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

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

Ezviz BC1 Battery Powered security camera launched with a better spec than the Eufy 2C with colour night vision, 365-day battery & human detection

Last year I reviewed the Ezviz C3A battery-powered security camera. It was good, just not as good as the Eufy 2C or Eufy 2. Now Ezviz is back with what appears to be a very well specced camera that is highly competitive against the rest of the market. Ezviz BC1 Features The new Ezviz BC1 … 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

Haier FD 70 SERIES 7 Fridge Freezer uses artificial intelligence and integrates with the hOn App for a smarter kitchen

I don’t typically cover white goods, but I have previously expressed my frustration at how slow smart home tech has taken to enter the kitchen appliance market. I reviewed the Samsung WW9000 washing machine back in 2014, which was one of the first Wi-Fi-equipped smart appliances. In recent years, smart home kitchen appliances have slowly … Read more

Ring Video Doorbell 4 Review – Better than expected compared to the Video Doorbell 3 Plus

The Ring Video Doorbell 4 was announced last month and is now available to buy. On paper, it only offers incremental changes from last year, so existing users won’t feel the need to upgrade. The headline change is the rollout of colour pre-roll from the black and white on the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus. … Read more

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

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

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

Neos Smart Home Review: With SmartCam, leak & motion sensor for smart home security on the cheap

Neos is a relatively new company to the smart home scene being established just four years ago. Targeting the UK market, they appear to have been quite successful garnering a significant number of positive reviews on the likes of Amazon and Trustpilot. They even have a well-reviewed Android app, which is quite rare for new … Read more

Smart Home Black Friday & Christmas Buying Guide – The best discounts for smart home gifts

Rather than a generic Black Friday deals post, I thought it would be easier to put together buyers guide for the smart home on the run-up to Christmas and try to keep the deals up to date from there. Amazon Alexa Devices & Google Home Black Friday in the UK wouldn’t have been this big … Read more

Daan Tech Bob Mini Dishwasher Review – An adorable countertop dishwasher ideal for single users or couples

One of the products that kept popping up on my newsfeed during CES was Bob, a tiny eco-friendly countertop dishwasher made by French brand Daan Tech Bob claims to be the worlds smallest and fastest autonomous dishwasher. It is available to pre-order now for £299.90 with shipping stated as a vague fall 2020. Full RRP … Read more

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