Enter the smart home: part 7 – Eve Systems
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Enter the smart home: part 7 – Eve Systems

Raphael Knecht
Raphael Knecht
Zurich, on 15.03.2021
Translation: Patrik Stainbrook
Smart home products can automate your everyday life. And to help you navigate this jungle of providers, allow me to introduce you to the most common systems. The Xiaomi subsidiary Aqara is followed by Eve Systems, a jack-of-all-trades.

These days, monitoring your belongings to protect them isn't just paranoia, but part of any well-equipped smart home. Sensors for water or smoke warn you of impending danger so that you can react in time. Network cameras, motion detectors, window and door sensors provide additional security within your home. Temperature, humidity and air pressure sensors also ensure that you always have the climate in your home under control and can react if values are too low or too high. Ideally, you should choose a solution for your smart home system in which all products come from the same manufacturer. This way you avoid compatibility problems. The Eve Systems range includes devices for all the mentioned areas. After Homematic IP, Philips Hue, tado°, Netatmo, Devolo and Aqara, time for part 7 in our now long-running series. Now, let's see which features Eve Systems offers to make your home ever smarter.

Was kann Smarthome-Underdog und Xiaomi-Tochter *Aqara** alles?

Was kann Smarthome-Underdog und Xiaomi-Tochter Aqara alles?

From hazard detectors through switches and lights to climate

Eve Systems' smart home solution works without a control panel. The individual system components communicate with each other via Bluetooth Low Energy. This technology is extremely power efficient and ensures that you rarely need to replace sensor batteries. Since no hub is necessary, you don't need to free up any slots, either at the sockets or at the router.

The Eve Cam is a full HD network camera connected to your mains that lets you monitor any indoor spaces. If it spots something in its field of vision, you'll get an instant notification on your smartphone. You can also access the camera's live image via your cell phone at any time. All recordings, which are only created at your command and never automatically, aren't stored locally on the camera, but in the iCloud. So before a recording starts, you'll at least get a warning on your smartphone.

The Eve Cam lets you see what's going on in your home. Image source: matthias-petrat.com
The Eve Cam lets you see what's going on in your home. Image source: matthias-petrat.com

The window and door contacts are battery-operated and, on the one hand, support the camera in detecting intruders, but also in smart heating. For example, the sensors report open doors and windows to your system during ventilation, which can then react accordingly and turn down the heating. But the main benefit is that if someone is trespassing in your home, you'll receive an alert on your smartphone and can respond. Eve's motion detectors are wireless, run on batteries and fit almost anywhere thanks to their compact size. You can connect it to your Eve smart home to turn on lights, play music, or turn on the heat when motion is detected. The water detector is placed wherever you think leaks will occur, for example near the washing machine or in the bathroom. It requires a mains connection and therefore space at a socket. As soon as the sensors register water, you'll be informed via your cell phone. The smoke detector works in the same way – with smoke instead of water and with batteries instead of mains power. The Eve Extender can extend the range of the Bluetooth LE network and allow Eve products in even the most remote corner of your home.

The water sensor detects water forming wherever it doesn't belong. Image source: matthias-petrat.com
The water sensor detects water forming wherever it doesn't belong. Image source: matthias-petrat.com

The Light Switch controls – as the name suggests – lighting at the touch of a button. But you can also create schedules on your smartphone for when and where lights should turn on and off in your home. These commands are stored directly on the switch and run even if you are on vacation or have no network. You can also add the light switch to existing switch combinations via an external input. The Eve Button has the same functions, but a different colour and design. You can also link the in-house Eve Light Strips directly to the light switches, which can be placed anywhere and glow in all kinds of colours. Your heating can also be controlled by Eve – thanks to the smart thermostats. This way you can save on heating costs and heat up your home remotely in time if you've been away for a while and are on your way back. Or you can control your heating manually, directly from the Eve thermostat. In connection to this, you can use Eve Room to measure not only the temperature, but also the humidity and quality of the air in your rooms. As soon as the limits you set are exceeded or not reached, the system alerts you via smartphone.

