Smart thermostats have been receiving more love in the past few years and British Gas has added an interesting alternative for folks in the UK with the Hive Active Heating 2 and Hot Water. The Nest thermostat is the hero product that most consumers know and picture when they think of sexy new home automation and thermostats. Many have come to love their shiny new thermostats for the beautiful designs, simple setups, improved home comfort and probably most of all for the improved efficiency and cost savings of smart heating and cooling. While there are common features across the board I am always interested to see how these products differentiate themselves. I have a particular soft spot for the Canadian ecobee3 thermostat which I feel is the best product currently available and hosts an amazing range of features and wide range of integration options.
So why would I be interested in a Hive rather than one of the other high-end products in this competitive market space? The Hive has an intuitive design and solid feel that cleverly fuses form and function. The tactile main dial button has a quality feel and the display shows all the information in a nicely laid out and colourful way. The system includes all the ‘basic’ features that we have come to expect with smart thermostats including: geo fencing, automatic scheduling, a smartphone app etc, and it doubles down to control your combi-boiler water allowing you to temporarily boost your settings if you need to heat things up a bit more/longer than usual. The Hive also offers a great installation program through their tight relationship with British Gas and like the Nest group at Google, they are thinking bigger with a dedicated networked central control system and a number of other home automation devices already available for integration.
Even if you don’t live in the UK and can’t get your hands on a Hive thermostat, it is an interesting product that can help expand your mind about what a thermostat can do – which is quite an achievement given the wide range of amazing products currently available in this corner of the market!