To start this Switchbot review, I need to tell you why the Switchbot device has completed my smart home. Ideally, I want to wake up in the morning and let my Lenovo smart clock and Google assistant turn on the main heater. This is what we call the “main heater”. That means I don’t have to freeze on the way to the living room every morning. Unfortunately, so far, I can’t add it to my smart home settings, but thanks to the Switchbot robot, I can now.
Switchbot is a small electric switch that connects to your smart home through an affordable hub, allowing you to connect to Google home, Amazon Alexa, Ifttt and Siri shortcuts. Essentially, the Switchbot is a small robot that can actually press a button for you. It’s amazing!
Table of Contents
What can Switchbot do?
Switchbolt is a few examples of how to use Switchbot in the home:
If you already have a robot vacuum cleaner, but the Switchbot is not connected to Wi Fi, you can use the Switchbot to start the cleaning cycle of the vacuum cleaner when you leave home. This can be achieved by integrating smartphone and ifttt as status sensors and triggering Switchbot to press the vacuum start button when the homeowner leaves the house with his smartphone.
Many families have heating/cooling systems and need special thermostats, which can not be replaced by intelligent thermostats. Switchbots can add intelligent features to proprietary thermostats in a variety of ways, including:
When there is no one at home, Switchbot will return the thermostat to its original position;
Use a Switchbot thermometer and hygrometer to monitor the temperature in the home and adjust the heat when the temperature is too low and there is a risk of pipe freezing.
In the morning, when the Alexa device is used as an alarm clock to wake up the homeowner, it triggers a pod-based coffee pot to make a cup of coffee. This can be achieved by integrating Alexa Ifttt channel and the Switchbot Ifttt channel.
Many people want to control their smart home through voice commands, but they also want to ensure their privacy. Switchbots can be placed on Amazon echo at home and press the mute button when privacy is needed. Triggering these Switchbots a second time will unmute Amazon echo.
Although Switchbots can be used to automatically control paddle light switches, it is more meaningful to simply replace the existing light switches with intelligent light switches. The price of many smart light switches is similar to that of Switchbot, and the results will be more beautiful. However, Switchbot is very suitable for making your apartment or other rental property smart. Here you can’t change the light switch without violating the lease agreement. Switchbots can be connected to the paddle light switch and changed to a smart switch. Then, when the lease expires, you can remove the Switchbot without damaging the switch.
Switchbots can be used to automatically operate the window air conditioner so that the Switchbot can be turned on when your home is occupied and turned off when there is no one in your home.
Switchbot operation (with optional Switchbot hub) can be integrated with the company’s thermometer and hygrometer. For example, in a vacation home that is not always occupied, a thermometer and hygrometer can be used to monitor the temperature in the home. If the temperature in the home drops and there is a risk of pipe freezing, Switchbot can be triggered to turn on the heat in the home.
I also saw some comments on the Internet that people use Switchbots to automatically operate devices. If they do not replace devices with intelligent versions, these devices should not operate automatically. For example, Switchbot can be used to press a button to open / close an electric garage door. This is very unsafe. The garage door opener should have a safety function of automatic reversing, which can prevent injury to others when the Switchbot is closed. However, closing the garage door without being present may lead to tragedy if the door is closed to children and the automatic reverse is not adjusted correctly. The intelligent garage door operator has built-in audible and visual alarm to sound when the garage door is closed remotely to minimize this risk.
Using Switchbots for hands-on operation
The first thing to remember is that Switchbot is a small battery driven device, and Switchbot can only produce limited key force. According to the Switchbot website, they can produce a torque strength of 1.0kgf. I don’t have a dynamometer to verify this, but I did see some comments on the Internet that Switchbot is closer to. 8kgf. In any case, the message to take home is that the force generated by Switchbot is limited. Switchbot can press the buttons on a standard paddle light switch, but don’t expect more.
Equally important, Switchbots require a ¾“ x 1- ½” Flat area so that 3M adhesive pad can adhere. Not every switch you might want to automate has this feature. If the surface of the Switchbot is curved, fixing it to the device you want to automate may require some creativity.
The good news is that the Switchbot works exactly as designed.
Switchbot provides a reliable solution to automatically control older, stupid devices at the push of a button. When used with the optional Switchbot hub, the application allows homeowners to create the following scenarios:
Switchbot Pros and Cons
- You can define the rules to trigger Switchbot according to the readings of thermometer and hygrometer;
- You can operate multiple Switchbots based on a single trigger;
- Switchbot can operate according to the schedule;
- You can define the operation time of the scene, for example, only the scene that operates the light switch is allowed to turn on the switch at night.
