Review: Elgato Eve Light Switch and Eve Motion Add Versatility to Your HomeKit Setup

Elgato's Eve lineup of smart home devices is one of the largest contributors to the HomeKit ecosystem, with a variety of sensors and switches for inside and out, including five more products announced a couple of months ago.

We reviewed a set of the early Eve products two years ago, when we found a solid set of sensors that were hampered by bugs in the early days of HomeKit. HomeKit has come a long way since that time, making it much more stable and useful, so many of our early qualms have been resolved and we were impressed by the new Eve Degree temperature monitor released earlier this year.

Two of the other products in the Eve lineup are the Eve Light Switch, a rather typical smart light switch, and Eve Motion, a battery-operated motion sensor. I've been using both of these for a few months, and I've found them to be quite useful in automating my home.

Eve Light Switch



There are a number of HomeKit-compatible smart switches on the market, including one from iDevices that I looked at earlier this year. The Eve Light Switch was, however, the first entrant into this category late last year, and it remains a worthy competitor.

Installation and Setup


If you've ever swapped out a light switch, it's a pretty straightforward process, and installing the Eve Light Switch isn't much different. As always, make sure you turn off power at the circuit breaker for safety before getting inside the junction box.

The Eve Light Switch is a lot bulkier than a traditional switch in order to accommodate all of the electronics, so you'll need to make sure you have enough room in your junction box, and you'll also need to have a neutral wire present at the switch location in order to provide continuous power to the switch. If you don't have one, you'll have to run some new wiring to the switch (which may not be a do-it-yourself job) or else select another location.

Unlike the iDevices Wall Switch, the Eve Light Switch can only be used in single-pole configurations. So if you've got a three-way circuit where a single light is controlled from two different switches, for example, you won't be able to use the Eve Light Switch.

Once you've determined the switch you want to replace is an appropriate location for the Eve Light Switch, it's just a matter or removing the old switch, transferring the wires over to the Eve Light Switch using the included wire nuts, shoving everything back into the wall, and screwing it all together.

Included snap-on plate (left) vs. standard wall plate purchased separately (right)

From there, you have a decision to make. Elgato includes a two-piece face plate for a clean look, which requires that you screw on a snap plate over the switch and then snap on the face plate. Alternatively, you can skip those two pieces and put your own face plate on. Metal face plates may decrease the Bluetooth range of the switch, but I haven't experienced any issues with mine.

With everything put back together, it's time to turn the circuit breaker back on and make sure tapping the switch properly turns your light on and off. From there, head to the Eve app to get finish setting up the switch and getting it registered with your HomeKit network.


When you're done with setup on your device, you'll be all set to control the Eve Light Switch using the Eve app, the built-in Home app on iOS, or Siri. And as always, you can set up scenes to control the switch in conjunction with other HomeKit accessories, such as a "Good night" scene that turns off the lights, locks the doors, and adjusts the thermostat when heading to bed.

Usage


One thing my whole family loves about the Eve Light Switch is that the switch is actually just one big capacitive touch sensor. Tapping anywhere on the switch will turn the light on or off, and a green light in the center of the switch when it's off helps make it easy to find and hit in the dark.

The sensor makes for a big target, and it's easy to activate it when carrying things, even if you have to use an elbow. That's in contrast to the iDevices Wall Switch, which is a more traditional paddle design that requires you to physically press the top or bottom half of the switch to turn it on or off.

The Eve Motion communicates via Bluetooth, which conserves energy but somewhat limits its range. It can connect directly to your phone via Bluetooth, but if you have an Apple TV or iPad set up as a hub for your HomeKit setup, it'll ensure that all notifications and scenes function properly even when your phone isn't in range. Bluetooth range is much shorter than Wi-Fi, however, so you could run into some difficulty if your hub is located far from the switch.

