The Nest Learning Thermostat is the flagship product from the home automation company Nest which was bought by Google in January 2014 for for just over $3bn cash. It joins the company’s excellent Nest Protect smart smoke / CO alarm and reaches the UK more than a year after it was introduced in the US. The Nest thermostat is now in its second major release and UK owners will surely benefit from the improvements that have been made. Abode Electrical is a registered installer of Nest thermostats in SW London.
Tony Fadell is technical director at Nest and was a co-founder of the company. Whilst working for Apple he was known as ‘The Father of the Ipod” and his design skills are a crucial part of the Nest thermostat’s appeal. Without doubt, this is easily the most eye-catching and best built smart thermostat on the market.
The star of the show is the thermostat itself: a cylindrical aluminium unit with crystal clear colour display. It’s what you see in all of Nest’s advertisements. Superbly finished, the aluminium chassis is turned to enable menu navigation together with manual temperature adjustment, but it also contains the thermostat, a proximity sensor and a pair of wireless receivers.
The first wireless receiver uses a proprietary low-band wireless frequency to connect to the ‘Heat Link’ a second device that is used instead of a physical wall thermostat and it is connected directly to the boiler. The Heat Link is part of the Nest thermostat package and it would typically be fitted close to your boiler
Nest’s second wireless receiver is standard 802.11n WiFi and it connects directly to your router. The downside to squashing everything inside the thermostat is that it needs a mains power source, but it can still be either wall mounted (with wires hidden either by cutting a channel in the wall or by using trunking that blends in with the decor ) or there is an attractive stand that can be purchased separately.
The beauty of the Nest intelligent thermostat is that its proximity sensor detects movement so that it knows when to automatically turn down the temperature necause the house is empty. You can set predefined schedules as with a conventional programmable thermostat, but the Nest will also learn patterns based on when you are home and away so there’s no need to program it at all. Lastly, room temperature can be controlled remotely from both a web browser or a mobile phone.
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