Hive, Nest and others have been putting a lot of appetite into a exhilarated conflict in a intelligent thermostat arena. We’ve already reviewed Nest, Tado, Netatmo, Devolo, Heat Genius and Honeywell EvoHome. Here we demeanour during a latest iteration of Hive Active Heating 2 with support for multizone. See also: Best intelligent thermostats to buy in 2016.
Historically thermostats were small, uninspiring boxes commissioned by a plumber, set to 21 degrees and mostly forgotten. British Gas (the builder of Hive) is famous for many certain things yet style, until Hive 2, has never been one of them. Whichever Hive worker pronounced “Hive needs a universe category designer” and hired a outmost group during FuseProject (led by Yves Béhar) deserves a promotion. The Hive thermostat is one of a best-looking intelligent thermostats on a marketplace – they should never be hidden; they are a square of art and simply direct to be admired. When dead it has a potion mirror-like surface; touching a dial illuminates a device with space-age controls.
Hive Active Heating 2 review: Price
Depending on your existent heating complement we will need to buy a right series of territory controllers. It’s cheaper to self-install yet practically for many people it isn’t value a hassle. You’ll find a single-zone container for £249 during Hive Home.
If British Gas is your appetite retailer (or are happy to switch) afterwards demeanour out for special offers that embody heavily ignored Hive systems. Not wanting to give first-generation users a cold shoulder Hive has a unequivocally realistically labelled £99 ascent to a new hardware, and this includes installation.
* Installation should usually be undertaken by a efficient professional, Hive says.
Hive Active Heating 2 review: Who can use Hive and Hive Multizone?
Just about anyone with a boiler can have Hive installed. You don’t need to be a British Gas appetite patron and it’s designed to be used with gas and LPG executive heating systems and works with normal radiators as good as boiler-fired soppy underfloor heating. See a Hive Compatibility list to see if yours is compatible. Until recently Hive could usually conduct a singular heating territory and if we had a prohibited H2O cylinder it could also control a schedule.
With a serve of multizone support Hive can now simply conduct incomparable and some-more formidable heating systems. For a immeasurable infancy of homes it won’t be an emanate yet it’s critical to note that Hive can now control a limit of 3 heating zones and prohibited water.
If we usually have one heating territory in your residence afterwards Hive can happily take control. However, a common disagreement is that we can urge your heating complement by stealing a multizone thermostat. But thermostats alone won’t make your residence multizone – we need to already have valves that alone control a H2O upsurge to opposite areas (often this would be a downstairs and upstairs configuration). If we are unequivocally propitious we competence be means to change your plumbing and separate it into zones yet that can be unequivocally dear and it could take years to replenish a expense, and saving income is a categorical reason to have a zoned system.
You can routinely tell how many zones we have by counting your existent thermostats, so dual thermostats is approaching dual zones. There are competitors to Hive that creates an difference to a order by regulating intelligent thermostatic values on any radiator. If you’ve got low pockets and don’t wish to re-plumb to multizone afterwards see a examination of a Honeywell Evohome or Heat Genius.
Hive Active Heating 2 review: Installation
Although it’s sincerely candid to do a self-install (as prolonged as we are efficient with mains wiring) many people will opt for an operative install. This is where British Gas clearly shines. Not usually does it make a product, yet also has a write support and systems to give good behind adult and an army of full-qualified engineers watchful to fast and painlessly fit your system. In a doubtful eventuality that we buy Hive with implement and your complement isn’t concordant afterwards you’ll get a full refund, so there’s no risk of even a squandered call-out fee.
In allege of a requisitioned designation we perceived a login sum for Hive and, as a day approached, useful programmed content reminders to safeguard we hadn’t lost a appointment. The installer incited adult soon and was unequivocally knowledgeable. He had to unwire a aged categorical controller and afterwards reinstate a valve controllers (three heating and one prohibited water). We had approaching there would be one or dual glitches or hiccups or something engaging to report… yet it usually went in and worked. In reduction than dual hours a whole designation was complete, including stealing a aged thermostats from a walls and replacing them with a wealthy Hive thermostats.
One of a advantages is that a thermostats promulgate wirelessly and are battery powered. So we don’t have to worry about perplexing to locate them nearby a mains hollow (which we do with some others, such as Nest). However, distinct Nest, any Hive thermostat needs to be commissioned henceforth in one place and not changed around. With a ‘roving’ thermostat, we can take it with we so a feverishness is always scold for a room you’re in.
There’s scarcely always a risk of a bit of cosmetic repairs when stealing aged thermostats from a walls (especially if they have been embellished around) yet in a box a new ones ideally lonesome over a existent site. One tip is that if we aren’t 100 percent certain where we wish your thermostat sited afterwards we can simply mountain it regulating Command Strips (enabling repairs giveaway ascent and dismissal – no some-more screw holes or redecorating). The accurate stretch compulsory comes in container ‘Command 17043’.
By default a thermostat has a pointed cream approximate yet if we wish to accessorise it to colour compare (or contrast) with a wall it’s on afterwards a operation of 12 colour surrounds is available.
We were guided by environment adult a app and programming a schedules. It was so discerning it unequivocally didn’t need many explanation.
Hive Active Heating 2 review: Controlling a system
The thermostats yield easy control of your heating and water, let we set schedules, request a heating or prohibited H2O ‘boost’, capacitate holiday mode and, of course, adjust a territory temperature. The interface is unequivocally good designed and vast adequate that a categorical facilities are unequivocally readable. Each thermostat is obliged for a singular territory and one thermostat also controls a prohibited water. It’s a slight niggle (in multizone systems) that we can’t boost a prohibited H2O from any of a thermostats. This can get rather treacherous as as all of them have dual buttons on a tip – one to boost heating a other to boost water.
