Legrand brings HomeKit power options to Australia
For users of HomeKit in Australia and New Zealand the selection of smart power outlets and switches has been pretty scarce. Indeed the only certified option for power outlets has been the Eve Energy plug in device, while smart switches have been limited to a single or dual gang switch from Koogeek in a format that is not an easy swap for most existing switches.
In Europe, smart building company Legrand has been expanding the options in the smart home space with their 2018 acquisition of Netatmo and has a number of in-wall options already in the market, leveraging NetAtmo’s HomeKit certified interface. As it happens Australian electrical equipment manufacturer HPM is also owned by Legrand, and now has a range of HomeKit certified smart in-wall devices for that market.
The HPM Arteor with Netatmo range is not yet listed on Apple’s official HomeKit device list, possibly as it appears to be an Australian certified variant of the Celiane with Netatmo range from the European market. Indeed the Arteor has slipped under the radar a little as it also includes a wide selection of conventional switches and power sockets.
The smart range of Arteor devices operate on the ZigBee 2.4GHz protocol, the same protocol used by the popular Philips Hue lighting system. This choice does offer benefits in terms of low power use, reliable self-managed mesh networking, and fast response times. The downside, of course, is you need a bridge of some kind to connect it to your network so it can be controlled. The Arteor starter pack includes this bridge which is actually a small wall-mounted device that looks reminiscent of a motion sensor.
The Arteor range includes a variety of wired and wireless options, including smart wired and wireless smart light switches, sired and wireless smart dimmers, home/away and night/day wireless switches, wired and wireless blind/shutter controls and a smart power point. The wired light switches come in one, two, or three gauge options, while the power point and wireless switches are single gang only.
As with other smart light switches, the wired switch installation requires a neutral wire as the switch itself needs to be powered. The wired Dimmer, however, can operate on just the existing active wire so is a straight swap for an existing wired switch in most homes. All of the wireless options run on a single CR2032 battery and can be mounted anywhere with the included adhesive pads. The use of ZigBee allows these switches to use such a small battery and still get extensive battery life and maintain a very narrow profile.
The devices are designed to be as easy to set up as possible, although the bridge requires hard wiring to power first. The ZigBee network is created after installing any wired devices by just holding the master switch for 5 seconds once the wired devices are turned on. Pairing the wireless devices is equally simple as they can be configured to control one of the wired devices by simply tapping the two together.
Naturally, the system has it’s own app to set up the system and manage rooms and actions. Consumption reporting and comprehensive alert notifications are included, which allows you to be alerted for excessive use (say a light has been left on) or faults (an unreachable outlet may indicate a power failure on that circuit). Of course, with the system connected to HomeKit, you can also manage all the devices and integrate them into home automations and scenes using your preferred HomeKit app. It’s not just HomeKit support here either, integration is also provided with Alexa and Google Home, as well as IFTTT which provides a handy backstop for integrating with other non-HomeKit devices.
All the Arteor devices come in four finished; White, Magnesium, Aluminium and Champange, which is also compatible with the other non-smart Arteor accessories. Unfortunately HPM don’t sell these devices online, but instead offer them through their wide range of hardware and electrical distributors.