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Even the most tech mad amongst us still has a few “dumb” appliances around the house.
Maybe you feel that they’re a key part of the interior design, maybe they’re heirlooms or antiques, or perhaps you simply can’t afford to replace them with a smart successor just yet, but with Eve Energy, you won’t have to!
The Eve to HomeKit’s Adam in your own personal Eden, the Eve Energy promises to take your already sleek, streamlined smart home, make it even more efficient, and give you even more control!
And all this comes in the form of a single plug — Amazing, right?
So, to answer the question of what Eve Energy is directly, it’s a super advanced, thread-enabled smart plug, but my guess is you’re looking for a bit more information, so in this post, I’m going to be telling you all there is to know about this intelligent little plug.
How Does Eve Energy Work?
There are a million and one smart plugs out there at the minute, so why should we care about the Eve Energy plug?
Well, for starters, it’s not just a smart plug — It’s also a router node equipped with Thread technology.
What Is Thread & How Does It Work?
For the uninitiated, Thread is a new radio protocol similar to Bluetooth and Zigbee. It’s built on an IP-based mesh blueprint that enhances connectivity, leading to a far more reliable product.
What’s more, each individual Thread-enabled device acts as a discrete hub, which facilitates a stronger link between them, eliminates potential points of failure, and more efficient inter-device communication.
And it does all this while using less power than its predecessors, too, which has two epic real-life implications.
First, your power consumption will be ever so slightly reduced, saving you pennies on every energy bill moving forward, and secondly, it will prolong the life of battery-operated smart devices such as small sensors and door locks.
You can kind of think of Thread as a universal language that connects devices regardless of vendor and ecosystem… sort of like the USB of wireless connectivity.
Yet, in some respects, Thread-enabled devices act similarly to Wi-Fi extenders (although they themselves don’t connect to Wi-Fi).
What I mean by this is that any electrical powered Thread-enabled devices will receive a signal and then echo it at full power. The result?
Distance between our smart devices and our HomeKit hub is no longer a factor when mapping out our smart home networks.
No matter how large your property is and no matter how sprawling your smart device array is throughout, they’ll all boast top-notch connections.
Putting the icing on the connectivity cake, as Thread devices are authenticated before gaining access to the network, as well as the fact that all messages sent via Thread are end-to-end encrypted, it’s a much more secure wireless protocol than all other available options.
What Does The Eve Energy Smart Plug Actually Do?
Newfangled tech aside, the core functionality of the Eve Energy is pretty consistent with any other smart plug — You can plug “dumb” appliances into it to make them smart, giving you control over them via a smart home app or voice commands.
However, there are a few fancy extras to look forward to when you invest in an Eve Energy smart plug. Let’s take a closer look at them, shall we?
Perhaps my favorite Eve Energy feature is energy reporting.
Not only will the Eve Energy smart plug monitor the inserted appliance’s energy consumption in real-time, but will keep a comprehensive record of appliance energy usage over time.
This means you can type a few basic details surrounding your energy rates into the Eve app, and the Eve Energy smart plug will deliver projected monthly and annual costs of running your appliance.
Granted, automations aren’t exactly an Eve Energy exclusive in the smart plug market, but the Eve app allows for much more advanced scheduling than any other smart plug you can buy (more on this later).
The Eve Energy smart plug is all about facilitating remote control of smart devices, but there is a simple on/off switch on the plug enclosure if you choose to do things the old-fashioned way from time to time, and seeing as it’s fitted with a child lock, there’s no way curious kids could turn your plug on or off.
I appreciate a good LED indicator as much as the next tech-nut, but you know what I like even more?
An LED indicator you can toggle off to save energy or achieve perfect darkness in a room, and that’s exactly what the Eve Energy smart plug allows you to do via the Eve app.
It’s only a very small addition, but it’s an example of just how much thought the folks over at Eve have put into their latest foray into the smart plug market.
How Does Eve Energy Connect?
