I have been using a few Switchots and a Switchbot Hub around my house for some time now to automate a few older electronics. Going into using a Switchbot I was not sure how I would like it as it seemed a bit gimmicky to me but shortly after starting to use them I saw the value and started to come up with more uses for them. Well, fast forward to recently and I decided to upgrade my Switchbot Hub to a Switchbot Hub Plus as it added IR control of devices to the ability to connect a Switchbot to the cloud.
- Combines multiple features
- Combines multiple communication protocols
- Solves problems where other solutions might fall short
- 360° IR Output
- IR setup is super easy for popular devices
- Still not a fan of the cloud design
- The light feature can come off a bit gimmicky
- Wish IR paired devices showed up on home app screen
One of my Switchbot uses is on an old television that I only have an Amazon Fire TV Stick connected to. The Switchbot turns the television on for me and all of my content control is done through an Amazon Echo Dot. The one thing I could not control was the television volume but I was okay with that as I very rarely use the television let alone change the volume. Well as I gained the ability to turn the television on using a Switchbot and an Amazon Echo Dot I began to use it more so I created the need to control the volume. This is where the Switchbot Hub Plus comes in as it takes all of the features of the Switchbot and adds IR control which can be learned into the hub utilizing the televisions existing remote.
A lot of home automation fanatics swear by the Harmony Hub, and while I agree it is a great device in this application it would have been a bit overkill for me. Once setup the Switchbot Hub Plus controls my television volume perfectly. In fact, I was even able to repurpose the Switchbot that used to turn that television on because I could turn it on through an IR command instead. That Switchbot now wakes up an Epson WorkForce WF-2860 that like to go to sleep every time I need to print something (which is not that often as I prefer most things digital).
Of course, IR has its limitations as the Switchbot Hub Plus needs line of sight to what it is controlling but that is just the nature of IR. I can see a lot of applications for IR control and I think a lot of hardware companies out there have the same vision as it seems like everyone is trying to get in on the game, just look at the Amazon Fire TV Cube. What I think sets the Switchbot Hub Plus apart, however, is not only its ability to connect Switchbots to the cloud but also its nightlight feature.
The night light feature is something that was in the original Switchbot Hub and in my review I mentioned how I did not see a great benefit in it but after using it with the Switchbot Hub Plus which is located in a bedroom to control the aforementioned television I am starting to come around to it as it can give me that little bit of light when I need it.
A lot of older devices that we might want to turn on with a Switchbot also have the ability to be controlled through IR and some of them may even be in places where attaching a Switchbot might not be possible or might not look right so using a Switchbot Hub Plus to do the controls through IR is a better solution and depending on application give you better control. The other great example of such an application might be a window air conditioner. Why just turn it on and off with a Switchbot when you can control all of its function with the Switchbot Hub Plus and put that Switchbot to a better use like turning on your coffee maker?
Once again Switchbot was nice enough to allow me to share a coupon with my readers so if you think you might have a need please feel free to use the below and save yourself some money.
Anyone using a Switchbot Hub Plus to control anything through IR? Let me know your thoughts and use cases in the comments below.
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.