Smart heating has become one of the biggest smart home growth areas, and it's easy to see why - not only does it offer convenience, but through smart scheduling and location features it can also help you cut down your energy usage, helping both your monthly bill and the environment.
The starting point for most people is a smart thermostat like the Nest, but that's a blunt tool that only lets you turn the heating on or off across your whole house at once. Then there are more comprehensive smart heating systems that include loads of kit, but these can quickly climb into costing hundreds and hundreds.
A good compromise for most could be to just buy a few smart TRVs - or thermostatic radiator valves. These can be bought individually and fitted to the radiators in your home, letting you remotely turn individual radiators up or down, and thus control your heating room-by-room. Buying them individually means you only need to get the amount you need to give yourself control of the specific rooms you care about.
Bear in mind that some of these valves will still require you to buy the respective company's smart home hub to function, so it might not be as simple as just buying a few valves. Look out for bundles that include a valve or two together with the appropriate hub. This also means it's not easy to mix and match brands - you're better off picking one to stick with, and you should also consider what other smart home products that manufacturer offers, as some go well beyond heating.
Smart radiator valve reviews
- Reviewed on: 28 January 2016
So, what do we think of the Devolo home control system as a smart heating system? Even though it was designed with the whole home in mind, the heating accessories make the Devolo system a great smart heating system, although not as invasive as the likes of Hive and Nest. Unlike those, you don’t need an engineer to install it – in fact, it only took us minutes to do it ourselves. It provides per-room temperature control, where Nest and Hive can only control the temperature of the house as a whole. However, to control the boiler you'll need the smart thermostat as well.
The app experience lets it down a bit, but the full website more than makes up for a frustrating mobile app. Devolo’s additional accessories can turn a dumb home smart, and it can be a gradual process as all accessories are sold separately.
- Reviewed on: 18 March 2016
The Eve Thermo does its job well enough, but the lack of any display or local control is an issue. We could overlook this if it were cheaper, but it's more expensive than other smart TRVs which have these features. For those who already own iPhones and a compatible Apple TV, the Thermo's HomeKit integration is a reason to buy it anyway, but we'd still like to see a few improvements in the app. The other snag is the lack of integration with most smart thermostats, so you still have to use two apps to control your heating. A first-world problem, admittedly.
Read our Elgato Eve Thermo review.
- Reviewed on: 19 March 2019
The Lightwave smart radiator valve has a few downsides - it's bulky, pricy, and requires the Lightwave hub to work - but once you get it up and running it's a solid, reliable smart heating setup for room-by-room control.
The app itself is a little fiddly at first, but if you can't get the hang of it you can always just use voice controls anyway - the kit is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit, so it'll fit right into any existing smart home setup.
This is undeniably a better buy for people who are already invested in Lightwave's ecosystem of smart light switches and plug sockets - or are considering the investment - and if you don't fancy the rest of the Lightwave range you can probably do better elsewhere.
Read our Lightwave Smart Radiator Valve review.