Monday, 7 September 2020

Creating harmony in our home with Hive smart technology #HiveHomeHacks #HarmonyAtHome #review

* Sponsored post

As we adjust to the 'new normal', we have been making improvements to both our home environment and our routines as a family. We've tried to make the most of the situation and have taken enjoyment from spending more time together in our happy place. We only moved in early November last year, so this extra time has really been beneficial for us all, giving us a chance to enjoy our new home, although we have certainly had to find a balance to our work-school-parenting-life activities, which hasn't always been easy!

We've all had to adapt and with the summer underway now, I am keen for us to continue to form good habits and to make our house comfortable, life simpler and to essentially create a bit of harmony in our home.


One change that is helping us to achieve this is Hive and their range of smart technology, which we have started to incorporate into our home.

It’s one of the most popular connected home providers in the UK, in around 1.7 million homes, and encompasses various smart products designed to work together and make like that little bit more easy and secure. From plugs, sensors and light bulbs to indoor and outdoor cameras and thermostatic radiator valves, Hive gives their customers control over their homes whilst helping to save money and reduce their impact on the environment. Sounds great, right?

We've been trying out a few of Hive’s smart home products that together aim to make our life a little easier and our home more secure, and so far, so good!

 

Here's the items we have incorporated into our home and our routine:

 

Hive Hub (£80)

This is the base that connects all of our Hive products together. We can then manage them all remotely with the Hive app on our smartphones, tablets or laptops, so we are always in control and up to date.

We have ours positioned in the lounge, and the white box is small, minimalist in design and therefore discreet.


Hive Lights (from £19)

I love a bit of mood lighting and with Hive's Smart Lighting, I can create the right light at the click of the button. We can turn our Hive colour changing lightbulb (£44 each) on, we can create a regular schedule for when it should be on or off and we can choose a colour to suit the mood. I have put one Hive Light as the main light in my study. This is a space I use to work from home, when Stephen is keeping an eye on the kids, and sometimes this can be early or late (such is the juggle of working from home in the current situation, which I will be doing for most of the remaining year). I also use this room to have some 'me' time and relax, read or do yoga. My new Hive Light helps me to set the mood for the activity I am doing and I really like the ambience. When I finish decorating the room later this month it will be even better, and in the lounge we could add one so, when we are watching films together, we can really set the scene (think icy blue for Frozen 2).

There are dimmable Hive bulbs too and all Hive Lights work with both Amazon Alexa (which is what we have throughout the house) and Google Assistant so anyone can use their voice to turn all the lights on or off together.


Top tip: You could use a Hive Light to alert when it's time to finish work for the day, or when it's bedtime, by turning a lamp on or changing to a certain colour. 


Hive Active Plug (£39 each, special offers available on bundles)

This is a clever addition to our home. With Hive’s Active Plug, you can turn on the kettle from your smartphone, or check if certain plugs are turned off before going to bed at night. It works like an adaptor, so all you need to do is plug it into a wall socket then plug your appliances into it as normal.

We decided the best room for this to go into is hubs' study / games room. He has the most tech in there anyway, as he works from home in there plus has a TV and many, many games consoles! The Hive Active Plug is a great way to manage things and does genuinely make life easier.

 

Top tip: You could schedule the Active Plug to turn off at a set time, to stop your children having too much TV time (or your hubs being on a games console too long!).



The Hive Door and Window Sensors (£29 each, special offers available on bundles)

We were keen to add a bit of extra security to the home, so opted for three Hive Smart Sensors. They are small but mighty little units that fit easily onto doors and windows and they will send a notification via the app if it detects a window or door opening, thus alerting you to any intruders. 

We have put one on our front door, one on our back and a third on our patio door, as all the main entrance points on our ground floor. 

 

Top tip: We did consider putting one on Ethan's bedroom door, as he likes to sneak out his bedroom not long after bedtime (we even caught him with the iPad that he had tiptoed downstairs to get!). And considering how much food we have been eating throughout lockdown and beyond, it might be a good idea for us to add another Hive Sensor to the snack cupboard...

 

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We have enjoyed setting up our Hive smart technology hub and products. Stephen loves anything that involves smart tech, apps and automated controls, and it's given me some piece of mind plus a few handy features that we can use to run our home as well as add some fun to our daily routines. It's great how everything links up together and I am sure this is just the beginning of our smart home adventure. There's lots of great #HiveHomeHacks out there, so plenty of inspiration as to how Hive can create a bit of harmony at home, which is especially welcome at present.

 

* This post has been written in partnership with Hive, but all thoughts expressed are my own.

 


 

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