Review: Telldus Tellstick NET

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I got this product and have to say that it’s great for a low-cost Home Automation setup. The availability of receiver products is quite wide, although not many are offered through the Amazon website. There are lots of websites which offer receivers such as plugs, light switches/dimmers, temperature sensors, door locks etc.

The benefit of the net is it works with X10, HomeEasy, Nexa and lots of other products using the 433Mhz frequency. All of which can be controlled from anywhere in the world using the Telldus.Live website or Smartphone apps which are built using the API. iPhone users have an official app available, while for Android I recommend the third party app: RemoteStick. You can also easily schedule devices to turn on/off so for instance you can set your Kettle/Coffee machine up the night before and time it to come on before you wake. Or Save power by plugging things like TV’s into a switch so that at night it’s completely shut off instead of in standby.

As for the device; The main unit is small and plugs into your router via an ethernet cable (supplied). Power to the unit is supplied through USB either directly from a socket, or if your router has a USB you can power it from this also (again, relevant cables/plugs provided). My BT HomeHub3 has a USB and this is used to power the transmitter directly.

Once plugged in, you need to go to the Telldus.Live website to authorise the device (all communication goes through the Telldus web servers, this is one of the only downsides to the Tellstick-NET as if you lose Internet connectivity in your home or the servers go down then you cannot control any receiver units until communication is restored). I believe this is something the developers are looking at to see if they can achieve local transmission.

Once done you are good to start adding receiver devices to your home. I initially had 3 plug sockets from Nexa and an Wireless Temperature Sensor THN132N to setup. The Temp sensor just needed batteries and to be placed, the Tellstick picked this up straight away and started receiving readings.

The Nexa plugs I placed 1 on our Kettle plug, 1 on the multi-adapter for the TV/Entertainment setup and the last in the bedroom for things like hair straighteners etc to be plugged into (reason for this is so that if my wife leaves the house and is unsure if she unplugged them, we can just use an app on our phones to remotely turn the switch off – Or if you have Android, you can use a combination of the apps Tasker, AutoRemote & RemoteStick to automatically turn off any plugs when everyone is out the house. Which is what I have done).

The Nexa units again were easy to add to the Tellstick Live account. And all in all setup took about half an hour. I have since added a HomeEasy light dimmer to our bedroom so that I can a.) Turn off the lights in the bedroom without getting out of bed. And, b.) In the morning I have the lights start to dim up in stages starting from about half an hour before my phone alarm is due to go off. Mimicking sunrise to try and make waking up in the morning easier. This is quite an advanced scheme, again using Android apps Tasker, RemoteStick and AutoAlarm. Another setup I had at Christmas time was to turn the Christmas Tree lights on when we were at home, and as soon as we left (i.e. both mine and my wifes phones disconnected from the Wi-Fi) or my tasker night profile became active the lights would turn off.

Summary:
Some of the setups I have are a bit more advanced. However if you are looking to start low-cost Home Automation it is easy to install the tellstick and some plug switches so that you can easily control devices from your phone or while out of the home using smartphone apps or the Telldus.Live website. I would highly recommend anyone consider this as a good option for starting in Home Automation as there are a good range of compatible devices (you can see what on the Telldus website) and these devices are relatively cheap. A set of 3 Nexa plugs come in at around £15.

I love this and am looking at ways of further extending what I can do with it including Heating Control, motion sensors, door opening sensors etc.

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