Elgato Eve Energy review
Most smart home devices like bulbs or thermostats replace the old dumb device in totality, but what do you do if you want to connect a kettle, TV or another non-smart device? well, thankfully it’s easy to give them smart features. How? With a smart switch, like the Elgato Eve Energy Smart Switch.
Regular readers of Active JR will appreciate that I am a big fan of smart home devices with the smart accessory’s that make the cut, ending up in my home. so I decided to take the Elgato Eve Energy for a spin and see if the smart plug could complement a smart home.
Is it worth investing in the Eve energy switch? read on to find out more in Active JR’s Eve Energy review.
Must Read: HomeKit user guide
What is the Elgato Eve Energy?
The Elgato Eve energy smart plug is a Bluetooth enabled smart plug that lets you control your home devices from your phone, set custom rules and receive status notifications. The Eve energy has energy monitoring built to monitor your energy usage and it works with Apple HomeKit.
Elgato Eve Energy Key Features
- Review Price: £44.00 Amazon Link
- Track your energy usage by cost and watts
- Connects via Low energy Bluetooth
- Apple TV required for remote access
- App is available for iOS which supports HomeKit
Elgato Eve Energy review in pictures
Elgato Eve Energy deals
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The design of the Eve Energy is simple and looks pretty much like any other smart plug The smart switch is relatively big, and this may be an issue if you want to place this in tight space. In terms of the colour and finish, the Eve Energy comes in gloss white and handling the device it feels premium and solid.
On the back of the Eve Energy you will find the standard UK 3 plug prongs, but in the rest of the world, you will get the relevant power configuration. On the top of the smart plug, you have a button that can turn the device on and off and it also glows green or red to show the user the current power state.
Overall I am impressed with the design and build quality of the Eve Energy, it feels robust and solid. It is on the bulky side, but comparing it to the Wemo Insight switch it is not much different.
Unlike other smart devices the Eve Energy does not need a hub to operate, however, unless you have an Apple TV, HomePod or iPad acting as your HomeKit hub, then you cannot control the Eve Energy outside of the home.
Installation & Setup
In order to setup the Eve Energy smart switch, you need to download the Eve App from the iOS app store and unlike other smart plugs, the Eve Energy does not support Andriod at this time, making it exclusive to Apple devices. The Elgato Eve app will work on devices running iOS 11 or later and will run on a Compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Unlike many other switches, the Elgato Eve Energy switch connects through low energy Bluetooth and not via your home Wi-Fi. Despite not being connected by Wifi, I found that it was very responsive and easy to setup, actually one the easiest and quickest.
Setup is easy, you simply plug the Eve Energy into the wall socket, wait for the power indicator to go green and then open the Elgato App. Following the setup process is super easy and unlike other HomeKit enabled accessory, Elgato has integrated the HomeKit setup into the device setup process, it is smooth and took me only 4 minutes from start to finish.
Day-to-day use and Eve app
The Eve app is built to control any Eve smart product along with any HomeKit-connected devices you already have in your home, so you can make a choice between using the Home App that comes with iOS or use the Elgato Eve App.
The app is pretty well laid-out, and it’s divided into five tabs with the data being pulled from the HomeKit database. So in effect, the Eve App is just a reskinned Home app, but with a few extra bits.
At a Glance
Which is the equivalent of the Home app’s Home tab which holds all the favourited HomeKit accessories. It gives you a quick look at the devices in your home and the ability to switch things on and off.
The next tab is scenes, this is where you can access, setup or enable scenes and again any scenes you have previously created in HomeKit are pulled through here. You can also set timers and in the rules tab, access HomeKit triggers to enable home automation like “When someone arrives Home” set a number of devices to turn on.
The Rooms tab, shows each device by the room that it’s located in and again these are pulled from the HomeKit app if you have set them up. You can also access zones, which are zones in the home like downstairs and upstairs. You can also add, edit and remove rooms from this section.