Eve Room gives you all the information about room climate. Picture source: Mac Life
Eve Room gives you all the information about room climate. Picture source: Mac Life

What you'll need

You won't need anything else – apart from the Eve products. No central stations, hubs or bases are necessary, as Eve works with Bluetooth. In addition, thanks to Apple Homekit connectivity, you can combine all products with other devices and smart homes that also support this standard, such as Homematic IP, Netatmo or Philips Hue. However, I believe and have experienced that products from the same manufacturer cause the least problems. Either way, thanks to Homekit connectivity, you can control all Eve Systems products via iPhone or iPad and integrate them with existing automation in your Apple Home app. Via iCloud, you can also control the devices outside your network. If you use your Eve Systems products with Apple Homekit, either a fixed iPad, an Apple TV box or the HomePod can serve as the control centre. But you can also control the products directly in the Eve app – available for iOS – without having to add them to an Apple smart home. Through both the Home and Eve apps, you can add and control other products to your smart home that are compatible with Apple's Homekit. Android users will therefore be left hanging by Eve Systems.

Since Eve works without a control panel, the Eve app is essential, once again only available for iOS. With it you control all products, manage programmed operations and add new accessories. An iPhone, iPad or Apple TV thus takes over the tasks that a hub has in other smart home systems. In addition to Eve's own Bluetooth extender, an Apple TV box can also serve as a range extender. This varies depending on the device and reaches a maximum of ten metres. You can also control your Eve Systems smart home via the Apple Home app that comes pre-installed on all Apple devices, but it sacrifices some features compared to the Eve app. The Eve app is also more clearly designed and allows a detailed analysis of all Eve Systems products in operation. So you don't need any tools for complicated electronic installations to get an Eve Smarthome up and running, and you don't have to worry about cable chaos, as apart from the camera and the water detector, all devices work wirelessly and on battery power. The system is extremely beginner-friendly and very quick to set up.

Eve Systems can do (almost) everything

Thanks to Bluetooth low-energy technology and extenders, Eve always provides a reliable connection, without Wi-Fi, a central control unit or a hub. You can get all your Eve products up and running in a few minutes. As they work with Bluetooth LE, they also have low power consumption and very fast switching and response times. Another advantage of an Eve Systems smart home is the smooth integration into the Apple ecosystem – both physically and visually or haptically. Since Eve Systems covers a wide range of smart products, expanding the smart home to more rooms and adding additional features is no problem. Thanks to the Apple Homekit connection, you can also expand your smart home relatively easily with devices from other manufacturers that work with the same standard. As Eve Systems rely on a compact, white and unobtrusive design, you can cleverly camouflage the sensors on windows and doors. On the one hand, they do not attract the attention of potential burglars, on the other hand, they don't spoil the appearance of your interior.

Eve Systems' door and window sensors are small and unobtrusive. Image source: housecontrollers.de
Eve Systems' door and window sensors are small and unobtrusive. Image source: housecontrollers.de

Compared to other smart home systems, the devices from Eve Systems are rather pricey. On the other hand, they are of high quality and can be integrated into other smart homes via Homekit without much effort. Users also praise the battery-saving capabilities of Eve Systems products. Eve Room, the smart air quality meter, also highlights the accuracy of data that the device measures, records and clearly displays on your iPhone or iPad. Its compact dimensions are also praised by users. The flawless functioning, especially with the smoke detector, which is certified according to DIN EN 14604, is well liked by the community, as is the easy setup. Last but not least, the hassle-free integration into existing Homekit solutions is also a plus for smart home fans.

The smart thermostat lets you control your heating remotely. Picture source: Macerkopf
The smart thermostat lets you control your heating remotely. Picture source: Macerkopf

Although Eve Systems offers more than just a surveillance camera, a switch and a Bluetooth extender, the range could be a bit wider. Compared to other providers for example, they lack roller shutter actuators, thermostats for floor heating or weather sensors. I can switch to alternatives that also work with Apple's Homekit. Nevertheless, from experience, I have the least difficulty when all products are from the same manufacturer. Furthermore, the high price is a thorn in the side of many users despite high-quality goods. Some products, such as the motion detector, are criticised for the lack of range of the Bluetooth signal. Also, the whole Eve Systems range still has room for improvement, both in terms of response times and compatibility.

