Smart homes are all the range today, and despite there being a range of smart home devices and technologies available today, there is still a barrier to entry that exists between people really getting into setting up their own smart home.
Devolo aims to change that with their Home Control system and in particular, their Home Control Starter Pack.
The pack has been designed to provide you with everything that you need to get set up with a smart home, it includes a smart hub controller, a door/window sensor, and a smart plug, providing everything you need to get started in one box.
The idea of this system is to be easy to use and easy to install.
First, you need to connect the Devolo Home Control hub to your internet connection, for which, you have a couple of options. Sadly, it can’t connect over WiFi, however, you can get it connected to your router over an Ethernet cable, or you can use an existing powerline network in your home, which is pretty cool.
I already had Devolo’s powerline kit in my home, so I started with that but I have read that you can use powerlines from other manufacturers, and you should because that will make the install super easy while keeping it moveable and expandable.
Once connected, you need to set up an account on Devolo’s website, which will automatically detect the hub in your home and get things set up. All you have to do is press a button on the unit.
Now you are ready to install your devices.
Devolo has ensured that the process of doing this is as easy as the setup and so they have included a number of short videos on the dashboard that provides step-by-step instructions on how to set up each unit.
As you install these devices, you will need to give them a name and tell the dashboard the room that they are in.
In order to get you started, Devolo has included two devices that people typically use when they first start creating their smart home in their starter kit, the door/ window contact sensor and a smart plug.
Both of these are pretty easy to install and setup. Click the device that you are setting up on the Home Control dashboard and follow the instructions shown.
From there you simply need to place the device where you want it. For the smart plug this is pretty easy, just plug it in (you will need to do that in order to set it up of course), for the door/window sensor things aren’t as simple, however, it’s still easy.
Either stick or screw the main unit of the sensor to the frame of your door, either at the top or sides, whichever you prefer. You then need to place the magnet a couple of centimetres within the sensor in order to the sensor the detect if the door is opened or closed.
You can test the range of this before sticking these onto your door by placing them close to each other, if detected, the motion sensor will flash with a red light.
From here, you are ready to sense when a door is opened is closed, but it does a little more than just that. The sensor can also detect temperature and light levels within the room that it is in, which is actually pretty cool as it makes it really useful, even when you don’t need motion detection.
Devolo has also indicated that they are looking to integrate Home Control with other smart home devices, however, at the moment, Home Control is only working with Philips Hue. That said, Hue is a pretty common smart home device and with the integration, you get some pretty nice integration with Home Control’s rules and scenes.
They do have integrations with other devices via websites or Z-Wave, however, it’s not as sleek as the Hue integration. And Devolo has a number of other devices that work with Home Control and we are going to talk about below.
Devolo Home Control Radiator Thermostat
One of the coolest devices that Devolo has in their Home Control line is their Radiator Thermostat, which provides individual heating control on a per room basis, which might appeal more to the people who don’t want a single system that devices like Nest provide.
Sadly, you do need multiple of these in order to get whole home smart heating, or you could just set it in the rooms that you change temperature the most, such as in your bedroom.
Of course, that doesn’t solve the biggest issue with this device and that is that your boiler will actually take precedence over your radiators unless you have an integrated unit. They are also pretty expensive at £60.
That said, once integrated, they provide easy to control radiator heating, without having to fiddle with any knobs, just load up the app.
Devolo Home Control Room Thermostat
If you do prefer physical control then you might be interested in Devolo’s Room Thermostat.
This is a singular control unit that you can stick or screw onto your wall, or place on the side and then use the buttons on the front to manage the heating in that room.
You can link this with a select few radiators in your home, an entire floor of your home, or to a single heater via the app. You can also make it control other devices that are plugged into the smart plug.
Devolo Home Control Siren
If you want to set up your smart home with a full security system then the Home Control Siren from Devolo might be another thing that you might want to add on.
This is a smart siren that can link up with the other devices in your smart home and then be set to alarm homeowners and those around your house of any potential damage, water damage or burglaries, simply link it up to one of Devolo’s other Home Control devices in the app.
And this is all from a pretty small siren that sounds off at 110 decibels without a need for fixed power thanks to its 24-hour battery life.
Devolo Home Control Motion Sensor
One of the devices that you can link to the motion sensor, which is a small device that you can stick on your wall and then set to trigger something when it senses movement. It will also let you know about the temperature and light levels around it.
Devolo Home Control Water Sensor
They also have a water sensor that looks similar to the motion sensor but instead of motion, it detects water, as the name suggests.
It is pretty much the same as the motion sensor at the top but features a lead with a couple of prongs at the bottom. These prongs touch the floor and can be configured to detect water and alert you about that.
Devolo Home Control Humidity Sensor
The Humidity Sensor also looks similar to both of these devices, however, it detects humidity and temperature, aside from that, it is pretty much the same.
Devolo Home Control Key Fob
One of the devices that I really liked in the Home Control line up was the Key Fob.
This is a pretty cool portable controller that feature four programmable buttons on a keychain device, you can use these four buttons to do pretty much anything that you want from within the app.
Set it to control individual devices, deactivate your alarm or just control an entire scene.
Devolo Home Control Wall Switch
You can also use Devolo’s Home Control Wall Switch for this same purpose, however, instead of being a portable keychain, it is a wall switch that runs on batteries and sticks to your wall.
It can be configured with either two or four buttons.
From the app you can also setup up your own scenes, schedules, rules, and groups to make all of your devices smarter with scenes to combine various item into one group and set a scene with multiple devices simultaneously, schedules to make this automatic, rules to create various If and And statements to make something happen if something else happens, such as if a door opens after a certain time, turn on the outside lights.
And Devolo has also launched a mobile version of this dashboard on iOS and Android, which allows you to do all of this on your phone and receive alerts about what is happening in your home.
So after all of that, you are probably wondering if you should pick one of these systems up.
Sadly, the answer to that isn’t as simple as it may seem. If you are looking for a system that makes things simple for you to set up, without having to research different brand for your needs then this might be a good option for you.
On top of that, if you already have a powerline system, this would be a great way of expanding upon that.
And since it all supports Z-Wave, you can definitely expand this system much further than just Devolo’s offering.
That said, there are some other great options out there and so we would definitely recommend researching the best option for you before you lock in.
Disclosure: Devolo sent us samples of the Home Control kit items for the purpose of this review.