The rapid pace at which technology is developing has changed the way by which everything works. From Hospitals to schools, every place is now smart and filled with technology. In this developing world, streamlining the technology at our homes is necessary. Home automation takes the pain away from handling everyday tasks at home such as controlling the temperature, lighting system, security systems etc.
Thorough home automation, you can automate almost any home task that required manual work in the past and perform these tasks remotely via smartphones. You can arrive at home to a comfortable temperature with all the necessary lights and gadgets turned on. All of the control of your home is in the palm of your hand. The control over your home now is only limited by your imagination, the possibilities are endless.
Xiaomi is one of the key players in the home automation scene. They are a household name in China but lack a physical presence in regions such as EU and Americas. Xiaomi produces a plethora of home automation devices under the Aqara and Mijia names and has a complete Xiaomi Mi Home Ecosystem. Their products are well known across the globe for their quality and the value that they offer for the money, a comparable automation system from any other mainstream manufacturer can cost almost twice as much.
Let us take a closer look at the Xiaomi Ecosystem, understand how their smart home concept works, and check out some of their best offerings in the home automation market.
What is Xiaomi’s ecosystem and how does it all work?
The key element of Xiaomi’s Smart home ecosystem is the Hub or the Multifunctional gateway. It is the device responsible for controlling all other smart devices in the ecosystem and works as the central Hub. All the devices are paired with the hub via a low energy ZigBee network and the hub is connected to the Router.
The user can pair up to 30 devices with a single gateway. Through the connection at the back, the Hub can directly be connected to a wall socket. It can also work on its own as a night-light or alarm. The automation rules for the devices connected to the gateway can also be set up in a local mode, thus removing the need for an active internet connection for the automation to work. Another major part of the experience is the Xiaomi Mi Home Application, through this application the user can set up and control all the different smart devices.
It provides you with an interface to interact with all these smart devices. The initial setup of the gateway is also done via this application. Inside the application, you can find all the different smart devices that are connected and the rules for automation. The gateway comes bundled in the xiaomi Mi Home starter kit and can be bought separately. Most devices, however, can also connect directly to the internet, thus removing the need of the gateway, but in order to leverage the full potential of the smart home devices, the gateway is a must have.
The Xiaomi Portfolio for home automation consists of hundreds of devices and keeps on growing with each passing day. You can find anything from switches to temperature sensors and smart security cameras in their line-up. Let us look at some of their latest offerings:
Xiaomi Aqara Wall Switch ZigBee Version -DOUBLE KEY WHITE
The Aqara Wall Switch by Xiaomi is a ZigBee enabled Wireless Smart light control switch. Zigbee is an advanced IEEE 802.15.4-based wireless networking standard for a suite of high-level communication protocols used to create personal area networks with small, low-power digital radios, such as for home automation. It is Xiaomi’s take on the traditional wall switch. This switch allows users to control their lighting system remotely. It is a great option especially for those who want to control their existing lights via the mi home application.
The setup process is a breeze as there is no wiring of any sorts required, you are just required to change your old switch with this one. The Xiaomi Aqara Wall Switch ZigBee version comes in both single Key and Double Key variants. It features a modern and minimalistic design. It has a load range of no more than 800W / each, minimum: 3W energy saving lamps / 5W LED lights / 16W fluorescent lamps. It can connect to any other Aqara or ZigBee device as well through the Xiaomi Mi Home Application.
Xiaomi Mijia Aqara Smart IP Camera Linkage Alarm 1080P HD – WHITE
The Xiaomi Mijia Aqara IP Camera is a Smart gateway IP camera Linkage Alarm. This smart camera allows users view their home remotely at any time and the connected nature of this camera allows it to integrate with any Mijia sensors, wall switches or ZigBee enabled devices to provide timely and accurate alarms.
