Affordable Home Automation: Smart Living Low-cost Set-ups

Automating your home doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank. Opting for more affordable brands helps you save money left, right and centre. Besides, the number of products supplied by our partners and aimed at the more price-conscious among you is growing as we speak. For instance, this includes brands like Ikea Tradfi, Silvercrest and Smartwares. We show you what kind of products are on offer, how to interconnect them using our platform, and how to incorporate them into a home automation framework.

Good Value For Money: Ikea Tradfri, Sivercrest and Smartwares.

Despite being at the low end of the price range, many value-for-money smart home products actually match the performance of their up-market counterparts. Also, you can use your smartphone to set up and control the devices both via an app or via voice command, just like the premium selection. And speaking of compatibility and versatility, choosing more affordable items doesn’t limit the home automation options available too, as our platform doesn’t discriminate against value for money products. 

Sparen mit Smart Home und bei günstigen Geräten
A smart everyday life already offers a lot of potential for savings - saving the same amount of energy and time, but with cheap brands can achieve even lower costs. Picture by lovelyday12 | shutterstock

 

First, let’s have a look at Ikea’s Tradfri smart bulb product line. Prices start at about €13, with a growing product range including white and colour versions, and a wide variety of shapes. This makes tradfri products the perfect choice for both setting up a smart home system from scratch, or expanding an existing automaton platform in a cost-effective manner. The second generation of Tradfri products supports Philips Hue bridges and is fully compatible with our platform.

Silvercrest is a brand owned by discount retailer Lidl. Products are manufactured by Homematic IP who score both in quality and durability. This also means that Silvercrest products are compatible with our platform. At the moment, the Silvercrest product line comprises an alarm sounder, a thermostatic radiator valve and a window contact all of which can be used on Conrad Connect.

Smartwares are leading the bunch when it comes to product choice, supplying basically everything and anything you need to set up a smart home, ranging from light bulbs and smart mains plugs all the way to robotic vacuum cleaners. What’s more, their prices are definitely very competitive, too, with smart mains plugs being available from as little as  28. The brands product range comprises two different product lines, namely Basic and Pro, catering for different budgets and functional requirements.

When it comes to operating the devices, you won’t miss out either. You can set up and activate products of all three brands using phone apps, wireless buttons, or automation routines. The latter refers to employing  IFTTT applets that tell your smart home system what to do across a range of different scenarios, without you having to step in and deal with things manually. Means you fully benefit from what constitutes the backbone of the Internet of Things (IoT) and what essentially makes smart homes, well, smart.

 

How to interlink Affordable IoT Brands and Conrad Connect

First thing you need to do is setting up your Tradfri, Silvercrest or Smartwares device using the manufacturer smartphone app, and connect it to your smart home gateway or hub afterwards. Smartwares products are fully compatible with our platform. However, in order to hook up Silvercrest devices to Conrad Connect, you need to treat them as Homematic IP products. And to interlink Tradfi devices and our platform , you need to use either Philips Hue, Osram Lightify or Zipato apps and home hubs instead of the Ikea gateway.

Sparen heißt nicht bei Funktionen der Produkte einzubüßen
Saving does not mean at the same time losing functionality or longevity of the products. Picture by sattahipbeach | shutterstock

Technically speaking, you don’t connect the relevant products via Silvercrest or Ikea gateways to our platform, you use Homematic IP, Philips Hue Osram or Zipato as a proxy. After you’ve done this, the next step is to link the products to our platform.

Interlink Tradfri/Smartwares Products and Conrad Connect

  1. Log in to your Conrad Connect account, click “Products and Services“ and choose the brand you want . Then click “Connect“. 
  2. Click “Authenticate”. This results in you being redirected to the homepage of the brand you’ve selected. 
  3. Log in to your manufacturer cloud account using your email address and password . 
  4. Authorise data exchange between your user account and Conrad Connect.
  5. After you’ve done this, you see a list of all devices and sensors available on our platform.

