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Review: Shelly Cloud – Affordable home automation based on WiFi

Review: Shelly Cloud - Shelly is a new player in the smart home market, but Shelly products are of excellent quality and cost a lot less.
4.4/5 - (66 votes)

In this review, we look at an inexpensive smarthome product from Shelly and the Shelly ecosystem with app and smarthome capabilities, Shelly Cloud – An Affordable home automation based on WiFi.

Settings

Where it becomes a bit more cluttered and difficult are the settings per device. There are so many that, as a novice user, you have to look carefully for what you actually need. There is no manual for the app, so be sure to read forums and use Google. We will highlight a number of important matters.

First of all, the home screen of each device. here you will find the data that immediately shows you the status. Depending on the type of device, this is, for example, the power consumption, dimming level, humidity, temperature and the status of open or closed. Data such as power consumption and temperature are displayed using handy graphs. You can also see the battery status in this screen. At the bottom of the home screen you get access to all settings. Again depending on the device, these are the sensor settings, timer, weekly schedule, night mode, application settings, internet / security settings, the Actions and the general settings.

In the sensor settings you can calibrate the sensors and indicate what the change should be per sensor before an update is given. You can also disable certain sensors if desired. The application settings allow you, among other things, to exclude events of the device from the log or to exclude devices from the total power consumption. In the internet / security settings you can give each device a fixed IP address (recommended!) And you can make every device a WiFi Access Point. With the Actions you can have updates sent via http, for example to your own home automation system. The general settings give access to firmware updates, a reset and the information about the device. In addition, for dimmers / switches you can find options for calibration, warm-up, the type of button (push button for example) and the standard start mode. For actors you also have settings for timers, schedules and a night mode. So there are a lot of settings, most of which you will not adjust as a novice user. For those novice users, a simple manual would be a welcome addition.

Ease of use

Although Shelly has affordable products that can meet almost all the needs of a smart home, it is a somewhat tricky and sometimes frustrating system for the novice user. The user interface does not make sense in places, some options are difficult to find, installation often does not go smoothly and the large amount of advanced options can quickly be frightening. Creating a fixed IP address can already be a challenge for some users. Partly because of this, Shelly is mainly aimed at do-it-yourselfers with at least a basic knowledge of home automation and networks.

Quality

Although we do not dive into the details and possibilities of every Shelly product in this review, it must be said that the quality of the products is fine. The Dimmer 2 switches and dims lights smoothly and quickly, but keep in mind that you may need a bypass, depending on the wattage of the lamps and / or the transformer used. If you do not use them, lamps may flicker or not dim properly. Compared to other dimmers that we have mounted, including the Fibaro Dimmer 2 and Qubino Mini Dimmer, it is striking that the Shelly Dimmer 2 is more sensitive to different types of lamps and therefore has problems with dimming or flickering. Inquiry with Shelly results in the answer that this is indeed correct, but that the Shelly Dimmer is also a lot cheaper. The Shelly 2. 5 ensures that the shutters open and close smoothly, or can be set to a specific position. The wireless devices, including the Shelly Button and Shelly Door / Window sensor, respond quickly to changes / input but can sometimes be a bit unstable due to a bad or lost WiFi connection. Of course, the latter partly depends on the quality of your WiFi network.

Smarthome integration and advanced options

No shortage of Smarhome integrations with Shelly. The company makes almost anything possible. For experienced users with their own home automation systems (such as Home Assistant) there is the option to communicate via the Rest API or http requests. You can also link Shelly with MQTT. For those who want to control everything by voice, there is support for Google Home and Amazon Alexa. We activated Google Home within 1 minute by adding Shelly Cloud and logging in with your registration details. You can then operate devices, lamps and groups using voice commands. Finally, there is the option to add Shelly products to the Homey smart home hub via a dedicated app.

Conclusion – Shelly Cloud

Shelly is a relatively new player in the smart home market, but that does not stop the company from going full with a very complete range. The Shelly products are of excellent quality, cost a lot less than comparable products that use other protocols, are flexible in use, are ideal for the do-it-yourselfer and can be used without a hub. On the other hand, it is not the best system on the market in terms of installation and ease of use. This can frustrate you as a user. The number of advanced options without clear explanations can make you dizzy, but on the other hand, there is a lack of advanced options to automate with variables, for example. In addition, the connection is not always stable due to the use of WiFi and we attribute the quality and reliability of the much more expensive Zigbee and Z-Wave products somewhat higher. However, they must also be connected to a hub and are not as smart as a Shelly product in themselves. Shelly’s smarthome integration is doing very well. Both the Google Home fan and the do-it-yourselfer with their own home automation system can enjoy it. In short, are you looking for affordable products with which you can quickly make everything in your home a lot smarter without the use of a hub? And are you not averse to some Googling and finding out for yourself? Then Shelly is a great choice. they must therefore be connected to a hub and are in themselves not as smart as a Shelly product. Shelly’s smarthome integration is doing very well. Both the Google Home fan and the do-it-yourselfer with their own home automation system can enjoy it. In short, are you looking for affordable products with which you can quickly make everything in your home a lot smarter without the use of a hub? And are you not averse to some Googling and finding out for yourself? Then Shelly is a great choice. they must therefore be connected to a hub and are in themselves not as smart as a Shelly product. Shelly’s smarthome integration is doing very well. Both the Google Home fan and the do-it-yourselfer with their own home automation system can enjoy it. In short, are you looking for affordable products with which you can quickly make everything in your home a lot smarter without the use of a hub? And are you not averse to some Googling and finding out for yourself? Then Shelly is a great choice. are you looking for affordable products that can quickly make everything in your home a lot smarter without the use of a hub? And are you not averse to some Googling and finding out for yourself? Then Shelly is a great choice. are you looking for affordable products that can quickly make everything in your home a lot smarter without the use of a hub? And are you not averse to some Googling and finding out for yourself? Then Shelly is a great choice.

Positives

  • Cheap
  • Much choice
  • Active community and support
  • Excellent quality
  • No hub required
  • Good smarthome integration

Negatives

  • WiFi connection is sometimes unstable
  • Slightly less reliable than Zigbee / Z-wave products
  • No batteries included
  • Not very user-friendly and sometimes frustrating

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