New Smart Heating Controls from Drayton

Drayton Wiser Smart Heating Controls

Many people will be familiar with the Drayton name in heating controls, the British manufacturer has been in the market for over 60 years.

Over recent years they have added digital, wireless programmable thermostats and the miGenie smart thermostat to their product portfolio.

Now they have taken the next step and launched a family of zoneable smart heating controls under the Wiser brand.

There are a number of components in the family which can be purchased as a kit or individually to grow and tailor your system:

  • The room thermostat has a 2.4″ full colour display showing actual temperature, set temperature and humidity. It features capacitive touch buttons to boost or adjust the temperature. Powered by 2 AA batteries this device can be wall mounted or free standing.
  • The Heat HubR interfaces with your boiler/valve controls. This device has been designed to fit the same wall plate as the majority traditional UK controllers, making fitting as simple as unscrewing the old controller and fitting the new one. It comes with 1, 2 or 3 channel options. An OpenTherm Module is also supplied to allow communication with compatible boilers.
  • The Wiser radiator valve is a motorized smart valve that mounts on existing standard TRV valve body with a range of adapters available to suit the majority of TRV bodies. It can be adjust by simply twisting or via the app. It is powered by 2 AA batteries and has multiple sensors for high accuracy as well as open window detection and automatic valve protection runs to prevent valve seizing.
  • The Wiser App gives control and oversight of the system from iOS or Android smart phones.
All devices have a 30m open air range and employ a bi-directional mesh network protocol to maximize signal transmission to the hub.  Batteries are included and a 2 year battery life is quoted.

Not Another Smart Thermostat

There is no shortage of choice of Smart heating controls on the market so why would you consider a Drayton Wiser solution? On paper there are a number of points that distinguish it from the competition:

1. The solution is scaleable and can be tailored to a wide range of specific home setups. Not many other systems offer 3 channel control. Start with the right kit and then create up to 16 heating zones (individual rooms). Add up to 4 radiator thermostats and 1 room thermostat per zone up to a maximum of 32 devices in a system.

2. The cost of the components is very competitive. A Wiser Smart TRV is available for £35, compare that to many other systems and a device with similar function will cost £50-70. The three channel kit with two thermostats costs £200 and a room thermostat is £80.

3. The feature list is extensive and includes, OpenTherm boiler interface support, Eco Mode incorporating weather compensation and optimum stop, Firmware updates via the cloud, Operates as a Wi-Fi access point allowing local app access even without internet connectivity and works with Amazon Echo for voice control with other automation features in the pipeline (hopefully geofencing and IFTTT support?).

4. Drayton has a long and distinguished background in the heating controls market and as part of the €24bn Schneider Electric group have considerable resources to leverage. There is a good support via their website and a help desk available 7 days a week.

 

Security

As part of the Schneider Electric group Drayton have access to industry leading security expertise. Schneider Electric established the Global Security Lab as an independent entity to ensure vigilance against the latest threats and enable defence against their systems from a cyber-attack.

Their advanced security systems, which operate between Wiser in-home products, App and cloud services, use the same encryption technology as banks to protect end-user data. The Wiser Heat App and all software are continually updated to stay ahead of any potential threats to security.

 

Next steps

The components are available now from a number of suppliers like Amazon and Screwfix.
There are more details from wiser.draytoncontrols.co.uk and the site includes a guide to help select the right products for your needs, plus more information on how to install and set up the system.
Being a new product there is limited user feedback to gauge the products performance. We have purchased the 3 Channel starter kit and will bring you our first hand experience of the product our review coming soon…

8 Comments on "New Smart Heating Controls from Drayton"

  1. These new controlled TRVs look attractive and at about £35 each are much less expensive than the competition. Which makes me wonder if they are true 2-way communicating devices that can call for heat from the boiler when needed? (There is not a lot of detail about the RF technology on the web site). If Drayton can do this, then why aren’t the likes of Nest and Hive producing their own TRVs? Perhaps making one that is acceptably quiet when it operates, is a hard problem to solve.

  2. Talking about scalability it would be interesting to know if the devices create a Mesh network or if all devices need to be within RF range of the hub.

  3. @David
    Yes – they are true 2-way communicating devices that can call for heat independently. The system has been specifically designed for multi-zoning with direct connection to the heat source from every single radiator thermostat.

    @Philipp
    The Wiser network is based on a well-established IEEE 802.15.4 2.4Ghz based encrypted wireless protocol which is star, tree and mesh capable. The Wiser Radiator and Room Thermostat are battery powered so do not have mesh capabilities and need to be within RF range of their parent device. Powered devices in the range, such as the Hub are fully mesh capable.

  4. @Philipp I had the same questions and asked Drayton tech support. The devices do not create a peer to peer network. They pole the hub around every minute when awake. The system operates on the IEEE 802.15.4 (AKA ZigBee, same as Philips Hue) standard which does support peer to peer but to ensure battery longevity they operate in a star configuration. A plug in signal extender is available from Drayton to effectively increase the range of the hub. Since its mains powered, power consumption from multiple poles and signal relays is not a constraint and it would be good if these devices supported peer to peer networking.

  5. Intecho.co.uk | October 24, 2017 at 3:26 pm |

    Are these compatible with knx and dali products which are established brands to automate this sort of functionality with heating and lighting?

  6. @Intecho.co.uk
    No, the Smart Heating Controls from Drayton are a standalone system that does have an interface to KNX or Dali. It is what I like to call a typical “island solution”, i.e. no interfaces for further integration into a Smart Home.

  7. @Philipp

    How can a ZigBee system being referred to as “Island solution”? Most Smart Home solutions out there support Zigbee so Dayton put themselves in a good position to add more devices in the future if they wish to. Being part of Schneider Electric should make that quite easy too.

  8. @Jonny

    Of course the use of ZigBee in theory provides the possibility to integrate the product in a wider system. Like a “bridge” to get to and from your “island”. However, you are now in the territory of trying to work out if Drayton have taken any shortcuts in their implementation of the ZigBee stack and whether or not they have implemented a standardised device profile or legitimately created a custom device profile for their specific needs.

    It is a very similar situation to Z-Wave, see: http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/zwave/right-to-reply-z-wave-responds-to-controller-compatibility-controversy.html

    If anyone has answers whether a full Zigbee stack including dynamic routing has been used and what (if any) public device profile and public device ID have been used, then please share this information.

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