We tried Lidl's smart home automation: excellent for Google's assistant and very good for others



Lidl is one of the most popular supermarket chains in Spain, and beyond food, it usually excels with unusual products such as some models of its clothing line, products such as Monsieur Cuisine that rivals Thermomix. We've had products in Lidl's home automation recently, but are they worth it?

A few weeks ago we met the best in the world of home automation of the German supermarket chain, and since then we have been able to use some of its devices in our day to day to tell you our impressions. How do Lidl smart devices work?

Lidl is one of the most popular supermarket chains in Spain, and beyond food, it usually excels with unusual products such as some models of its clothing line, products such as Monsieur Cuisine that rivals Thermomix. We've had products in Lidl's home automation recently, but are they worth it?

A few weeks ago we met the best in the world of home automation of the German supermarket chain, and since then we have been able to use some of its devices in our day to day to tell you our impressions. How do Lidl smart devices work?

Lidl has its own Zigbee switchboard to control the devices. This switchboard is the one that will be an intermediary between the Lidl application or Google Assistant (system with which it is also compatible) and the devices that we have connected to turn them on, turn them off, change the brightness or what we want to do.

Is it obligatory for us to get a lidl switchboard? No, we can use any other one we already have at home, although it is advisable to make the most of it. In my experience, for example, I have been able to connect most accessories to a fourth-generation Amazon Echo, a speaker that has its own Zigbee switchboard integrated, but the experience has not been too satisfying (although also not exactly bad).

The products we've tested and our experience with them

Smart bulbs: Smart E27 bushing bulbs, one of the most widespread and possibly have to connect at home (they also sell ox-eye bushings). The bulb in case it does not have much mystery can turn on white and various shades of colour, has adjustable brightness and depending on the model can also change to any colour.

When illuminated in any colour other than any of the shades of white, the maximum brightness drops considerably (although this is common in most colour bulbs). As for Zigbee compatibility, if we connect it to an Amazon Echo it will only work as a white light bulb adjustable in brightness and colour temperature, something that at one point may sound disappointing but that in my personal experience is not very traumatic (since my interest was to have warm and adjustable white light). If you're running RGB, you'll need the bridge.

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Light control: We have only managed to work well with Lidl's switchboard, and it serves to change the intensity of the bulbs, the scene or turn them off.

Smart Strip: It's great, a strip with three plugs and four USB ports to charge devices. We have a physical button to turn off the power and from the Lidl application, we can turn on or off any of the power outlets individually. By connecting it to the Amazon Echo bridge (without using Lidl's own) we can only turn one of the three on or off, so it's an accessory that's fine as a strip, but loses a lot of points if you don't have Lidl's switchboard.

Motion sensor: We've only managed to make it work on the Lidl control unit. Very useful for setting alarms and home automation routines.



The features offered by the Lidl app

The Lidl app is at the heart of the Lidl ecosystem usage experience, and how you interact with devices. It requires an internet connection to work, so we can't leave the switchboard on a local network that doesn't have internet access, and our home automation will stop working if we lose internet connection at home. It is not a disadvantage in yes, as it is very common in many home automation systems, but a missed opportunity to access an offline mode that works on a local network even if we do not have internet.

We can create virtual rooms in which to locate each of the devices, and the lights allow us to not only change the colours but also create and use scenes. One of the most fun is the music mode, which adapts with the music of our mobile to change colour to the rhythm of it.



We have the ability to link the ecosystem to Google Assistant to control our devices with voice. If you have a Google Nest at home, the Lidl ecosystem and the switchboard take on special value.

The application has a series of routines that allow us to automate the home by creating our own programming. Whether by schedule or through agents like the motion sensor, we can create some utilities that make life easier. In my particular case, I have set the motion sensor over the balcony door to detect when I go out to this and if it is night, I end up turning on the light automatically. A simple but useful routine.

Lidl Home - Aplicaciones en Google Play

Is Lidl's home automation for me?

Our first impression with Lidl's home automation has been very positive, although there are several nuances that you should consider before you know whether or not it is for you, and that is that depending on the type of user you are.

If you use a Zigbee system anymore and don't want another home automation plant, blank bulbs are recommended as they are cheap, illuminate well and do not lose functionalities. They're the ones I'd buy for the whole house to integrate into the fourth-generation Amazon Echo. It is 8 euros each Zigbee white bulb, a great value for money.

If you have a Google speaker at home, the Lidl ecosystem is one of the strongest options. My advice is to start with a pack that includes 3 colourful bulbs, the Zigbee switchboard and a control knob. If you need a last-minute gift you're still on time, because it's good, nice and cheap.


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