Switching to Smart with Hive at Home (and how to maximise it!) [AD]
We’ve been trialling a new setup at home recently thanks to Hive, in an attempt to be clever with our energy and money.
It goes without saying that winter has crept up on us this year. One minute we were playing in the park in shorts, the next we’re blowing the dust off of our thermostat. Winter coats are officially out of storage, and the wool throw is on the bed.
With darker mornings and sunset school-runs, we’re now starting to think about putting the heating on whilst also taking into consideration the cost. Previously, we would have no qualms about whacking the heating on the moment we’d feel a chill, but with the cost of doing so now on the increase we have to be smarter and more efficient with our choices.
If you’re interested in cutting costs, more convenient living or being more energy-efficient, read on:
Hive At Home
Hive are an award-winning provider of smart home living. Their aim is to enable you to control elements within your home, using your phone or computer, to make life easier. Think, turning the heating down without leaving your bed or boosting the hot water so you can run a bath when you get home.
Basically, it’s removing steps from a process to make things easier and more practical, as well as less time consuming!
Originating from an idea by British Gas, Hive are probably the most well-known brands when you think of smart-home technology. They’re compatible with popular smart devices such as Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri (although you don’t need these to be able to use Hive) and once you set up your Hive system you can add new devices along the way.
To get us started, we’ve recently installed their Hub as well as their Smart Lights. There are also other devices and setups within the Hive eco-system, but we’re going to be starting with the lighting setup.
Looking forward, we’re really interested in the idea of the Hive Window or Door Sensors. They monitor doors and windows in your house and can link to other Hive products, activating them depending on whether your door is open or closed. Thinking about night-time bathroom visits or the occasions when T has left his light on, it’ll mean that we’ll only use the electricity we need. No WASTE!
You can check out Hive’s product line here if you’re interested in creating your own Hive eco-system.
Tip: All the products within the Hive eco-system talk to each other through the Hive Hub. This means that you can set up an “actions”. For example, if you have the Hive sensors and Hive light bulbs, simply set up“Turn all lights off when the door shuts“. For families especially, if your child opens their bedroom door, you can set their specific light bulbs to turn on immediately.
Setup was easy, and once we had installed the app onto our phones we were ready to go. We then later connected our system to our Google Home.
Our Smart Light System
We’ve decided to install our light bulbs into the “main” lights within our home – our lounge, hallway and upstairs landing. We like the idea of being able to dim them. We often use our lamps more because of how bright the main lights are, but now we have options.
During the day, for example, we set our landing lights to between 60-80% if we need them. At night, when T is more likely to visit the bathroom, the light is set much lower.
When you purchase, you can choose both screw and bayonet light bulb options, as well as ones that change colour! The bulbs are also 80% more energy efficient than traditional bulbs, making them cheaper to run!
Connecting our Hive Hub to our Google Home was also simple. So now, when we want to dim T’s bedroom light before bed we can do so from another room (just to reiterate that it’s bedtime!). On the same note, we can also turn it on super quick when looking for mystery Lego pieces. Basically, it’s removing steps from a process to make things easier and more practical, as well as less time consuming!
Tip: On the same note as creating actions or schedules for certain movements, you can also create actions to maximise efficiency! For example, using the Hive window sensors with the Hive heating valves, when a window opens the heating can be set to turn off automatically. You can also request for only certain rooms to be heated depending on where the lights are turned on
Perfect for busy families!
As a busy family with varying patterns, I can see us using Hive to turn lights off when we’ve no doubt forgotten. Likewise, if we’ve stayed out late, we can turn them on before we get back home. This is thanks to their smart technology that allows you to control your device even if you’re not at home.
Looking forward into the future, the lights will also be a useful tool for when we’re on holiday. Making our home look occupied, it adds that touch of security when we need it the most.
Tip: Timers and schedules are incredibly useful for consumption efficiency, maximising comfort, and saving money. If you have a specific schedule, set your lights and heating to those schedules. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll have a gentle reminder to finish work on time if you’re working from home.
If you’re tempted to invest in a Hive smart home eco-system, check out a number of their blog posts. From ‘How to Save Energy when working from Home’ to designing your very own smart home!
We were sent a Hive Hub and Smart Bulbs as part of this campaign, however all thoughts, opinions and imagery are our own.