Eve Home, formerly known as Elgato Eve, is a smart home automation platform that seamlessly connects devices and appliances and makes managing them a breeze.
I had a chance to review some of Eve’s gadgets to see how much closer they would get me to achieve my goal of a fully automated home. For this review, I tested the following products:
|Eve Light Switch Connected Wall Switch|
|Eve Motion Wireless Motion Sensor|
|Eve Door & Window Wireless Contact Sensor|
|Eve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter|
|Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller|
|Eve Degree Connected Weather Station|
|Eve Button Connected Home Remote|
What I like most about the Eve Home platform is its holistic approach to home automation. By combining and seamlessly integrating so many different devices and appliances, Eve Home manages to bridge numerous gaps that would otherwise require products from multiple vendors.
What I didn’t have a chance testing (yet) are the following products:
|Eve Flare Portable Smart LED Lamp|
|Eve Room Indoor Air Quality Monitor|
|Eve Smoke Connected Smoke Detector|
|Eve Thermo Connected Radiator Valve|
I give Eve Home 4.5 out of 5 stars for simplifying my life as a tech-savvy homeowner.
Eve Home Platform
- Slick and innovative designs
- Offers a wide variety of products
- Excellent integration into Apple’s ecosystem
- Bluetooth LE has range limitations
- No support platforms besides Apple HomeKit
Eve Systems GmbH, the company behind Eve Home is located in Munich, Germany, less than two hours away from my hometown of Salzburg in Austria.
Eve Home is an ecosystem of connected accessories that work exclusively with Apple’s home automation platform HomeKit. As a result, you can conveniently control all Eve Home devices using an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or even HomePod.
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Eve Home is somewhat unique in that regard because most other manufacturers of home automation gadgets support other platforms, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home first. As someone who is heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, I much appreciate Eve’s focus on HomeKit.
Unlike most other manufacturers I have worked with, Eve Home uses Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), instead of Wi-Fi to communicate with HomeKit. The advantage of that is that you won’t need an extra bridge, a potentially longer battery life and the devices don’t congest your WLAN. The downside of Bluetooth LE is its limited range, compared to Wi-Fi.
If you want to control HomeKit-enabled devices remotely (i.e., when you are not at home), you need an Apple TV, HomePod or an iPad to act as a bridge. That’s the case, regardless of if your HomeKit accessory uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. In other words, devices from other manufacturers have the same limitation.
To configure and customize your Eve Home accessories, you can use the Home app, available for iOS and macOS, or the dedicated Eve app (App Store).
Please note that Apple’s Home app provides only basic functionality that all HomeKit-enabled devices support. To enable or customize vendor-specific features, such as the flow rate in Eve Aqua, you have to use the vendor’s app. As a result, I highly recommend downloading the Eve app.
Eve Light Switch
- Can be used in a 1/2/3/4-gang switch box
- Doesn’t have any (visible) moving parts
- Slick design
- Doesn’t support 3-way installation
- No automatic line/load switching
- Works only with HomeKit
The Eve Light Switch is one of the slickest and best-looking smart switches I have ever seen.
In contrast to smart switches of other manufacturers, the actuator plate of the Eve Light Switch doesn’t move when you press it. Instead, it feels more like the touchscreen of your smartphone. As a result, the button of the Eve Light Switch is flush with the switch plate, which makes it look super slick.
We use the Eve Light Switch to automatically turn on an outside light at dusk utilizing an automation script I set up in the Home app. A second script turns the switch (and thus the light) automatically off at dawn.
The downside of all the automation is that I never get to touch the switch. In fact, I have had zero interaction with the Eve Light Switch since I originally installed it a few weeks ago. That’s what home automation is smart technology is all about: To get out of my way and do things automatically in the background that would cost time or energy to do manually.
|Power||Input: AC 120 V, 50/60 HzMax. 15 A / 1800 W general purposeMax. 5 A / 600 W tungsten lamp|
|Wireless Connection||Bluetooth Low Energy (LE)|
|Dimensions||120 x 75 x 35 mm|
|Supported Wiring||Copper or Copper Clad|
|Automatic Load/Line Switching||✘|
In addition to the traditional, 1-gang installation using the provided switch plate, you can also install the switch behind a 2/3/4-Gang switch plate. If you do so, Eve recommends using a plastic plate because the company hasn’t tested Bluetooth connectivity with plates made from other materials.
