I’m new to LWRF although I’ve been looking around for a while for a solution that would fit my house. I have a normal Combi boiler setup but I also have 2 rooms that have electric radiators which is why I went with LWRF for the electric switches. So although I have some more kit to install, I dont want to until I can get the basic heating working which is proving to be a pain.
After 1 week of playing with the setup (just the thermostat, boiler switch and gen1 link) I have come across the following queries/issues.
1. The Thermostat has a bit of an extended run which now means that in a basic sheduled mode it’s costing me more to heat my home than it was before installing. If i put my heating on 20.5 then it goes down to 19.9 and up to 21.1. Most other thermostats change in increments of 0.5 so the heating will be triggered at 20.0. These would also round up and down so the variance is about 0.7 rather than 1.2. As far as I’ve read there’s no changing this but I would have thought this would an easy and good setting to include in the thermostat.
2. The schedule seems to be running 2 days behind. I have different times set for the weekends and today (tuesday) I’m running on sundays schedule. I’ve checked all dates and they all seem to be set correctly.
3. Ok lets start on the app. The current ios app wont give you live info. There’s no force update as the pull down refresh doesn’t read from the thermostat but just the link (i think). Logging into the webapp, doing a refresh and then doing a refresh in the ios app works. Luckily someone else on here mentioned that the old Deta app is still available which works a treat for updating, much more stable.
4. Home and away – Why does this not interact with the heating system? Dont get me wrong you can go into the heating section and change this between Running and Away but if I had power units also i’d have to do this in 2 places (set the main away and then set the heating to away). This then follows on to point 5.
5. Geolocation – this ones a long one. On sites such as screwfix its stated that the thermostat can do geolocation however I cant for the life of me find where this is available. The only way this thing will save me any heating costs would be to have the heating turn down when no one is home. apart from through the night, shedules dont work very well as we are in and out of the house at different times. I’ve been looking at a few solutions to add this but I just keep hitting a road blocks.
a. Use ifttt along with life360 so set the temperature of the thermostat when all family members have left the house and then returned. the problem with this is that schedules would interfere and its relying on multiple services that could go wrong.
b. I’ve noticed that the Nest app can be integrated and set the home and away status from it. The Nest geolocatoin gives the option of multiple devices so is ideal however as in point 4 the home and away functions don’t seem to interact with heating.
I would like to keep the LWRV solution in as I’ve just shelled out a decent amount of money for it but if it cant do what a smart thermostat is supposed to do then what’s its purpose. I’m now starting to think I should have just gone with a Nest system and used plug sockets with the electric radiators on a timed basis rather than temerature.
If anyone has any input to any of these that would be great. I just thought I’d get some feedback before I open up support cases.
I’m sorry to have to be saying this, but my advice (and this is coming from a LWRF fan (or at least someone who is still trying to be)) is send it all back to where you got it and go out and buy a Honeywell evohome kit which will not cost much more than LWRF (I think the radiator valves are the same price). The LWRF iPhone app is poor, especially the heating control part (as you seem to have already discovered), whereas evohome is simple, quick and easy to use. With LWRF you’ll need your phone to change timers, whereas with evohome you get a neat colour LCD panel as well as a good app. Set up is easy and guess what – it works reliably unlike the 2 LWRF switches I use for underfloor heating and an electric towel rail which often don’t switch on or worse, don’t switch off so they’re on all day.
All of the issues you’ve listed you would not have with evohome. (I would also hesitate to listen to retailers who frequently don’t really know the finer technical details of some kit.) If it’s still under guarantee or warranty, send it back and get a refund.
Ok so I ended up putting a few service requests in for these and the responses were:
1. There’s no way of changing this and by the sounds of it there’s no plans to. So you’re stuck with a massive increase to the amount of time your heating is on.
2. I didnt even bother asking about this one as its the least of my problems.
3. There’s nothing wrong with the app….. I beg to differ. I’d suggest just running the Deta Connect app.
4. Heating will never integrate with the Home and Away events with the Gen1 link but this may come in the future for the link plus. I’d rather not invest in something that’s by the sounds of it been full of bugs for a feature that isnt there yet.
5. The only way that LWRF will support this is via IFTTT which doesnt support multiple users as most homes have unless you start using other apps such as life360 alongside IFTTT. Surely this is a breach of advertising standards as this isnt a feature of LWRF.
Thanks for the suggestion of the evohome but I do want to integrate other smart devices in the future so i’d rather go for a system which has that possibility. I’m going back to my programmable wired unit until I find a deal on a Nest system as I’m getting it in the neck from the wife about how hot and then cold the living room gets now and its also more expensive to meet the needs of my family. I may keep the Link and the plugin sockets as they seem to work fine so far and the combined cost is about the same as some of the competition. I’ve had some of the LWRF kit for a month or so now so it’ll just go on ebay rather than back to the shops (I got them on sale anyway so shouldn’t be down much).
Its such a shame as this kit could and should be so much better. I was a big Blackberry fan and tried to support them on the decline but had to concede that it was over in the end. This is just as LightwaveRF are going and I feel sorry for the users supporting them. They have a good set of hardware and the idea is so much better than what’s out there but no capability of fulfilling what it should do.
So in short, the LWRF heating controls are not really fit for purpose as a smart system.
Well… as far as your replies from 1 to 5 (and your final sentence), all I can say is, I rest my case. LWRF heating has issues, but it looks like this is as good as it’s going to get. But what is more important to you – a warm home that you have to control ‘by hand’ or a whizzy computerised smart heating system that ensures everyone in the house either bakes or freezes?
As for Honeywell evohome, I’m not sure quite what you mean – it is currently IFTTT compliant (and I’m told it will shortly be Apple Homekit compliant) so you do have the option of switching on the heating as you come within x miles of your home with your iPhone or IFTTT enabled BMW, or turn the heating up when your Netatmo station says it’s too cold in your garden etc. So integration with evohome doesn’t seem to be any different to integration with LWRF. Except evohome doesn’t have the issues you’re having. I’m not sure about multiple users with IFTTT – I haven’t tried it but I don’t immediately see why you can’t.
I fully agree that LWRF kit could and should be better. But it isn’t so we have to make a choice – stick with it or go elsewhere. I made my choice.
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