Finally my local B&Q have taken delivery of the LightwaveRF WiFi Link and I popped in earlier to pick one up. You can order one here through Amazon if you wish: Buy LightwaveRF WiFi Link on-line through Amazon.
The packaging is the usual high quality I have come to expect from JSJS Designs and was a bugger to get into due to it being sealed inside a plastic tray. Included in the tray is the WiFi link itself, a pretty bog standard wall-wart power supply and a short Ethernet cable (incorrectly referred to as an RJ45 cable in the instructions). Set up couldn’t be easier. Simply connect the device to power and your existing network infrastructure. It may be a little confusing, but the WiFi link doesn’t actually connect to or provide WiFi – simply because it doesn’t have a radio in it. Calling it the WiFi link though does well reflect its purpose, to allow LightwaveRF devices to be controlled by other WiFi devices (like your iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, etc). It should technically be called an Ethernet Link, but being aimed at the consumer market, more people will understand what WiFi is than Ethernet. That said, how many people will know what those funny RJ45 (I too will incorrectly call them that) sockets are on the back of their broadband router?
Anyway, once connected, the device connects to the Internet, downloads any software updates due and sets the clock automatically. Job done, nothing else required at this stage. Couldn’t be easier, well done JSJS.
Next up is the process of actually setting it up to control some devices. I have an iPhone, so have the app installed. An Android version is also available as is a web based option (more about that in a sec). First up, the iPhone needs to be paired with the WiFi link. Doing this is simple, assuming you have already created some rooms and devices (by clicking on them and setting a name and type), you just need to select one and switch it on – the WiFi link will detect the new device and ask you if you want to associate it with the WiFi link (obviously you do) and needing to do this offers a rudimentary level of security in case anyone else manages to connect to your WiFi network. Confirming you do is simply a case of pressing the indicated button on the front of the device. Make sure you do this before you stick the device out of the way in a cupboard or whatever.
The WiFi link works just like any other LightwaveRF remote. You need to tell the dimmer, switch, whatever that you expect it to be controlled by the WiFi link. To do this, put it in learning mode (how depends on the type of device) and switch it on through the iPhone/Android app. This will pair the device with the WiFi link and you are good to go.
In use, the iPhone app works as expected for direct control. Selecting the action on the screen to seeing the result is much quicker than I expected – its almost instantaneous. Where the system does feel a little less robust is in timers and especially in sequences (you need to create a sequence in order to set a timer). I tried creating a sequence to brighten my bedside wall lamp in 25% increments with 1 minute delay between each increment. I can set it to light 25%, 50% and 100%, but 75% is currently impossible due to a bug in the software. I won’t go into details here, but have logged it on the LightwaveRF forum and I fully expect them to resolve this as they are usually pretty responsive.
At this stage, I have created a couple of simple timers which I will talk through in another post. The next step is to do something funky with PHP and my web server, again, subject for another post.