Highly configurable home automation with new Xiaomi Smart Home Kit | IT Gadget Review

[New Product, Smart Devices] When Xiaomi launched this new Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 at RMB 199 (S$45), one would ponder if it truly live up to its name for such an attractive price next to a typical wireless door bell set. As an existing user of Wemo home automation kit, I am a firm proponent that we can leverage technologies to improve our lives. Let’s take a peek at what the Mi Smart Home Kit can offer.

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Main Image 2

 The packaging came no bigger than a regular log cake box, in typical recycled brown box material.

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Packaging

 The full set comes with:

a. Main gateway (largest circular item) – controls each sensor (via Bluetooth) & interface with the app (through WiFi connection).
b. Motion sesnor
c. Door Window sensor
d. Button switch 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - unbox

 Personally, I am impressed how small the motion sensor is – x2 thumb sized and yet able to detect motion accurately within 1.5 meters. It is touted that the replaceable battery within the sensors can last ~2years in normal usage. The main gateway unit runs on AC power (100-240V), thus able to work out of China.

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Full kit

 Similar to Yeelight bedside lamp, one can program the main gateway unit to emit highly configurable light colour permutation (1.6 million colours).

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Overview of sensors

 

You will need to download the Mi Smart Home app which is available in both iOS AppStore and Android Play Store. Currently the Mi Smart Home app can be used to connect and control several Mi Home Automation devices such as Mi Plug, Xiaomi Camera, Mi Air Purifier, Smart Home Kit and Midea Air Conditioner.

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Setup (Pairing) 1

 

 Step 1 : Prepare the Mi Smart Home Kit – Main Gateway (Pairing Mode, Yellow Blinking light)

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Setup (Pairing) 2

 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Setup (Pairing) 3

 Step 2: Verify pairing is completed with Main Gateway (Solid Blue Light)

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Setup (Pairing Completion) 1

 

 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Setup (Pairing Completion) 2

Step 3: Install the motion sensor

Observe the pinhole of each sensor. This is used to initiate pairing for the sensor with the main gateway.

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Motion Sensor

 One can use the 3M wall sticker to affix the sensor to any flat surface. For the motion sensor it is advisable to position it at height level to avoid any blind spots (areas not readily detected by the motion sensor).

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Motion Sensor 2

Step 4: Install the Door Window Sensor

The sensor relies on magnetic movements to capture the opening / closure of the door or window segments. It is advisable to position the smaller sensor of the pair on the segment which is more readily exposed to the exterior (exposure to rain / sun) since the bigger sensor has battery & circuitry enclosed.

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Door Window Sensor

Step 5: Install the Button Switch sensor

Instead of deploying this to control connected devices (e.g. on Air Purifier or Main Gateway light) I have utilised this as a door bell since my existing one is defective.

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Button Switch

 Replacing the battery within the sensor is also pretty straightforward. Twist it open and you will have access to it.

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Button Switch (Battery Change)

 

 The accompanying Mi Smart Home App is also very intuitive. 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Overview of Automation App

 

Highlight 1 : Quick access to all connected Mi Smart Devices.

 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Main Menu

 

Highlight 2 : Configuring the Main Gateway

 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Clean setup

 You can program the :

a. Behaviour of the night light (duration, timing and even colour of the light).
b. Timing & sounds for the alarm (be it intruder alert or regular door chime mode)
c. Audible settings 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Configure Gateway

One can even buy a few sets of the sensors and air them to the same gateway. Simply initiate the pairing mode (pressing the pinhole button in desired sensor) and add ‘Sub Device’ in the Mi Smart Home App.

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Pair New Sensor

 

 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Pair new sensor (Completed)

 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - All sensors connected

 Highlight 3 : Updating of firmware is OTA (over-the-air)

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - OTA Firmware updates

 

Highlight 4 : One very useful feature is the log of all activities tracked by each connected sensor, sorted in chronological order.

e.g for the Door Window sensor: 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Door Window sensor (Log)

 e.g. for the Motion Sensor:

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Motion Sensor (Log)

For first timers who have no clue on how to systematically program the home automation logic, Mi Smart Home app comes with pre-defined rule templates which you can immediately activated for all the connected Mi Smart devices.

e.g for Door Window sensor: (upon reach home mode, upon leave home mode, door open/close mode etc) 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Automation Logic Programming

