The idea of a Smart home has always been rather intriguing. I had images of living in a house that resembled The Jetsons where everything was robotic and you could switch everything on and off just by telling the house to do so. I had heard of Hive for the first time last winter when after spending a few weeks on the beach in Barbados. We arrived to a dark, freezing house that took 10 years to warm up. Complaining about it to a friend ( as you do) she said. ” Have you not heard of Hive? We control everything from our phone and put the heating on a few hours before we land”. What??? After having a look at their website i saw that they not only have smart heating devices but everything else from lightbulbs, door sensors, security cameras and even baby monitors.
So when I received an email from HIVE Home asking if I was interested in testing out some of their smart home products. I was thrilled!
I received a cute little gift box with a complimentary Active Light bulb, The Hive Hub, Hive Information Pack and some yummy treats!! Thank you Hive 🙂 You first need to register an account with your Hive Hub and then connect it to the Hive devices in your home. Once that is done, PRESTO you are set and can now make your home a smart home!
The Active Light Bulb
I was interested to see what an active lightbulb does. It is basically a regular light bulb that can be set and controlled remotely from your phone. I was surprised at how easy it was to set up. I just screwed it into my lamp and that was it. It was so easy to use that even my toddler was able to figure it out when he got hold of my phone. Once it was ready I played with it using the app. I could change the dimness, glow, colour as well as schedule times for the light to come on and off. It wasn’t until I researched it a little more that I realised I could literally command my lights on through an amazon echo ( If i had one). OH MY GOD, I can have a Jetson house!
- Midnight trips downstairs do not have to end with you on your face. Just tap the app and the light is on before you have even reached the room. This is perfect for me as when my husband is offshore, I do get a little scared in the dark. Don’t judge me! So being able to put the lights on before entering the room really helped.
- At first I wasn’t sure what the point of having different colours was. However since playing around with it, it is proven to be a favourite for my 2 year old son. We can now turn the room blue and pretend to be swimming or change the colours around and have our own in house disco. I think this lightbulb would be a great highlight for children and we may just move to Gabriel room when he gets older.
- Installation is completely idiot proof. If I could install it then seriously anybody could.
- If you have Google Play or Amazon echo than your lights (any everything else Hive) can be controlled through a simple voice command.
- Now I want to buy lightbulbs & spotlights for every fitting in my house as well as an amazon echo so i can command the lights on just from speaking but my husband won’t let me!
The Active Heating Thermostat
After trying out the lightbulb and having the hub. I convinced my husband to change our thermostats to Hive. Our thermostats were long overdue an upgrade and I liked the reviews the Hive Active Heating Thermostat received. We bought 2 heating elements online (one for underfloor heating and one for radiators) and they arrived 2 days later. You have the option to install the thermostats yourself which is £100 cheaper. However we didn’t want to take any chance of mucking it up so we opted for the installation.
The Element made a huge difference to our heating. I could feel the house warm up straight away opposed to several hours, especially our underfloor heating. They have different settings depending on your preferences and energy requirements. As well as holiday mode to inform the device when you are away. The devices are aesthetically pleasing on our walls and I love that I can warm the house up before we arrive home with just a tap on my phone. Now I can relax in Dubai this November and be sure to arrive to a cosy home.
- Turning the heating on and off and adjusting is so easy. I can also schedule heating times right from the app.
- The Hive App tracks when you leave the house and when you are close to arriving home. This is great if you want to save on energy bills as it does not heat up unnecessarily.
- Hive is a British Gas innovation and is installed by qualified British Gas engineers
- The device ensures that the temperature never goes below 8°C thus protecting your pipes from frost.
- It doesn’t seem to track our energy consumption throughout the devices which I think would be a good option.
I am really happy with our Hive Products and would definitely look at investing into more of the products in the future. Hive’s Customer Service is impeccable and I like that they are a British company compared to its rivals. If you are interested in converting your home into a smart home then check out their website https://www.hivehome.com for more information. Be quick as they are having a deal where if you buy a heating element you get a free Amazon Echo Dot. I am gutted as I didn’t get this option and I dying to command my lights on!!!!!