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WisQo Smart Lighting

Several "Starter Kits" were bought from a local auction. See retail pack at Amazon.

WisQo Hub

This was configured in a house with wiring dating back to 1997.

The individual light controllers were easy to install, only really needing a small screw driver. The devices come with connector blocks in case there are not enough in the existing light fittings.

The hub itself didn't seem to connect to wifi easily, and had to be reset, even though this shouldn't have been required. This could be due to the unit being used already, but the box looked unopened, and the light controllers were still shrink-wrapped.

It took about 15-20 minutes to install the first one and pair it with the hub, and about 10 minutes to do each subsequent one.

The "Kinsmart" app in installed from your usual app store, which you use to pair the controllers using the QRCode printed on the controller (or available as a separate sticker in each box). This process is very simple, and devices can be arranged in groups and individually named.

An account is required when the app is first installed, and an email address is needed. Apparently this is supposed to be checked for validity, but I have not received an email about this yet.

To have a system that is fully usable by either the app and hub and physical switch, a Wisqo light switch would also be used (likely to be the same restriction for all systems), to replacethe original physical light switch.

Light Controller

Timers can be configured to turn the lights on and off using a calendar view, and each state change can be configured to happen daily.

According to the hub web GUI, it can handle firmware updates, but at the moment, no firmware at all seems to be available from the WisQo web site.

The light controllers themselves are too big to fit in our standard UK ceiling roses, but they are fairly innocuous, and have a useful LED showing state - green (on), and red (off). A sticky pad is included so you can stick the controller to the ceiling or ceiling rose.

A little "click" can be heard when changing states, but isn't really noticable or annoying.

Improvements:

If you have a lot of light switches and groups, it might take a long time to find the light you want. It would be nice if the app had a "Favorites" or "Recently Used" function to speed up the bulb selection process.

It would be good if the mobile app had a randomisation function, so you could vary the on and off times to give a better impression of a house being occupied.

 

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Energy Harvesting light switches available that require no power or batteries (not tested yet)
  • Works with old "neutral only" light wiring
  • Works with incandesent, halogen, CFL and LED bulbs
  • Separate serial number stickers are provided, just in case config is lost, you don't need to get the ladders out
  • Good range
  • Light controllers remember their state if an exisiting manual switch is used
  • Quick response
  • Hub is low power (USB connector)

Cons

  • A slightly slow (old) CFL bulb seemed to confuse the system into what status the light was in
  • Instructions in "Engrish", doesn't mention anything about the hub web GUI that is available (and unsecured)
  • Pictures of the cable layouts didn't match the physical devices
  • May be difficult to hide the controllers inside exisiting lighting bases
  • After an Android OS upgrade on a phone, the app forgot the login details.

Not yet tested:

  • Security
  • Longevity of central services
  • Interoperability with other systems
  • Maximum number of devices that can be controlled.
  • Physical light switch (available separately)

Conclusion

We have used this for more than 3 months to control 3 different lights in a large, brick-built Victorian house, and so far it has worked perfectly.

This seems a good and reliable system so far, and certainly worth what we paid for them (~£40 for 3 starter kits).