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Home automation device reviews

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Last updated: 09 March 2016

Want to make your home smarter with automated appliances? Our test covers popular LED smart bulbs such as the Philips Hue and LIFX as well as home automation kits from Belkin, Panasonic and D-Link. Not sure what features you need? Use our home automation buying guide to find out. Our article on how we test explains how we get results in the CHOICE labs.

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Our expert testers work through each device, LED smart bulb and home automation kit to help find the models that:

  • are easy to use 
  • perform the best 
  • work with your Wi-Fi network.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which wireless technology each model supports or which application need to use. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

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Yearly power consumption cost

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Annual energy consumption for LED smart bulbs assumes five hours of use per day and 19 hours in standby for the bulb only (disregarding infrastructure costs) at a cost of 25 cents per kilowatt hour. Usage for smart switches is calculated based on the switch being in standby for 12 hours and in use for 12 hours each day.

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Ease of use score

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Ease of use is based on how easy it is to get the models up and running; remote access; general layout and usage of the app; and in-box documentation.

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Performance for smart LED bulbs is based on the luminosity of the bulb, as well as the responsiveness of the bulb's app. Performance for the switches is based on the responsiveness of the switch as used through its supported app. Performance for the starter kits is based on the responsiveness of the kit's components as used through its supported application.

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Applications or apps downloaded to your smartphone or tablet are required for most of the settings and controls for the switches and LED smart bulbs.

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  • Overall score
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Price
  • Category
  • Recommended
  • Ease of use score
  • Performance
  • Wireless technology
  • Infrastructure
  • Dimensions w x h mm
  • Yearly power consumption cost
  • Average measured light output lumens
  • Power rating watts
  • Incandescent equivalent w
  • Heat emissions measured celsius
  • Beam angle degrees
  • Remote access
  • Scheduling timers alarms
  • Widget support ios
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Type
  • Network connection to router
  • Application
  • Weight g
  • Warranty years
  • Contact
  • Stated light output lumens
  • Stated life 000s hours
  • Stated colour temperature
  • Lamp connector
  • Android support
  • Ios support
  • 3rd party support
  • Dimming
  • Bulb grouping
  • Scenes
  • Sunrise/sunset control
  • Geofencing
  • Away mode
  • Widget support android
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