Add dumb appliances to smart home setup with SwitchBot | Cult of Mac

Add dumb appliances to your smart home setup with SwitchBot

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SwitchBot Hub Mini simplifies and enhances your home automation.
SwitchBot Hub Mini simplifies and enhances your home automation.
Photo: SwitchBot

This home automation post is brought to you by SwitchBot.

These days, people control more and more aspects of their lives remotely through apps. And it’s no longer just “smart” devices like wired doorbells, thermostats and lights. Even your not-so-smart devices can join the party.

Now, with SwitchBot products, you can control many of your ordinary, old-fashioned appliances and use them with home-automation systems like Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Join the One Dollar Club

And even better, right now you can try SwitchBot for just a buck by joining the One Dollar Club.

SwitchBot makes about a dozen products. Today we’ll focus on two, the SwitchBot Bot smart switch and the SwitchBot Hub Mini smart remote. They can be used separately or together.

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SwitchBot Bot

The SwitchBot Bot can add some smarts to your dumb appliances.
The SwitchBot Bot can add some smarts to your dumb appliances.
Photo: SwitchBot

The SwitchBot Bot smart switch, essentially a remotely activated button pusher, works with lights, fans — basically, any electrical appliance that turns on and off with a switch or button. When activated, the Bot physically manipulates the switch.

Once you get the SwitchBot App on your mobile device and connect to the Bot, you can easily turn any normal switch into a smart switch in seconds. And using it with the SwitchBot Hub Mini (see below), you can also control it remotely.

Each SwitchBot Bot is easy to install. You simply peel off the film on the back of the small device, exposing an adhesive surface, and stick it next to the switch or button you want to control.

Works with multiple devices

You can get creative with the SwitchBot Bot.
You can get creative with the SwitchBot Bot.
Photo: SwitchBot

The Bot works with most switches and buttons, like rocker light switches and on/off buttons on coffee makers and the like, but not with toggle switches. You can even set it on a timer, like when you want that coffee maker to start before you get out of bed.

Functioning via a low-power Bluetooth connection, each Bot features long battery life — about 600 days. And the Bot is affordable, too: It retails for $29.

Using the switch in conjunction with SwitchBot Hub Mini, you can operate it with voice control. It supports Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

With a Hub Mini, you also can connect a Bot to IFTTT (short for If This Then That) to set conditions for its use. For example, if a weather website says it’s going to be hot, you can easily set the Bot to automatically turn on the AC. Or, you can use the SwitchBot App’s Scene feature in a similar way.

Buy from: SwitchBot or Amazon

SwitchBot Hub Mini

The SwitchBot Hub Mini can make your old-school remotes obsolete -- and it works with Siri, Alexa and Google Home.

If you ever wished you could get rid of all of your remote controls, here’s your chance. The SwitchBot Hub Mini is a smart remote that “learns” and mimics signals from your other remotes.

The Hub Mini supports just about any normal household appliance that functions via remote control, like air conditioners, garage door openers and TVs. And it costs just $39.

Want to turn on the AC to cool things down before you get home to a hot house? Open the garage door from work so a neighbor can borrow your tools? Turn off everything to save electricity? No problem.

And because the Hub Mini supports Siri, as well as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, you can do everything with voice commands (or via the app, of course). As noted above, you can connect the SwitchBot Hub Mini with IFTTT, or use the app’s built-in Scene function, to customize your smart home automation.

Buy from: SwitchBot or Amazon