Eve App


Once you've set up your light switch in the Eve app, you'll find that it's also a very full-featured HomeKit control app, showing all of your HomeKit devices around the house with options to set scenes, timers, rules (triggers), rooms, and zones (groups of rooms).

I won't go into too much detail on the app, as we've covered it fairly extensively in previous reviews such as the Eve Degree, but it's definitely a high-quality app for managing not just Eve products but a variety of HomeKit-compatible accessories.


The Eve app keeps a log of events such as when the light switch is turned on and off, which you can view in graph or table form. The various rules and scenes also make it easy to set up products to work together in scenarios such as activating multiple products at once or using an event on one accessory to automatically trigger a change in the state of another one.

Eve Motion


The Eve Motion is a simple product designed to do only one thing: sense motion in a room. Its 120º field of view and 30-foot detection range help it recognize whenever someone enters a room, and the fact that it's powered by a pair of AA batteries means you can put it almost anywhere. The Eve Motion is also IPX3 water resistant, meaning it can withstand splashes and sprays, and with an operating temperature range of 0º to 130º F, it can be used outdoors as well as inside.


Setup is straightforward, and once you insert the batteries and set the Eve Motion in an appropriate location, the Eve app walks you through step-by-step to allow you to pair with the Eve Motion, set sensitivity for the motion sensing, and set a Siri name for the sensor. If you'd like to integrate with other Eve or HomeKit products, you can set up scenes by specifying triggers and conditions.

As with the Eve Light Switch, the Eve Motion connects to your iOS device over Bluetooth, and if you have an Apple TV or iPad set up as a HomeKit hub, it'll be able to integrate with all of your other smart home devices at all times.

On its own, the Eve Motion is rather limited, basically restricted to pushing notifications whenever motion is sensed. This can come in handy if you want to mount it on your front porch, inside your front door, or in a seldom-used room if you want to be alerted whenever anyone's presence is detected. Within the HomeKit ecosystem, you can restrict notifications to only certain times of the day or, using geofencing, to only times when you either are or are not home.

Notification preferences in Home app for Eve Motion

The real power of the Eve Motion, however, is its wireless connectivity that integrates with the rest of the Eve platform and HomeKit, which lets you use the Eve Motion to trigger actions by other smart home components. For example, you could automatically turn on a light when motion is detected. Rules can also use multiple criteria, so you could set up an "I'm home" scene that turns on lights if it detects motion at your front door but only if it's after sunset. Or you could arrange to have a fan turn on when you enter a room, but only if the temperature is above 72º F.


One of the setups I tried with the Eve Motion was inside a pantry in my kitchen, pairing it with an iDevices Switch to try to automatically turn on a light in the pantry when the door was opened. The setup worked, but it's not instantaneous, sometimes taking as much as five seconds for the Eve Motion to recognize the motion of the door opening and me moving around in front of it, passing the event to HomeKit for processing the trigger, and sending a signal to the iDevices Switch to turn the light on it.

It wasn't ideal, considering I am frequently spending less time popping my head into the pantry than it takes for the light to come on, but it was an interesting test to push the limits of how HomeKit products can work together.

Other less time-sensitive setups worked better, such as triggering lights to come on when motion was detected on my front porch. The slight lag in response for the scene to activate once motion is detected isn't really significant in these contexts.

Wrap-up


The Eve Light Switch carries a list price of $49.95, and a few third-party sellers at Amazon are even knocking a few dollars off of that, which makes for a pretty decent deal in the world of connected light switches where many are closer to $100. It's a lot more than the buck or two you can spend on a traditional toggle switch at the low end, but there's obviously a lot more technology packed in and it comes with much more functionality. Your cash outlay will add up quickly if you want to use any of these smart switches throughout your home, so at least for now most users will want to be fairly selective about where they choose to install them.

The Eve Motion is priced at $49.95, and it's available through a number of retailers including Amazon or directly from Elgato. As a simple motion sensor without any other Eve or HomeKit products, it's not really worth investing in, but as part of a larger smart home setup, it can be a handy addition to help your other accessories do more.

