Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Daikin Mobile Controller now supported in Google Home

It's finally exposed to Google Home!

I have been checking frequently and was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I see it  appear in the list of services that works with Google.

Daikin Mobile Controller showing up on Google Home

Setup was a breeze although a little weird. Even though I have already assigned names to the indoor units in Daikin Mobile Controller app and the names corresponds with the rooms list I have in Google Home, it still asked me to assign the units to a room. And the funny part is that some are automatically assigned and some don't.

It doesn't matter as you can just add them to any room first and then simply move the units to the right room once the account is successfully linked. 

Here is how is shows up in the list of devices for a room in Google Home.

If you select the unit it will show only the on/off option and nothing else.

But if you have a Nest Hub, it will show up more control options. In fact you can also voice control it by giving out voice commands to a Google Assistant supported devices like the Nest mini or even an Android TV. Your command has to be clear and specific though. 
Initial tests have been positive. The response is immediate, as it it was local, and way faster than using 'Out of Home' function in the Daikin Mobile Controller app.

Will update this post once I have more time with it.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Bestar Star-5 58" 5 Blades Smart Fan




I recently bought this. Installation was a breeze as everything that I need came with the box. 

Unboxing

Everything came supplied. All you need is a drill with an 8 MM drill bit and a spanner or even better ratchet set and a screwdriver


Installation.

Fan came with the main body fully assembled so all you need to do is to fix the mounting bracket to the ceiling, then mount the fan and you are left to fix the blades and the light kit and connect the remote controller.

Some fans are easier if you fix the blades first as the screws are fix from the top of the blade. For the Star-5, the screws are at the bottom of the blade so it will be easier to fix it when the fan is already mounted. You might be cringing at the thought of how ugly it will be with the fan blade screws visible. Fret not, the screws will be hidden by the light kit. You can also opt to not have a light kit and they provide cover plate instead.

The wires are clearly labelled and with distinct connectors. Practically impossible to connect it wrongly.

So here's a simplified step to installing the fan.

1. Drill the holes for the mounting bracket. Minimum 2, best 4.

2. Punch the M8 wall plugs in

3. Install the mounting bracket securely to the M8 wall plugs

4. Mount the fan motor by slotting the hanging rod into the mounting bracket.

5. Wind the safety cord around the mounting bracket

6. Slot the remote control receiver unit in the mounting bracket

7. Connect the remote control receiver to the fan and to the mains.

8. Hide all the wires under the cover and screw the cover to mounting bracket.


Initial Thoughts

The fan itself is silent and it does generate good amount of wind to circulate the air around the room quickly. Though not the best looking, it is not that bad looking either. I prefer those without the hanging rod visible.


Features

Fan comes with 6 speed motor and you can set it to spin forward or in reverse. Reverse function is practically useless here in SG as we are warm almost all the time.

As it comes with a DC motor, it is supposedly more energy saving than your AC fans.

It also has 4 fan modes - Nature, Sleep, Fresh and Smart. The manual wasn't clear on what those modes are but I guess Nature is similar to 1/f Yuragi function found on most KDK fans although what does is Fresh mode then? I did contact Bestar Singapore for clarifications but the answers given is this


Hmmm.... I think this is something Bestar need to work on since the app clearly shows their logo, not subtly if I may add.




Sleep mode supposedly will reduce the fan speed as it operates while the smart mode will speed up if the thermal sensors detect the temperature is high. I do not know where the thermal sensors are and I am not sure if it does really work but from 1st test, the fan did change its speed  during operation.

The light kit comes with a 24W 3 Tone LED  - daylight, white and warm white but cannot be dimmed.

The remote control is seriously ugly and feels super cheap. I prefer those flat ones. But with the smart feature, I can keep it away and use it only when needed.

Smart Wifi Control

This warrants a more detailed review. OK, so the app in Smart Life works (or Tuya if you prefer). Although, there are functions on the app which is not removed / greyed out that the fan do not support. eg, light dimming. So that shows poor coding if you ask me.

But all that pales in comparison to what is natively supported in Alexa / Google Home which is just the ability to turn the fan ON or OFF and nothing else! You cannot change fan speed or mode and you do not have control of any of the light function whatsoever. This is such a letdown.



Although you can create scenes in Smart Life and then create routines in Alexa / Google to trigger those scenes, it still does not provide you with real time status of those function. Not to mention that extra work you need to do just to have some voice control or routines.

Technical Specifications

24W 3 Tone LED  light kit - daylight, white and warm white (non dimmable)

Blades are made of anti-rust ABS

Support Timer Control of 1hr / 4hr / 8hr

Motor RPM: 80 – 298, 

Wattage: 35-55 so it is safe to use smart switches which supports way higher wattage than this although I don't see the need since it does have smart functions.

Fan height is 310mm. Take note of the height if you have a low ceiling .Below are the full dimensions.



Warranty

It comes with a 2 years on-site warranty but a lifetime warranty on the motor. The 2 year on-site is great but the lifetime warranty is only good as long as the company is still operating.


Options

You can choose between  Matt Black, Matt White or Mocha colours and 38 inch / 48 inch / 58 inch sizes.


Price

Retailing at SGD $288, it is pricier than many affordable fans out there. But you can get it for cheaper with discounts and coupons from the 3 main online shopping sites - Qoo10, Shopee and Lazada.


Last Words

So, do I recommend this fan? If you like how it looks, then go for it. It is strong and very silent. But if you want a really smart fan that integrates well with Alexa or Google, then you may need to look elsewhere. There are other non-'smart' fan that is going for cheaper and just as good.

Sunday, June 26, 2022