- When using the evaluation toolkit provided by Switchbot, the only problem I encountered was during the initial setup of the new Switchbot. If I use the Switchbot application on my phone to connect to the new Switchbot through Bluetooth, I find that I can’t connect the Switchbot to the cloud using the Switchbot hub. Restarting the Switchbot application fixes this problem. This is a small worry that will be solved soon.
- Using Switchbot with devices that require multiple button presses is a challenge. For example, using a Switchbot to lower/raise the thermostat’s setpoint when you leave and then arrive home later is not easy because you cannot define a scene by pressing down the same Switchbot multiple times. On most thermostats, adjusting the setpoint (e.g., 5 degrees) requires pressing the raise or lower button five times. To realize automation, a smart home hub connected to ifttt is required to trigger ifttt applet five times and send five separate key commands to Switchbot. A better way is to let the smart home hub trigger the ifttt applet once. Then, the Switchbot scenario triggered by the applet will handle the pressing of multiple buttons. The current design adds a certain degree of complexity and scheduling, and Switchbot should serve customers.
- If the hub goes offline, most cloud services connected to the hub send notifications to the homeowner. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Switchbot cloud services and hubs. As mentioned earlier, if you are using a Switchbot connected to a thermostat to protect your home from pipeline freezing and your hub is offline, your pipeline may freeze because the link between Switchbot and ifttt does not work. Sending a notification when there is a problem with the Switchbot hub prevents the Switchbot from becoming a trusted system when you perform critical operations at home.
- I would like to see the ability to plug wired sensors into thermometers and hygrometers so that the device can be used to monitor conditions in refrigerators, freezers or other environmental control enclosures that may prevent Bluetooth communication of the device.
- Finally, I’d like to see the ability to power the Switchbot and thermometer hygrometer through a wired connection to a plug-in power supply. In most cases, the Switchbot’s battery is more convenient, but if it is used to protect the critical operation of the family, the wired power connection supported by the battery is more reliable.
- In general, Switchbot is a cheap, easy-to-use and valuable problem-solving tool that can be used to intelligentize existing homes. Like duct tape, Switchbot is not new, but it can solve many problems.
Switchbot is a $29 smart home hub for adding additional features to Switchbot devices and making your remote control intelligent. You can watch video reviews on my YouTube channel.
Switchbot is a way to add voice control and out of office control to Switchbot devices, while allowing you to control any infrared remote control through your mobile phone.
How do I install Switchbot?
The Switchbot hub Mini is very small with round edges. Switchbot has a status light that you can disable and power through a microusb cable.
Switchbot uses Bluetooth to connect to your existing Switchbot device and to your home WiFi for voice control and out of office access. It is worth noting that to make the Switchbot work with the remote control, the Switchbot must be in the same room as the device you want to control (because infrared works like this!) It also needs to be within the Bluetooth range of Switchbot devices, which you want to control through voice / out of office.
Setting up a hub is simple… You can download the Switchbot application, click the Add button, and then follow the instructions. From then on, you can adjust the settings in other Switchbot devices to allow cloud access.
What is the effect of Switchbot?
In terms of its operation, we should discuss three main features of Switchbot.
Out of office control
Using the hub, you can control the Switchbot device from anywhere… It works well every time, great!
The center allows you to add voice control to your device through Alexa, Google assistant, Siri shortcuts, and ifttt. Similarly, although the Alexa command needs to be preceded by the phrase “open”, which means that the command “Alexa, open TV” will appear at the end of the scene of turning on the TV, which is a little cumbersome, but it is effective every time (different from Samsung’s official Alexa skill).
Remote control mirror
This feature allows you to set up any existing remote control using your device, which can then be operated from your phone. It’s easy to set up. Just provide a few “one click Settings” options for devices such as TV, and then you can manually add the missing buttons. The interface of the remote controller is not the most beautiful, but (and importantly) the Switchbot can work every time, which makes the Switchbot a good substitute for the harmony center..
Finally, I want to talk about the considered scenario in the Switchbot application. They can be operated on a timer (e.g. 3 p.m.) or activated manually, and you can even mark commands together… For example, you can turn on a light and coffee machine, or (in my case) turn up the TV volume, and Switchbot will turn up the volume four times. Then, you can also link these scenarios to the voice control service.
The kit is designed for (please note that the Switchbot hub Mini is necessary for the work of the kit and needs to be sold separately)
This is very good for the ecosystem. From a safety point of view, the device can be controlled to randomly open and close the curtains, or used to connect the thermometer / hydrometer to check the temperature or close/open other functions of other connected equipment.
