Home automation can be a confusing process because of different protocols, compatibilities and requirements for each product, not to mention the cost of going Smart. However, you can automate your home without all that fuss, simply by using something less sophisticated, easy to install and cheaper, of course!
The SwitchBot allows you to use your existing appliances as smart ones. You can even use it to make the house seem occupied when you are away. Here is the SwitchBot review to Know more about it.
The company launched the SwitchBot and its compatible Hubs a while ago, which can integrate with IFTTT, Google Assistant/Home and Amazon Alexa. The company promised to include other platforms soon.
SwitchBot Hub and SwitchBot review
Let’s start by reviewing the main pros and cons of the SwitchBot.
- Easy installation in just seconds
- Compatibility with various buttons and switches
- Can be used to automate light switches, kitchen appliances, electronics and many other gadgets
- Gives you about 600 days of use, with its replaceable battery
- Scheduling function to switch the SwitchBot on/off, even if it’s not within Bluetooth range
- Integration with IFTTT, Google Assistant/Home and Amazon Alexa
- The SwitchBot and the hub aren’t pricey, they come for 29$ and 49$ respectively.
- No toggle or sequence, so you can’t pre-schedule more than one command
- The SwitchBot is bulky
- Can’t work with all products, as some faced problem while using it with roller shutter push and pull button
- It can work through Android App, but it could use some adjustment in the documentation and design
SwitchBot Hardware review
The small and box-shaped SwitchBots have a plastic frame, with a mechanical arm that swings up or down. It’s available in black and white colors.
Your SwitchBot comes with two 3M stickers for installation purpose, a small square sticker add-on with a fishing rod in the box.
It can be installed on almost any button or switch with average size, yet it doesn’t work with super thin or thick switches.
It can be used with light switches, kitchen appliances, electronics, indoor intercom and many other gadgets. It can be used with a smart door lock to allow you to enter your apartment without any keys, and remotely allow someone you trust to enter.
The SwitchBot stays in its place once installed, you can then connect it to your phone via Bluetooth, or via WiFi through a SwitchBot Hub to control it remotely.
You can push the button with your finger, so it doesn’t block manual control.
Actions that the SwitchBot can do are push, pull or hold the push or pull in place for a couple of seconds before going back to the idle position in the middle.
The arm hits the button to push it, it has 1.0 Kgf (kilogram-force) which is less than the 1.6 Kgf offered by the competing MicroBot Push. However, the SwitchBot is less expensive and smaller than the competition.
To use the SwitchBot to pull the button, you will need to connect the button to the arm with a small fishing rod and a sticker add-on attached to the arm which pulls the button using the rod when swinging up.
You can use the SwitchBot Hub as a Bluetooth-to-WiFi bridge for the SwitchBot, as it can receive and deliver commands to the Bots over Bluetooth.
The SwitchBot Hub comes in a cool cloud-shaped design, which can be mounted in the wall via the magnet on its back.
The Hub can be used as a night light, as it has a couple of multicolored LED lights. You can choose from 3 light settings; On, Off and Auto using the switch on the back of the hub. Also, the LEDs brightness can be reduced to your likings.
Setup and Android app
Adding a SwitchBot
Setting up the SwitchBot is easy and fast, you just have to install the app and grant it location permission and the bot will show in it.
To know if your Bots are connected to the Bluetooth, check the app for the signal indicating above each Bot you have. Also, there is a WiFi and Hub connection signal indicator.
You can assign a name for each Bot you have from the settings section, with the option to inverse the on/off direction. Also, you can check battery level, change the push or pull duration or schedule multiple timers for the Bots.
Adding a Hub
To add a Hub in the app you will have to create a SwitchBot account, you will then receive a confirmation code on your email to complete the sign-in process.
Choose “Add a Hub” from the side menu, it will detect the Hub immediately, then all you have to do is to enter your WiFi SSID and password to connect and control the Bots remotely.
Although the App is fast and easy to use, it could use some adjustments.
Smart Home integrations
To add your Bots to your Google Assistant or IFTTT, you have to enable each one separately from the Device List option in the app’s side menu which gives you control on which Bots you want.
- To enable Google assistant for your Bots, go to Assistant settings or the Google Home app and open “Home control partners”, you will find your Bots.
The Bots will be treated like any other smart light. You can use voice commands to turn the SwitchBots on/off via Google Home or any assistant devices.
- If you choose to use IFTTT integration, you can make the Bots turn the lights on/off whenever you enter/exit the room.
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At the end…
Because the SwitchBots can only handle 1.0 Kgf, it can’t work with some switches like the roller shutter wall switches. However, they work perfectly with regular buttons.
The SwitchBot doesn’t overtake the switch, so you will be able to use it manually, or you can remove it easily.
The Bots are reliable and easy to use with minimal errors. However, it would be nice if they come with more capabilities like programming a sequence.
The SwitchBot can be a great alternative to installing smart lights and appliances if you can’t make changes to space for any reason or you can’t afford to pay for all that smart products you need.
It comes with a great price compared to similar competing products, offering great value.