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LightwaveRF has been in the business of developing devices to turn the home into a Smart automated area since it introduced the market’s first Internet enabled products in 2008. During the intervening period up to the present day, the company has produced devices to help with the monitoring of aspects of lighting, heating and power through the Lightwave platform and its collaboration with Amazon, Apple and Google Smart home offerings. Recently I have had the opportunity to check out the Lightwave Link Plus, Dimmer and Socket products.
As its title might imply, the Lightwave Link Plus takes on the role as the central facility of the Lightwave platform as it sits at the heart of the system. Various Three additional elements will need to be supplied by the user in order to gain the full benefits of this piece of equipment. The plinth shaped Link Plus device, decked out in Apple White and with dimensions of 117 x 113 x 37 mm at its widest points, needs to be attached to a router using the supplied short Ethernet cable which is barely 48 cm in length.
A second lead, linking the Link Plus to a mains power source, is a more reasonable 104 cm length. It comes with a three-pin plug that can accept two devices via USB ports. The third element is the remote controlling app which will need to be downloaded onto an appropriate tablet or smartphone. According to the Quick Start Guide, included with my sample, there is an Apple iOS app. Fortunately Android users have not been forgotten and you can download an Android version of the app from the Play Store.
Setting up the Lightwave Link Plus is a straightforward process. You just need to attach the Link Plus to a power source and then plug it into a router before creating a Lightwave account using the downloaded app. This account requires an email address, first and last name details plus a password featuring upper and lower case letters and a numeral. Pairing the app with the Link Plus device involves following various on-screen prompts as you enter a Cloud number located on the base of the Lightwave device. Once the automated pairing has been achieved and is indicated by a green light, emanating from around the top of the Link Plus device, you can proceed to link the other devices that may be available.
Both the Dimmer and Socket Lightwave products require physical installations to an appropriate location. In the case of Socket this location is a mains power outlet while the Dimmer needs to replace a standard light switch. Basic instructions are provided for both operations. You will need to provide an appropriate screwdriver and knowledge of how to turn on/off the mains electrical power. While not the most user-friendly set up process I have encountered, it should not be beyond the capabilities of most users. The supplied Quick Start Guide does advise consulting a qualified professional or contacting the company’s dedicated technical support team by telephone if you have any concerns.
Both the Dimmer and Socket devices I had been sent adopted a brushed metallic look and tended to clash with the Apple White Link Plus unit. They also clashed with the other light switches and power plugs found in my flat. It is my understanding that white versions of these products are available if that is your preference.
Depending upon your needs you can allocate your Lightwave devices to different rooms, apply automation to specific situations and actions plus check out settings that include your account name, version number and whether to show execute automation dialogue. The Dimmer allows you to adjust the light intensity but be aware that the device is not compatible with some lighting facilities such as wirewound transformers and CFL tubes. The Dimmer can also be used to simulate occupancy by turning on/off lights, according to a schedule, plus check to see if you are wasting electricity by forgetting to turn off the bedroom lights.
The Socket, or should that be Sockets as it was a dual unit, allows you to add other electrical devices into the smart environment with power that can be turned on or off remotely. You can also remotely lock this feature and monitor attached units using the Lightwave app.
Support has recently been added to these devices for accepting voice control delivered by Alexa through the Echo or Dot products. Unfortunately I possessed neither product to test this feature. In other tests, using the Lightwave app, which divides its functionality into areas entitled Favourites, Rooms, Automation and Settings, the Lightwave driven performance was generally trouble-free. With individual prices of £129.95 for Link Plus and £59.95 for each of the other two Lightwave products, this is not a cheap offering. For the basic three units, forming the basis of this review, this could set you back £249,85 and you could easily spend a lot more as further units are added to the system.
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