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Now that we are approaching winter (it feels like we've arrived already though!) the energy bills start to rise, which isn't good timing with it being Christmas and an expensive month as it is. Every year, I try and keep my energy bill as reasonable as I can but it's not easy when it's so cold and you have little ones to keep warm and toasty! When Hive got in touch about their campaign on switching to smart, I was instantly intrigued. By using smart technology to manage your household you can save both money and energy – how cool is that?!
Even for a techy person like me, I find the whole switch a bit overwhelming, so I've teamed up with Hive to bring you some tips for creating your own smart home. Saving money and energy is all part and parcel of running a household and adulting, so I think everyone can relate to wanting to do as much as you can to save on both. Hive have a huge range of products which is great but can also be a bit intimidating, so it's good to focus on the things you care about most and take it from there.
The first step involved in switching to smart with Hive is to get yourself a Hive Hub which will be the heart of your connected home. These retail for £80 and are super easy to set up, they just plug into your WiFi router. Once it's all hooked up you simply download the Hive app and put in the number your Hive Hub is registered to and you're good to go! I'm really not the best when it comes to anything to do with the WiFi or things that need plugging in here there and everywhere, so I can promise you that his one is dead easy to rig up. The best thing about Hive is how easy they make it to switch to a smart home.
One of the most important aspects of switching to smart for me was the smart lighting. I'm sure many other parents can relate to how often our little ones tend to leave the lights on or switch on lights that don't need to be on. I've lost count of the amount of times I've had to drag myself out of bed to turn off landing/hallway/bathroom lights on an evening after a toilet trip. Lights are one of the most expensive issues when it comes to a high electricity bill so I always make an effort to try and buy energy efficient bulbs.
I got the set of three dimmable light bulbs from Hive, which I just think are absolutely fantastic and I will definitely be buying more to kit the whole house out with them. Not only are these lights an absolute breeze to set up, but they are so bright and are 80% more energy efficient than traditional bulbs. All I had to do was unscrew my current light bulbs, pop these in instead and switch them on to bring them to life. Once you switch it on, you're able to connect to them via the Hive app and after that they are completely controlled with the app. They do go offline if you switch them off on the wall so just something to remember. Once you go smart you don't need to go back!
On the app it tells you if a light is on or off, so it's easy to switch them off if you've left the house and forgot or when you're nice and toasty in bed. Another amazing thing about them is that when you're away for the night or on holiday, or even if you travel a lot for work - you can turn the lights off and on when you're not even there. This makes it appear that someone is at home so a good deterrent for unwanted visitors/burglars. And last but not least, they are also dimmable which is even handier for energy saving. They really are bright bulbs, so I notice that I don't need them at full brightness in the hallway or in my room on a night when I'm sat watching a film. However, if I'm making dinner I obviously will want as much light as possible, so it's great that with the flick of a finger I can alter them on the Hive app.
Another Hive product that I will eventually be adding to my home include the Smart Thermostat which controls your heating either via your phone or through your voice. This makes it so easy to have full control of when your home needs to be warm and when it doesn't so that you don't waste energy. You can also get a Hub for less when you buy a product, so with the Hive Active Heating you can add one on for £50 which saves you £30. You can also get an Amazon Echo free!
They also do a starter pack which is great for those who want to take the plunge and completely switch to a smart home. This includes two Hive Dimmable Bulbs, Motion Sensor, Active Plug and the Hive Hub. It's a great deal and has a saving of £57. The Hive Motion Sensor lets you know if there's any movement in your home so it's great if you're very paranoid about break ins like I am. The peace of mind is everything! And the Hive active plug means you can turn off appliances remotely which will really save on energy. Especially if you accidentally leave your straighteners on like I tend to do...
Hive are currently doing up to 30% off their best-selling products during their Winter Sale from 26th December 2020 to 11th January 2021 so what better time to switch to smart?!
Disclaimer: This post is a paid partnership with Hive.