A Modular Approach to Home Automation: We Test Out 3 D-Link Smart Devices
There a million home automation solutions offered these days and it can be hard to choose which one is right for your home. We recently had the opportunity to try out three products from D-Link’s new home connectivity line of devices. After trying them out, it seems like these are perfect for a more modular approach to making your home “smart” as each device has one main function, but works together for a customized experience.
Each device tested requires a device with the mydlink Home app installed. This is a free app available on both iOS and Android, but for the purposes of this review, an iOS phone was used. All the devices are listed in the app so you can organize and set them up easily.
D-Link Smart Plug (DSP-W110)
This Smart Plug lets you easily turn off and on various devices in your home, create schedules, and work with other items in the D-Link Home Connectivity line.
The device only has one receptacle unfortunately, so make sure to plug it on the top half of an outlet for you don’t block the other. There is a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button on the right side, as well as a Reset button and a Wi-Fi indicator light.
To set up the Smart Plug, you have two options: simply press the WPS button on your Wi-Fi router or manually set it up if your router doesn’t have this option. If you choose manual set up, you will have to fiddle with your phone’s Wi-Fi to get everything connected, but the app will walk you through each step clearly. Afterwards, you can give your device a nickname and even take a picture to let you know where it is.
There are a lot of uses for the Smart Plug from safety to convenience to security. The plug was very responsive and turned on and off quickly once the command was given on the phone. We used it mainly with lights, but you can get creative: connect a music player or plug in items that might be a safety hazard so you can ensure they are off after you’ve left home.
A newly added feature is integration with Amazon Echo, so you can now use voice control to activate things around your house. To further control your home and get peace of mind, the Smart Plug works with IFTTT recipes that create connectivity between third-party devices like Nest and the smart doorbell, Ring, or even turn on your coffeemaker when the sun rises.
D-Link Wi-Fi Motion Sensor (DCH-S150)
At its core, the D-Link Motion Sensor alerts you when there is movement in your home. However, the true power comes from connecting it to the D-Link Smart Plug and your Wi-Fi Camera. Working together, you can have lights, fans, and other devices turn on when you return home or enter another room.
The device plugs into any standard outlet and measures 2.3 x 2.1 x 1.7 inches so it won’t block the second outlet. There is a small PIR (passive infrared) sensor on the front that senses motion up to 26 feet away. It installs much the same way as the Smart Plug, and we had no issue connecting to our Wi-Fi. There was a firmware update needed, which took a couple minutes once initiated.
Through the mydlink app, we were able to enable the item, adjust sensitivity, and create a schedule. The scheduling option is very detailed which allows for different uses based on your needs. For example, if you want to be notified of movement when no one is home, set the app to only activate the device during the days and hours that you know no one will be home.
The My Actions page is how you trigger connectivity between the sensor and Smart Plug, as well as setting up push notifications. If you’re interested in security, have a bedroom light turn on if motion is detected from an intruder at night to give the illusion that someone has woken up. You can also trigger your connected security camera to start recording as well or an alarm to sound.
There are an abundance of IFTTT recipes to experiment with as well. You can connect with other devices like third-party smart bulbs to have colors change, or talk with Gmail to give you an email alert if something happens in your home. Everything we tried had a quick response time and was easy to set up.
D-Link Wi-Fi Water Sensor (DCH-S 160)
This device has one main purpose: to detect water leaks in your home. You can place it by your washing machine, under a sink, water heater, or anywhere else that might spring a leak. If moisture is detected, you’ll get a push notification on your phone and an alarm will sound.
Unlike the previous two, the D-Link Water Sensor comes with three components: the main unit, the 50cm sensor cable, and a RJ-11 cable to extend reach. The set up was the same as the other two and we encountered no problems getting everything connected. It can be paired with another siren, a security camera, or use IFTTT recipes to alert you in other ways.
We placed the sensor cable under water to test it out and the main unit instantly took action by alerting our phone and playing a loud siren that we were able to hear throughout the house. If you don’t have an outlet near a potential leakage point, RJ-11 phone cables are easy and cheap to find, so you can buy one to extend the reach even further. The water sensor was easily the bulkiest out of the three devices, measuring in at 2.6 x 2.6 x 2 inches, but since this is likely to be tucked away under a cabinet or in a laundry room, it wasn’t a huge issue for us.
D-Link’s newly expanded line of home connectivity products gave us a lot to play with. It will be interesting to see the creative uses other homeowners set up using shared IFTTT recipes. While each device is simple in design, that enables it to be flexible for your needs. While the price range is on the higher side (at time of writing, these products range from $40 - $60), their versatility and responsiveness make them solid solutions for unique issues or home conveniences.