 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Pre-Defined Automation templates

 

 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - automation templates by sensor type

 

 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Automation template (Door Window Switch)

e.g for Button Switch (i.e activate/deactivate any connected devices, door chime mode, alarm mode etc) 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Automation template (Button Switch)

 

 

lastly for the Motion Sensor (i.e. to turn on Mi Air Purifier if there is activity in living room, switch on all entertainment kits via Mi Plug etc) 

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Home Automation App - Automation template (Motion Sensor)

 

 

 The number of automation rules one can create is almost infinite, depending on the connected Mi Smart devices seen below:

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Devices connectivity

Right now, I am still creating my own smart home with these Mi Smart devices (Xiaoyi Camera, Yeelight Bedside Lamp and Mi Air Purifier). Hopefully one of these days  I can even program my home ceiling lights and kitchen appliances.

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Devices at home

 

In summary,

PROS:

a. Truly affordable start to home automation (~S$45 / USD 28). This far cry from a typical Wemo switch plug which already costs S$100 each.
b. Easy to setup with available rule templates.
c. Long battery life for the sensors (touted 2 years). Do note the main gateway runs on the AC Mains.
d. Compact size & elegant design.
e. Unified through a single Xiaomi account and setup is synchronised across the same Mi Smart Home App across multiple devices.
f. Able to easily share / assign controls to additional administrator using the same app.
g. Reliable sensory detections (so far). 

CONS:

a. Currently the android Mi Smart Home App has richer feature than the iOS version, but the former is only available in Chinese version.
b. Still lack of the ability to add on push notifications in the rule template.
c. Not IFTTT compliant, i.e. cannot control other IFTTT smart home devices apart from Xiaomi’s ones.
d. Not waterproof for the Door Window sensor – handle with care & caution if they are exposed to extreme weather conditions.

Meanwhile, enjoy the little comic include in the same packaging:

Mi Smart Home Kit 小米智能家庭套装 - Comic

 

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  49 comments for “Highly configurable home automation with new Xiaomi Smart Home Kit | IT Gadget Review

  1. Sam Lee
    August 17, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Thks for your review, can you advise where I can buy one in SG

    • August 18, 2015 at 12:12 am

      Unfortunately, this is still not available in SG (mi.com/sg). You have to try Taobao.com or mi.com (China).

  2. malte
    August 20, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Hi there and thx for the great review!
    however, i still dont understand how the alarm system works when you are away, do you have to switch it on and off evertime you leave or come back to your house via app or the wireless switch (the latter wouldnt make sense as every burglar just would have to press it himself…)?
    or does it detect your phone being logged into your wifi and disables it automacically?
    just asking, because that would require every family member to have a smart phone…

    Or – do you know if it compatible with a zigbee “tile” – if there is such thing – that you put on your keyring and once you are close to your door it disarms the alarm?

    Appreciate your thoughts! Thx in advance…

    PS: in case there isnt an automatic email reminder when you or someone else posts a comment to this page, please be so kind to send me an email… please

    • August 20, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      At this juncture, it does not have the feature to ‘Auto Arm’ or ‘Auto Disarm’ when you leave or enter house. Possibly one way is to pair the switch to program turn on/off the motion trigger detection logic. Btw, another product you may consider – Canary. It does just that.

      As for your the other query it does not pair with NFC tiles.

  3. Ben
    September 18, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for the review. However, I have a few question.

    1) does the main hub run on battery? What happen if it blackouts? Will it still functioning?

    2) does it work/pair with other smart devices or only with xiaomi’s products?

    3) will it continue to function once the internet is down (internal network such as WiFi still up)?

    4) is it compulsory to have mi account?

    • September 19, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      Hi,

      1) Main Hub – there is no internal battery. If there is a black out, I would think the router will not function too. Thus alarm will fail. Unless there is UPS

      2) The main hub only pairs with Xiaomi sensors. The home app works across multiple platforms

      3) internet connection is for app notification and controls. The alarm & lights will still work

      4) yes, you need to setup using the MiHome app.

  4. October 7, 2015 at 11:42 am

    xiaomi is collect everything in his app. so powerful

  5. Ator
    October 18, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Hi i have a question, its compatible with the yeelight blue 2?

