HomeKit Accessories: Eve Energy Strip Review

Eve Systems continues to expand its HomeKit-optimized product line of home automation devices at a frantic pace, with the latest edition being the Eve Energy Strip ($99.95). In many ways, the Energy Strip represents a culmination of the best that home automation has to offer.  Read on to find out why this is the case.

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At first glance, a hundred dollars for a power strip seems crazy expensive. But when you realize that what you are buying is not just a power strip, but essentially three Eve Energy plugs combined into a single strip, you are actually saving more than 30 percent by buying the power strip. You also don't have to reposition furniture to deal with the large wall wart that embodies the Eve Energy plug since the Eve Energy Strip uses just a standard three prong plug and only requires a single power outlet to operate all three plugs on the power strip. The Energy Strip's power cable is six feet long, giving it plenty of flexibility to stretch beyond the original electrical outlet location. I plugged in my Energy Strip behind a heavy credenza but had plenty of slack on the power strip cord to position it for easy access to the strip's power plugs. That's something that wasn't practical with the Eve Energy plug. The added benefit of surge protection on the electrical appliances plugged into the Energy Strip provided added respect for the product that both automates and protects the electrical items I plugged into it.

In addition to the spacious gaps between each plug that allowed me easy connect bulky power supplies to each plug, another feature I really liked on the Eve Energy Strip was its power LED indicators, letting me know at a quick glance which plugs were in use and delivering electricity. Using the Eve for HomeKit app, I was able to quickly pair and associate the Energy Strip to a room and assign connected appliances to each of the power outlets they were plugged into. The Eve app also allowed me to quickly customize Siri phrases to turn on and off each plug independently with my voice. And like the Eve Energy plug, each outlet of the Eve Power Strip monitors electricity consumption to give an idea of just how much money its costs to leave that room fan running all day. One future improvement I would like to see Eve make with this feature is to allow me to aggregate the electrical usage for all my Eve Energy products to obtain an overall daily, monthly, and annual electrical report. Not only can I match this to my electricity bill but also be aware of just how much energy my modern home-automated lifestyle is consuming.

Eve for Homekit App

Yet even without the fancy rollup report, the Eve for HomeKit further extends the Energy Strip's functionality by coupling a whole slew of triggers, events, timers, and individual schedules into each of the power strip's outlets. This made it easy for me to create a timer to turn off the room fan 15 minutes after my bedtime so I could fall asleep comfortably without running the fan all night long. And if I did happen to wake up a little warm, simply asking Siri to "turn on the fan" quickly addressed the situation by powering the fan back on. No need to turn on a light, get out of bed, and fumble around with the fan control. Heck, I didn't even have to open my eyes to have my wishes fulfilled. Pure luxury.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use.
  • More economical than buying three separate power plug automation devices.
  • Easy to monitor electrical usage.

Cons

  • Eve app does not yet aggregate total electrical usage monitoring values.

Final Verdict

Of all the Eve HomeKit automation products I have reviewed, the Eve Energy Strip is one of the most useful and versatile items in Eve's catalog. I would advise anyone wanting to give HomeKit home automation a try to start with the Eve Energy Strip and build out their network from there.

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Mike Riley's picture

Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.