SwitchBot has challenged me to come up with the best way of automating the house with SwitchBot devices with a fixed budget of $300. It’s a budget that many of you could allocate for home improvements. And the best part is, you can win the exact set of SwitchBot devices to automate your home using my tips below. I’ll list more details about the giveaway at the end of this article. Let’s start as we have a budget to spend!
If I had $300 to spend…
I’ll be a little cheeky, as I have a special code I can use to bring the prices of all Switchbot devices down by 35%. Use code
35NOTENOUGH (20NET – we are back to 20% now) to claim your discount at the checkout. This raises the total budget allocated for the makeover to $405! As I’m in the UK, let’s make a quick currency conversion and see how much money I actually have to spend!
At the current exchange rate, 405.00 USD gives me £335, that’s a decent budget to play with! Before I start adding devices to SwitchBot’s basket, I will be listing devices in the order of importance too, just in case you wish to follow the guide but spend less than the budget I have assigned for this challenge.
The shopping cart
To push savings even further, bundling SwitchBot items will give you an extra discount, so it’s worth planning your purchase ahead of time. That’s my strategy to get the absolute bang for my money. After adding it all up, I came up with the following shopping cart:
|SwichBot Hub + SwitchBot Curtain x2 *||£170|
|SwitchBot Bulb x 1 + SwitchBot Remote *||£25.58|
|SwitchBot Bulb x 1||£11.99|
|SwitchBot + SwitchBot contact sensor *||£47.19|
|SwitchBot LED Strip Light||£23.99|
|SwitchBot Smart Plug (the USA only)||£11.99|
Now that we know what’s in the bag, let’s talk about why these items ended up there and what cool automation you can set up.
1. SwitchBot Bulb
Nothing screams “Honey, I automated our house!” more than the ability to control lights remotely and in the SwitchBot Bulb case, change their colour too. It’s one of the most obvious automation to try and if done right, it can be very satisfying.
I picked two SwitchBot Bulbs to automate the main light and a side lamp you might have in the same room to create more exciting ambient lighting. SwitchBot store offers them bundled with a SwitchBot Remote which will come in handy. Simply replace the bulb in your ceiling fitting, do the same for a corner or night lamp and add the SwitchBot Remote near the main switch. Doing so removes the temptation of cutting the power to the ceiling light.
- Voice controls – set up creative names “Alexa, reading time” to set both lights to specific colours and brightness levels. Create a “Goodnight” scenario to shut everything down.
2. SwitchBot Curtain
You could get away with a single one if your curtains are pulled from one side. The latest version of the CurtainBot brings the ability to scale the telescopic poles, but as these are often connected in the middle and held in place by support, you may need 2 of them. Why automate curtains? The answer is simple: You are automating light, privacy and temperature.
Trust me when I say this, it’s more fun than playing with smart sockets! SwitchBot curtain can open and close most curtains (including heavy ones) driven on poles, rails and tracks. If your home has these window fittings, then you know that drawing these closed at night just to open them in the morning is a royal pain in the neck!
- Schedule – use the schedule to draw your curtains shut after dark* and open them in the morning. It will instantly increase your privacy and improve your sleep quality.
3. SwitchBot Hub
Now that you have a couple of devices to play with, it makes sense to add the SwitchBot Hub to the mix. Creating your personal cloud enables voice controls over smart speakers and adds an IR blaster to the mix. Now you can automate your home remotely and create the illusion of someone staying inside even if you are away for holidays.
- Voice Command “Film/TV time” – draws the curtains shut, turns off/dims the light if necessary and IR blaster turns the TV and associated audio on.
4. SwitchBot Meter
Winter or summer, having the ability to sense the temperature inside can actually save you money. SwitchBot Meter not only displays the metrics on its screen but stores and shares data with the SwitchBot cloud. You can use that to trigger devices based on temperature and humidity.
Closing curtains will trap the heat inside or block the sun from overheating the interior saving your money by not running AC/heating for as long. In addition to that, you can also get alarms when temps get out of bounds. Useful for growing plants or keeping filament from being spoiled by moisture.
- Temperature/humidity trigger – draw curtain shut
- Temperature/humidity trigger – issues a notification on your mobile phone
5. SwitchBot Bot
When it comes to automating devices that were never built with a connected world in mind, SwitchBot Bot is your best option. Place it strategically over a power switch/toggle or a specific button that does the action – and you’ll gain the ability to toggle the switch remotely. You could also use SwitchBots to start appliances at night, taking advantage of night electricity tariffs. Setting off a washing machine at 4 am or toggling your boiler at night will lower the cost of living and SwitchBot will make sure you don’t have to remember all this.
You can already see, how with each device the automation becomes robust and complex. This will persist from now on, for each device you add.
- Voice control “Cinema time” – link it to a SwitchBot turn on a projector for you, draw lights, use IR to turn on audio and shut off the lights.
- Use schedule and SwitchBot to start washing machine at night or heat up water boiler using night tariffs
SwitchBot Contact Sensor
Usually, motion sensors would be my choice first, but as the SwitchBot Contact sensor incorporates motion (and light) sensing, you could take advantage of all that at the same time. It’s nice to have access to motion detection as well as to “no motion for”. It would make a great trigger for garages!
- Garage Access Door – add notifications schedules to turn the sensor into an alarm, trigger a smart light and keep it active until no motion is detected for X minutes.
SwitchBot LED light
I have a single use for these, but they work so well. The kitchen can always use extra light and adding SwitchBot LED light underneath your cabinets will add fancy flair and extra light to illuminate the worktop (providing you have one). The “plot twist” with this automation is that I usually keep the colour of the strip in cold white as opposed to warm yellow provided by the ceiling.
You will have to keep your worktop clean, as doing so will expose the worktop creating a lovely light zone that will highlight how messy/organised you are in the kitchen
- Voice command- use voice command to activate the lights or turn them on separate or as a part of a group.
SwitchBot Plug Mini
If you are lucky to be in the USA right now, you can automate your sockets with Switchbot Plug Mini. The rest of the world will have to wait for their local versions. As the plug comes with power monitoring, you could use one with your washing machine and get notifications when the washing is over or deploy it in the more traditional way, to control a lamp or a small heater.
- Set power to under 1W – link with mobile notification and you will get the notification each time the washing cycle is done.
If you need more
If the choice of my devices is limiting, the SwitchBot ecosystem is even bigger. Take a look below at their product line and see what else your home could use?
Shop for Switchbot
Get Switchbot devices in the following stores:
If after that, you are craving more precise automation that may not be possible with the SwitchBot app, you can always take things to the next level, deploy the NodeRED server and create your own rules using SwitchBot API. Just remember, SwitchBot Hub will be required for all non-WiFi connected devices.
$300 Smart Home giveaway
You know how to automate your house on a budget and all you need is the gear. Luckily, SwitchBot will give away the exact $300.00 kit to one lucky winner! This article will give you a good starting point on how to automate your home, but don’t forget your creativity is your limit.
To register your interest, please submit the form and I will draw a single winner in an upcoming live stream on 25/07/2022 at 8 PM GMT.
Congratulations to Sean K from USA – the winner of the $300 smart home from SwitchBot.
And if that’s not enough, Switchbot is also running an iPhone14 giveaway, so if you are reading this post in time, you can register your interest at this link. Good luck to everyone and let me know how would you automate your house in this Reddit thread.