One of the best things about the Eve Energy smart plug is how effortlessly it integrates with your existing smart home network.
To kick things off, download the Eve companion app, insert the Eve Energy smart plug into an outlet, wait for the power indicator LED to light up green, then head for the Eve app settings menu.
Tap “Add Accessory” and you’ll be taken through the standard HomeKit connection process that involves scanning the QR code on the device… that’s literally it.
Once connected to HomeKit, it will make connections with all other Thread devices automatically, saving you a grueling job.
With setup taken care of, you can now control your Eve Energy smart plug in any of three ways…
- On-Unit — The switch on the body of the smart plug permits basic on/off control, just like a standard wall outlet.
- HomeKit — You have access to most of the Eve Energy smart plug features on the Home app, weaving it seamlessly into your primary smart home mainframe so you can operate it with ultimate ease.
- Eve App — If you want access to every single feature the Eve Energy plug has to offer, you have to use the Eve app, which is a little annoying, as the beauty of the Apple HomeKit is that you can do away with the myriad apps cluttering your phone or tablet display.
Is Thread The Only Option With Eve Energy?
As mentioned earlier, the primary wireless protocol of the Eve Energy smart plug is Thread, but don’t worry if you’re yet to deck your home out with Thread-enabled devices, as it also has Bluetooth capabilities, so you can still link it up to your Border Router and use most of its features.
It’s a thoughtful addition, as Thread devices are pretty new and often carry a high price tag.
With the Bluetooth facilities to fall back on, you can add Thread devices to your smart home network at your own convenience.
What’s more, although Bluetooth isn’t the most reliable wireless protocol as it’s susceptible to interference, it’s far more secure than Wi-Fi, so you can augment your smart home safe in the knowledge that hackers aren’t going to gain access to your sensitive information.
Does Eve Energy Require A Hub?
Thread devices need no centralized, proprietary hub to function, which is part of the reason why there’s such a huge buzz building around this wireless protocol and why big names like Apple are getting in on the action early.
What this means for you is that you won’t have to fork out for a hub for every brand of smart device you bring into your home. Not only will you save a ton of money, you’ll keep your home clutter-free!
In the past, if space was running a premium in your home, you’d have to be very selective with your smart home plans, as you wouldn’t be able to accommodate too many proprietary hubs.
But now, you can dip into different ecosystems as much as you like, because brand-specific hubs are no longer necessary.
Having said that, to use the Thread functionalities of the Eve Energy smart plug and link it up to all your other Thread-enabled devices, you will need a HomeKit hub, which can either be a HomePod, an Apple TV, or an iPad.
The HomeKit hub is a central interface that links up with all your disparate smart devices and enables remote control of your smart network from anywhere in the world.
But get this… you can still use all of Eve Energy’s intelligent scheduling features without using your HomeKit hub or the Home app.
With an onboard memory, this really is a smart plug. It can log detailed automations entirely on its own without help from any other device.
For instance, if you have your bedside lamp plugged into the Eve Energy socket, you can schedule it to turn on at 9.30 pm for an early bedtime reading session, turn off at 10, then turn back on again at 7 am to help you wake up when morning arrives.
Alternatively, you could set up some automated lights for your plants that automatically turn on in the morning and off at night, ensuring they get the nourishment they need at the proper times — All you’ll have to do is remember to water it!
What Can You Do In The Eve App That You Can’t With The Home App?
The price you pay for the convenience of using the Eve Energy smart plug via the Home app is diminished autonomous scheduling options and a lack of energy monitoring, but Apple makes up for this to a certain degree by offering their own additional automation options.
Using your Eve Energy smart plug via Apple HomeKit allows you to apply automation rules outside traditional time-based scheduling.
For example, you can attach automations to individuals arriving or departing your home, so you could use a front door sensor to trigger a certain action when you or someone else opens the front door.
You’ll also be able to create long-lasting scenes involving your Eve Energy smart plug when you map out automations on the Home app as opposed to the Eve app.