If you ever have to reset the Eve Light Switch, press and hold the button for a few seconds until the light in the center of the button turns yellow.
- Flexible mounting options
- 120° field of view
- IPX3 Water-resistance rating
Eve Motion is a wireless motion sensor that uses Passive Infrared (PIR) technology to detect objects that emit infrared radiation (heat), such as humans or animals.
Using a combination of the Eve and Home apps, you can create rules that trigger certain events if Eve Motion detects movement.
Definition of IPX3: Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture or b) A spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield.
I have configured Eve Motion to turn on lights and send me an alert if it detects motion while “nobody is at home.” For Apple HomeKit “nobody is at home” means that both my wife’s and my iPhone are outside the geo-fence we have set up around the house.
Additionally, I have configured the “Duration” setting in the Eve app to turn off the lights after a set period. What’s neat about Eve Motion is that you can place it anywhere, including a bookshelf or you can mount it on a wall.
|Field of View||120°|
|Distance||9 m / 30 ft. max at 2 m / 6.5 ft. mounting height|
|Reaction Time||Two seconds|
|Operating Temp.||-18°C to +55°C (: 0°F – 130°F)|
|Power||2 x AA Batteries|
|Battery Life||>12 Months|
|Dimensions||80 x 80 x 32 mm|
Using the Eve app, you can set the motion sensor’s sensitivity too Low, Medium, or High. Additionally, you can decide if the LED on the front of Eve Motion should light up if the sensor detects motion. I had this setting turned on during testing and to help with positioning the sensor.
Eve Door & Window
- Small footprint
- Easy to install with included adhesive tape
- Occasionally slow reaction time (notifications)
Eve Door & Window is a wireless contact sensor that consists of two components that can detect when you open or close a door or window.
The smaller, square-shaped sensor component comes with a couple of extensions to bridge potential gaps in the alignment between the door (or window) and its frame. I have a relatively old door at our main entrance that has decorative molding on the frame that’s not flat. As a result, I had to use all of the extension plates to align the two pieces of the sensor properly.
Eve ships the sensors with self-adhesive tape for easy installation. But I received a used Eve Door & Window unit for this review, and so the included mounting tape wasn’t sticky anymore. As a result, I used 3M Command Strips to fasten the sensors to the door and frame without damaging it.
Additionally, I had to reset the sensors to delete the pairing data from the previous owner/reviewer. You may have to do the same if you purchased a used set of Eve Door & Home, or if for when you want to sell it. To reset Eve Door & Window, follow these steps:
- Slide off the cover plate of the rectangular sensor
- Push a paperclip into reset hole for 10 seconds (until LED flashes)
- Remove and reseat the battery
I couldn’t successfully reset the sensor without also removing the battery, which Eve doesn’t mention in the installation guide.
|Power||1 x 1/2 AA (ER14250 3.6V) Battery|
|Dimensions||52 x 24 x 23 mm / 2.1 x 1.0 x 0.9 in18 x 18 x 8 – 23 mm / 0.7 x 0.7 x 0.3 – 0-9 in|
I have noticed that Eve Door & Window usually reacts relatively quickly when it detects a status change, but sometimes I get notifications that someone opened or closed my door with a few seconds delay. That’s not an issue, but I wanted to mention it.
- Reliable operation (set and forget)
- Detailed reporting on power consumption
- Available for various geographic regions
Eve Energy is a collection of smart power plugs with different receptacles, depending on the country you intend to operate it in. Eve Energy is currently available for the following regions:
- United States
- European Union
- United Kingdom
The primary purpose of Eve Energy is to turn a connected device on and off and to monitor its power consumption. That’s particularly useful for appliances, such as corner lamps, that you cannot or don’t want to control via a smart light switch or smart light bulb.