Interlink Silvercest and Conrad Connect

  1. Open the SilverCrest Smart Home app and tap on the menu icon displayed in the top left corner. Select “Settings“. Tap “Voice Control and Other Services“ and choose “Conrad Connect”. 
  2. Select “Status Report“ and agree to these reports being forwarded to Conrad Connect. You need to do this because otherwise you won’t have access to the full range of functions and features. Confirm by clicking “OK” (Android version) or “Done” (iOS version). 
  3. Now tap “Connect” and ‘Request’ to obtain the activation code. Make a note of the code. 
  4. Log in to your Conrad Connect account, click “Products and Services“, select “Homematic IP“ followed by “Authenticate“.
  5. Type the activation code into the eponymous box.
  6. After you’ve done this, you see a list of all devices and sensors available on our platform.

Ready-to-use Project Templates Centred around Ikea, Tradrui and Smartwares Products

Nothing’s gonna stop you now when it comes to incorporating Ikea Tradfri, Silvercrest and Smartwares products in your home automation routines. And our drag and drop rule editor makes creating Conrad Connect projects an easy and straightforward process. However, and before you get cracking, why not check out the vast selection of projects shared by members of our large and steadily growing Conrad Connect user community?  All templates are ready to use. Needless to say that you can edit any project to fit your needs. And the number of available templates is increasing while you read this blog post. A few of them are listed below:

Mit Sprachbefehl alles ausschalten und im Schlafzimmer Leselicht

 

  • Sweet dreams courtesy of Tradfri: This project powers down each and every one of your smart devices when you retiring for the evening, including Tradfri light bulbs. Goes without saying that you can select which ones you want to turn off.
  • Tradfri takes care of morning tardiness: Mostly it’s just a matter of minutes that decides whether you gonna be late for work in the morning. This project utilises Tradfri light bulbs to remind you whenever it is time to get out of the door to make the bus or train during the working week, with  the bulbs flashing for about thirty seconds at a preselect time.
  • Silvercrest guards windows and doors: This project revolves around the Silvercrest magnetic contact, notifying you per email if windows or doors are open any time they shouldn’t be, boosting home security and saving energy in the process. Don’t worry about the fact that the project description specifies the sensors as Homematic IP products: Silvercrest source their products from the same supplier means their sensors will work just fine.
Clean Robot works for you while you are away

 

  • Smartwares does the cleaning (whenever you are out and about): Vacuum cleaners able to operate as a part of home automation systems are still few and far between. However, one of them is supplied by Smartwares, a real gem when it comes to contemporary smart home set-ups. This project activates the robotic vac whenever you enable the alarm system before you leave your place. When you are back, and upon disabling home security you also auto-deactivate the vac. Means everything’s clean and quiet when you want to put your feet up and enjoy a quiet evening.
  • Smartwares audio volume adjuster: Some household appliances such as vacuum cleaners tend to be on the noisy side which understandably doesn’t go down well with folks who want to continue listening to their favourite Spotify playlist or podcast . This project automatically turns up the audio volume whenever one of those rackety buggers are in operation, and turning the volume down again as soon as the household chores are finished.

Affordable Home Automation: Products with Conrad Connect Compatibility

Below a  list of Tradfri, Ikea and Smartwares products that can be used in Conrad Connect projects (list updated in June 2019).

Ikea Tradfri

Our platform supports Tradfri second generation light bulbs as long as they are compatible with a Philips Hue gateway.

Silvercrest

Type
HmIP-HAP-B1
HmIP-ASIR-B1
HMIP-eTRV-B1
HmIP-SWDM-B2

Product
Access Point
Alarm Sounder
Smart Home Thermostatic Radiator Valve
Smart Home Magnetic Door and Window Contact

Smartwares

Type
HW1601

HW1600

SH8-90902
SH8-90901


SH4-99550
SH5-RPS-36A
SH5-RPD-02A
SH5-RBU-04A
SHS-53000

Product
SmartHomePro LED Colour Light Bulb (Expansion)
SmartHomePro LED White Light Bulb (Expansion)
SmartHomePro Wireless Dimmer
SmartHomePro Wireless Smart Mains Plug/Electricity Meter
SmartHomePro Princess 339000 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
SmartHome Basic LED Light Bulb
SmartHome Basic Wireless Smart Mains Plug
SmartHome Basic Wireless Dimmer
SmartHome Basic Wireless Switch
SmartHome Basic Wireless Thermostatic Radiator Valve

Definitely a selection of IoT products that offers something for everyone. Have fun!