    • October 18, 2015 at 8:15 pm

      For the moment, not yet

      • Ator
        October 18, 2015 at 11:29 pm

        Thank you for your anwser, i was asking because a beta tester of the kit had a compatible light named X-Bulb but i cannot find it no where, that why im looking for a compatible smart light

  6. Roman
    October 29, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Hi, just few questions:

    1) Is the button switch working from wifi or Bluetooth? Because I also want to use it as a door bell but I live in a flat so I wonder if it’s stil within the wifi range will it still work?

    2)Does the button switch battery also lasts for 2 years?

    Thanks

    • October 29, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      Definitely not on wifi. I suspect it’s on Bluetooth.
      The button switch will last max 1 yr. but the battery can be replaced.

      • Roman
        October 30, 2015 at 6:02 am

        Does it work within a reasonable distance?

        • October 30, 2015 at 6:08 am

          Mine works for 5 metres radius. If u need to cover more distance, u can get more than one gateway which can be setup within same app.

  7. James Blake
    November 14, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Get review, thank you. I’m planning on purchasing the smart home kit. Can you let me know what the app is called on the apple store? Much appreciated thanks.

    • November 14, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Here it goes : 小米智能家庭-专业便捷的智能家庭应用,以手机为中心连接一切,轻松乐享物联生活 by Beijing Xiaomi Co., Ltd
      https://appsto.re/sg/yJ5d5.i

      Or you can search for XIAOMI

  8. Jin
    November 16, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Hi,

    Have you manage to get the smart home system to link up with the yeelight bedside lamp?
    I can’t seem to find a way to link mine up….. 🙁

    • IK
      June 13, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      I’m also looking for a solution to integrate the yeelight bedside lamp with the smart home system.
      Is this possible ?

      • June 13, 2016 at 10:12 pm

        Yes, you can only use it with the Xiaomi home app.

  9. December 17, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    hi,

    is mihome app available in google playstore?
    is it compatible with all android smartphone brand, or work only on xiaomi smartphone?

    thanks

    • December 17, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      Yes, I manage to download into my Samsung S4 and OnePlus 2. I suppose it is compatible for most mainstream android phones

  10. James Blake
    December 23, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Hi. I know someone previously asked but was wondering whether you knew if the YeeLight Blue 2 is now supported.

    Thanks again!

  11. Will
    December 28, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    What an absolutely fantastic write up.

    I’ve got mine in the mail. Bit anxious about the language barrier but this is fantastic.

    Of course it would all be better if the devices could be controlled by a non XIAOMI app. Have you discovered any apps that can do this?

    • December 29, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Glad you managed to have your hands on one.
      Have not seen any app to control the sensors.

      • Will
        December 29, 2015 at 11:55 am

        I spent hours researching and thought I’d write up my findings for anyone interested.
        XIAOMI home uses the Zigbee standard, for communication, which is promising, but the devices themselves do not have a (I forgot the actual name) jump in point for Zigbee Comms like the smart things hub. They can be discover but they aren’t open to the standard Zigbee ecosystem.
        It might be possible to script a custom item in these platforms if there was this interface point, but the devices will not access without the bridge, which itself is not accessible by third party Zigbee apps. Hope that helps. Again this was by far the best xiaomi smart home write up on the internet so thank you.

  12. Tony
    January 5, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Can someone help me to set up The alarm function, disarm and arm function, i dont speak chinese so please IF there is help to get, or a translation of The chines signs

  13. Bayoe
    January 25, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Nice review, nice gadget also,
    But the language barrier is annoying, since i don’t speak chinese language,
    I’m trying to find this application (mi home) in english, but still not found one that work perfectly,
    Maybe someone could help me?
    Thanks in advance,

  14. Pinneng
    March 17, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I just updated the iOS App for Xiaomi Smarthome. Since that I couldn’t setup my Mi Plug and Mi Universal Remote.
    Any idea?

    • Ted
      August 11, 2016 at 8:21 am

      I am not able to set up Mi Universal Remote as well. Keep getting time out.

      For Mi Plug, no issue

  15. Johnny Shamim
    August 9, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Hi

    I have MiHome products and there app is only for phones not tablets. I have tablets on the wall for ease of use, so I am looking for an app that will control MiHome, Sonos and Swann CCTV. Is this app compatible with all or any of these?