“Types,” which shows devices by the type of device that they are. So, for example, the Eve Energy device will show under “consumption.” This section is one I found confusing and didn’t feel it offered any value to the user when I was testing.
The settings section is where you can alter settings and also add accessories to HomeKit.
One of the big features of the Eve Energy smart plug is the energy monitoring and whilst others like the Wemo Insight switch has energy monitoring, I feel the Elgato Eve Energy offers far more detail and accuracy.
So for example, you get current consumption, projected cost, Total consumption and total cost.
The consumption is the current power consumption based on the current state of the appliance that is plugged in.
You can get projection costs based on week, day or minute usage. I found this really useful to give me a years cost protection based on my usage. It was interesting to look and think if I left the TV and media devices on for a full year it would cost me £62
This is based on consumption since you had the device plugged in. You can also view detailed graphs to look at an hour, day, week, month and month.
The final energy monitoring section is total cost and this is as you can imagine the total cost to run the appliance the Eve Energy has plugged in. Again you can view an hour, day, week, month and month.
One thing to point out, in order to get accurate energy readings you need to ensure that you set the electricity rate you pay. So you will need get the per KhW from your energy bill and then enter that under, settings, energy costs.
When completing the Eve Energy review, I found I used the HomeKit app to setup automation and triggers along with day to day use in my home. Then when I wanted to get energy insight, like how much energy is passing through the smart switch along with the estimated cost of the energy use of your appliance I would use the Eve App. I found the energy insights pretty cool and comparing it the Wemo insight switch, the Eve energy seemed to give more detail and offer better accuracy.
Eve Energy and HomeKit
HomeKit support on the Eve Energy is seamless meaning you can control the device via the Home App that is loaded onto iOS devices running iOS 9 or above, however, if you want to get the full benefit of HomeKit then I suggest using the latest iOS 11.
Must Read: HomeKit how to add an accsesory
As I have already mentioned above set up of the Eve Energy with HomeKit is done when you add the smart plug to the Eve App and this was the easiest and fastest setup I have done with any HomeKit accessory.
Using the Eve Energy with HomeKit means you can include the smart switch in scenes, automation or triggers. So, for example, I had the Eve Energy connected to my TV and media devices in the bedroom and it was set to switch off after 12:30 am as I have a habit of falling asleep to the TV, so I found that very useful.
The Eve Energy does not come with a Hub like other smart home devices so in order to control the Eve outside of the Home you need a HomeKit hub like an Apple TV, HomePod or an iPad in the home.
The Elgato Eve Energy smart switch is well-designed and easy to set up smart switch. Whilst you can use the Home app on an iOS device, you will get more out of it with the Eve app, which will show things like power usage and other things cost to run an appliance.
Now turning to the price, The Eve Energy switch is priced at £44 ($49, AU$85) which is similarly priced to the Wemo Insight switch, but the Eve Energy offers far more insight into energy usage. You can, however, opt to pay a little more and go for something like the Lightwave 2 gang socket with energy monitoring for only £69.99
With all that said, you will not go wrong if you buy the Elgato Eve Energy switch. It’s well-designed and easy to use and helps you track how much energy you’re using.
Will the Elgato Eve Energy plug save me money on energy?
The big question that some people will ask is Will the WeMo insight plug save me money on energy? I personally think it will take you a few years to get your money back on energy bill savings unless you leave devices like TV’s, electrical heaters or irons on all the time. You need to buy a few of these devices to make a big impact and given the price of them to start you may be best of just changing all the light bulbs in the home to LED if you are looking to save money on energy.
Should I buy the Elgato Eve Energy?
The Elgato Eve energy smart plug is a good addition to any smart home and home automation, but it’s on the expensive side compared to the Wemo Insight plug. The Elgato Eve energy is perfect if you’re concerned about power-hungry electrical devices such as TV’s or irons being left on in your home and you want to monitor usage and have peace of mind to be check if you left something on.