We use Eve Energy to automatically turn a decorative corner lamp in our formal living room on and off, depending on the time of day.
If you are interested in how much energy a connected device consumes, you’ll appreciate the detailed reports the Eve app offers. Note that while you can connect Eve Energy to a surge protector, the device itself does not protect connected appliances from power surges.
The technical specifications below apply to the US version of Eve Home. For other regions, please see here.
|Input / Output||AC 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz (max. 15 A / 1800 W)|
|Compatibility||Type B sockets, Type A & B appliances|
|Dimensions||2.6 x 2.6 x 1.9 in / 65 x 65 x 47 mm|
- Automated or manual operation
- Easy to install and use
- Detailed water consumption reporting
- Does not take weather data into account
Eve Aqua is a smart water controller that you can use to turn an outdoor faucet into a smart water outlet. Eve Aqua enables you to control a connected hose or sprinkler system, and it even allows you to set up an automated watering schedule for your lawn or garden.
Additionally, Eve Aqua keeps perfect track of water consumption, and it shows detailed reports in the Eve app. To allow Eve Aqua to measure water consumption correctly, you have to tell it the flow rate of the connected hose or sprinkler system. When I first used Eve Aqua in combination with the drip-watering system for our veggie garden, I was shocked about how much water it used until I realized that I hadn’t changed the flow rate in the Eve app.
Eve Aqua is incredibly flexible as it allows you to set up custom watering schedules that define when, how often, and for how long to turn on water. Of course, you can also push the On/Off button on the device directly to turn a connected hose on or off. When I installed the drip-watering system we use in our garden, I had to turn the water on and off multiple times until I had all the micro-sprinklers installed correctly. Instead of running back and forth between the faucet and the garden numerous times, all I had to do is summon Siri via my Apple Watch, by saying:
- Hey Siri, turn Eve Aqua on
- Hey Siri, turn Eve Aqua off
Using Siri turned out to be incredibly convenient! Additionally, like most kids, ours like to play with the garden hose. With Eve Aqua, I can set an automatic shutoff timer, so I don’t have to keep tabs on how much water the kids are using.
The one thing I don’t like about Eve Aqua is its inability to take the current weather or the forecast into account for the watering schedule. If it’s raining or if there is a high chance of rain in the forecast, I would expect Eve Aqua to be smart enough and skip watering my plants. The Blossom controller I have connected to the central sprinkler system can do that, and it saves a ton of water by skipping a scheduled watering session based on the weather. So I’m hoping Eve will add this feature in a future software update.
|Thread||26,5 mm / G ¾”|
|Pressure||Min 1 bar / 14.5 psi – Max 5 bar / 72.5 psi|
|Power||2x AA Replaceable Batteries|
|Dimensions||94 x 123 x 80 mm / 3.7 x 5.2 x 3.1 in|
Newer versions of the Eve Aqua’s firmware ensure that the device keeps a local copy of its schedule. So even if Eve Aqua loses the Bluetooth connection to your HomeKit hub (Apple TV, HomePod, iPad), it continues watering based on the defined schedule.
I have seen users on Amazon complain that Eve Aqua leaks. All my outdoor faucets are as old as the house is (~20 years), so I expected some leaking and decided to use plumbers tape on the threading as a precaution. So far, I have not seen any leaks around the faucet or its threading.
- Slick design
- Flexible mounting options
- IPX3 water-resistance rating
- The screen can display only the temperature
Eve Degree is not just a slick-looking gadget that displays the current temperature, but it’s a weather station that keeps track of temperature, humidity, and air pressure. Using the Eve app, you can go back in history and analyze how those metrics have changed over time.
Eve Degree features a weather-resistance rating of IPX3, which means you can use it outdoors as light rain or your sprinkler won’t harm it. For example, you could use Eve Degree to keep tabs on the temperature and humidity of your greenhouse or kid’s room.