Note: Elgato provided the Eve Light Switch and Eve Motion to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.


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Elgato Announces Five New HomeKit Devices Including Connected Radiator Valve and Window Guard

Elgato has announced five new HomeKit-enabled devices coming to its Eve product line, including the Eve Thermo, Eve Lock, Eve Window Guard, Eve Smoke, and Eve Aqua. The announcement was made ahead of IFA Berlin 2017, a consumer electronics and home appliances trade show taking place from September 1-6 where Elgato will showcase the devices in more detail.


The new Eve Thermo marks the second generation of the product line, introducing capacitive touch controls below an integrated temperature display, all on a small device that connects to a home's radiator to provide smart controls without the need for a bridge. Aimed at European customers, the connected radiator valve detects when users are home and when windows are open, automatically adjusting heat as needed.

With HomeKit, users can set up schedules and timers to activate or deactivate their radiator, and control the temperature through Siri commands. Eve Thermo -- which has a battery life of up to 12 months -- can be mounted vertically or horizontally, and its touch controls can be locked to prevent kids from tampering with the radiator's temperature. Those interested will be able to purchase Eve Thermo starting September 26 for £59.95/69,95 Euro.


Eve Lock is a new intelligent, self-locking lock mechanism that automatically secures the lock of a door after users close the door behind them. Additionally, Eve Lock can be controlled through the iOS Home or Eve apps, so users can open the door when they have a visitor or monitor when an unauthorized attempt to open the door has occurred.

The company also unveiled Eve Smoke, which can link with and activate HomeKit scenes whenever it detects smoke within the home, in order to quickly notify residents of a potential fire. The smoke alarm -- which also sets off a loud noise like traditional alarms -- can be monitored through Apple's Home app like the other Eve products, and its battery lasts for ten years.

To protect the home from intruders, Eve Window Guard can sense tamper force on a window to detect when someone might be trying to break in, and can even notice if the window is open, closed, or tilted. When it recognizes one of these changes in the window's state, the device will send a HomeKit notification to a user's iPhone so they know that there might be an intruder in the home.

Lastly, Eve Aqua lets users water their lawns using HomeKit. After attaching the Bluetooth-enabled controller between a spigot and a hose, they can set up a water schedule to perfectly monitor their lawn care, or ask Siri to turn on the Eve Aqua and immediately sprinkle the lawn or flower beds. The connected Eve app will also track Eve Aqua's activity so users can discover various piece of watering data that Elgato said will help "better cater to your garden's needs."

While the company gave more detailed insight and a price for the Eve Thermo, the four other HomeKit devices did not receive any price points or launch dates at this time. Check out Elgato's website here for more images and information on the new HomeKit products.

Tag: Elgato

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Review: Elgato’s $300 Thunderbolt 3 Dock Offers a Solid Set of Ports in a Slim Design

Over the past few months, I've taken a look at a number of Thunderbolt 3 docks that all hit the market around the same time, including models from OWC, CalDigit, Belkin, and Kensington. There's at least one more major player in the market, so today I'm sharing my thoughts on Elgato's $300 Thunderbolt 3 Dock. Elgato's dock has a lot in common with many of its competitors, including a slim horizontal design of brushed aluminum and plastic, an array of ports for expanding the capabilities of your Thunderbolt 3-equipped Mac, and more.


The dock looks nice on a desk, with a black matte plastic front and back wrapped by a brushed aluminum enclosure that's rounded around the sides. A small Elgato wordmark is printed in the front left corner of the dock's top, but it doesn't mar the overall look of the accessory, which remains rather unobtrusive. Measuring just under 8 inches wide, Elgato's dock is slightly narrower than some of the other docks, which to my eye makes it look a bit better sitting on the foot of my LG UltraFine 5K display. Belkin's dock at a little over 8 inches also fits pretty well, but wider docks like OWC's and Kensington's overhang a bit.

