Never mind FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), I’m all about the JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out). I’m much happier on my sofa, under a blanket, candle burning, Netflix drama on the telly, glass of wine in hand. I’ve always been a bit of a home lover – in my 20s I spent a lot of time in Soho pubs but I was usually one of the first to leave a night out, heading home for a cup of tea and bed. 20 going on 70? Perhaps but now that Hygge is all the rage, my nana-instincts are finally acceptable. Give me a cosy night in, any day.
So I’ve really loved the past six weeks, trialling O2 Home. It’s put the ‘ahhh’ into Hygge (it’s pronounced ‘hoo-gah’ in case you didn’t know). You can read more about O2 Home over here but in a nutshell, it’s a new way to control your home from your phone – available in the South East of England for now, but soon nationwide – you can sign up to one of three different O2 Home packs which all offer something a bit different.
O2 Home View is £30 per month and includes cameras, door sensors and presence sensors to give you peace of mind that everything is as it should be, when you’re not at home. O2 Home Comfort is £30 per month and includes a Tado thermostat, smart plugs and a presence sensor, so you can control lighting and heating from your phone. Finally, O2 Home Connect is £20 per month and has open and close sensors, smart plugs and presence sensors. You can also buy extra devices separately, if you want to create your own pack.
So how have we found O2 Home?
We’ve been really impressed! We’ve got smart plugs, which we use to control the lighting in our living room, the Tado thermostat and app which controls our heating, the presence sensor which tells us if an intruder is in our home and some window/door sensors which do the same. Here’s what we’ve liked about O2 Home so far…
Our lights come on and off automatically – not in our whole house, of course, but we’ve set some lamps to switch on, in our living room, every evening at sunset and switch off just before bedtime. It might not sound like the handiest thing, but it means that when it gets dark, our living room is automatically lit up and it’s quite nice to walk into the room and not to have to think about switching on the lights! I’ve also arrived home after dark, with the six-year-old, a few times, and it’s been good to come back to a welcoming, lit-up home. I love the fact you can set it to ‘sunset’ rather than a time, so you don’t have to keep altering it.
The lights coming on is great for security – when we went away a couple of weeks ago, we set the smart plugs to switch our lights on and off at certain times of the day, to make it look like we were at home. You can even control this from your O2 Home app while you’re away, if you want to adjust the times. So handy!
The O2 gurus are incredibly helpful – a couple of times, the programmes we’ve set have gone a bit wrong – like the time we were sitting watching TV one evening and the lights went off! But you get access to the O2 gurus, and after a quick phone call, they’ve sorted things out for us. It’s reassuring to know you can call them with questions and they’re very helpful and polite.
There’s real peace of mind – our motion sensors and door contact sensors are set up to notify us if we have an intruder. The clever O2 Home app knows whether we are at home or not, and if we’re not here, and the contact sensor or motion sensor is set off, we get an email and text message to tell us. When we were away on holiday recently, it was that extra bit of peace of mind for us.
Our home is cosier – our old heating system allowed us to set a temperature and the house would remain at that temperature all the time. With Tado, we can set the heating to any temperature and it can even be different at different times of the day, and on different days of the week. On certain days, Mr P gets up earlier to get to work early, so we can set the heating to come on at 5.45am, on those days and 6am on the others. Genius!
We’re bound to save money – because the O2 Home app and Tado app know whether you’re at home or not, they can make your home a bit cooler when you’re not there (after all, who needs a cosy home when there’s no-one there to appreciate it?). So you’re not paying to heat your home, while you’re away. Mr P even checked the O2 Home app a few times while we were away recently, to check that the temperature was correct (it was).
We came home from holiday to a warm home – In what must be my FAVOURITE thing about O2 Home, it detects when you’re on your way back home, and works out when it needs to up the temperature to your desired setting so that it’s warm and toasty when you walk through the front door. This meant that when we got back from holiday recently, we came back to a warm house – SO welcome when you’re tired and jet-lagged.
The apps are easy to use – all of this wouldn’t be much good if the apps weren’t easy to use, but they are, thankfully! Whether you want to check the status of a device, edit a programme or check system settings, it’s intuitive to use.
So all in all, I’m loving O2 Home and think that the small differences each device makes all add up to a more convenient and secure home. Anything that helps me embrace some Hygge is good with me…
This post has been commissioned by O2 Home – as always, all views are my own. To find out more about O2 Home and whether it’s available yet in your area, check out their website. For details of how I work with brands, see my Work With Me Page.