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Making Our Home Smarter With Hive


In the next few years I'd really love to buy my own house and make it our own. I do love our current home but renting does limit you to what you can do in terms of renovations and how you want everything to be. For example, having a particular taste in decor or wanting to put in a new kitchen. So in the meantime we are making our home "Smarter" with the help of Hive and their amazing products. Hive recently got in touch with us and asked if we wanted to work together on their #specialmoments campaign and they couldn't have asked at a better time especially with winter coming up. Hive is the leading smart home brand in the UK and aims to make consumers lives a little easier and provides new ways to people to control, manage and connect with their homes through initiative technology, creating a little magic in the everyday along the way.

Before Christmas we were sent a range of their products to try out and below I will be showing you how they work for us as a family and how much easier Hive has made our lives. From being able to adjust the heating from the tap of a button whilst on the go, set slow cooker timers whilst at work and even turning the kettle on whilst in bed in the morning! I also love that I can pair it with my Amazon Alexa to make our home even smarter.


Hive Hub

Firstly I'll talk to you about the Hive Hub as without that none of the other products will work. The Hub is the heart of your connected home that lets you control all your Hive devices from your mobile, tablet and laptop. It's really easy to set up and you can be connected and using your products within minutes. 


To set up the Hub you'll need to plug the Ethernet cable into your router then plug the power cable into the plug socket. Then you'll need to activate the hub which to do so you are required to download the Hive smartphone app. If you don't already have a Hive account at this point you will need to register and enter the my Hub ID which is found on the bottom on the Hub. Once this was done I was then able to add the devices via the app.


The Hive app is how you control all of your devices in one place via the dashboard. The app is very easy to use and didn't take me long at all to become accustomed to it. My Hive Home brings up all of your active devices whether they are online or offline meaning you can easily turn them on or off and manage them from the click of a button. I really love this as I am always on my phone it means I can control the heating anywhere around the house, when I'm at work or even when we are out shopping. I love being able to turn the heating on before we arrive home, there's nothing worse than arriving home to a cold house so having this option really is amazing! 


Hive Active Plug


The Hive Active Plug is a smart plug that lets you turn your electrical devices on and off from your smartphone, tablet and laptop. I have had a few smart plugs in the past but none of them compare to Hive's Active Plug. I love the fact again that you are able to control it from your phone and it's great having all of the devices in one place instead of on lots of different apps. 


We've mainly used the smart plug to control our Christmas tree lights over the Christmas period. With a simple tap on my phone I can schedule my Christmas tree lights throughout the week and also have the option to manually turn them on or off whether I'm upstairs, sat on the sofa or even at work! The kids love coming home from school to the lights already twinkling away. We have also used it to turn our bedside lamps on or off as well as turn the slow cooker on whilst I am at work which is simply fantastic! 


Hive Active Heating

The Hive Active Heating is definitely our favourite device out of all of the range and I can't believe we didn't buy it sooner! Hive Active Heating allows you to control your heating and hot water from wherever you are. Meaning that you can always come back to a nice warm house, without ever having to heat an empty one. As a busy working mum of two being able to control the heating from a tap of a button is so convenient. I love the fact that we can control the heating from anywhere around the house, at work before I leave so it's warm when I arrive home, or if we are out for the day or away on holiday and due to arrive home. Our Hive heating was set up and professionally installed by a fully trained British Gas engineer who was very professional and answered any questions we had. It was all up and running in under an hour which I was very impressed with.


The thermostat is very modern and I love the design. It looks great on the wall in our living room. You don't have to have it attached to the wall it can be free standing but I thought it would be best out of reach from the kids. It even has a child lock function which has been a godsend. If I'm being honest I hardly use the thermostat itself to control the heating as I do it all through my phone but it's handy to have incase my phone dies or I need to check something there and then. Previously we didn't have a thermostat so this has been a huge game changer to our way of living. When ever we went away we would come home to a freezing cold house as we could never set the timer up so I am forever grateful to having Hive heating installed. 

You can also control and schedule your hot water from the app too however we don't have a separate hot water cylinder to do this so are only able to control our heating via Hive. 


Some other functions we love are that you can schedule your heating to days and times that suit you. For example for the heating to turn on every morning between 6.30am and 8am and again at 5pm until 10pm. You can also boost your heating to take off that chill factor. Another great feature is the frost protection meaning that you can protect your home whilst you are away and it will never go below a certain temperature. You could save up to £130 per year on your heating bill! 


Hive Active Light Bulbs


Moving on to Hive Active Light's...Similar to the heating you can set schedules and control the lights via the Hive app. I love this feature because if we are away for the night or on holiday I can set them to come on in the evening to make it look like someone is home which is such a great idea! Another thing I do is because Amelia likes to have a light on to go to sleep I schedule the light in her bedroom to turn off automatically once she is asleep. We were sent a colour changing and dimmable warm light bulb to try out and our favourite is the colour changing one. The dimmable light bulb allows you to change the brightness from 0% to 100%, whilst the colour changing bulb allows you to not only do this, but also choose a single colour from a rainbow of choices. The kids love this especially as we can set it to any colour combination we wish and they love being able to control it from my phone. 


They are really simple to use and can replace your existing light bulb right away. Once the bulb is inserted into the socket and switched on you will then need to install the Hive Active Lights via the app. Once you have connected that and all set up you are then able to use the app to control the lights for example altering the brightness, setting up schedules or changing the colour depending on your mood. 


Another great feature is if you have the Hive motion sensors you can set it to turn off the lights automatically when you leave the room which I think is pretty cool! The light bulbs are LED meaning they are more efficient than normal bulbs, which are cheaper to run in the long-term and also last longer. They are available in both screw and bayonet fitting so we've only been able to use them on lamps as our ceiling light fittings require bayonet bulbs and we were sent screw ones so we will picking up some more soon. 

Hive Motion Sensor


Finally we have the Hive Motion Sensor. I really didn't think we would use this product when it arrived but I'm glad we have had the chance to try it out. The Hive motion sensor alerts you when motion is detected in your home and you can set up actions which are pretty cool and if you love tech like me then you'll enjoy having a play around with these. One of the actions you can set up on the motion sensor to trigger when you walk into a dark room the lights will turn on. You could also set it to turn on your music when you walk into the room too. 

Overall we absolutely love Hive and don't know how we lived without it for so long! Although it's not an essential but if you like tech and gadgets like myself then I'd definitely recommend getting Hive. It's helped transform our house into a smart home and made every day activities more convenient especially as a busy mum of two. 

NB: We are working with Hive on their #specialmoments campaign however all words and opinions are entirely my own.

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