As of February 1, the Lidl Smart Home range is available in France. Bulbs, LED strips or connected sockets are the first products offered at prices to make the competition pale. First glimpse of the range which wants to introduce the greatest number to easy home automation.
Easily connect everything in your home is the dream of many. There are those who master and know all the protocols like the back of their hands so that everything is automated in a snap at home. And there are the others. Those who would like to, but who do not necessarily know where to start and how to configure everything at home. It is undoubtedly the latter that Lidl decided to turn to in order to support them.
Since February 1, the discount chain has been offering its connected products for the home. As we announced to you , they were already available in neighboring countries, it is now the turn of French consumers to be able to approach them. Lidll’s advantage: lower prices than the competition and compatibility with the Zigbee 3.0 protocol, very secure and increasingly used, in particular by major brands (Amazon, Xiaomi, Philips Hue, solutions like Jeedom or eedomus …). This will allow very great compatibility and integration.
Among the first products offered, we obviously find light bulbs, basic elements of modern home automation, one would be tempted to say. But also sockets and multiple sockets and LED strips for your decoration. We were able to test the different devices of this new range called Lidl Smart Home.
How to get started?
You can’t go wrong in store, the range is perfectly identifiable with its midnight blue packaging and its logo at the top left representing a house with a connection symbol. The bulbs appear under the “Livorno Lux” brand, the sockets and the home automation gateway under that of “Silvercrest” that regulars know well.
Unless you already have a Zigbee standard gateway, you must already put the one offered by Lidl in your cart before selecting your products. Indeed, the various references can subsequently work with Google Home, but are not products properly compatible with the solution offered by Google. They must first be connected to the Silvercrest gateway, which offers a range of up to 70 m and a signal that emits at 360 °.
- First, download the application Lidl Smart Home (iOS and Android) and configure your account.
- You must then install the home automation gateway which will operate via the Zigbee 3.0 connection protocol. The advantage is that this is a fairly common protocol and you can therefore integrate your products later with other compatible systems from different brands and manufacturers. You plug in the gateway and connect it to your Internet box or router with the Ethernet connection. Here you have the center of your connected home in the making and you can then add your products.
The gateway can be placed or fixed to the wall (fixing screws supplied). But the idea is to put it in a discreet place, without locking it in a closet or the like to avoid a bad connection. You just have to add it to the application to start all the configuration.
- Then proceed in the same way with the other products to be installed (the bulbs fixed in the lamps, the sockets with the devices connected to them before proceeding with the addition via the application).
The Lidl Smart Home app
The Lidl app is pretty neat and clear. There are three tabs: Home, Control, Me. The first will list the devices associated with your system. The second allows you to define quick checks (shortcuts on the home page) and automations, that is, execution scenarios. The Me part corresponds to your profile. This is where you will define your home and whether you accept voice control of devices.
Once you’ve plugged in your devices, it’s time to set everything up.
- Create your “home”, that is, name the place where you install your products.
- Press the “+” button at the top right and choose the device to add to the management of the installed home automation gateway.
You can then classify the devices added by room and thus create scenarios by zone.
- By pressing the “Control” icon, you can choose to set shortcut buttons via the “Quick Control” tab and the “+” button. You will then have to choose a condition (shortcut to action, act according to the weather forecast – temperature, time, sunrise or sunset, etc. -, depending on the calendar or if the device is on / off), then define the task to be run (use a device, start a scenario, send a notification or start a timer).
In particular, this will allow you to be able to turn off all the lights in the same room with a single click, or for example at 11 p.m. Choose to start a device connected to a remote outlet or change the color of the lights, launch planned routines… Because all the commands are done from your smartphone (or your tablet) remotely.
Configuration with Google Home
Once your home automation system is in place, you can control it from the Google Home app and all devices such as Google Nest Hub , Nest mini [ 19459009] or Nest Audio . This has one advantage above all: you can control the various Lidl devices by voice.
And adding the products to your Google Home app isn’t rocket science.
- Open the app and tap the “+” sign at the top left.
- In the “Add to home” section, choose “Configure a device”, then “Works with Google”.
- Then add the “Lidl Home” service. All configured devices will then be associated with the Google Home app, under the names you gave them. But it is still possible to modify the nomenclature to make it more practical for oral use.
- You can then add them to your rooms already created or to new ones (select devices by clicking on the chosen room), to your scenarios and manage them from the Google Home app without going back to the Lidl app, except to pair the new devices.
- They then respond to actions by saying “Ok Google”, whether to change the light, go or turn off …
For the moment, the Lidl Smart Home range is not yet compatible with Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit.
Price and availability of Lidl Smart Home devices
The Lidl Smart Home range is arriving in stores as of February 1st. The home automation gateway is sold for 19.99 euros. The price of LED bulbs varies from 7.99 to 8.99 euros depending on the model (E27, E14, GU10, white light or RGB…). The LED strip is advertised at 17.99 euros. The connected plug is 9.99 euros, the power strip will arrive later.
Note that a ceramic fan heater that can be connected to Wi-Fi is also offered at 39.99 euros. And it works through the app without connecting to the gateway. Other products such as the remote control to control lighting without a smartphone (up to 25 lights) or motion detectors and opening sensors should be added to the catalog later.
A good entry point for home automation with Google Assistant
Lidl offers an interesting first range of products, where we find the basics to start well in home automation with a solution that is easy to learn. Connected bulbs are among the most popular references and Lidl already has a fairly complete selection of models, with white or colored light LED bulbs (16 million colors), which displays an A + energy label, 806 lm of brightness. and 30,000 hours of autonomy. In this sense, they have nothing to envy to the models of Philips Hue, the leader of the sector, sold from 30 euros to 60 euros per unit, or even to the Xiaomi Mi LED Smart Bulb sold for 20 euros . If we are really looking for a difference, we can probably say that the Philips Hue should win a few tenths of a second in responsiveness. But this is really nit-picking about basic use.
The LED strip, four times cheaper at Lidl, certainly does not have the same finish as the Philips Hue or Nanoleaf models which are extremely high quality and well finished, which can appear more solid. But the Livarno Lux model is of excellent quality and offers efficient lighting, with the possibility of changing colors by voice or from the app. Once fixed under a shelf as we have positioned it, it does not move. It can be cut to be adjusted to the length of the support and it is possible to add extensions, a connector being provided. This is perhaps the only criticism that can be made: its two meters can be a little tight, especially if you have to cut it to better fix it at an angle and use the fitting.
The power strip is extremely practical. It allows you to individually configure and manage three areas, so three different devices. You can choose to cut everything or run each product separately, creating scenarios with each of them or several at the same time. The three USB ports also available, however, do not integrate the home automation system. But the good news is that they’re still functional even if all outlets are turned off.
Is it worth investing in more expensive connected products? Not necessarily if you are new to home automation and want to go simple. If you already have a system based around Google Assistant, then that will be a snap. On the other hand, if Apple / Siri or Amazon Alexa have taken control of your home, you will have to opt for a parallel system while waiting for possible compatibility.