Home very easy

Since Graham posted about the Home Easy range I’ve been wondering whether to give it a try. Well, okay, it was always more like a question of when not if, so when we were in the vicinity of the Home Easy shelf in B&Q (just the next aisle or so over… the other side of the store) I had a quick look. To have a better look, I bought a pack to take home!

My first purchase wasn’t all that successful. I had been seduced by the wiz-bang timer remote control pack, which comes with two dimable sockets. Unfortunately, while the pack says you can switch on and off as well as dim, it lies; the sockets are not dimable, they only dim. Fortunately one of the great things about B&Q is their customer service, so I took my first attempt back and got a refund.

I played it safe with my second attempt and got the simple controller and three socket pack from the on-off part of the range. It’s probably better value, even though I currently only need two of the three sockets. Pairing the remote and sockets is pleasingly simple and the group function is very nice; you get the everything off function even without buying the switch that Graham did. (Not that I’ve ruled out extra bits in the future of course!)

Jo and I discovered an extra use for the remote control yesterday when she wasn’t feeling well: instead of yelling downstairs to ask me to do anything, she could just flash the lamp on and off! I might regret suggesting that idea!

Definitely very happy with my delayed impulse buy but there are one or two niggles…

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • The basic pack is pretty good value
  • Really very easy to use

Cons:

  • Doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin (box); check what you’re buying will do what you want it to
  • There’s no way to switch a socket on or off without using the remote. I guess the excuse is to keep costs down, but slightly bigger button could easily do press on/off and hold to pair
  • The dimable sockets can’t do simple on/off as well. Actually the dimming is fairly naff all round: press on, wait until it dims to the right level and press on again
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3 thoughts on “Home very easy

  1. I completely agree James, very easy to use, but there are problems with the range, particularly with the dimmers. I’m still living in hope they widen the range out to be a little more complete and flexible than is current. The main focus is on dimming switches which I’m completely uninterested in as they’re not compatible with the majority of energy-saving lamps. For example, they sell a really neat switch you can wire in-line to your normal light switch which means you can control your house lights using the normal switch on the wall, but also with the home easy remote. Sadly though, that in-line module is dim only. Come on Home Easy, get the on/off range sorted!

  2. Agreed, the focus on dimming modules (not dimmable as it says on the box!) is more than a little odd with the current focus on energy saving bulbs.

    It’s a shame the light switch adapter module has the same problem as I was hoping to use one in the kitchen, which would probably make the biggest energy saving in my house. Wonder if Byron are planning to extend the range, fix the dimmable modules so they can actually do a straight on/off as well, or have any other comments…

  3. I’m not too sure if any CFL units can be dimmed.
    I’ve been using X10 units for the past few years and have been reasonably pleased with them (using Homeseer). I got the 3plug/remote combo and one of their stick on switches & I’m v. impressed so far.
    I used one plug for the TV,DVD, SCART socket etc stuff and another for computer periperals (printers, monitors, router etc).
    When I close them down before I hit the sack, I save about 500watts.
    next plan is to get an RFXCOM unit and control the lot with it.

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