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

Yale Linus Smart Lock Now available for £219.98 – Alternative to Danalock and Nuki with ability to unlock with your old key

For more information please check my review of the Yale Linus Smart lock [Originally posted on 10 January 2020] Announced back at CES, when times were simpler, the Yale Linus Smart Door Lock addresses all the concerns people had with the Yale Conexis L1. The new locks offers smart lock functionality while retaining the outdoor … 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

Tado V3+ Starter Kit & Wireless Temperature Sensor Launched – More accurate room temperature readings and control

I am a big fan of smart home heating, I reviewed the original Tado when it was launched, and I have been using Genius Hub in my home the past few years. Tado, or tado° if we want to use their Sunday name, has consistently upgraded both their hardware and software features consistently making them … 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

Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera (Presence) gets upgraded with Siren – Pre-order now for £319.99

I reviewed the Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera (formerly Netatmo Presence) just over a year ago, and it has been one of the best surveillance cameras I have reviewed, and I still use it today. Netatmo was one of, if not the first companies to offer AI object detection with their camera, the indoor one is … Read more

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, … 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 … Read more

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 … 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