I decided to try expanding my smartHome setup with some cheaper smartplugs from Energenie. Below I summarise my findings so far.
The first thing to note is that there are 2 systems out there called MiHome. One is by Energie, and the other is by Xiaomi. When you’re looking for the Android App it is very easy to confuse the 2. Make sure you sign up for the correct system when you first set up
The system I got came with 3 plugs, a remote control, and a hub. The plugs can be controlled with the remote control (without the hub) and also from the hub, which enables access to the app.
One of my 3 plugs works very well and is very responsive. Another works almost all the time but can take 10–15 seconds to respond which is really too slow to be acceptable. the third plug usually turns on but never seems to turn off. Overall I haven’t been very impressed — these devices need to work reliably, and respond within a second or 2 at most. Looking at reviews it looks like I am far from alone in having this issues, whilst other people have had no problems. Maybe quality control is an issue, or perhaps it depends on the radio environment in the home. I have an old house with thick walls and as well as a mesh wifi network on the 2.4GHz range I also have a smartthings hub (Z-Wave and Zigbee), a couple of bluetooth devices, a cordless telephone system, and 2 baby monitors. That makes for a very crowded spectrum and I wonder if the MiHome system can’t reliably communicate amongst all this competition. My Belkin WeeMo has always worked quickly and reliably so I could always get more of them in future, but they are rather pricey, so I will probably investigate other cheaper systems.
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