    Thanks

    Johnny

  16. Guido
    August 20, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Does the main controller have a analog input / output (pot.free)to connect it to other thingman like heating cooling alarm systems.

  17. Leo
    October 17, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Hi, a silly question, how you solve the problem of different pocket socket used in Singapore?

  18. alex
    October 30, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    nice review !
    I have an smart gateway, phone is found him, then blue led flashing but after that led is OFF and phone app says “cannot connect”. try it on all servers.
    The MI gateway is connected to router, with many reset the thing is the same
    Have you some idea or tips for that ?
    Thank you !

    • October 30, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Did you use a 2.4ghz wifi broadcast? Mi home gadgets usually don’t work on 5ghz wifi.

      • alex
        November 1, 2016 at 12:25 am

        sure, I read specifications

  19. Phil from Belgium
    November 12, 2016 at 2:46 am

    Thanks for the review.
    Last question, I wish to buy/install this Home package for our 2nd home, without continues wifi (only available when we arrive there) , so is it possible to ‘program’ everything one time and leave it? I guess It uses only Bluetooth, or am I wrong?
    Thanks in advance,
    Greetings,
    Philip

  20. Markus
    November 16, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Great review and simple How To. The potential benefits and opportunities are big, however a big oversight seems to be the missing option for a delay in Disarming the Alarm. Seriously? LOL

    I know you could disarm via phone before you enter through the door or carry the wireless button with you haha

    Who’s alarm goes on full sirene from point of trigger immediate?! Xiaomi, Atleast give us an option please! Otherwise awesome low-cost solution.

  21. EK
    November 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Hi,

    Indeed, the best review so far. How can Mi smart home control ceiling LED lights, using relays ? And AIrCon, using the remote controller 79rmb ?

    Thank you.

    EK

  22. Leo
    November 27, 2016 at 3:22 am

    i bought this in part because of this review, i also bought several yeelight bulbs and some more door sensors. and now all that investment is wasted, i suddenly can no longer connect to my mi home .
    I have reset it several times with no success. I suspect some new firmware update has blocked it from working and as far as i can see there is no way to fix it. I would caution anyone thinking of buying this to read up on some forums and peoples experiences regarding this problem.

  23. Andy
    December 7, 2016 at 2:38 am

    I cant seem to figure out, how to connect the bulbs with several controllers (mobilephones).
    Do you really need to log in to the same account, on several controllers?

  24. James Blake
    January 5, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    I’m using the gateway hub in the UK. Is there a time zone difference? When I set the actions to happen between certain times it doesn’t seem to match the UK ones. Thanks James

  25. Roberto
    January 5, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    i have a question
    if the temperature falls below the value setting of the TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY SENSOR, the system can enable one o more WiFi Socket ? and this can be done for each sensor?
    Thanks
    Roberto

    • January 5, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      Although you can control devices with temperature variances, I am not sure if there is wifi gateway that allows on or off controls

  26. May Britt
    February 4, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    How can I install Xiaomi Smart Home Multifunctional GateWay on my iPhone 7? Can’t find my gateway in “mi home” app? The app isn’t the same as android

    • February 8, 2017 at 1:12 am

      Under add device, you can select the gateway to pair. IOS app is similar to the android version

  27. Nick
    February 15, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Under the new 4.0.8. Android app I cannot find my Gateway. I can see and connect to the open Wifi of the Gateway but the Mi Home app refuses to find the Gateway nontheless.
    Any suggestions?

  28. Pedro Couto
    February 21, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Hi,
    Can you tell us if we can use the switch to remotely turn on the plug for a specific time?
    I have a pump that forces hot water to circulate so that when I open the shower, I have hot water immediately. I wan’t to be able to press the switch and make the pump work for 5 minutes, for example. It isn’t a function that I’m able to schedule in advance.
    Also have you tried the motion sensor in complete darkness? I would like to place it inside my mailbox so I get notified when the mail arrives 🙂

    Thanks in advance.
    Pedro Couto

  29. Ales
    March 25, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    Hi,
    In the MiHome app I can see that the Gateway is connected to the temperature sensor but I do not see the sensor on the list of devices. Hence I can not check the temperature.
    Any idea how this could be resolved? I already tried various versions of Android app.
    Thank you so much!

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