SwitchBot sent me these devices to test and I will let you know my findings in this video. Let’s do this!
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SwitchBot sent me these devices, so that I could test them and see if I would use them in my Smart Home. I am getting paid for this video, but I will give my honest opinion about these devices. When they contacted me, I was doubting if I should create a product video, because my main videos are about creating tutorials for Home Assistant and Smart Home. But, I was curious about the Switcbot Bot, because it can switch dumb devices. So, I decided to review that device and found some use cases for it that you might like too. The following 5 devices were sent to me:
- The SwitchBot Bot
- The SwitchBot Motion Sensor
- The SwitchBot Contact Sensor with embedded Motion sensor
- The SwitchBot Hub Mini
- and the SwitchBot Remote
First of all, these devices all use Bluetooth, so their signal will not cover your whole house unless you use Bluetooth proxies which you can set up in Home Assistant using ESPHome. If you want to connect these devices to Home Assistant, make sure that you have a Bluetooth dongle connected to your Home Assistant server. Let’s go over all the products one by one.
The Switchbot Bot
I was really curious about the Switchbot Bot because the concept of that device is totally different than all other Smart Home devices. The Switchbot Bot is a mini robot that has sort of a finger that can push a button or can pull a switch. The idea is awesome because you can easily switch your “dumb” devices, like light switches, coffee machines, washing machines, dryers, et cetera with the Switchbot Bot. It works through Bluetooth and can be controlled with the Switchbot app or in Home Assistant. The response time varies, but most of the time it responded within a couple of seconds. I personally use it to switch my PC power button. I wanted to use it to switch my washing machine as well, but unfortunately, my washing machine has a touch control and does not respond to the Switchbot’s finger. Let me know in the comments if you know a solution for this.
Installing the SwitchBot Bot in Home Assistant is easy. It gets detected automatically, or you can add it manually. After it’s installed, you see a switch that you can turn on and off and can use in automations. In automations, you can trigger on the switch being turned on, off and you can trigger based on the battery level. It runs on one CR2 battery.
The Switchbot Motion Sensor
The SwitchBot Motion sensor is about the same size as a Philips Hue Motion Sensor. It comes with two AAA batteries and a stand that you can connect to the bottom or the back of the sensor so that you can place it on all kinds of surfaces. It can detect motion and light. It detects motion within one second most of the time and it takes about 20 seconds to detect if there’s no motion in the room anymore. I tested this on both the Switchbot app and Home Assistant and the detection time was the same.
You can monitor the motion detector through the Switchbot app and through Home Assistant. In the app, you can create automations to trigger other Switchbot devices like lights for example. Setting up this motion sensor in Home Assistant is easy. Home Assistant recognizes the motion sensor immediately and you can start setting up automations based on detecting motion, light, and you can trigger based on the battery level.
The Switchbot Contact Sensor
The SwitchBot Contact Sensor is quite cool because it’s not only a contact sensor, but also a motion sensor. This makes it possible to create “Wasp in a box” automations with just one device. The Wasp in a Box principle checks if someone is still in the room if there is no motion detected based on if a door has been opened before. And this can come in handy in toilets for example. I created this video to create a toilet occupancy sensor, but the contact sensor might just be a good alternative to that. You can install the Wasp in a Box automation through HACS if you like to try that.
The contact sensor comes with two AAA batteries and gets detected automatically by Home Assistant, and you can create automations based on multiple triggers like detecting motion, detecting if the door is opened or closed, detecting light, and detecting a change in the battery level.
The Switchbot Hub Mini
The SwitchBot Hub mini is an infrared remote control that you can use to control infrared-controlled devices in your house. This device does not work on a battery, but needs a USB adapter which is not included. A long USB cable is included though. As far as I’ve tested it, it does not work together with Home Assistant, but it works with the Switchbot app of course. I connected my Airconditioning to it and I must say that was super easy. You can select your infrared device from a wide range of available devices and you’re in business. And if your device is not available in the list, you can learn the infrared commands to the Switchbot Hub Mini, so that your device can also be controlled with the app. My air conditioning was not on the list and I was surprised at how well it integrated into the app. I just had to select a generic air conditioning, press one button on the official remote control, and all the functions worked after that.
The Switchbot Remote
The SwitchBot remote is a little device that has two buttons and comes with a CR2450 battery. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to work in Home Assistant. You can pair it to the SwitchBot app though. Once it’s paired, you can connect it to other SwitchBot devices like the SwitchBot Bot. You can assign both buttons on the remote to control other devices. I assigned the button to a SwitchBot Bot and that worked very well.
I tested the SwitchBot devices over the past couple of weeks and I must say, they do the job well. The Switchbot Bot is a bit slow every now and then, but that didn’t bother me that much. It’s a pity that the remote control didn’t work with Home Assistant, but that’s a minor thing because I do not use buttons that much anyway. I am a big fan of the SwitchBot Bot. It’s almost as if it’s a real robot that comes to life. The only thing that I am missing is that it cannot control touch-sensitive buttons.
If you like to buy Switchbot devices, there’s a discount code in the description of this video below. It’s valid for a short period of time, so be quick.
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