Not everyone wants a smart home, but if you’re someone who does, there are ways to do it without breaking the bank. One of which is by using the Orvibo Smart Home Kit. It’s powered by a ZigBee Mini Hub that can connect to many different devices and sensors (sold separately), thus allowing you to create the perfect smart home for you and your family.
If you’re interested in trying out this kit for yourself, keep reading to learn more about it and enter our giveaway to win a smart home kit featuring the mini hub and three smart sensors.
What’s in the Smart Home Kit
Although you can purchase additional items like a smart socket, smart controller, light bulbs, thermostat, and smart switches / outlets, this giveaway kit only includes four items: one ZigBee Mini Hub, two Door/Window Sensors, and one PIR Motion Sensor.
ZigBee Mini Hub (1)
This is the “brain” of the kit and can support up to 50 connected sensors; none of the other sensors will work unless you have one of these. The mini hub connects to the Internet and allows you to control, monitor, and maximize efficiency for over 100 different devices that use ZigBee-based outlets, switches, dimmers, light bulbs, and security products.
ZigBee is basically a “wireless language” that allow devices to talk to and connect to one another. Even if one product fails to respond or doesn’t work as intended, the others will still work without issue. The mini hub can automatically search and find other ZigBee devices and connect them to the network; no network configuration or code pairing is needed.
Door/Window Sensor (2)
These easy-to-setup sensors can be installed on doors and/or windows or any other objects that can be opened/closed like cabinets. These sensors will especially come in handy when you’re away from home (e.g. on a trip). They don’t require any type of electrical work; it’s all DIY.
The Door/Window Sensor is powered by one CR2032 battery, which is included. When the battery is low, the LED will blink once every three seconds to let you know.
PIR Motion Sensor (1)
Much like the Door/Window Sensor, setup for the PIR Motion Sensor is easy and doesn’t require any electrical work. The motion sensor is based on the human infrared spectrum detection technology and will detect both human and pet activity as it can sense infrared heat.
The Motion Sensor can also be synchronized with other ZigBee devices and do things like turn on the lights if a door is opened. This is great if someone breaks in while you’re away and will hopefully scare them off.
The PIR Motion Sensor is powered by two AA batteries, which are included. When the battery is low, the LED will blink once every three seconds to let you know.
Setting up the Smart Home Kit
To get started, you’ll need to connect the Mini Hub to your router and a power outlet using the included DC 5V/1A power adapter.
Next, you can scan the QR code on the included user manual to download the HomeMate companion app or download it directly; it’s available for both Android and iOS devices. You will need this mobile app to control the system and monitor your home.
Once you create an account and get signed into the app you can add new devices by clicking on the “plus” at the top right of the app. Here’s where you can add the Mini Hub, Door/Window Sensors, and PIR Motion Sensor (each one separately).
I had no problem adding the Mini Hub and can see it under the “More” area of the mobile app; however, the app can’t seem to find the sensors. I’ve tried adding them at different times of the day and on totally different days, but each time I received the “Adding device failed” message. Hopefully, you will have better luck than me!
Using the Smart Home Kit
As mentioned above, all of your devices and sensors are controlled from the mobile app, so if you have issues getting things to connect, then you’re out of luck.
While I can’t go into much detail about how the app works, I do want to point out the “Smart Scene” section of the app. It reminds me a lot of IFTTT and allows you to create different scenarios and actions to take.
For instance, if someone passes a motion sensor, you can have a compatible smart light automatically turn on. You will need to have your devices and sensors added to the app before you can create your own “scenes.” This seems to be the best part of the app and owning the Orvibo Smart Home Kit in general, since it allows you to put the system to work in order to keep your home protected.
If you have other devices, you’ll also be able to control them from the app. It basically works as an all-in-one remote for your home.
Even though I had issues getting the kit set up, I think it has potential, and I love the fact that you can add additional pieces to it. A few smart plugs, light bulbs, and wall light controllers would really come in handy in my home. I haven’t given up yet and will continue to tinker with the sensors.
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