The weather has fascinated us for as long as… well, as long as there have been humans. The environment around us is a significant factor in our safety, comfort and overall wellbeing. A lot of information can be accessed easily and freely via a multitude of public weather tracking and forecasting services. However, having a personal weather station can provide more targeted and personal information and can act as a sensor and trigger for other home automation systems. Many modern weather stations are also able to publish the information they collect. Sharing information is not only fun and helpful it can improve overall weather prediction and our understanding of the changing world around us. So by owning a weather station that shares data you are kinda doing society in general a solid. Good job.
What We Love:
Netatmo personal weather station
Why We Love it:
There are many good weather stations and there are even options that are more accurate, have better connectivity, more integrations and more professional features. However, no other weather station we are aware of combines all of the features for monitoring and sharing your outdoor and indoor environment as thoroughly and easily as the Netatmo. Rolling all the information gathered into a holistic environment quality metric and the ability to use the readings as triggers for other home automation devices is the icing on the cake for us.
The Netatmo weather station ships with two elegantly designed tube shaped modules; one for indoor and another for outdoor. The modules both monitor temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. The indoor module also measures CO2 and sound levels. You can add an outdoor sensor to measure rainfall and another to track wind speed and direction. The system also supports up to three additional indoor sensors to monitor multiple zones. Netatmo also offers an indoor only solution they dub the “Healthy Home Coach”. The Healthy Home Coach is basically only the internal module from the weather station and a new application that can provide feedback about potential issues or ways to improve your internal environment.
The weather station connects with other devices and services through IFTTT integration. The integration provides the Netatmo with some advanced automation features including: automatically creating a rainfall log in a Google spreadsheet, flashing lights red or circulating the air when CO2 rises above a certain level, calling a phone number if the noise level rises above a certain level, stops your irrigation system from watering your garden if the wind speed rises above a certain level (or it starts raining).
The Netatmo weather station mobile application is nicely designed with an easy and quick overview and great details available in graphs and historical trending of information. The integrated community weathermap allows you to view and monitor real time weather information for thousands of specific locations.
The Netatmo weather station fits squarely in the consumer market and as such it lacks some higher end or professional features.
The modules are very well built but the outdoor modules are not built for the same long term hard use of higher end more professional equipment.
The outdoor sensors work well but do not have long range. As such, they may not work for large properties or where you would like the sensors and the base station positioned further apart.
Although it is increasingly common for devices to assume you will use a phone or tablet as the display we find it disappointing to not have an always on display for a weather station. You can get feedback quickly by tapping the top of the indoor module to force a sensor reading and immediately see the perceived air quality through a green/orange/red light display. Also, you could dedicate a device to running the mobile application or web interface but we have found that particularly the web interface can be temperamental when run for extended periods of time.
The Netatmo rain gauge and wind gauge modules can be difficult to find in stock.
Works Best With:
Netatmo fits in best in a typical home, especially one that will be integrating it into a modern home automation system using IFTTT for integration.
Overall (indoor and outdoor) environmental monitoring. They system also works well as a sensor in a home automation system. The beautiful design fits in well with most home decor.
You Might Also Love:
Davis Vantage Pro2 – The Vantage Pro2 includes a long list of professional features and add ons. We believe that out of the box it is the most accurate and reliable prosumer weather station currently available. The base station features an always on display with a great layout that is easy to read with all the information you need easily available at your fingertips. You pay a premium for the more professional features. It seems crazy to us that in this day and age you need to buy an additional module to connect and upload data. The interface on the Vantage Pro2 is a spartan industrial style. Integration with the Weather Underground provides additional functionality and a more polished consumer interface for viewing and analyzing the information provided. Indoor monitoring isn’t a focus and the base station does not monitor sound or CO2.
AcuRite 01036 or 01024M with lightning Detection – AcuRite makes great gear that is only a slight notch below the stuff put out by Davis in our mind for significantly less cost. Other strong points are a huge range of features with modern and consumer friendly interfaces including colour displays and integrated data sharing bundled with many models.
BloomSky Weather Station – For simple, modern, consumer, connected outdoor weather monitoring the BloomSky is our favourite solution. The unique selling feature with BloomSky is the wide angle high definition camera that shows a live view of the sky at the location of each station.
Stuff We Really Like:
Kestrel DROP – the drop lineup of sensors and data loggers are not traditional weather stations but these keychain size devices can monitor and track a wide range of variables. The DROP D1 will measure just the temperature or you can add gradually more monitoring up to the D3 that monitors temperature, humidity, heat index, dew point temperature, station pressure, density altitude and pressure trend.
The DROP monitors and trackers are great for specific tasks. They are widely used by professionals for everything from facilities management to farming, firefighting and hazardous materials management. In the home you can use them to monitor anything from a cold storage room or attic to your window greenhouse or humidor. If you are interested in portable weather monitoring we also recommend you check out Kestrels lineup of portable weather stations. The slightly larger handheld devices add wind speed and direction as well as an array of other sensors and application specific monitors.
There are a huge number of other stand alone systems and devices that will monitor many of the same things the Netatmo does. We like the aeotec z wave multi-sensors that monitor motion, temperature, illumination, humidity, vibration, and UV levels. Alternatively, if you elect to go with the Nest ecosystem their Protect smoke detectors include CO2 monitoring that integrates with the thermostat and can shut down the furnace or circulate air.
What’s Not To Love:
The Netatmo sacrifices some functionality and durability for ease of use and beautiful design. As a consumer focused device it has a relatively limited ability to add sensors (types and numbers). Netatmo does not offer some types of sensors at all. In particular, there are no UV or moisture sensor options. The system also lacks a solar power option for long running hands-off functionality for external sensors.
The limited wireless transmitter range and the requirement of a wireless network and smartphone or tablet to work are potential deal breakers for some. The lack of an always on display may also dissuade hardcore weather enthusiasts.
As a French company Netatmo is geared to the EU market and some of the technology integration can be either irrelevant or hard to find in other parts of the world.
When the Alternative Might Be Better:
If you only want to monitor the weather some of the other solutions do a better job and offer a wider variety of add-ons and features.
If you need application specific information an alternative that has a dedicated module or specialty functionality built-in may be a better fit.