LifeSmart – Universal Controller – Spot!
Many of us have electronic gear in our house that comes with a remote control, be it a Blu Ray player, a Smart TV or a Set Top box, or even less common things like Air Conditioning units or LED Ceiling lights (like I have). Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Siri compatible device that could send an IR signal to these devices, and then have those devices in our home app?
Part A – Adding the LifeSmart Smart Station
Your first steps are to simply setting up the bridge in their app, by setting up a LifeSmart account.
- After that you simply click on the ‘+’ symbol in the top left hand corner of the screen to add the bridge.
- Select ‘Add Device’ first. You’ll then be presented with a screen with all of their products so you can choose which product needs adding. Conveniently enough, the Smart Station is the first option, and the Smart Alarm a close second, being that these are the hubs need for all their devices.
- Follow the simple instructions for setting up the device, and it should all be running in a few minutes.
- After that, click on the Large LifeSmart logo at the top of the screen and a menu will appear.
- Select ‘Common’ at the bottom of the page.
- then select ‘All Devices’. Here you will see any devices already set up in the app, so in this case you click on ‘Smart Station’ (or whichever hub you have).
So, that’s the bridge added!
Part B – Adding the LifeSmart Spot to Siri
What about the LifeSmart Spot? Well, you would simply then follow the same instructions for adding the Spot to your LifeSmart account outlined in points 2,3 & 4. When the Spot is added, it will automatically appear and you will be able to control by Siri. You’ll then have control over the basic functions of the light, like on and off, colour & brightness based on the scene setup on the LifeSmart App
- Click on the LifeSmart logo at the top of the screen and you’ll see a few options.
- Select ‘Common’ and from there select ‘Advance Setting’. Select “User Preferences” and Select “Siri Control” and turn it on
- From your LifeSmart App, pre-set the scene that you wish to control
- You’ll then be given a series of options for preset device remote controls – TVs, TV boxes, Air Conditioners, Fans, DVDs etc, as well as customisable options. In this case, I will choose the Air Condition/Heat Pump preset. You’ll then be given a list of different AC brands. Simply choose the brand that matches yours.
- you will then see a screen that states that the Spot will emit an IR signal that correlates to the ON/OFF key of the remote that came with the AC unit.
- You Click on the Emit button, and it will ask if there was a response, and you simply click on the appropriate button (No Response or Have Response).
- If you get no response it will then emit another different signal until you finally get a response.
- Once you do get a response from the AC unit, it will move onto another preset IR signal (in this case, ‘AC Cool Key’), and you go through the same process of waiting for a response to the signals it sends out.
- It will do this a third time, and once you get a response to this third signal, it will have got all the info it needs to then display a screen version of the remote control for the device you’ve added. Depending on the device, it may have a simple and full version of the remote display – a simple version for the basics, and a full version for all the aspects of the remote device.
- Go to the dedicate scene section, slide the scene to the left and you could see a 3 dot line of option setting. select the Siri Voice and pre-set your command to trigger your scene.
*Note: the siri control function is available only for the user with IOS 12 and above.
Once you’ve been through this process, you can now control all functions of the Air Conditioner unit from your phone, via the LifeSmart app. In the final part, I’ll show you how you can control aspects of these remote controlled devices using siri command.
This is easily one of the most useful gadgets for Siri set up, but what is it? It’s a night light, a bedside lamp, something to store the wife’s earrings…and an IR blaster!
Yes, this device can be used to replace the basic aspects of all the different remotes you might have lying around, but with the added twist of being Siri compatible. I say ‘compatible’ with a qualification – which is that it’s only Siri compatible when used with the LifeSmart Smart Station, which like the Hue Bridge, is essentially a bridge for other LifeSmart devices.
It’s powered via a simple mini USB port at the back, with a mini USB plug at one end and a standard USB plug at the other, which then can plug into any powered USB socket, or depending on where you buy it from, it’ll come with a USB socket of its own. In addition to the power socket, there’s a reset button which also acts to turn the light to different basic colours and ‘off’, and a standard USB port for charging devices. This last port is actually useless in practice, as the power output is so low that it can’t even slow charge any of my phones, so I’m not sure why they even bothered.
So, assuming you’ve got the LifeSmart Smart Station, and you’ve added it to your Homekit setup, Some device becomes visible to Homekit appears as a light essentially, with control over the colour, brightness and power. That’s the lighting part of the device covered, so what about the ‘IR Blaster’ part? The “IR Blaster” will be worked with Siri but it will not show up on your Homekit app.
Well, you’ll need the free LifeSmart app first of all, which you’d need anyway in order to add the Smart Station to Homekit.
Now this allows you to control stuff from within their app, on the iPhone, but how does it work with Homekit? Well, What I will say is it’s pretty damned good for bringing in non-HomeKit devices into the fold.
The light itself is definitely not as bright as a Hue bulb for example, but it’s easily bright enough for a bedside light and more than bright enough as a night light. I have it set to Red at only 14% as a night light and even that setting is probably a bit too bright for some. It’s capable of the standard 16 million colours, but in this respect the colours are definitely off compared to an official HomeKit colour bulb. It can’t really do a cool white very well either, so I’m guessing inside there are LEDs for Red, Green & Blue but no dedicated White LED. Still, the colours are quite vibrant and the device itself is not too expensive, being available from anything between SGD96 ~ SGD159.
LifeSmart aren’t that well known, but considering what this device is capable of I really do think more people would be buying this if they only knew about it.