However, if you do decide to take this route, bear in mind that although you’ll be able to see the automations in the Eve app, you won’t be able to access or amend them.
For that, you’ll have to use the Home app.
Does Eve Energy Work With Alexa?
Eve Energy was built from the ground up to slide into the Apple smart home ecosystem, so I’m afraid if you’ve already sworn allegiance to team Amazon, Eve Energy will be more trash plug than smart plug.
In order to make full use of the Eve Energy smart plug, you will need to evict your current virtual assistant.
I know it seems cruel, but think of all the benefits you’ll gain with this super high-tech smart plug!
Alternatively, you could opt for an older model of Eve smart plug that is compatible with the Amazon smart home ecosystem.
Does Eve Work With Google Home?
Bad news again… Apple and Google are going head-to-head in the smart home market, so fitting a HomeKit product with cross-ecosystem technology just wouldn’t be a wise move.
Besides, even if Apple did decide that opening up a discourse between companies was a good idea, the chances are that Google wouldn’t want to hear it, as there would be all kinds of legal matters to hammer out.
So, if you want to unlock the potential of the Eve Energy smart plug, you’ll have to kick that Google Assistant to the curb along with Alexa.
Does Eve Work With Siri?
Ah, finally, some good news! As Apple’s resident virtual assistant, Siri gets on with the Eve Energy smart plug like a house on fire.
Eve has done everything in their power to integrate their smart plug with the Apple ecosystem, so if you have or are planning on inviting Siri into your home, you’re in for a real treat with the Eve Energy smart plug.
There are six different command types that you can use to control the Eve Energy smart plug with your voice:
- Control via Siri’s name — “Hey Siri, turn on the coffee machine.”
- Control based on device — “Hey Siri, is my coffee machine on?”
- Scene control — “Hey Siri, Good Night.”
- Room control — “Hey Siri, turn off the power in the bedroom.”
- Zone control — “Hey Siri, turn off the power downstairs.”
How Does The Gen 3 Eve Energy Compare With Gen 2?
The headlining difference between the latest Eve Energy smart plug and its predecessor is Thread technology.
The gen 2 plug relies on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which is fine, but Thread is the way wireless connectivity is going, so if you’re interested in future-proofing your smart home, the 3rd generation Eve Energy is an absolute must.
If you’re not quite ready for the Thread revolution, it might be worth shooting for the gen two unit and saving a few bucks, but there will be some downsides, namely, the extra pressure on your Wi-Fi, or, if you choose to use Bluetooth connectivity instead, decreased range and increased interference.
Then there’s the matter of latency to worry about. The gen 2 takes between 3 and 7 seconds to respond depending on the nature of your command.
The gen 3, on the other hand, is lightning fast, executing any command in little over a second.
Eve Energy Design
The Eve Energy smart plug is a remarkably well made and durable smart device, but I do have one hang up with the design… it’s quite bulky.
This is by no means a dealbreaker, as it’s a minuscule price to pay for all the fancy features it brings to a smart home, but as it sticks out quite far from an outlet, it’s likely that something will catch on it eventually if you’re not careful.
Although it’s a darn sight thinner than many other smart plugs on the market, it’s still bulky enough to block neighboring sockets on a power strip, so it’s just as well that Eve warns us not to use the Eve Energy with extensions.
The Eve Energy is one of the most expensive smart plugs on the market, but considering how advanced and unique some of the features are, I can’t really argue with the price tag.
Plus, that cutting edge Thread technology means it’s going to be relevant for a long, long time, so that price is going to be pretty stable for a while.
As such, if you want this smart plug, it’s probably best to just bite the bullet and pay full price rather than wait for a reduction.
For those already in the throes of assembling a fleshed out Apple ecosystem, the Eve Energy gen 3 is a dynamite way to lay the foundation for the future of your smart home, but if you're allied with Amazon or Google, you’ll need to look elsewhere for your smart plugs.