Top critical review
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unremarkable though the plug-in on/off sockets are particularly smart and are made by Siemens
on 19 October 2014
Overall LightwaveRF rating: Generally, it does what it's meant to. Build quality is OK. Generally, unremarkable though the plug-in on/off sockets are particularly smart and are made by Siemens. However, a design flaw means that inductive appliances (things with big coils in like motors) can blow a chip inside. There are also many flaws in the LightwaveRF app...more than what you would expect for something that's been around for a few years now. The company offers its API to developers so a few others have built apps but they don't keep developers properly informed of changes, for example to the firmware in the Wifi link which have on occasion stopped competing apps from working. So my overall sense is that LightwaveRF, whilst well-priced and generally fit for purpose, has a slightly amateur aspect to it. The biggest on-going limitation is that communication between the Wifi Link and switching devices is one-way; whilst the link will acknowledge that a command has been received, no confirmation of receipt or action is returned by the switching devices itself. Essentially, if you're not near a device, you just have to assume it has responded.
LightwaveRF Wifi Link: Odd name as Wifi has nothing to do with it! The box plugs into a spare port on your router and communicates with devices on similar frequencies to more basic remote control sockets etc. Wifi is only implicated because if you happen to be in you local area network, the app will of course communicate with your router (like anything else) over Wifi.The box itself is unremarkable. It's just a white plastic box with a permanently illuminated blue display and a few buttons. Not an attractive piece of kit..just functional. You can dim the display but it will still be an unwelcome source of blue light in a bedroom. The standard mode of operation is for the box to receive commands from the app directly from within your network or via a remote server over the Internet. For various reasons, the latter is slow. You can send a command from the app and the device won't respond for sometimes several minutes. This is a little disconcerting. There are third party apps that can send straight to the box from the Internet (rather than via a server) and the response is much faster but you need to know a bit about configuring ports and have a static IP or use a DNS service to make this work.
Summary: I would buy this again as it works and it is cheaper than alternative home automation but I hope the apps, firmware and hardware evolves and reaches its potential soon. LightwaveRF STILL feels like a new technology in it's infancy.