POP makes your smart home smarter.
I’ve worked really hard the past few years to change my home over to a ‘smart’ home. I have a wide variety of products — everything from Philips Hue light bulbs to iDevices Smart Outlets — and I’ve tried very hard to connect it all through Apple HomeKit. It’s been a labor of love and a painstakingly long effort, but I feel as though I’ve been successful. Even though I’ve tried to make everything compatible with Apple HomeKit, sometimes that isn’t the best way. The Logitech POP Smart Button changed the way I thought about my smart home devices and how they work together.
The POP Smart Button was created for easy smart home control of your connected devices. It has a simple three-way control and will work with most modern smart home devices including:
- Smart lights: Philips Hue, Insteon, LIFX, Lutron
- Blinds: Hunter-Douglas, Lutron
- Locks: August Lock (requires August Connect or August Video Doorbell Cam)
- Connected music: Sonos
- Platforms: SmartThings, Belkin WeMo, IFTTT
- Remote Controls: Harmony Elite, Harmony Companion, Harmony Hub, Harmony Pro, and other hub-based Harmony remotes
The button has a built-in battery that has the life span of approximately five years. One of the thoughts I originally had when this device found its way onto my radar was, “Why do we need a button control for smart home devices? Weren’t we trying to move away from buttons and switches by connecting our devices?” While that might be a true statement, I’ve also discovered that sometimes not everyone in the family has access to the necessary apps to control the smart home products. For example, my 84-year-old grandmother lives with us and she doesn’t connect to our household devices. She has actually taken to making her coffee in the dark because we have Philips Hue bulbs in the kitchen and she doesn’t want to mess up their operation or connectivity. For her, and people like her, the POP smart button is a valuable solution for connecting with smart homes.
Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of activities you can do with the POP smart button.
- Smart lighting control
- Home entertainment control
- HomeKit enabled devices
- Multiple device combinations
When I started researching this device, I found that while it’s HomeKit compatible that’s not really the best use of it. Because it’s a physical button that you click, there really isn’t a good reason to connect it to HomeKit. I mean, what are you going to do — say, “Siri, click the button”? So, given that I decided to set up the POP strictly through the Logitech POP app.
Setup was incredibly easy. You plug the hub into power and then go to the app to connect it to your home WiFi. For me, the POP hub connected in a matter of seconds. Once it did, it pulled the connection information from my phone and in less than 5 minutes I was ready to program the button. What’s really cool is that the POP app pulls information on the devices that are compatible with it that are already connected to your network. I have Philips Hue lights, an LIFX light strip, and the Logitech Harmony Remote/hub. I get super frustrated when I try to start up our entertainment system from the remote because I don’t like to shift through menus just to get to the right command. The POP button has three programmable positions — one click, two clicks, and the long click. So, I programmed the one click and two click positions to two of the programs on the Harmony Hub. Now, we can click the button once and the entire system turns on. There is about a 5-second delay between when you click the button and when the TV program starts to turn everything on. Once it’s all on (TV, Xbox, A/V receiver, and satellite DVR), you can go back to using the Harmony remote as usual. I did find that the remote was a little delayed at first, but after a few seconds, it started operating normally again.
I’ve not had any issues with the POP smart button at all and I feel that it solves a problem that many smart home fanatics have — smart control for the whole family. It’s expandable and comes in a variety of colors. For a $40 investment for one button, you can have peace of mind knowing that everyone has the power to break away from app control for your smart home.
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