- Relatively easy to install
- Intuitive app
- Compatible with multiple curtains and rod rails
- Multiple accessories
- Devices are relatively bulky
- Additional accessorie needed for installation
- Robot pull force may sometimes decrease
Imagine this scenario – you finally crawled into bed after a long day, only to realize that you’ve forgotten to draw the curtains. Have you ever experienced this profound annoyance? What if we told you that you didn’t have to deal with it again? Home automation company SwitchBot has your back with a clever system that allows you to control your curtains from your smartphone! Sound exciting? Learn more about SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 in this review.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by SwitchBot. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author, who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
Unboxing the SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2
SwitchBot sells various home automation products: from smart locks and lighting systems to smart humidifiers and more. In this review, we focus on the company’s smart curtain system that brings your dull curtains into the digital world.
SwitchBot sent me two Curtain Rod 2 devices – which are a pair of mini-robots whose job is to pull your curtains left or right on the rod rail. In addition, I received a remote, a mini hub for controlling the system using a virtual assistant, and a couple of solar-powered batteries. The box also included power cables for the Curtain Rods and hub.
The SwitchBot Curtain system is compatible with a wide range of curtain models, including Back Tab, Grommet, Tab Top, or Ring Top. Depending on which type you have, you’ll need to use some extra accessories (which are also included in the package). SwitchBot also notes that the weight the system can pull is 5kg to 8kg (11 to 17lbs), and if your curtains are using a Rod Rail, the rod needs to be between 15mm and 40mm (0.59 to 1.57 inches) in diameter. SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 also works with I Rail and U Rail 2 types. The system is not compatible with vertical blinds (for now, at least).
Since curtains either come in pairs or a single unit, you’ll need to use either one or two devices to get sunshine back into your room (or vice versa). I tested the Switch Bot Curtain Rod 2 in both scenarios, and used a regular wooden rod rail to hang the curtains.
I initially experimented with a single Grommet-type curtain curtain, which, in my case, simply needed to be pulled from left to right over a small window.
The first step was to attach the SwitchBoth Curtain Rod 2, which proved pretty easy. The hooks are spring-loaded, so you can pull one hook up to embrace the rod before bringing the second part in to have it snap into the main body. The rod rail is included too.
Next, I had to use an additional item called a bead fixer; its purpose is to facilitate the curtain’s movement on the rod rail. For this part, I recommend using a tall step ladder, as you’ll need to install the beads fixer on top of the grommet. I didn’t have one on hand, so I was forced to use a chair, which didn’t make the process too pleasant, especially since I am not particularly tall. I had difficultly reaching but eventually managed to get things done.
Configuring the SwitchBot App
Once everything was in place, I proceeded to install the SwitchBot app on my phone. After signing in with an account, it was time to add the device to the dashboard (via Bluetooth, so be sure it’s enabled on your phone.)
To connect the Curtain Rod 2 to my phone, I pressed the little white button on the back of the device until it blinked twice, then tapped the “+” sign in the app and selected the rod and curtain types. Once they were paired, the Rod was ready to be calibrated. This allowed me to set the desired pattern for my curtains by setting the closed and open positions. This part was quick and painless with no hiccups.
SwitchBot Curtain in Action
Once this step was completed, opening the curtains was as easy as pressing a button on my phone. Let there be light! Or darkness – depending on what time it is.
While the SwitchBot Curtain setup worked just fine, I couldn’t help but notice it’s pretty noisy. The robotic device really wasn’t subtle while performing its duty. Sure, you can switch to a “Silent Mode,” but it makes the Rod work slower and a bit more unreliably, and the decrease in noise is not really noticeable.
Next, I tried a double curtain setup using my tab top-type curtains. The installation process went fairly smoothly this time around as well. I had to use a series of clips that needed to be attached to the curtain tabs to facilitate traction. Some of them proved a little tricky to open, as I didn’t want to risk breaking them, but in the end, I managed to get them settled into place.
For my curtains to open in the middle, I needed to attach both Curtain Rods 2 to the rod rail, then group them together in the app and calibrate them again to fit this particular scenario. The whole process unfolded without issue, and the curtains were pulled aside immediately when I pressed the button.
Despite that, I still have one more note. Even if my curtains were made of light material and well below the weight that SwitchBot says the unit can push, the evices had trouble pushing the curtain all the way to the end (on both sides) of the rod rail. The robots lost momentum towards the journey’s end and stopped just a few centimeters away from fully completing the task. This happened with the system being set to “Performance Mode” rather than “Silent Mode.” I didn’t notice the same while using the grommet curtain.
Another issue you may experience with this type of curtain is that the SwitchBot CurtainRod 2 will be extremely visible. It doesn’t apply to all tab tops, but if you’d like them hidden away, you may not be able to do so with select curtain models. The robots are quite bulky not so easy to hide in some scenarios. That was not the case with our grommet curtains.
The SwitchBot Curtain setup can be used in concert with your favorite virtual assistant, including Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. I tested the latter, simply because I tend to use Google’s AI the most. The process of setting this up took a little time, and I needed one of the extra devices that were included in the package to make it happen.
It’s called the Switch Hub Mini and, for some reason, my phone had trouble locating it via the SwitchBot app. When it finally did find it, and I connected it to my Wi-Fi, I couldn’t turn on the “Cloud Services” option, but a phone reboot fixed that issue eventually. I also needed to consult the SwitchBot support page for guidance. It turns out I needed to install the Google Home app and set up the device from there.
Once everything was finally connected, I could finally say “Hey Google, open the Blue Bedroom (as I renamed my bedroom via the app) curtain.” Nothing happened for a few seconds, then finally the curtains started to move. Success!
If you want to go beyond that, you can also try your hand at IFTTT automation, which is supported.
SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 also boasts a light-sensing feature that lets you automate operations based on ambient light (which it monitors via the app). This worked well in our testing. The same applies to the “Scheduled” feature which allows you to set a certain time for the curtains to open or close. All of this can be done from the app.
The SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 also arrived with a small remote which can be paired to the system quite easily. Then, in cases where you don’t have your smartphone near you, you can use this tiny two-button gadget to open or shut your blinds.
Another useful addition are the solar-powered batteries that you can attach to the back of the devices so that you don’t have to remove the robots every time they run out of battery. But be aware that each of these accessories will cost you more.
If you’re curious about home automation and want to start with your curtains, SwitchBot can help. The SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 is priced at $99, and for a double curtain setup, you’ll need to pay for another Rod.
If you want to throw in the other accessories, know that the SwitchBot Hub Mini is another $39, while the SwitchBot Remote is priced at $19. Finally, the SwitchBot Solar Panel will set you back an extra $19.
The SwitchBot Curtain system can be a fun project for anyone interested in home automation. It’s something cool and futuristic you can try if you’re searching for a novel experience, as it doesn’t solve a problem, at least not for an.average home.
The SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 might find a purpose in spacious office environments or large homes that feature vast spaces but may not be worthwhile in smaller environments.
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