Large numbers tell we a stream feverishness and a feverishness a heating is set to. You can adjust a set feverishness by simply swiping adult or down on a shade during any time.
When in a Off position a complement automatically goes into a frost-protection mode. If a feverishness inside dips next 5 degrees, a heating will spin on to forestall pipes from freezing.
The news territory has a 7 day, 24 hour news already pre-set, yet we can simply tweak this to fit your lifestyle. This is probable around a thermostat, yet some-more fun with a web app’s large, charming and easy to know controls.
The thermostats are good adequate that they could be commissioned in a residence and used unequivocally happily as a solitary control system. Most people, though, will wish to implement a app on their phone.
The Hive app creates regulating your heating complement beguiling (almost fun) and aims to save money. It’s accessible for Android and iOS. The rumoured Windows Phone app has not materialised: owners will have to use a web app on their phone’s browser.
You can also use a Hive website from a PC or laptop:
You can conduct your Hive inclination from a website as well. The app will uncover we either a hub, receiver and thermostat are connected to any other, their vigilance strength and their energy or battery status.
Wherever we are (as prolonged as we have internet connection) we can tweak your heating settings. However, a testers commented that before to carrying Hive installed, if they felt cold while examination TV they mostly pulled on a sweeping yet now they usually now boost a heating from a sofa. In fact, where before usually one chairman in a domicile knew how to module a heating controller, now everybody can tweak it during will. In a conditions where formerly a residence was henceforth set to an eco-friendly 19 degrees a introduction of any intelligent thermostat has a intensity to boost a bills. In existence many people will see genuine cost assets which, over time, should some-more than cover a squeeze and designation cost.
Another advantage of a app is that we could assistance out comparison kin (which also have Hive installed) by monitoring a settings remotely and environment adult alerts now informing we if they get too cold. You can set-up a PIN close that will forestall others, for instance kids that share your smartphone, from changing a Hive’s settings.
It’s value clarifying that Hive is a schedule-based heating system. It doesn’t try to second theory when we competence wish your heating incited on formed on your new activity. This has some advantages as a user knows what to expect.
Users of some other intelligent systems that do ‘intelligently’ work out your schedules have reported indeterminate behaviour. Being multizone enables a heating of usually a applicable zones (thereby saving we money). So a bedrooms competence usually feverishness late in a dusk and a early morning, since a loll territory competence be on in a evenings. We’d like to see an choice to capacitate some coherence in a news where we can set it to have a room during 21 degrees from a set time until an off time. The complement could afterwards learn how prolonged it takes to feverishness any territory and, holding into care a outmost temperature, adjust on and off times to say a feverishness opposite your set time period. So if we wish a heating during 21 degrees until 11pm a boiler could spin off during 10.30pm. Other systems already support this and we like it.
However, Hive can make use of your phone’s GPS to guard where we are and warning we to spin off and on a heating as we leave and return. Ideally, we’d like to see this automated. You can change a stretch of these ‘Trigger areas’.
You can also set adult notifications that will warning we when a feverishness reaches a specified level.
If we don’t have a smartphone, or it isn’t an iPhone or Android, afterwards we can capacitate Text control, that allows a complement to be tranquil by promulgation a content message.
Holiday Mode will automatically reduce a feverishness in your home for a time we are away, and it will boost it behind to your routinely set feverishness usually before we arrive back. All we need to do is simply set a dates we are withdrawal and entrance back.
Hive Active Heating 2 review: Smart home accessories and sensors
Hive aims to be something many bigger than usually your heating system. There’s a operation of intelligent accessories that can be tranquil around a Hive app. The initial products accessible are a Window/Door Sensor (£29), Hive Active Plug (£39) and Hive Motion Sensor (£29). There are also sensor packs accessible on a website. These are good additions to a complement and serve supplement to Hive’s mass user appeal. Once accessible for contrast we will refurbish this review.
Hive Active Heating 2 review: Future additions
One product blank from a brew is a security camera. Hive has already pronounced it won’t furnish a possess as there are already copiousness of cameras available. And we’ve already seen a Samsung camera bending adult to a Hive designation and had approaching a preference of third-party models to be supported. However, currently, we can’t guard your possess camera’s video feed around a Hive app.
Without doubt Hive is a good hardware height to extend and build on. Many of a new facilities will be giveaway updates to a apps. Likely they will yield smarter use of plcae services, yield some-more information on your boiler usage/heat graphs and urge a ubiquitous user experience. One of a reliable updates is support for IFTTT (If This Then That). This will capacitate events on other IFTTT concordant inclination to change any other. So during a finish of a dusk when we spin off your Philips Hue lights in a loll it can automatically spin off a heating in a applicable zone. Combined with their new intelligent home products it’s transparent Hive aims to be something so many some-more than usually intelligent heating.
Hive Active Heating 2 review:Security and bugs
As with anything we block in to a Internet of Things there are intensity confidence flaws and a probability of a bug digest your heating complement out of control. We’re gratified to news that we haven’t gifted any problems with Hive. But this isn’t quite theoretical, during a start of 2016 a program bug in Nest left many users vibrating in a cold and though heating until a repair was announced. There have also been several demonstrations of hacking Nest thermostats yet so distant all have compulsory an initial earthy entrance to a device. No intelligent thermostat can pledge to be defence from such problems yet it wouldn’t deter us from recommending a creditable complement like Hive.