A friendly device that allows you to turn your a/c unit into a smart device.
I live in the Midwest in the United States. If you look at a map and see where Indiana meets Kentucky at the Western portions of the states, that’s where you’ll find me. We live in a unique area where we experience all four seasons of the year, but we sometimes only get the extremes. For example, we will have about two solid weeks of seasonably cool fall weather before it gets blustery and cold for winter. And, we will have weeks of oppressive heat in the middle of the summer. When it’s nice, it’s really nice, but when it’s bad it’s really bad.
That said, we attempt to regulate the climate in our garage so that it’s tolerable to spend time out there. The problem is that since our weather is somewhat unpredictable, we tend to leave the portable a/c unit we have on for hours at a time. Elsewhere in our home, we have smart devices to help us regulate device usage and just to make things easier on us.
So why not find a device that can do the same for our portable a/c unit? That’s exactly what the Sensibo Sky is used for. It’s a ‘smart pod’ that pushes a signal to your air conditioner so that you can control it with your smartphone. Before I get too far into this review, I want to make a point to say that Sensibo Sky will only work with A/C units that have a remote control. The way the device works is that it mimics the IR signal that the A/C unit would normally receive from its remote. The Sensibo device receives a WiFi communication from your smartphone and then sends an IR signal to your A/C unit to complete the task at hand.
With Sensibo, you can control, monitor, automate, and save energy. The device is designed to work anywhere in the globe and is compatible in every country and every voltage and power outlet. Sensibo will work with split A/Cs, Mobile A/Cs, Window A/Cs, Cassettes & Central A/Cs that have a remote control. It will also work with a heater as long as it has a remote control. You can create 7-day scheduling with the Sensibo app and be in control of your personal environment. You can have your unit kick on in the evening before you get home from work and turn off when you leave the next morning.
Some additional features include:
FAMILY SHARING: You can share your Sensibo with family and friends and allow them to have control of your system. This can come in handy if you leave on vacation or have to work late. Your friends can check on your house for you and your kids or spouse don’t have to wait for you to get home to work the a/c.
WORKS WITH GOOGLE AND AMAZON: As an Apple user I would have loved to see HomeKit included in that list of smart ecosystems, but Amazon Alexa and Google Home are both worthy smart home systems. Sensibo makes it possible for you to use the command, “Ok Google, turn on the a/c.”
OPEN API & IFTTT: Sensibo is flexible and easy to work with programming-wise. You can create extensions and integrations for SmartThings, OpenHab, Homebridge (for HomeKit) using the open API and design recipes through IFTTT.
The Sensibo unit is very easy to install and use. It comes packaged with a USB to Micro USB cable and wall power adapter. The quick start guide is printed on the inside of the box cover and it instructs you to download the app and follow the instructions there. There is a user manual for the Sensibo Sky, but it doesn’t come packaged with the device. You have to download it from the website. You can set-up and use the Sensibo without the manual, but it’s helpful if you have to troubleshoot anything.
The first thing you will be asked to do is to create an account. This is pretty standard for smart devices. You will need to register with an email address, name, and password. A verification link will be sent to your email address and once you click on their provided link you will be ready to start the rest of the process. When you return to the app, you will be directed to scan the QR code on the back of the Sensibo unit. Once you do, the unit will connect to the Sensibo server and turn the unit into its own WiFi hotspot. You will connect to it like you would your home network and then enter your WiFi network’s credentials. The Sensibo will finish its connection setup in the background and then send you to the a/c unit customization screens. Here you can describe the unit’s location and basic information about it.
Programming the Sensibo to the a/c remote is a simple process, too. It’s very similar to the way universal remotes work. You will synchronize the Sensibo to the remote by pointing the remote at the Sensibo device and pressing the ‘power’ button. The Sensibo will detect the remote’s IR signature and record it so that can mimic it.
When you install the Sensibo on the a/c, you want to mount it in a place where the IR sensor on the a/c will be sure to read it. Usually, this is on the front of the unit near the bottom. Once this is done, you are set to start using the Sensibo system. So far, I’ve not had any issues with my unit working. I have noticed that it does have a little bit of an issue with range sometimes. I have found that it will take a little longer to connect than some of my other smart devices, but I believe that is because it is in our garage and therefore a bit farther away from a WiFi signal.
Even though I was able to get it up and running, I haven’t really had a ‘real’ test yet. I’ve been able to use it and have been happy with its performance, but since I received it and installed it as summer was fading to fall, I didn’t get the chance to really test it against one of our ‘extreme’ climate conditions. In fact, I only had a few days with our a/c before I put it away for winter. I have read that sometimes the Sensibo has trouble connecting in warmer climates and with extreme temperatures. I can’t officially comment on that since I didn’t get to experience it.
I think the Sensibo is a very interesting product and great for people who have units throughout their home that must be controlled manually. I like this device because, with minimal effort, you can take a standard device and make it smart home compatible.
BUY FROM AMAZON