Make your curtains intelligent in a few seconds, and also make your existing curtains motorized and automated. The installation time is 30 seconds. Schedule time, touch and start.
Switchbot’s marketing team may take legal action. In my opinion, this is false marketing that does not give the whole truth and is making customers fail.
The process includes opening the box, reading the instructions, downloading the application through the QR code, registering the account, waiting for the Switchbot verification code through e-mail, physically setting the Switchbot curtain, setting the application on the mobile phone, and configuring and calibrating the curtain. Nevertheless, please read the 48-page installation guide and charge the kit for 10 hours. If you take a shortcut, do not read the manual, Please press and hold the contact button for 15 seconds to prepare for “multiple factory resets”. All this is installed in 30 seconds!
Charging takes 10 hours, and once charged, it can last up to 8 months according to the use. Another option to minimize the charging demand for the kit is to purchase (sold separately) Switchbot solar panels, which will reduce the charging demand. The kit is equipped with a modern USB C charging cable. If it is not used for the solar panel option, the power source group can be connected to the Switchbot curtain overnight, so that the Switchbot curtain does not need to be removed from its hanging position. This is a real positive factor for smart home. Other devices are equipped with standard batteries that can be easily replaced as needed.
Once a simple configuration is made, this will mirror the temperature in the room into your application. If the temperature drops below a certain temperature, it is an ideal choice for setting an alarm. For example, it can be configured as a children’s bedroom for action. A hygrometer is used to measure the humidity of the air. For maximum heating efficiency and comfort, the humidity level should be between 30% and 50%. In summer, up to 55% is tolerable. This is noteworthy if the elderly are monitored. The temperature of the thermometer changes slowly. It takes about 10 minutes to return to normal temperature when the refrigerator is placed below 2 ° C in the kitchen. Compared with the other two thermometers, the thermometer seems to be correct. The Switchbot does keep a record that can graphically display the temperature and export the temperature of a day, a week, a month or a year as needed.
Mini Switchbot hub
This is necessary to allow the technology to connect the smart home to the router and remotely to devices such as Alexa. This is because many products do not support connecting from routers on 5g, and currently do not support WEP and WPS (as described in Switchbot), which makes users vulnerable to attacks. If you cannot connect immediately the first time you connect, you may need a technician to log in to your router and configure the firewall rules for troubleshooting.
The remote control may be the most commonly used item with simple functions, which are configured through the application. For example, the top button press = close and the bottom button = open. Similarly, it is described in the manual, but configured through the application. This is the ideal configuration without any applications, phones, Wi Fi, etc. Just press the button to turn it on or off. After configuration and calibration, the button works without fault.
The application of Switchbot
The application of Switchbot has been downloaded more than 100000 times, and 2.8 points have been obtained in 5 downloads. This rating is not good, but it may usually be caused by older versions of software or bugs. In my opinion, I think this is a fair result, because there are various problems in the initial setup of the application (although I tried on the old phone – an error occurred when trying to forget the password – an error was detected, and an error verification error was detected). In terms of details, the use of code jargon must meet the regular expression mode.) This is reused on newer Android phones and works technically with FAQs, but takes a lot of time on attempts and errors (so read the manual and application details to avoid hours of invalid setup time)
Once the application is installed, controlling the configuration of curtains or other devices becomes the standard for adding new products. There are challenges in determining how to link one product to another. Various video links in this field can be viewed online through FAQs.
Since 2016, Switchbot has appeared as a series of labels. We help you create a comfortable home through innovative smart home products. I agree (once their app changes) https://switch-bot.com/
My biggest dissatisfaction with Switchbot is the statement of “30 second installation”. This is an application. Switchbot still needs some work and manuals. In my opinion, these work and manuals are written by people whose English is not their native language. Despite the above provisions, the product works well once installed and has become the focus of many visitors.
They are impressed by the simplicity of the device, which can be used through applications, or configured remotely, or connected through various smart home options (such as Alexa). Similarly, the simple operation has been completed. Manually pull one curtain, touch start, and close / open the two curtains as needed to ensure the balance of opening / closing the two curtains as needed. Remote control or touch & amp; After go is installed, no smartphone is required and no wiring is required. Maintaining a standard brand in a smart home ecosystem is another positive factor.
Switchbot can ensure that you will not be bothered by a large number of applications that need to be configured when you change your mobile phone or perform smart reset. If it is set by young people and calibrated to make it easy to use curtains, and you can see the temperature of the room when you go out, it is an ideal choice for the elderly. Once the nuances of your Switchbot application and settings are updated, it can be a huge winner.