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Universal Smart IR remote with Temperature and Humidity sensors CSH-IRTEMHU $69

Not to confuse you, but it is a way to control IR devices (those that have IR remote controls) from your smartphone via the Connect SmartHome app. Think Air Conditioner, TV etc.

IR and sensor

The temperature and humidity sensors are a bonus – you know what this is where the sensor is. The sensor requires USB 5V/1A power – a cable is provided but not a charger.

It uses the Remotec RT-400 chipset, and the IR cloud library is one of the most extensive for AC and AV devices, such as TV, DVD, STB, OTT box, Lighting, soundbars, audio devices and many more.

Tests

  • It worked the first time.
  • TV setup was flawless
  • Theoretical control distance is seven metres, but it was erratic after five
  • Extensive range of brands/models and types

But the real power of this is in controlling other IR devices via IFTTT.

GadgetGuy’s take – I have used Remotec based products before, and the cloud database is impressive. In the case of a smartTV however, it does not support all the functions like switching to Netflix etc. But for an AC unit where all you want is on/off, temperature up/down and fan speed its perfect.

Best use – to control via IFTTT or schedule the use of an AC unit.

Festoon Lights  CSH-FSTN12 $149.95

  • 12V/1A (12W) 240V detachable plug pack (not IP67)
  • 12 x RGB LED .6W (7.2W) 1200 lumens (LED covers screw off, but LEDs do not look user replaceable)
  • Cable length: 6.7m
  • APP and Voice Assistant dimmable and colour temperature adjust (no Blue Light issues)
  • IP67 rated (1m for up to 30 minutes) except charger!
  • 16 million colours and eight pre-sets (changing colours)
Festoon

Tests:

  • Setup via the app and control by Google Assistant – Pass
  • Wi-Fi 2.4 test. Theoretical distance from the router is about 50 metres. These were stable through an outside glass door to 30m.

GadgetGuy’s take: IP67, well made, a little old-fashioned round bulb style, and eight presets. Suitable for patio lighting to impress your friends.

Video Doorbell and Doorbell Chime  CSH-CAMDBB $129.95

You probably have heard or Arlo, Ring, Swann and many more. This does pretty well everything the others do but at a lower cost.

  • 720p, f/2.0, 166° wide-angle camera, speaker and microphone
  • OV9732 CMOS sensor, 3.0um, [email protected] (will adjust frame rate from 1-25 depending on the signal strength and pixel bin to 640 x 360 in low light), mirror/flip,
  • 15/30/45 second recorded clips triggered by push button or PIR motion sensor (Low, medium, high or off)
  • 6 x IR LED
  • 8-24V AC power (uses most existing doorbell transformer power) OR
  • User-replaceable Lithium-Ion rechargeable 18650 batteries (micro-USB cable supplied – no charger)
  • Micro-SD slot (to 32GB) for local recording
  • Mounting bracket and hardware
  • Note it is not IP rated so it should be undercover – not exposed to the elements

Chime

  • 240V plugin
  • Pairs to Doorbell and can co-exist with original chime/s
  • Volume adjustable to 110dB

The sensor, 3um pixels and f/2.0 lens are capable of reasonable colour images down to about 100 lumens. (Daylight is 25,000 lumens, and office light is 400-500 lumens). We could not accurately test the IR cut-over to mono recording – its somewhere after twilight.

My concern with any Wi-Fi device is the distance from outside the front door to the router. Video doorbells are a special concern because they are often on a different home level and the Wi-Fi signal may have to travel through walls, cement floors and heavy doors. My best advice – make it a condition of purchase that it works in your home. Otherwise, you will need to purchase a Wi-Fi extender, and that is even more pain.

Tests:

  • It managed to make it about 30 metres from the router showing 60% signal strength before the signal was lost.
  • While it captures a wide-angle, that is at the expense of detail. You need to be within 1m of the video doorbell to use it for ID purposes.
  • The two-way (full-duplex) talk was impossible. One-way was OK.
  • It takes colour images in ambient light of about 100 lumens then switches to IR (mono)
  • Battery recharge was over eight hours so it makes sense to use existing AC doorbell wiring if you can.
  • The two 18650 x 2600mAh rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries work in parallel for a claimed life of 4-6 months at 10 activations per day (we could not test that). You can buy 5800mAh batteries and a separate charger on eBay.

GadgetGuy’s take: It is what you pay for – it works as advertised and that is all you can expect. It is comparable to any other 720p, Wi-Fi doorbell – more so at that price.

If video quality, distance to the router, and 100% rock-solid reliability are your needs, then you need to look at much higher cost security-based products like Arlo that has a separate base station (not Wi-Fi) and higher 1080p, 2-4K cameras, video doorbell, chimes, spotlights and more.

Window and Door Sensor  CSH-WINDORSEN $39.95

It does what it says – a window or door sensor that reports if it is opened. It is a simple magnetic sensor – mount the magnet on the door/window and the sensor on the frame, and that is it.

Connect SmartHome Window

Battery operated by a replaceable 3V CR2 its good for 2600 triggers – some years!

These are best on doors or windows that are potential entry points for a thief – and ones that you don’t open anyway. Or doors that you frequently forget to lock. These are best used as part of an IFTT to trigger some other action.