2021 is the 25th Anniversary year of this blog, but where do we start with 2020.
Despite being memorable for all the wrong reasons, it was also the year that we moved into the new Automated Home 2.0. Thanks for the amazing interest in our project, which meant more than half of this years top 20 are posts covering the various aspects of our smart home self build.
Our Amina invisible speaker setup made it into the top 20 and it was certainly in demand over the Christmas Holidays as the family streamed their own selection of music from their phones.
Interest in Air Quality continues to grow and our review of the Aranet4 made it into this years most read list too.
Our fantastic Siemens smart appliances with Home Connect have had a full workout over the Christmas break #BestTurkeyEver.
They have been a joy to use and we’re now on a 100% Renewable tariff too meaning everything is running on wind and sunshine. Look out for the next post on these appliances soon.
As the first lockdown came we reviewed the affordable Tenda 4G to WiFi Router, a great backup option to have on hand and it made it all the way to number 6 this year.
A special mention has to go to Ubiquiti at number 5 for our amazing network and security camera setup. With 2 entries in the top 20 you were interested to read about this system and there’s more coming in the next few weeks as we finally bring FTTP to the AH2.0.
And of course to Loxone, whose Miniserver is the beating heart at the centre of our fully integrated and comprehensive home automation system installed by Epitome Living.
With 4 entries in this year’s list it’s probably the aspect of the house that I’ve answered most questions on over on our Instagram. Comments like this make it all worthwhile.
Den makes it to the top 3 again, but at Number 2 this year was our write up on our Vent-Axia MVHR system installed by Daily Renewables. Stay tuned for the follow-up post on our Heat Pump coming next week.
Maybe the only good thing to come out of 2020 is the talk of a ‘Green Recovery’. Certainly EV curiosity is mounting and our most read post of 2020 was the one year anniversary follow up to my Tesla Model 3 review entitled – “Why It’s Not As Good As It Was A Year Ago” (click bait, moi? 🙂 ). We became a two EV house hold in 2020 with the petrol car traded in for a 2017 30kWh Leaf. Maybe 2021 will be the year you switch too.
Check out your entire top 20 below. Thank you as always for your support during the last 12 months, wishing you all a Happy New Year – or at the very least, one that’s much better than 2020!
20. Exclusive: Loxone Flush-mounted Presence Sensor 1st Fitted in the Automated Home
19. Automated Home 2.0 – #25 Amina Invisible In-Wall Speakers – Part 1
18. Automated Home 2.0 – #24 Ubiquiti Networking Part 3 – airMAX NanoStation AC loco Wireless Network Bridge
17. Automated Home 2.0 – #28 We’ve Chosen Siemens Smart Appliances for our Home
16. Review: Aranet4 HOME Wireless Indoor Air Quality Monitor
15. Aurora AOne Smart Home Lighting System Works With SmartThings
14. Loxone Reveal New Audioserver & Stereo Extension
13. Automated Home 2.0 – #23 We’ve Moved In!
12. Automated Home: Product Sources
11. Automated Home 2.0 – #16 The Wiring Has Begun!
10. Automated Home 2.0 – #19 To Burn or Not to Burn?
09. Automated Home 2.0 – #26 This LED Handrail Lights Our Stairs
08. Automated Home 2.0 – #22 How Much Does a Loxone Smart Home System Cost?
07. Automated Home 2.0 – #21 Wall Mounting Our Loxone iPad with PoE Texas Adaptor
06. Review: Tenda 4G680 V2.0 4G LTE Router with WiFi
05. Automated Home 2.0 – #17 Ubiquiti Networking Part 2 – All Our UniFi Hardware Has Arrived!
04. Review: TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi Power Strip with USB
03. Den Automation Reborn as Den Switches
02. Automated Home 2.0 – #15 The Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) System
01. Tesla UK Model 3 Follow-up: Why It’s Not As Good As It Was A Year Ago
BONUS: Top 20 Products
Here are the top 20 most popular items bought through our Amazon Affiliate store in 2020. This remains the easiest way for you to support this site – many thanks.
01. TP-Link Kasa WiFi Power Strip
02. Philips Hue Smart Wireless Dimmer Switch
Philips Hue Smart Wireless Dimmer Switch (Installation-Free, Exclusive for Philips Hue Lights), White
- Quickly dim or brighten up to 10 lights for games, parties and movies from the comfort of your sofa or bed
- Requires the Hue Bridge (sold separately) for the full Hue experience; this battery-powered dimmer smoothly and wirelessly adjusts your light’s intensity without any added installation
- Mount the Hue Dimmer Switch anywhere with screws or adhesive tape (both sold separately), or control it from your sofa or the Philips Hue App with the Philips Hue Bridge
03. Seneo New Version Dual 2 in 1 Wireless Charger
Seneo New Version Dual 2 in 1 Wireless Charger, Apple Watch Charging Stand, Nightstand Mode for iWatch Series 5/4/3/2, 7.5W Fast Charging for iPhone 11/11 Pro Max/XR/Xs/X/8/8P (No iWatch Cable)
- Charging House for iPhone and Apple Watch : Seneo 2-in-1 wireless charger works as the perfect combination of a wireless fast charger for iPhone 11/11 Pro Max/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/8P or an Apple Watch Series 5/4/3/2 (Nightstand Mode available) charging holder. Gift for Apple fans
- Best bedside nightstand charger : The nightstand mode of Apple Watch is available with the watch charging holder for viewing time, date, and your alarm at a glance conveniently. What’s more, extra cable storage room in the bottom keeps it tidy by storing all the cable in
- More Than Wireless Charger : The two-coil wireless charging stand creates a more stable charging experience, intermittent charge or Overheating caused by a mismatch would not occur anymore. Meanwhile, Seneo Wave Mat 193 works as a smartphone holder that charge your phone in two ways: Vertical charging in working time, the facial recognition is available and send message easily; Charge your phone horizontally during the rest period, watch a TV show or practice yoga in spare time.
