Having bought a new LinkPlus I set about trying to link my Gen1 devices to it. I have 7 dimmer switches, about a dozen Plug ‘N’ Play sockets (non dimming), 2 heating switches and 21 in-line relays. Three dimmers refuse to link, one linked but I subsequently couldn’t switch it with the app, only 5 sockets linked, in spite of me moving them around the house and also curiously, sockets that came in packs of 3, one worked and two didn’t. Of the remaining sockets that initially linked, 2 subsequently lost connection. Most of the relays are in wall spaces and will take a long time to gain access so I only want to attempt that when I’m sure all this works, but I tried five, three linked, two didn’t, and of the three that worked, one couldn’t be switched. One heating switched linked and worked whilst the other, less than three feet away, doesn’t.
I contacted customer services, returned my Link for testing, they claimed it worked perfectly well but sent a new one anyway with the message “If this doesn’t work it must be your physical environment.” This assertion is made…
* in spite of the fact that everything works with Link 1
* ignoring that one of the Link Plus frequencies is the same as Gen1 Link frequency
* even when the Link Plus is in line of sight with switches/sockets, and still doesn’t Link.
* ignoring that I live in the real world, not in a laboratory.
The replacement Link Plus is slightly better insofar as two of the items that previously refused to link now do (although you still can’t control them after linking), and one that previously did Link, now refuses to do so. Oh yes, both heating switches now work properly.
I’ve now been asked to send that Link Plus back for testing.
I am pleased I never bothered to upgrade to the new Link. I was a big fan of LWRF in the early days despite their failure to deliver but the cost of updating to the hub and then no doubt up to date switches and sockets is not worth it when I can achieve better control using other products. Great shame, LWRF had the right idea about 5 years ago but it has never seemed to take off and many system issues and failures to bring to market in time what the market demanded.
Others have got in on the act. My lights are now all Philips Hue. OK the bulbs are not cheap but they are if you compare the cost of a bulb with a LWRF light switch and an LED to work with it. The controls available for Philips are far better plus there is a tremendous advantage in that you don’t have to control the lights via a special switch and where you have couples with only one technically minded there is no problem for the survivor non technical person when the grim reaper calls in the other!
The key word here is ‘was’ as in “I was a big fan”. So was I, but maintaining that support has become more and more challenging. The technical support is, in my opinion, weak. I have about 40 LWRF items plus a box of about 15 items that have failed. This doesn’t include the dozen or so items that I’ve returned to the retailer and had replaced within the guarantee period. Speak to technical support and the answer invariably comes back along the lines of this is a reliable product with very few complaints.
Until now one could argue that this kit is much cheaper than the alternatives, and in my opinion is better styled. But now the Gen2 material has arrived and whilst the spec is higher, the price is ridiculous. A single dimmer switch is now £60. On a recent visit to my local DIY store I saw a light switch for 99p. Yes, all it does is switch lights on and off and you can’t do it remotely and doesn’t tell you via your iPhone when it’s on, etc etc. But the point is that the LWRF switch costs 60 times more. Is that additional functionality worth the extra £59?
But here is the real problem. Although LWRF claim to be continuing to produce and support Gen1, one has to wonder how long will they run what is effectively two systems side by side. Unless they come up with a major fix, Gen1 equipment won’t work with the Gen2 Link (or at least not very reliably) so the choice seems to be either replace all your Gen1 kit with Gen2 kit at vast expense (notwithstanding that there isn’t yet a Gen2 version of some of the items) or stick with Gen1 which means that at some stage the equipment won’t be supported.
I think we’ve been steered down a blind alley: no way forward and no way back.
I also found Gen1 devices to be a pain to link to the gen2 hub – seemed a bit hit and miss
I also find that the positioning of the gen2 hub makes more of a difference than before – i’m guessing there is a difference in antenna or earth plane etc and it is just poorer at gen1 stuff.
not to mention the fact that the software support for gen1 kit is just an afterthought and currently implemented in a fundamentally flawed way
All very interesting as I was thinking of getting g a gen2 hub and slowly upgrading some bits, whilst continuing to use the gen1 stuff too.