We use smart thermostats from ecobee with various remote sensors in our home, so I have not much need for Eve Degree, other than to display the temperature. I put Eve Degree on the desk in my home office, so I can quickly glance at it and see how warm or cold it is. But instead of showing the current temperature, I’d be more interested in knowing what the current humidity is. Unfortunately, I don’t think you can change what metric Eve Degree displays. Hopefully, Eve adds that functionality to a future software update.
Of course, you can decide if Eve Degree displays the temperature in Degrees Celcius (C) or Fahrenheit (F).
|Operating Range||-18 °C – 55 °C / 0 °F – 130 °F0% – 100% Humidity260 – 1260 mbar / 7.7 – 37.2 inHgIPX3 Certified|
|Accuracy||± 0.3 °C / ± 0.54 °F± 3% Humidity± 1 mbar / 0.03 inHg|
|Power||CR2450 Replaceable Battery|
|Dimensions||54 x 54 x 15 mm / 2.1 x 2.1 x 0.6 in|
- Offers three different operations in a single button
- Supports advanced rules and automation options
- Easy to use and operate
Eve Button is an interesting gadget because it allows you to trigger HomeKit scenes based on the push of a…well…button. In other words, consider Eve Button a remote for your connected home. The cool thing about Eve Button is that it supports three types of input:
- Single press
- Double press
- Long press
In its basic mode, you can use a single Eve Button to trigger up to three different HomeKit scenes. We typically use Siri to control compatible devices and to enable scenes, but Siri is not always reliable, and not everybody in the house can use it.
I have placed Eve Button on the desk of my home office to turn all the lights and the ceiling fan on and off. For example, when I step out to have lunch, I long-press Eve Button to turn everything off and to conserve energy. I could certainly use Siri, but pushing a button that I have in arm’s reach is often quicker and more reliable.
I realize that my use case for Eve Button might not be the most exciting one, and while writing this review, it occurred to me that Eve Button would be perfect for the kids. We have two kids, aged 5 and 2.5 and while the older one can issue commands to Siri, she doesn’t have permanent access to an iOS device. Plus, the younger one can’t reach some of the light switches yet.
So I figured that I could make Eve Button available to the kids, thus enabling them to turn individual lights on or off. For instance, the lights in their play area. Of course, they’d probably play with it first and deplete the button’s battery. But once the initial excitement has worn off, I’m sure they’d use Eve Button as intended.
What’s important to understand is that you cannot configure Eve Button to trigger an individual action, such as turning on a light. Instead, you can trigger a so-called Scene. While that sounds more complicated than it is, I can see some non-tech-savvy users struggle with that.
If you are new to HomeKit, check out Apple’s support document describing how to set up and use the platform.
A scene can have as little as one command (i.e., turn on a light) or it can contain a collection of instructions. For example, our “Goodnight” scene turns off, dims or turns on individual lights and fans in our home.
To get even more creative with Eve Button, you can create rules that trigger a scene only if certain conditions are met. For example, a single press might turn on the lights during certain hours of the day. Outside that window, it may turn on the fan.
|Power||CR2032 Replaceable battery|
|Dimensions||54 x 54 x 13 mm / 2.1 x 2.1 x 0.5 in|
Apple’s HomeKit provides a solid base for controlling compatible devices. Unfortunately, its features for individual device categories are limited to those supported by all manufacturers. In other words, for manufacturers to certify for HomeKit, the device has to provide a standardized set of functionality. You can control that functionality via Apple’s Home app. Any additional features, the Home app doesn’t know about and so you have to use the manufacturer’s app to tweak them.
That’s why, you might have to switch back and forth between the Home and the Eve app, depending on your preferences and how far you want to push your home automation game.
Below are examples of the automation rules I have created for my Eve devices:
- Eve Aqua – Water plants every day at 8 am for 5 minutes (Eve app)
- Eve Energy – Turn on lamp every day at dusk and turn it off at dawn (Home app)
- Eve Light Switch – Turn on the outdoor light every day at dusk and turn it off at dawn (Home app)
- Eve Door & Window – Send a notification every time the front door opens or closes (Home app)
- Eve Motion – Turn on lights in the area and send notification if the sensor detects motion while nobody is home (Home app)
- Eve Button – Single Press: Turn on office lights and fan. Double Press: Lower the temperature of the AC. Long Press: Turn off office lights and fan.