Of course, everyone's desk setup is different so variations of around an inch in the width of all of these docks may not be a deal-breaker, but it's worth noting this is the narrowest of the horizontal designs I've tested. At about 3.15 inches deep and an inch high, Elgato's dock is otherwise pretty much on par with competing docks in terms of size.
Continue reading Review: Elgato’s $300 Thunderbolt 3 Dock Offers a Solid Set of Ports in a Slim Design

Review: Elgato’s New HomeKit-Connected Eve Degree is a Sleek, Palm-Sized Temperature Monitor

Elgato recently updated its Eve lineup of HomeKit-connected products with the Eve Degree, a temperature and humidity sensor that joins the existing Eve Weather and the Eve Room.


Priced at $69.99, the Eve Degree feels like an iteration of the cheaper Eve Weather. It monitors temperature, humidity, and air pressure like the Eve Weather, but it's smaller, better designed, and it includes an LCD display.

Design


Eve Degree is palm-sized and the tiniest of Elgato's temperature sensors, measuring in at 2.1 x 2.1 x 0.6 inches. For comparison's sake, the Eve Weather is a good deal larger at 3.1 x 3.1 x 1.3 inches.


The Eve Degree features a square-shaped anodized aluminum body with a temperature readout that makes it easy to see the room's temperature without needing to check an app. Compared to the white plastic Eve Weather and the Eve Room, it's more stylish and better able to blend in with a range of decors, plus it's lighter so it's easier to mount on a wall if desired.
Continue reading Review: Elgato’s New HomeKit-Connected Eve Degree is a Sleek, Palm-Sized Temperature Monitor

Elgato Debuts New ‘Eve Degree’ HomeKit-Connected Temperature Monitor

Elgato today announced the latest product in its Eve series of HomeKit-connected devices, debuting the Eve Degree. Eve Degree is a HomeKit-compatible temperature and humidity monitor with a fresh design featuring a large display housed in a sleek aluminum body.

Elgato already makes a temperature and humidity monitor, the Eve Weather, but the new Eve Degree features an entirely different design and a visible temperature display for instant feedback with no need to check the Eve app to get a reading.


While the display means a quick temperature or humidity check doesn't require opening the accompanying Eve app, the app does store additional information, including climate data over time presented through graphs.

Eve Degree works indoors or outdoors thanks to a splash proof IPX3 water resistance rating, and it includes a replaceable battery that will allow it to function for several months at a time without needing to be recharged.

"Eve Degree is a luxurious and classy thermometer but, more importantly, it is seamlessly integrated into iPhone," says Florian Albrecht, Director User Experience, Elgato. "By leveraging the strengths of HomeKit and the Eve app, Eve Degree offers reliable usability, superior privacy, and advanced security.
With HomeKit support, temperature readings from the Eve Degree show up in the dedicated Home app, and it can answer to Siri queries and interface with other HomeKit-compatible products. With an Apple TV Home hub, Eve Degree is able to serve as a trigger for scenes, doing things like turning on a fan when the humidity gets too high, or turning on a humidifier when it's dry.

Eve Degree will be available from the Elgato website starting Tuesday, June 6 for $69.95.

Tags: HomeKit, Elgato

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Elgato’s $300 Thunderbolt 3 Dock With Dual 4K Display Support Launches June 6

Elgato today announced that its upcoming Thunderbolt 3 Dock, which was first introduced in January at CES, will be available starting on Tuesday, June 6 for $299.95.


Elgato's Thunderbolt 3 Dock, designed to work with the new 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models Apple introduced back in October, features three USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two Thunderbolt USB-C ports, one DisplayPort with DisplayPort 1.2 support, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a 3.5mm microphone input jack.


The dock is able to provide up to 85 watts of power and can charge a MacBook Pro while also offering multiple ports for connecting displays and accessories. It can drive one 5K display at 60Hz through the Thunderbolt 3 port or two 4K displays simultaneously at 60Hz using the DisplayPort and a Thunderbolt 3 port.

