Home DIY Home Improvements The smartest home on the block with Hive Home automation

The smartest home on the block with Hive Home automation

by Leanne

Sponsored postI really, really resisted the whole “smart home” movement. I always thought home automation seemed nice in theory, but I never really saw much of a benefit in my life. So, for years I have held out and ignored all smart home pitches that landed in my inbox, happily flipping light switches on and off *with my own hands*, setting a program on my thermostat and literally *leaving it set for a decade* {true story}, and piling on the blankets when I discovered I was up later than the thermostat was set for.

I was basically living like a cave man.

Hive HomeThen Hive approached me and explained about the Hive Home Automation system and I finally saw the benefit. It was a whole house system all on one app that could control everything with just a smartphone. No need to have a thermostat on one app, some window and door sensors on another, and then smart plugs and lights on yet another app. One app all together to create one super smart house.

Hive components are all purchased as part of a service package offered by Hive, which also offers some added functionality. So, how does the Hive smart home system work? There are 4 different Hive Home plans that you can choose from, with services starting from $9.99 per month all the way to $24.99 per month.

The base of the system: The Hive Hub

Each package starts with the Hive Hub, which is the brains of the system. This Hub is basically a small square box that connects into your wi-fi router that magically links all your Hive products together.

My husband did all the installation so it was literally months after he had set it all up when I finally saw the Hive Hub for the first time as we were adding a new device. Embarrassingly, it was also 10 feet from my desk and I hadn’t even noticed it. So, bonus: it’s unobtrusive. You basically “set it and forget it”, kinda like I did with my thermostat up until now. Hive HUBSetting up the sensors for the system is somewhat tedious as each new device has to be switched on and discovered by the Hive Hub through the Hive app. Fortunately it only took the hub a few seconds to find each of the devices as they are added, so it’s fairly quick to set up. And, like I said, you only have to set it up once, so this is a one-time process before the first use, but after it’s set you’re up and running. Hive Hub
The Hive Active Thermostat

WINTER IS COMING. And, apparently this means I’m freezing all the time. So, the Hive Active Thermostat is my favorite part feature of the Welcome Home Plan because I can turn up the heat when I’m up working all hours of the night. I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I could roll over and turn up the heat right from bed when we were off schedule and the house had already started to cool down for the day. This right here makes the whole thing so worth it. Hive ThermometerAnd, since I previously had done a decade’s worth of scheduling in one sitting, I’m sure the Hive is going to be quite the energy and money saver in our home. The first week or so was a little bit of an adjustment as we got used to the thermostat and I found myself cold a lot more than normal, so it was nice to be able to change the setting right from my phone as I realized that our heating plan needed a minor tweak. So much more efficient than making notes to remember to change the schedule and temperature when I can do it right on the app.

Hive Window and Door Sensor

The Window/Door Sensor is made up of two parts: one part attaches to the door and one part connects to the frame using sticky strips. When any Hive connected door or window is opened or closed, it will send an alert and it will even tell you how long it was opened. Hive door sensorWith three young kids, I love that Hive Window/Door Sensor. Knowing as soon as I can is key in keeping kids safe, and I love that I can make sure they aren’t opening all the doors and windows and then running off to play somewhere else. It might even prevent me from prematurely becoming my grandparents and yelling about heating the outside and all that. For the record, I said *might*.

Hive Active Plug

This little guy is what you can use to turn boring old appliances into smart appliances by plugging them into smart outlets. With the holidays quickly approaching, I am so looking forward to using our Hive Active Plug for our holiday lights and for turning our tree lights off and on. No more crawling under the tree to find the right plug. I can even set a schedule for when the tree turns off and on. Hive PlugHive Motion Sensor

Need a notification BEFORE the door or window is open? Then the Motion Sensor is your best friend. The Motion Sensor watches for movement on a shelf or while attached to a wall and can let you know when it picks up motion in a 94-degree field of view.

Hive Smart Bulb

The Hive Smart Bulb plugs into a normal socket like any other light bulb. But, that’s where it sheds its normal facade and becomes a smart bulb. Once connected it can then be turned on or off or dimmed via the app, or changed from warm to cool. Hive light

The Hive app

The Hive Home app provides a clear overview of the status of each of the sensors, temperature, and a quick overview of everything in your smart home. You can see when the door was last opened or the last time the motion sensor saw activity, and of course you can turn devices on or off.

The Actions tab can allow you set up various alerts for each action. You can set it so alerts are only sent during particular times and not others to avoid getting a barrage of emails and notifications while hosting a dinner party at your home. Since you typically only want to know what is happening in your house when you aren’t there, I love that you can set it so those alerts are only sent during the periods when the home is empty.

IFTTT

Once you get the hang of the app and the Hive system, you can start playing with the If This, Then That functions that can build what Hive calls Actions. These Actions allow you to build simple sets of commands based on the sensors– for example turning up the heat if the smartphone reenters the house, turning it off again when it leaves. Or you can set it so a light comes on if the motion detector spots movement, or you can have your coffee maker automatically flip on when the door opens. This helps customize the system to your personal needs and make your smart home YOUR smart home.

Alexa, can you…. make my home even smarter?

Too hard to open the app and control your house? Connect an Alexa and you can control your home simply with your voice. That’s Jetsons level awesome, right?

More to come

Hive is a relatively new company and is working hard on developing the newest must-haves and didn’t-even-know-you-wanteds. They just launched a camera {which unfortunately requires a separate app, but is super cool nonetheless} and I’m dying to try a set out. Would-be theives: you should know that we already have a camera system, I would just like a system that works with the Hive Home we already love.

Hive is also releasing a Leak Sensor for your plumbing and an updated Hub that can listen for sounds like a smoke alarm going off in the near future. How cool is that?

We love the Hive Home so far and cannot wait for what comes next for the company. I love the ability to connect to devices together into chains of actions and it has some really cool home monitoring capabilities. We’re already having tons of fun with the Hive products and cannot wait to add more now that they have an add-on feature so I can pick and choose what devices to add to our current system.

Learn more at the Hive Home website. You can find out about specific add-ons, plan details, and everything Hive can do!

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1 comment

Tabathia B November 9, 2017 - 7:26 pm

I like the concept of hive, still curious on how it works. But don’t care for the monthly fee.

Reply

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