When the nice man from MiHome got in touch with me, promising some exciting new innovations in plug-socket technology, I was hesitant. Whilst our home is chock-full of electrical items, I was pretty sure that if you’ve seen one plug, you’ve seen them all.
Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating for effect here – he actually explained it pretty well, but I immediately dismissed it as “boring” and moved on to my next email.
When I actually took time to read what he was offering, though, I changed my mind. Energenie and MiHome make a bunch of clever energy-related products, with the aim of allowing people like you and I to see how much energy our appliances and electricals are actually using.
But it doesn’t just stop there – after all, you can find out the depressing reality about how much energy your kettle uses, but will it actually stop you from making a cup of coffee in the morning? Probably not.
Recognising that perhaps the depression-inducing realities of your energy consumption are probably a bit of a novelty, the MiHome range (we reviewed their remote-control sockets and the hub which links them) does a whole lot more clever stuff. Here’s the rundown of what we’ve discovered so far:
- You can control your sockets remotely, through the MiHome smartphone app. You could literally switch off your TV from somewhere else, if that’s your thing.
- You can set up ‘routines’ – i.e. you can put certain sockets on timer, allowing you to control when they are on and off on a routine basis.
- You can see the energy usage of any item plugged in, including the average usage per hour/day, the approximate cost of the energy (provided you program your tariff in) and where your spikes are.
- You can geo-fence certain items – in other words, set them to go on (or off) only when you are within a certain distance from them. Ideal if you want the kettle on and ready when you get home!
- You can even link your system up to the ‘If This, Then That‘ protocol, which means you could set a certain appliance to come on if a certain thing happens – like if the weather hits a certain temperature, or even if somebody tags you on Facebook (hey, I’m not one to judge!)
The whole system is mega-easy to set up (every socket comes with a QR code which you scan into the app) and works on your existing wifi network. We were sent a few sockets and a hub to try, but I’ll definitely be buying some more items to add to the network, now that I’ve got it set up.
If you’re at all curious about your home (or office!) energy usage, I’d highly recommend gadgets like these. Definitely keepers in our house.