For example, if it receives information from the door sensors or human body sensor about any unexpected motion or activity, it will push the video of that movement to the user. The camera has a wide 180-degrees field of view and records in crisp 1080p. The device allows storage of the security videos to a micro SD card of cloud storage. The operation of the product can be controlled via the companion application. The device features encryption on the cloud storage and data transmission and two-way identity identification to ensure the privacy of your videos. The device is currently up for pre-orders and will be dispatched to users in mid-December.
Xiaomi Air Conditioning Companion
The Xiaomi AC companion acts as a smart gateway for your Air Conditioning unit. The device is plugged into the power socket in which your air conditioner is connected. It can detect your AC model and allows control via infrared just like the conventional AC remote.
Not only that, it can also connect to the temperature sensor to manage the cooling of the AC according to the current room temperature. It can also monitor the power usage of your AC. Just like a base station of Hub, you can connect different sensors such as the temperature sensors to it to extend its functionality.
Xiaomi Aqara Temperature Humidity Sensor
The Xiaomi Aqara Temperature Humidity sensor is a smart device that can monitor the atmospheric pressure and temperature humidity. The product works in harmony with the Xiaomi Multi-Functional gateway remote control syncs with your smartphone or any other smart device via the companion application to provide timely notifications. The application also keeps a track on the present and history of the temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressures.
The application can be used to set a comfort zone and when the temperature, humidity or atmospheric pressure values cross it, the device will send a push notification to your smartphone. It can connect with other Xiaomi Smart devices or ZigBee devices to control different tasks such as powering on/off the humidifier by taking into account the current humidity or turning on the air conditioning. The product weighs in at just 0.0110 kg and measures at about 1.42 x 1.42 x 0.35 inches, this compact form factor allows it to fit anywhere in your room or dorm. The versatility and low price of this product make it well worth the asking price.
Original Xiaomi Smart Home Aqara Human Body Sensor
The Xiaomi Aqara Human body sensor is a smart home sensor that can detect movement and light intensity at any given time. Thanks to the onboard light intensity sensor, it can detect the brightness value of light at any moment and send that information to other smart lighting devices. With this information, they can perform many functions such as automatically turning on the lights when someone enters the room and sending push notifications for any movement.
The product makes use of the Pyroelectric IR sensor to check the movement at any given moment via heat values. It is aided in detection by a polyolefin optical lens. The installation and setup process is a breeze. With the help of some stickers, it can be installed vertically on any surface, mounted on the ceilings or the walls. The setup process is quite simple, as you are just required to download the Mijia Application and pair the Aqara Human Body sensor to the gateway, a single gateway can connect multiple Human Body sensors. It can be used in a wide variety of situations, for example, it can be used both as a security system and as a trigger for your lights.
Xiaomi Mijia Smart Home Aqara Security Kit
The Xiaomi mijia Smart Home Aqara Security Kit is an all in one smart security kit that consists of a Multifunctional Gateway Remote Control, a wireless switch, and a Window Door Sensor. The smart home gateway is the main hub through which all of these devices communicate with your network. It has an RGB lighting built in along with a speaker. The setup for the gateway hub can be done via the Mi Home application.
Once the gateway setup process is complete, you can pair all other companion devices with it. Through this, you can perform a wide variety of actions such as turning on the hall lights on detection of motion or playing voice alarms in case it detects any kind of motion. The smart door and window sensor included in the package can automatically adjust lighting based on the motion of the door or windows it can also send push notifications and start alarms in case anyone breaks in. The package also comes with the smart wireless switch.
The switch offers one key control over connected products. It turns any normal switch into a smart home device and you can control operation of any connected device remotely via the companion application. None of these devices is actually connected to your router, the only device connected to the router is the main Hub, and the smart devices communicate to the hub via their own network.
Xiaomi Aqara Water Leak Sensor
The Xiaomi Aqara Water Leak Sensor is the latest addition to the Xiaomi Mi Home ecosystem. The device just like other xiaomi smart home devices connects over low powered ZIGBEE network to a Xiaomi gateway.