04. Auraglow Super Bright Plug in PIR Motion Sensor
Auraglow Super Bright Plug in PIR Motion Sensor Hallway Living Aid Safety LED Night Light
- The Auraglow Motion Sensor Plug In Night Light is ideal for lighting hallways, landings, walkways and bedrooms
- The light will automatically activate when you pass within 5 metres of the sensor providing a warm glow of light for 30 seconds with each activation
- The light will remain on whilst motion is being detected and the daylight sensor installed ensures the light only operates in darkness
05. Silicondust HDHomeRun CONNECT QUATRO
06. Drayton Wiser Smart Heating Radiator Thermostat
Drayton Wiser Smart Heating Radiator Thermostat Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT
- This radiator thermostat is only designed to work alongside an existing Wiser Smart Heating System with a Wiser Heat Hub. Replace your existing radiator TRV valves to give room-by-room heating control.
- Simply screw off/on existing TRV radiator valves and replace with Wiser smart thermostats to expand your current system. Works with 90% of existing valves. An adaptor to fit the Danfoss RA valve is included in every box.
- Add up to 32 smart radiator thermostats in up to 16 different rooms/zones. Begin with 1 radiator thermostat and add more over time. 1 Thermostat required per radiator for maximum comfort and energy saving.
07. Tenda 4G680 300Mbps 4G Mobile Wi-Fi Router
08. DSLRKIT Active PoE Splitter Power Over Ethernet
09. Samotech Light Switch Cover for Hue Dimmer
10. Add-A-Motor D80 Drapery Motor
Add-A-Motor D80 Drapery Motor, 520 g
- Affordable and easy to install
- Automatic stops at full open and closed positions. Can also stop at any intermediate position
- In event of a power failure, clutch permits drapery to be opened and closed manually
11. BG Electrical Double Switched Fast Charging Power Socket
BG Electrical Double Switched Fast Charging Power Socket with Type A and C USB Charging Ports, 13 A, White Moulded
- SLEEK AND SLIM WHITE MOULDED DOUBLE SWITCHED POWER SOCKET: From BG Electrical, has softly rounded corners and colour matching fixing screws– combining quality with modern elegance
- TRUST IN THE SMART USB FEATURES: Which standby once your device has fully charged and it can also auto detect your USB device and adjust its charging pattern – making it suitable for iPhone and android appliances
- CONVENIENTLY ANGLED IN-LINE COLOUR CODED CAPTIVE SCREW TERMINALS: Makes it incredibly easy to install and to connect the wires, setting it up as one terminal – even with the addition of the USB ports
Lightwave Smart Relay, 500 W, Grey
- Control gates, curtains, LED strip and other electrical circuits from anywhere using your smartphone
- Magic Button: trigger your smart relays from any Lightwave Smart Dimmer around your home, no extra wiring required
- Can control volt-free circuits or mains power up to 500W
Drayton Wiser Smart Plug & Smart Heating System Range Extender – Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT
- Easy to add to existing Wiser systems and takes seconds. Add up to 10 plugs per system and control alongside your heating via the Wiser Heat App (IOS and Android).
- Features a built-in range extender to boost signal to all your Wiser devices. Ideal for larger houses or houses with thick walls where smart radiator thermostat’s may be situated further away from Heat Hub. Typical range of the hub is 25-40ft but dependent on wall thickness.
- Set schedules 7 days a week with up to 8 events per day allowing full automation. Full integration with Wiser app and will sync with Wiser’s Away Mode.
14. RJ45 Network Adapter + Coaxial TV Antenna Mount
15. Masterplug Brushed Steel Double Switched Socket with USB Outlets
16. Fibaro Single Switch/HomeKit
17. Philips Hue Outdoor Motion Sensor
Philips Hue Outdoor Motion Sensor, Compatible with Alexa
- Turns one or multiple lights on automatically when movement is detected
- Resistant to all weather conditions. (IP54)
- Various placement options possible. The outdoor sensor is battery operated, and communicates wirelessly to the bridge, so you can take it wherever you want to detect movement. All the necessary components are included to mount it on the wall or in a corner
Philips Hue Smart Button with Wireless Control, Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
- What’s Required? – This product requires the ‘Philips Hue Bridge’ (sold separately) for initial setup.
- Installation-Free Control – Mount or stick the smart button wall plate anywhere in your home and enjoy installation-free smart lighting control.
- Portable Smart Button – Take the portable magnetic button off the wall plate and control your smart lights from anywhere in your home with a simple tap of the button.
19. FIBARO Dimmer 2 Z-Wave Plus Universal Dimming Module
20. Drayton Wiser Smart Thermostat Kit
Drayton Wiser Multi-Zone Smart Thermostat and 2 Smart Radiator Thermostat Kit – Conventional Boilers Only – Heating and Hot Water Control
- This kit allows you to take full control of your heating and hot water system via your phone on a room-by-room basis thanks to the included Smart Radiator Thermostats. The Wiser App allows you to easily control your home’s temperature room-by-room whilst also viewing your system’s heat report from anywhere in the world.
- Suitable for conventional boilers (2 Channel with separate hot water tank). This kit will not work with gravity-fed systems.
- This system can support up to 16 different rooms with 32 Smart Devices (Radiator & Room Thermostat) and 10 Smart Plugs, these can be added or removed as needed.
Last update on 2021-01-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API