Aqara's new thermostat, iRobot Siri support & more on the HomeKit Insider podcast

in General Discussion
This week iRobot updated its Roomba smart vacuums with support for Siri, Aqara introduced a new thermostat, and we reviewed a pair of new Thread-enabled devices on HomeKit Insider.

HomeKit Insider
HomeKit Insider

News was light again since our last episode, with only a couple of notable items to the presses. Roomba-maker iRobot announced a new update that has become available to enable support for Siri and Shortcuts on its smart home vacuum and mopping robots.

Aqara has released a great-looking smart thermostat that will work with HomeKit, though at the moment it is only available in Asia. A stateside release isn't out of the question, but Aqara has made no promises as if yet.

The majority of the episode was spent reviewing two new Thread-enabled devices. Belkin's new Wemo Smart Plug with Thread is up for preorder and we tested it on our Thread network to see how well it worked. Similarly, Eve's Water Guard with Thread is out just in time for the rainy spring season to protect your home.

Links from the show

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  • Reply 1 of 2
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,067member
    Regarding the question during the podcast about using a “dumb” switch for the other end of a 3-way switch setup with a Leviton 3-way capable switch: check with your electrician, but I don’t think you can do that if your house is wired for a 3-way setup, like switches at the top and bottom of the stars. 

    I believe if you put the smart switch on one end and a regular light switch in the other, you would run into problems when you use the dumb switch to turn off the light. This is because when doing so, you’ll break power to the whole circuit, turning off not only power to the light, but also power to the smart switch. That of course will shut down its WiFi connection and render it inoperable until you toggle the dumb switch again to reconnect the circuit. 

    For the setup to work properly, you need the secondary wired companion switch. Its job is to actually remain on all the time, meaning the circuit always stays connected on that end. Doing so maintains constant power to the master switch. When you operate the toggle on the companion switch, it communicates with the master switch to connect or disconnect power to the load line that goes to your light fixture. 

    See if your electrician says I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure trying to save the twenty bucks on the companion switch will not yield an optimal result. 
  • Reply 2 of 2
    eliotweliotw Posts: 10member
    Lutron Caseta is rock solid. I’m now in my second home with retrofitted Lutron Caseta switches and 5 years without any issues. Not cheap but you get what you pay for. Some great instrucrions for 3-way setups in their advanced wiring guide. Using the pico remotes (~10 year battery life) in those setups is easy and really comes in handy when the switch box is crowded with multiple husky smart switches.
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