Laser has branched out into Wi-Fi-connected smarthome devices. Called Connect SmartHome the range includes lighting, security, sensors, power and ‘home and garden’.
Connect SmartHome is exclusive to Harvey Norman although it only currently lists 22 devices – there are over 30 in the line-up. Judging by the app, we are sure there will be many more categories, including irrigation, access control, health and more.
GadgetGuy knows Laser Co well, and we can be confident of the quality, reliability, support and value. It’s a bold move to introduce a range of Connect SmartHome devices, but from our initial tests, they all work well and importantly connect seamlessly with OK Google where necessary.
Connect SmartHome app
The Connect SmartHome app is available for iOS or Android and integrates with Google Home (tested) and Alexa (not tested). It is a white-labelled Tuya app that is also used by Brilliant, Arlec (Grid Connect), Mirabelle, Nimbull Smart Homes and many more. Tuya is headquartered in the US and covers over 90,000 products made by 3000 manufacturers in 500 product categories.
What that means is Laser et al., don’t have to develop or maintain the control app. It also means all the hard work is done – it’s a great platform that allows Laser to source a vast range of products – if they meet its standards!
The Connect SmartHome range is Google-licensed, fully compliant with Australian Standards and Regulations, and like all Laser products has a replacement warranty and local customer support.
As far as privacy goes Tuya knows your address, IP address, what devices, where they are, and how/when they are used. In the case of security camera video is stored in its cloud. It states, “We do not sell your Personal Data to third parties”.
But the game changes when you use a voice assistant and its privacy policies over-ride that. But hey, you have to trust someone!
Laser Connect SmartHome has a 12-month warranty.
All are Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz and tested with a NETGEAR AX12 router – the most powerful available today. Lower speed routers may not have the transmission distance or the 2.4Mhz bandwidth to handle heavier loads from video cameras etc.
And a word of warning – most routers are not well placed to cover the home. As with any Wi-Fi device, you may need to buy a Wi-Fi extender or install a mesh system (GadgetGuy tutorial here).
DIY or DI DON’T
While most products are DIY, some require an electrician. For example, in-ceiling downlights, smart video doorbell (if connecting to doorbell wiring), and smart wall switches.
But the real power of these devices is when using them as part of a more comprehensive smart home. Via the app you can
- Geofencing (turns on or off when your smartphone is near,
- Routines. What to do at various times of the day, bedtime, wakeup etc
- And of course, OK Google Control adds a whole new world of interoperability
It also has IFTTT support that binds the devices into a broader ecosystem. IFTTT means ‘If this then that’ and you can set nested conditions across a myriad of smart devices, e.g. If the front door sensor opens then turn on the hall light and activate the security video unless it is me and I have a geofenced smartphone.
You need to use the app to access more features. Voice assistants (as with all brands of smart devices) do not support all functions (at this time).
It is ‘low-level’ DIY smarthome, so my best advice is to do some investigation first and see if you want more! If so, then go to a smarthome expert and be prepared to invest in a Z-Wave, Zigbee SmartThings setup at considerably more cost.