Like has been mentioned above, the price point is becoming very significant! I originally opted for Lighteaverf due to relatively low cost compared to other systems, and switch style. They are now no where near at the lower end of the spectrum price wise! I do hope as a company they did a bit of market research to find out if current and potential customers actually wanted what they are now offering!
As it is, I am now playing with Ikeas tradfri offering as the bulbs are increadibly inexpensive and I find the wall dimmers agreeable to look at. In addition these apparently work with Hue hubs too – so I’ll be playing with one of these too in the near future.
I think my support for Lighteaverf is dwindling.
indeed… even though i like the lightwave kit, i tend to steer others away from it when asked about it as wouldn’t want an average user (rather than a techy) to have to put up with it. friends at work seem to be getting on well with tradfri
LWRF seems to have begun to be left behind by bigger players. It has now become more expensive. To get the same functionality with my lights using LWRF that I have with Philips Hue I would have to spend more than Hue costs. The LWRF plugins are better and more versatile than the LWRF sockets but there are other plugins around. The heating controls for me always were a big “No”. I sent mine back for a refund as they were dreadfully noisy and did not do what originally LWRF said they were going to do. The app and control of LWRF is now unnecessarily complicated for the not so technical. Their prices have gone ever higher. If the volume of sales had taken off prices would be lower. A great shame for it started out as a simple economic product that competed with the market. My only use if it now is the plugins which mostly I use with a hand held remote and I have two events I run, one once a week operating plugins to run a computer backup and the other a fail safe that switches off a plugin late in the evening if I forget to do so. As said, a great shame.
Some really good comments here which I hope someone from LWRF will read.
I have lots of relays controlling curtains, sunblind, ceiling fan, etc. Apart from having to replace some inline relays that simply fail (about 10 in 2 years), they are totally unreliable. In my lounge I have 5 curtains which open at dawn and close at dusk. I would say that about 30% of the time I come down in the morning to a varying assortment of curtains that haven’t opened. In the evening it’s a rare occurrence that all close. And it’s not the same ones. Occasionally the lights at the front of the house don’t come on at dusk, (they’re connected to a Plug ‘N ‘Play socket), then the electric underfloor heating in the bathroom comes on, but sometimes hasn’t switched off so it’s on all day (that’s a LWRF electric switch), recently a deleted timer appears to have reactivated itself and so the curtains try to close twice, then the ‘Away’ setting activated itself and so halfway through the evening, lights started going on and off.
Anything that isn’t 100% reliable is not great, but when technology like this doesn’t work, it’s a joke. So my advice to anyone considering LWRF for the main central heating controls is forget it. Based on my experience with the rest of their stuff, I chose to fit Honeywell EvoHome and that is brilliant. And guess what – it works 100% reliably.
Yes to Evohome. It works. Bottom line is you get what you pay for. It may be LWRF are upping their prices in order to enhance the quality but then it seems they are going too far the other way. Like you, I could never be 100% certain routines would work. They seem to in my case when they operate plugins but not all the time operating light switches. Never a guarantee sunrise and sunset would be adhered to, although to be fair, they mostly were. What was called “dusk” was sunset.
I have a lot of LWRF gear now redundant. Lost money I suppose.
Looks like it’s now all redundant – maybe you and me could get together and have a car boot sale
It’s true… you get what you pay for but when I did the sums evohome didn’t come out very much more expensive than LWRF, and that was before LWRF put their prices up and Honeywell brought their prices down.
I gave up using the Dusk/Dawn sensor ages ago. I now use IFTTT to determine the time of day and that works fine. IFTTT sends the message to the LWRF Link every time at the correct time or worst case, within a minute (proven by the fact that some curtains do operate when they should). It’s what happens next that’s in question.
Evohome cost me about £250 than LWRF would have charged. This was back in 2014. The LWRF heating gear was dreadful. That extra £250 was well spent.
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