Other things you could do with automation rules include:
- Eve Door & Window – Turn off the AC/Heating if someone opens a window.
- Eve Smoke – Turn on all lights, open the garage and turn off the AC if the sensor detects smoke.
- Eve Degree – Turn on the fan if the temperature reaches a certain threshold.
- Eve Energy – Turn off a connected appliance if it consumes too much energy.
Eve Home and Siri
With Siri, you can not only control your Eve gadgets, but you can also check on their status. For example, I can ask Siri if the main entrance is closed by querying the status of Eve Door & Window.
To make that process as convenient as possible, I recommend giving your Eve devices meaningful names. For example, I renamed the Eve Door & Window sensor I have installed at the main entrance to “Main Entrance.” That way, I can say “Hey Siri, is the main entrance closed?” and Siri would know what that meant.
Of course, Siri can also figure out the context based on the name of the room the device is installed in. For example, I can say “Turn off the lights in the family room,” and Siri would turn off all the lights in that room.
What Siri can’t figure out yet is what room you are currently in. When I introduced my wife to HomeKit a long time ago, she would occasionally say “Hey Siri, turn on the light.” As a result, Siri would turn on every single light in the home. You might think my wife should have known better, but technically, Apple has beacon technology that would allow them to figure out if you are close to a particular device (i.e., an Apple TV). So I’m fully expecting that at some point in the future, Siri will be smart enough to understand better the context of your query, based on where you are, even within your home.
All Eve devices I have tested, have worked incredibly well and reliably so far. But on occasion, I ran into connectivity issues that were related to the limitations of Bluetooth LE.
Each Eve gadget has two methods of communicating with you and the controlling device (i.e., your iPhone). It can establish a point-to-point connection if you are within reach of Bluetooth. Or it can route the communication through your HomeKit hub. In our home that would either be the HomePod or Apple TV. If the Eve device is out of reach with either, it’ll show as “disconnected” in the Home and Eve apps.
I have had that happen a few times with Eve Degree because I positioned it at the far end of the house whereas we have our Apple TV and HomePod on the opposite side. That’s one of the downsides of using Bluetooth over Wi-Fi.
Errors During Firmware Updates
On other occasions, I ran into “Configuration Errors” during the firmware updates. I just ignored those errors and proceeded with the update. Everything was working, and the new firmware appeared installed, so I don’t know what the problem was.
How to Factory Reset Eve Devices
If a device stops working or if you plan on selling an old device, you might have to reset it to factory settings. Every Eve device has a reset button that you can press using a paperclip for approximately 10 seconds. As I mentioned above, I have found the reset process to be more reliable by also removing the battery after resetting the device.
While writing this article, I got a notification from Eve Door & Window that the battery was running low. So I had to look up what battery the device needed before ordering new ones on Amazon. Not all Eve devices use the same batteries, so here is a list of various battery types that fit each Eve product with links for your convenience:
- Eve Motion: 2x AA Batteries
- Eve Door & Windows: 1x ER14250 AA 3.6 Volts Battery
- Eve Aqua: 2x AA Batteries
- Eve Degree: 1x CR2450 Battery
- Eve Button: 1x CR2032 Battery
Eve Home Automation Platform Review
Overall, I’m pleased with the performance of the Eve Home Automation Platform. Eve’s primary advantage, in my opinion, is that they offer so many, well-integrated devices. I own HomeKit devices from dozens of manufacturers, and each vendor has its own app and way of doing things. Being able to consolidate automation rules and triggers makes things easier and more reliable.
As a result, I’m planning on adding additional Eve Door & Window sensors, motion detectors and light switches to our home. Plus, I’m looking forward to testing all the new gadgets Eve Home recently released.
Do you own Eve Home gadgets? Or do you have questions or concerns? If so, what’s your experience with them? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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