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Hey Mi Fans!
So. I'll be honest, I'm more of a smartphone kind of fellow. Smartphones and Android. And MIUI, obviously. Therefore, a Smart Home set is kind of a new thing for me. I have never used this type of product before. Ever. So, I thought I'd do a different kind of review. Sure, I'll show you the box and what's in it. But, where a normal review would tell you how great a product is and how much better it is than every other product in its class, I'll try to give a review based on how easy this set is to set up and get started with. The reason being that there are other people who are far more qualified to give that kind of review and, as I've said, I have never used this kind of product. Also, I'm sure there are many people just like me. While we are all here, I'll try to show a couple of things that can be done with the the items that are supplied in the box. Sound good? Grand, let's go.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
The product is supplied in the usual sturdy cardboard box that you'd expect from any Xiaomi device. Inside, you'll find all the items neatly and securely placed.
Items supplied in the box are as follows:
1 - Motion Sensor (x2)
2 - Mi Control Hub (x1)
3 - Door/Window Sensor (x2)
4 - Mi Wireless Switch (x1)
Motion Sensor (2 supplied)
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Mi Control Hub
Door/Window Sensor (2 Supplied)
Mi Wireless Switch (1 Supplied)
SO, HOW DO WE SET IT UP? (AND, IS IT EASY?)
A very good question, so let's find out.
First, download the Mi Home app from the Play Store and install it on your smartphone. You can find it HERE. Next, take the Mi Control Hub from the box, plug it in and flick the switch. Then, open the app. You will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions (required), and the user experience program (optional). Next, you need to choose your region. The UK is available, but Hong Kong is
recommended, so I will go with that. When you have chosen your region, click the button in the top right.
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Next, you can give the app access to your location, storage and device info (all optional).
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Then, we need to sign in to the app with our Mi account details. Click on 'Sign In' with your details, and then we can get to the fun stuff.
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The app should scan for WiFi devices, and find the Hub. Click connect, and add the password for your WiFi network. You'll then need to select the room in which you have installed the Hub.
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When this is done, it becomes apparent how easy the items are to get set up, because all the other items in the box are automatically detected and are shown in my list of devices. Yes, ALL.
SO, LET'S DO SOMETHING.
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What I want to try and do, is make the light on the hub turn on when the motion detector senses movement, and turn off again after a set amount of time. This could be useful for a nightlight if a member of the family gets up during the night. But, how do we do it?
Select the motion sensor from the list of devices, and click Add Scenes. Select the first 'Add' and then select the Motion Sensor. Then Select 'Motion Detected'.
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Next, click the second 'Add' button. At the bottom, click the Mi Control Hub icon and then press 'Turn on Hub Light'. To finish, press the tick in the top right corner. All you need to do now is give your instructions a name and press OK.
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This is the first instruction and this will only turn on the light. To make the light turn off again, you need to go through the same instructuctions again, but this time instruct the light to turn off again after a fixed amount of time, in my case 2 minutes. As you can see from the next picture, I have 2 sets of instructions. One to turn the light on and the other to turn the light off again.
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The instructions worked well and the light came on when someone walked past, and turned off again after the instructed 2 minutes.
And, no-one can deny that it's a lovely colour.
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The colour of the light can easily be changed using the Hub settings.
Aditionally, the motion detector could be handy as an alarm that could sound if the it was activated, because the Control Hub also contains a speaker. Furthermore, the included wireless button can be used to manually turn the light on or off, among other things.
TRY SOMETHING ELSE.
OK. Next, I'm going to try and set up an alert if my front door is opened.
To do this I went through the same instructions again, but this time I used one of the door sensors and set the instruction to send a notification to my device. As you can see, the instruction worked perfectly.
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SO, IS IT EASY?
Well, yes. Very. If i'm honest, I'm not short of technical knowledge. That said, I did mention earlier that I have never used this kind of equipment before, and this is true. I'm aware that I haven't scratched the surface of what is achievable with this kit and the things that can be purchased seperately, but what I did do, was very easy. I did it without once looking at the guide that was supplied in the box as the app is very easy to use and as explained earlier, all the supplied devices were instantly connected to the Hub once it was connected to my WiFi.
All-in-all, this is a very nice set, and would be a great way to get into exploring what smart home technology is all about.
I will purchase a some smart bulbs at a later date, and either update this post, or create a new one on my findings. Is an item that wasn't supplied in this box going to be as easy to connect and operate? Stay tuned and we'll find out.
Are you looking to make your home a smart home?
Let us know your plans in the comments below.
But for now, that's all from me.
so, until next time,
This has been a