- DisplayPort output: up to 4096 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz

- Thunderbolt 3 output: up to 5120 x 2880 pixels at 60 Hz

- Dual displays: up to 4096 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz each

- 4K60 over HDMI 2.0 supported using active adapters (not included) via USB-C and DisplayPort
USB-C accessories are powered with up to 15 watts and the dock's USB-A ports can charge an iPhone or iPad at full speed. Elgato's dock is priced similarly to other Thunderbolt 3 docks on the market, with a 1.6ft Thunderbolt 3 cable included in the $299.95 price tag.

It can be purchased in the U.S., Europe, and Australia starting on June 6 from the Elgato website.


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Elgato Eve 2.6 Update Enhances Lighting Control and HomeKit-Enabled Hardware Support

Elgato has updated its HomeKit-compatible Eve app with improved third-party accessory support and new features, including new lighting controls.

The Eve family of HomeKit accessories gathers data on air quality, temperature, humidity, air pressure, energy consumption and more, while the Eve app is where data from each Eve product is aggregated and where accessories can be grouped and organized by room for different Siri commands.


One big change to version 2.6 of the Eve app is the introduction of a new lighting control interface that allows users to set lamp and light strip colors more easily, and makes stored favorites for particular moods or occasions more accessible. Once stored, existing favorites can also now be applied to additional HomeKit-enabled lights.

In addition, the update brings support support for HomeKit-enabled cameras, including the ability to preview a snapshot in the Eve app's "At a Glance" view, and the ability to access live video with optional intercom audio.

Elsewhere, support has been enhanced for Eve Thermo, with new support for third-party HomeKit-enabled accessories such as the Schlage Sense and Nanoleaf Aurora also included. The update also brings some general improvements to the app and a handful of HomeKit-related bug fixes, which have hampered the system in the past.

Elgato Eve is a free update for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tags: HomeKit, Elgato

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CES 2017: Elgato Introduces Thunderbolt 3 Dock With Dual 4K Display Support

Elgato today announced the launch of a new Thunderbolt 3 Dock designed to work with the new 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models Apple introduced in October of 2016.

Elgato's Thunderbolt 3 Dock features three USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two Thunderbolt USB-C ports, 1 DisplayPort with DisplayPort 1.2 support, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a 3.5mm microphone input jack.

elgatodock1
"Apple's sleek new Mac notebooks deserve a clean workspace that's free of hubs and dongles." said Markus Fest, General Manager of Elgato, "With the new Elgato Thunderbolt 3Dock, it's literally one cable and you're all set."
The Dock, which provides up to 85 watts of power, can charge a MacBook Pro while also providing multiple ports for connecting displays and accessories. It can drive one 5K display at 60Hz through the Thunderbolt 3 port or two 4K displays simultaneously at 60Hz, using both the DisplayPort and one of the USB-C ports. USB-C accessories will be powered with up to 15W and the USB A ports will charge an iPhone or an iPad at full speed.

elgatodock2
- DisplayPort output: up to 4096 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz

- Thunderbolt 3 output: up to 5120 x 2880 pixels at 60 Hz

- Dual displays: up to 4096 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz each

- 4K60 over HDMI 2.0 supported using active adapters (not included) via USB-C and DisplayPort
The Thunderbolt 3 Dock will be available at the end of January 2017 and will be priced at $299.95, a price tag that includes a 1.6 ft Thunderbolt 3 cable.

For its HomeKit-enabled Eve line of products, Elgato is also showing off the Eve Extend and the Eve Aqua, but is not making formal product announcements at this time. The Eve Extend is designed to connect to a local Wi-Fi network and act as a bridge for Bluetooth-based accessories in its range, while the Eve Aqua is a wireless irrigation controller that connects directly to a faucet and hose.


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