It was time to get the home, smart! Heating and lighting are both money burners as we all know but until I installed Hive at home I never realised how both time and money could be saved quite so much. I do love tech/apps and advancements that are both so practical and easy, whilst saving time and money.
The Hive team kindly invited me to have Hive installed in my home and I must admit it as far exceeded my expectations as for productivity and ease. It does so much more than I had ever thought it would from my previous understanding.
The installation could not be easier! Literally a matter of a British Gas engineer coming round for half an hour or so to fit in the Hive Hub and Hive Active Heating. The small hub is set up near your internet router and wherever your boiler is in the house so the hub can talk to it. Everything else you can do yourself in a matter of minutes. Just get the app on your phone, set up an account, and you soon see how easy it is to control all your energy and lighting… and more.
The lights setup is as simple as changing any bulb. The special Hive bulbs are made to be communicated to. I have 2 types depending on the room/needs – a colour and mood changing bulb for the living room and a dimmable white bulb for the hallway. Once the bulb is changed, you add it as a new connected device on your app and all is done.
Hive, of course, is more than just lights and heating. The Hive door sensors, motion sensors, cameras, smart plugs, all take a couple of minutes to install and connect.
Once it’s all installed and connected you can start learning how it all works to save time and money…. . Here are a few examples I use…..
The main example may seem like laziness. Doing all from the comfort of the sofa without getting up. But on a cost saving issue it stands to reason. You want to dim or turn a light off, you want to turn the heat down, and you are sat enthralled in a TV programme so you let it go. Now, just open the app on the phone where you are sat and you can turn off your light in seconds. Want to take it a step further? Well it can all be connected to Amazon Echo so you can ask Alexa to also take care of it for you.
In the depths of winter you may be on your way home from work and craving the warmth of home. But to save money you have turned the heating off whilst out. Making the house warm for your return and by very easily upping the heating from wherever you are, just open the app on the bus, leaving work, anywhere in the world via the app.
Door sensor – This is where all can connect up, so many settings! I have it set up now so that whenever the front door opens, after a certain time after dark, the hallway light comes on. No more messing in the dark. This sensor has so many practicalities. You are at work and worry the kids are home from school ok? Easy, the sensor can send a notification to your phone whenever the front door is opened.
Motion Sensor – This is one of the little things that can make more of a difference to peace of mind than you think? Not only can it be used for security when out of the house, again with phone notifications if triggered. What about turning the light on just by entering the room after dark? What about turning the radio on by entering the room? What about the heating boosted by entering the room….. Easy done.
As a travel writer I am away a lot, so peace of mind does come into it. Want to make yourself look at home? Why not set a light to come on at certain times whilst away so it seems someone is at home?
Phew.. this list is not exhaustive, I am finding every day more and more ways to make my life more productive and at the same time cost effective with Hive. I have only just started scratching the surface with it. There are so many IFTTT style ways the devices talk to each other and I am enjoying finding new ones.
Is Hive a gimmick? No, not at all! It saves money; it saves time and allows me to get on with more important things. And the more you use it the more you can see the future possibilities of it.