, all in all, a cheap buy as far as my compulsive tech spending goes. What I hoped to achieve was a relatively affordable motion sensor for Philips Hue lights … Read more

TP-Link Tapo Dimmable Smart Bulb Review (L510E) – A cheap Philips Hue and Kasa alternative

Recently, TP-Link launched a new sub-brand called Tapo, offering smart home products at lower price points. I have previously reviewed the Tapo C100 which turned out to be a surprisingly good little indoor camera for around £20. Most recently they launched a range of bulbs, I have been sent the basic White L510E which you … Read more

Ultion Smart Lock Review – The best smart home lock I have reviewed to date (All in one Z-Wave Danalock by Brisant Secure)

I have covered smart locks quite a lot in the past, it is an area of smart home technology I have always loved the thought of but it has never seemed to gain much traction in the mainstream market, unlike lighting or home heating. I have already reviewed the Yale Conexis L1 Smart Door Lock … 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 … 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 … Read more

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