I have been a user of Hive Smart Heating system for over year and love how I can control it via my PC, phone or Amazon Alexa. Hive is not just about smart heating, they have a range of smart home solutions some of which I am looking at in this video. I am going to be looking at Hive blub called Hive Active Light, Hive View camera and Hive sensor.
I am also going to be looking at Hive’s smart actions for automating your smart home. I will look how automate things like sensor to switch on a light or the camera can turn on your heating.
Hive’s new camera the Hive View is an elegant designed cube shaped camera that comes with a magnetic stand. Its battery powered and the USB charger plugs into the stand. Getting it setup is simple; I set it up via the Hive app on my phone, which used Bluetooth to send over my home Wifi settings. Once up and running you can control the camera via the Hive app.
The camera can record or stream at 720p or 1080p. It also has a night vision mode for viewing in dark conditions. It also has a microphone for the audio. One setup you can view the camera feed from anywhere in real time from any of the Hive app or website.
You can have the camera alert you when it detects a person. You can set it to alert you at certain times so you are not bombarded with alerts every time you walk past the camera. It can send you a notification via Email, SMS or push notification and then you can view a clip of the movement on the app. It only keeps 48 hours’ worth of video, if you want more you need to pay a £4.99 per month Hive subscription.
You can also setup actions with the camera. You could have it to turn on a Hive light when it detects motion or turn on the heating. A good feature is the ability to add conditions for example you could have it only turn on the light when it sees a person in the room and its dark outside. You do not need an additional light sensor for this to work as it uses the daylight times based on your location.
The camera costs £189.
The Hive Sensor is a tiny battery powered motion sensor. You can place it anywhere in a room and when it detects motion, you can have it alert you via SMS, email or push notification. Where it gets more useful is with the smart actions. You could set it to turn on a light motion is detected, or boost your heating. You place it near your front door and have it turn on all your devices via smart plugs. The sensor costs £29 and there are multi-packs available from £79.
Hive Active Light
The Hive Active Light is a simple bayonet or screw fitting type bulb. It connect via the Hive hub so you can control it from the Hive app. It supports a brightness range and smart actions. You could have the light turn on automatically when it goes dark or when you trigger a motion sensor. I setup it up to turn on for 30 seconds when the sensor detected motion.
Another way of controlling it is via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. You can name the bulb and then ask Alexa to turn it on or off. The bulb start £19 for the warm light and go up to £49 for the colour changing bulb.
Hive’s smart home devices work really well together, the actions feature is a great way of building smarts into your home without any specialist knowledge needed. This is also one of the disadvantages of the system; you cannot link it to other systems. For example if you have a Philips Hue light system, you cannot use a Hive sensor to turn it on or off. None of the Hive products can be used as triggers on IFTTT so you cannot have any Hive products as a trigger for your systems. You can have Heating and the light as a target so there are some options for integration.
So overall Hive’s system is great for smart home beginners but less so if you are looking to integrate with other systems. Amazon Alexa support for heating and lights is great and works very well.
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.