The sensor can be placed at any location where water leakages are expected and it uses two metal pins present on the rear end to detect water. If it detects any water, it will send a push notification to the Mi Home app to inform you about it. For example, it can turn off the power sockets inside your kitchen in case of a water leak or turn on the alarms.
Xiaomi Light Switch/Doorbell
The Xiaomi light switch/Doorbell can perform tasks when clicked once, double clicked or long pressed. Thus, it has three different triggers. It is a portable device but also can be mounted to walls. It can be set up to performs actions such as turning on/off the lights on a single click, double-clicking to start the air conditioning and long pressing to start the air purifier. It blends in nicely in the Xiaomi Smart Home ecosystem.
Xiaomi Mi Magic Controller
The Mi Magic Controller is a smart home control center. The operation of this product is based on six different types of motion. The product has to be physically moved or rotated in order to trigger specific tasks. It supports motion controls such as 90 degrees turns, 180 degrees turn, rotation, shaking motion, double taps and push motion.
It works in conjunction with the Xiaomi Smart home gateway to control all the connected smart devices. For example, you can turn off the lights by double tapping it on any surface. The Mi Magic Controller is a fun little gadget that every smart home lover should have on his desk.
Xiaomi Aqara Intelligent Curtain Motor
The Xiaomi Aqara Intelligent Curtain motor is a remotely controllable curtain motor designed to work with DT 82 curtain rails. The product comes with a powerful motor that can pull upwards of 40kilograms. The device comes with a plug less cable that can be connected to electricity source or a plug. The device is ZigBee enabled and works the Xiaomi Gateway.
Once installed, the curtains can be fully controlled via the Xiaomi Mi Home application and set up different triggers for operation such as timers. The motor will also kick-start if the user chooses to push the curtains by himself. You can set it up to open the curtains when you enter your house, wake up or close them when you are going off to sleep by setting up automation rules in the Mi Home Application.
Xiaomi MiJia Smart Camera
The Xiaomi Mjiia Smart Camera seeks to offer a control of everything that happens in our home in our absence. And for this it uses a BSI CMOS sensor that offers a higher image quality by reducing the noise that is usually present in videos with poor light.
The Mjiia Smart Camera allows video recording in Full HD resolution at 20 frames per second with a field of view of 130º and includes a microphone and a loudspeaker. Either to capture the ambient sound or to be able to communicate with the house.
It operates in the 2.4 and 5 GHz band so that it is easier to connect to the home Wi-Fi network. In addition, it includes an IR sensor to be able to make nocturnal recordings in distances of up to 10 meters being able to record the content in local storage by means of the SD card of up to 64 GB or if we prefer to store what recorded in the cloud. We can find it at a very cheap price and as it is also usual in Xiaomi, we will have to resort to import as it is not officially marketed in Europe.
The Xiaomi Smart Home devices offer tremendous value for money. Their ecosystem is quite polished and mature now. You can get almost any type of automation device from Xiaomi, from door sensors to temperature sensors and light switches they have you covered. The common theme across all these devices is the ease of use, modern and minimalistic design language and sturdy build quality.
Despite the low price of the products, Xiaomi, unlike other manufacturers, does not skimp on features or quality as it has some of the best-built and best-performing home automation devices on the market today. Their quirky and unique devices are breath of fresh air in the now saturated home automation market. These devices will nicely blend into your modern home making it much smarter and will give it a high tech look. One of the major drawbacks, however, is the availability.
The devices are not officially available at the current moment and the only option for those who want these devices are online stores that ship the product from China or other warehouses, this can cause issues with repairs and warranty as you will have to ship the item back to the seller if anything goes wrong. However, that is highly unlikely, as Xiaomi is well known for producing high-quality products that last a good while. For those looking for easy to use, well built, feature packed and affordable home automation devices, these smart home products from Xiaomi are well worth a look.