I’ve already used most of the Eve products that support HomeKit and Thread, however, the Eve Aqua is still on my list. This is the latest version of Eve’s smart sprinkler and watering product that costs $99.95. That’s a bit more than some other basic smart sprinklers, although you can easily spend hundreds of dollars for a robust multi-zone system.
After using the Eve Aqua for the past two weeks, I’m confident enough to say it’s worth the price if you have an Apple HomeKit smart home. Doubly so if you have a HomePod mini that acts as a Thread router.
Although I found a few minor issues, the Eve Aqua is super for automating sprinklers or hoses, keeps your usage data secure, and has a nifty weather integration to keep you from wasting water.
In the box, you get the Eve Aqua, a pair of AA batteries, and a hose adapter in case you need it.
Setup is your typical “scan and configure” approach with HomeKit: Using the Home app on an iOS device, you scan a QR code, choose where in the Home the device will be and that’s it. The setup process is done over Bluetooth and after two small firmware updates, the Eve Aqua automatically connected to my Thread network.
As a refresher, Thread is a mesh device-to-device protocol. A Thread Border Router, such as the HomePod mini, can move data from Thread devices to the cloud so you have remote access and control to the devices. There’s no need for a separate bridge, adapter, or WiFi radio inside most Thread devices based on the protocol.
Having said that, I of course left my home network after setup and tried to remotely turn the Eve Aqua on.
I know it worked even though I wasn’t home because my wife called and asked me if I left the hose on. I also know because the Eve app shows water data usage. You can specify the water flow rate of your sprinkler in the Eve app for the most accurate usage metrics.
Of course at home, you can use either the Eve or Home app to turn the water on or off. And there’s a single button on the front face of the Eve: Press it to control the water. I will say the motor inside of the Eve Aqua is a bit loud for my tastes. However, more often than not, I’m not standing outside near it.
Once in the Eve app, you can set custom schedules for every day of the week, for example, in a “Program”.
Multiple programs are supported.
This is also where you’ll see data such as how long since the Eve Aqua last watered something and the water consumption, or change the default watering duration.
I live in a townhouse and don’t have much to water but all of my programmed water schedules ran without a hitch.
It’s worth a quick note to mention that all of the schedules and your watering data are stored locally on the Eve Aqua. That not only secures your usage data but also allows the Aqua to work during an internet outage.
It was a little finicky to set up because the custom shortcut from Eve is currently considered “untrusted”. However, I really wanted to try it because it’s a great example of using connected technologies for a better smart home experience.
Essentially, once the shortcut is added, you can ask Siri to “check watering”.
Siri will then look at your local weather to see the percentage chance of rain. If it’s above a certain threshold you can configure (the default is 50%), the shortcut will skip watering.
Note that if you check the weather before noon and rain is incoming, the Eve Aqua will pause watering for the rest of the day. If you check after noon, it will pause through noon the following day.
I was able to use the shortcut with Siri but it would error out when trying to pause watering for the day. I suspect this will be fixed soon, though, or could be something specific to me. Regardless, during the shortcut setup process, you can add 2 preset scenes to pause or unpause the water with a button tap.
Aside from my shortcut issue and the motor noise, the Eve Aqua impresses.
It works reliably on a schedule, provides useful information about your water consumption for the outdoors, and keeps your data local on the device, which a key element of most Eve products. If you have a HomeKit and Thread smart home (or will in the near future) and need a smart sprinkler, I think you’ll be happy.
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Which Smart Home Heating Should You Choose?
Not all smart heating control systems are suited for every lifestyle and home, with some more and less beneficial than others. SMART stands for ‘Self-Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology’, and differs from standard heating controls by allowing you to control every aspect of your heating schedule from either a phone or tablet. Although room thermostats and timers allow you to control each room instead of your whole home, as long as you have internet access, smart home heating devices let you control your heating from your phone, no matter where you are in the world.
Today, we’re running through 7 of the best smart heating thermostats and systems, comparing features, benefits and what type of home they’re most suitable for.
– 7 day, & 5/2 day scheduling with a pre-configured schedule included
– Choice of up to 4 time periods a day
– Minimum On-Time & Cycle Rate settings ensuring compatibility with many boilers
– Table stand for ease of positioning
– Alert messages to assist fault-finding with a fail-safe mode
– Wireless technology makes upgrading easier and the installation time shorter with less wiring involved
– Homes that require high levels of automatic control that provide significant energy efficiency for a wide range of boilers and systems.
– Single Heating Zone Control
– 7 Day, 5/2 Day, or 24 Hour Control
– Programmable Room Thermostat
– Easily Programmed With The Associated App
– Homes that are just starting to take the first steps into using smart home heating
– Homes that need a single heating zone control
– Homes that have either combination or standard boiler systems
– Touch-screen interface simplifies scheduling, changing and overriding temperature
– Location-based programming (geo-fencing) adds an automated layer of control, adjusting the customer’s home heating based on their location
– Scheduling features include 7 and 5/2 day bespoke scheduling with up to 6 time periods a day
– Simple flip-up wiring bar for easy access and an easy-to-install boiler or zone valve interface
– Direct wall mounting or wall-box mounting
– Optimisation features include optimum start and stop & delayed start boiler control. Allows the thermostat and boiler to work more efficiently together
– Homes with any boiler and almost every heating system
– Homes with 230V on/off OpenTherm appliances (gas boilers, combi boilers and heat pumps)
– Ability to control water temperature and heating
– Self-learning functions to make every experience a unique one, helping it to understand your home’s needs
– Using a smart weather compensation feature and weather data, the vSMART can tell your boiler how hard it has to work to get your home to your required temperature
– You can connect multiple vSMART controllers to one app
– Homes with Valliant ecoTEC system/open vented boilers
– Households that want to be able to control water temperature from anywhere too
– A 7-day full programmer that gives great flexibility offering up to three on/off switchings per day
– LoT display, providing text feedback that gives help and programming hints
– Automatic Summer/Winter 1 hour time change
– Choice of 3 different built-in programmes
– ‘Holiday’ button
– Homes with heating and stored hot water in complete systems
– Homes with older gravity circulation stored hot water systems, where there’s no interlocking control valve
– Households with different heating needs from day-to-day
– One channel thermostat system with two radiator thermostats to start zoning your system
– Smart heating & hot water control
– Quick & simple to install using an industry-standard backplate
– Easy Zoning with the addition of extra Wiser Radiator Thermostats
– Homes with combination boilers
– Households that want to start a zoned system to control individual zones within the home
– Automatic time and temperature control of domestic heating premises
– Optimum Start, Optimum Stop and Delayed Start
– No installer links or switches on the back of the unit means no adjustment is required for combi boilers and most central heating systems
– Scheduled maintenance alert
– Automatic Summer/Winter time change
– Up to four independent time & temperature settings
– Auto, manual, holiday, override and off (frost) modes
– Domestic premises
– Most central heating systems and combi boilers
For more smart home heating controls, check out our full range today at MonsterPlumb. If you’re not interested in smart technology when it comes to controlling the heating and water temperature in your home, take a look at our selection of heating controls and valves.
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