The days are bleak and grey in ‘Ole Blighty during the winter months. Twenty years in and this Trini girl hasn’t got used to how dark it gets at 3.30 pm. Now that we are all indoors for longer – thank you Corona – we are using more electricity because hubby is working from home and our children will be home schooling for the foreseeable future. Although it’s true they would normally end their day at 3:30pm; when we home school we try not to have a pressurised environment. They have regular breaks, so we are all still working when 4pm rolls around. I’ve been curious about Hive for some time, so when they approached us for a collaboration, it was a ‘yes’ from us. The timing was perfect, for the reasons I mentioned above. Here’s how we switched to smart and the surprising ways you might use a smart lighting system.
What is a Smart Device?
According to old faithful Wikipedia, a smart device is:
‘… an electronic device, generally connected to other devices or networks via different wireless protocols such as Bluetooth, Zigbee, NFC, Wi-Fi, LiFi, 5G, etc., that can operate to some extent interactively and autonomously.’
If you haven’t seen the adverts, let me tell you a bit about Hive. Hive is already servicing 1.9 million homes across the country. They are one of the nation’s favourite connected home providers. Their smart products include the award-winning Hive Active Heating and a range of plugs, sensors, light bulbs, indoor and outdoor cameras and thermostatic radiator.
Hive smart devices (i.e. devices, including the award-winning thermostat, connect so you can control your home:
- from anywhere, using your phone
- with your voice – Hive is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Home Kit
- using the award-winning Hive app you can connect all the Hive devices and get them talk to each other
Our Hive Starter Kit
We didn’t have a Hive Hub which is what connect all the Hive devices in the home. Hive sent us some products as a starter kit which is the perfect base to smart home. We received:
- 1 Hive Hub (value £80)
- 1 set of 3 cool to warm white lights (£29 for one £79 for three)
After the products were unboxed, Hubby connected the Hive Hub to our Virgin Home router. He then downloaded the app on his phone, registered an account with Hive via the app. Once the Hub has powered up, he connected to the Hub via the app using our unique code that was at the back of the Hub. When the Hub synchronized, he put the bulbs in, checked that they had power. Using the app on his phone, he searched for each blub and added them. We kept the names basic but you can name your lights however you wish. Have fun with it.
The entire set up took roughly 15 minutes from start to finish to connect and use the lights.
Connecting Hive to Google Home
Through the Google Home app, you add a new device, search for the Hive App and link your Hive account to it. Once it’s linked you can use it thought Google Home.
We were able to switch lights on, off and dim by percentages. 10% brightness in the hallway is perfect for evenings as we unwind and the kids go off to sleep in their rooms upstairs. They also have two smart light in their room. It gave the room a lovely cosy glow. After bedtime stories, the lights can be switched off remotely.
TOP TIP: To Combat the winter blues you can set up the smart lights in your bedroom and use the smart home app on your phone to set them to come on 15 minutes before you need to get up. Choose a soft blue light, which is found in natural daylight, and it will signal to your brain that it’s daytime.
The Benefits of Using Smart Lights
Smart lights are a good for savings. Sure, to start they are more expensive than regular bulbs but in it’s an investment. You see should see the savings in our bill, whether you pay monthly, quarterly or annually. The Hive lights are:
- 80% more energy efficient than traditional bulbs, making them far cheaper to run
- Don’t worry about forgetting to switch the lights off when you leave, because Hive lights can be controlled remotely from anywhere on your phone
- Protect your home while you’re on holiday by programming your lights to switch on and off automatically so that it appears someone is still in
Switching to smart couldn’t have been easier. It saves time, money and energy … literally.
Hive currently has an offer on for up to 30% off their bestselling products during. Sale ends 11th Jan 2021. Visit the Hive website for details.
Paid Partnership with Hive. All thoughts, opinions and images are our own.