Small and handy: With the Eve Button, you can control many things in your smart home. Picture source: GDGTS
Small and handy: With the Eve Button, you can control many things in your smart home. Picture source: GDGTS

Possible alternatives

For home monitoring via cameras, Netatmo offers a solid alternative product in its Presence. Since the same manufacturer also offers hazard detectors for smoke as well as doors and windows, you can also choose them if needed. Devolo also offers a motion detector, a humidity sensor and a water level detector. You won't compromise with either manufacturer and their devices if you don't like Eve Systems' products. Price-wise, you might even save a little. Both Netatmo and Devolo offer the same features to protect your belongings. There's also a water sensor from Homematic IP that warns you in case of floods and informs you via your smartphone and a siren. However, since Homematic IP products require a bit more IT and electrical knowledge, I wouldn't recommend them to you if you're flirting with a simple installed solution such as Eve Systems.

Hazard detectors/>
Home Control Humidity detector
Devolo Home Control Humidity detector

If you're looking for an alternative for the Eve Systems temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure gauges, my advice is to go straight to a thermostat. Not only does it provide current data, it can also control your heating at the same time. This saves you electricity and money in the long run. Here, products from tado°, Netatmo, Devolo or Homematic IP are potential fallback options. For both Eve switches, for example, you can find devices with similar functionality at Homematic IP. These are also mountable without major electrical installations and quickly set up. Dingz also offers an interesting alternative with the smart wall switch. Although an existing switch has to give way for the installation, you get a logically structured app, countless expansion options and compatibility with many other systems. As an alternative to the window and door contacts from Eve Systems, I can recommend those from Homematic IP. They're a bit bigger and flashier, but offer the same protection and can be embedded in the almost infinitely expandable smart home universe of Homematic IP.

Starter Kit V3
tado° Starter Kit V3
Light switches + Plug sockets/>
WLAN switch set (base + front)
Dingz WLAN switch set (base + front)

For newcomers and the curious

Eve Systems' smart home system is very well thought-out, integrates seamlessly into Apple's Homekit, and looks extremely appealing. Despite a manageable range, you can make the most important areas of your everyday home life smarter with Eve. You don't need a hub, nor do you need to run any cables or perform any electrical installations. The system is very easy to set up and immediately ready for operation. Since individual components communicate with each other via Bluetooth, you only need Wi-Fi for setup. The Eve app is easy to understand, runs smoothly, and gives you everything you need to know about your smart home at a glance. You can add more products quickly and easily. As an alternative, you can also use the Apple Home app, but its range of functions is limited. If you're an electronics pro and like to tinker with your system, I recommend a more advanced system – Homematic IP, for example. On the other hand, if you want an easy-to-set-up, unobtrusive, and high-quality entry-level product, Eve Systems is the place to go.

The Eve Light Strip provides lighting anywhere you want it. Image source: matthias-petrat.com
The Eve Light Strip provides lighting anywhere you want it. Image source: matthias-petrat.com

Homematic IP offers an easy entry into the smart home universe. Philips Hue is even easier to work with, with a focus on lighting. tado° plays to its strengths in the area of smart heating. Products from Netatmo monitor everything in and around your home. Devolo offers you not only an extensive smart home range but also powerful network products. With Aqara, you can rely on a Xiaomi subsidiary and a rather smaller player with inexpensive products. Eve Systems also relies on a manageable range, but still offers a suitable product for all important areas of your smart home.

PriceRangeExpansion optionsBeginner-friendlinessAccessabilityClimate ControlRolling shuttersHome securityLightingWarning sensors
Homematic IP++++++++++++++++++++-++
Philips Hue++++++++++++---++++-
Eve Systems++++++++++++++-+++++++

Next time I'll show you how to upgrade your smart home with products from Gigaset. If you want to join me on my mission and don't want to miss any smart home articles, follow me by clicking on the «Follow author» button on my profile.

Image sources for teaser: handy.de and housecontrollers.de

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Raphael Knecht
Raphael Knecht
Senior Editor, Zurich
When I'm not stuffing my face with sweets, you'll catch me running around in the gym hall. I’m a passionate floorball player and coach. On rainy days, I tinker with my homebuilt PCs, robots or other gadgets. Music is always my trusted companion. I also enjoy tackling hilly terrain on my road bike and criss-crossing the country on my cross-country skis.

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