The smart home trend is going nowhere and I have recently been introduced to the phenomenon thanks to the Energenie MiHome Starter Pack. I received the kit to review and after doing so I’m now sure I want to create a smart home. If you’re thinking about jumping on the smart home bandwagon then keep reading and you can find out more about what a smart home has to offer, learn all about the Energenie Starter Pack and maybe even win yourself your own Smart Plugs!
You can read my full review below.
What’s in the box?
The MiHome Starter Kit includes 3 Smart Plugs, a home gateway, a remote control, PSU adapter and two cables. There are also two instruction leaflets which help you set up the kit – everything you need to get started.
I found the setup process very quick and easy, I had the plugs up and running in less than 5 minutes. The instructions provided in the box are easy to follow and once you download the app you are given step by step instructions, so no matter how technical you are you can set the system up in minutes.
The first step is to download the MiHome app via the App Store or Google Store depending on the operating system your phone runs. You then have to set up an account, this is quick and easy. Once your account has been successfully created you will be provided with step by step instructions on connecting your home gateway to the internet.
The second step is to connect the home gateway to the internet. This is done by plugging in the PSU adapter and connect it to the home gateway using the cable provided, you then connecting the ethernet cable to your home hub and to the home gateway. The device will initially show a red light when turned on and once the connection has been established this will change to green. It will occasionally flash red which means the gateway is receiving data so don’t panic, this is normal. At the end of this process, you will be asked to either scan the QC code on the back of the home gateway using your smartphone camera or by entering the product code. This will then connect your device to your MiHome account.
The next step is to choose which devices you want to control with the Smart Plugs. I chose my TV, Sky box and my living room light. Connecting the plugs to the home gateway couldn’t be simpler and the app provides step by step instructions. Simply plug the adapter into an empty socket, hold down the button on the plug until the red light flashes then release the button. The app will ask you to confirm the adapter has stopped flashing, if it has stopped flashing select yes, you can now name your plug – for example TV or lamp etc. You can then go ahead and plug your adapter into the relevant socket and plug your device into the adapter. You will then be able to control your device via the remote control, MiHome app or via Alexa voice command – very clever!
If you’re new to the smart home phenomenon then you might be wondering what the benefits of having smart plugs are. Aside from not having to get up to turn things on and off, there are actually several benefits.
- Home security – You can use the smart plugs to turn your lights on and off, even when you aren’t at home. This can be a great feature if you want to create the appearance that someone is at home when you’re on holiday. You can do this either by setting up a timer or by turning the lights on/off remotely. You can turn on individual lights or set up a group so you can turn on several lights at the same time.
- A hot cuppa – Why not set up your kettle with a smart plug. Simply make sure your kettle has enough water and put it in the on position with the Smart Plug to the off position, you can then turn the plug on remotely via the app 5 minutes before you’re due home and you can have a lovely cup of tea as soon as you’re in the door. Or you could use the amazing Geofencing feature via the app which uses your location and you can set the Smart Plug to turn on when you’re a certain distance from your home – isn’t that amazing?!
- Energy saving – Another great use for the plugs is their ability to help you save energy and money. You can use the timer feature to turn a device on for a certain amount of time, this is useful when charging devices overnight for example or for when you leave a room and forget to turn things off. A quick check of the app will let you see if anything has been left on and you can then turn anything off if necessary.
My overall thoughts
With this being my first experience of the smart home movement I was really looking forward to trying the products and seeing exactly what they had to offer, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Energenie products are well made, easy to set up, work well and are competitively priced. There’s so much more to the Smart Plugs than simply being used to turn devices on and off, with the geolocation feature, timer and Alexa compatibility the plugs really do have a lot of features to offer.
Energenie also offers other Smart Home products, including heating devices, light switches, sockets and multiplugs. I’m now looking at expanding my range of smart products and next on my list is the Smart Bulbs which look fantastic, you can even get coloured and dimmable bulbs.
Would you like to win your own Smart Plugs?
Now for some exciting news! You could win your very own MiHome Starter Pack and be on your way to the smart home of your dreams all thanks to Energenie. Entering is simple, complete the steps on the form below to gain entries to the competition. One lucky winner will receive the MiHome Starter Pack worth £79.99. The competition is open to resident of the UK aged over 16 years. Competition ends 13/11/2017.
*I received the Energenie MiHome Smart Kit (*) for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.