2021 is the 25th Anniversary year of this blog, but where do we start with 2020.
Despite being memorable for all the wrong reasons, it was also the year that we moved into the new Automated Home 2.0. Thanks for the amazing interest in our project, which meant more than half of this years top 20 are posts covering the various aspects of our smart home self build.
Our Amina invisible speaker setup made it into the top 20 and it was certainly in demand over the Christmas Holidays as the family streamed their own selection of music from their phones.
Interest in Air Quality continues to grow and our review of the Aranet4 made it into this years most read list too.
Our fantastic Siemens smart appliances with Home Connect have had a full workout over the Christmas break #BestTurkeyEver.
They have been a joy to use and we’re now on a 100% Renewable tariff too meaning everything is running on wind and sunshine. Look out for the next post on these appliances soon.
As the first lockdown came we reviewed the affordable Tenda 4G to WiFi Router, a great backup option to have on hand and it made it all the way to number 6 this year.
A special mention has to go to Ubiquiti at number 5 for our amazing network and security camera setup. With 2 entries in the top 20 you were interested to read about this system and there’s more coming in the next few weeks as we finally bring FTTP to the AH2.0.
And of course to Loxone, whose Miniserver is the beating heart at the centre of our fully integrated and comprehensive home automation system installed by Epitome Living.
With 4 entries in this year’s list it’s probably the aspect of the house that I’ve answered most questions on over on our Instagram. Comments like this make it all worthwhile.
Den makes it to the top 3 again, but at Number 2 this year was our write up on our Vent-Axia MVHR system installed by Daily Renewables. Stay tuned for the follow-up post on our Heat Pump coming next week.
Maybe the only good thing to come out of 2020 is the talk of a ‘Green Recovery’. Certainly EV curiosity is mounting and our most read post of 2020 was the one year anniversary follow up to my Tesla Model 3 review entitled – “Why It’s Not As Good As It Was A Year Ago” (click bait, moi? 🙂 ). We became a two EV house hold in 2020 with the petrol car traded in for a 2017 30kWh Leaf. Maybe 2021 will be the year you switch too.
Check out your entire top 20 below. Thank you as always for your support during the last 12 months, wishing you all a Happy New Year – or at the very least, one that’s much better than 2020!
BONUS: Top 20 Products
Here are the top 20 most popular items bought through our Amazon Affiliate store in 2020. This remains the easiest way for you to support this site – many thanks.
- Multiple Smart Control - 3 smart outlets can be separately managed and 2 always-on USB ports;
- Surge Protection - Shields sensitive electronics and appliances from sudden power surges and spikes;
- Compatibility - Works with Alexa and Google Assistant for Voice Control
- Quickly dim or brighten up to 10 lights for games, parties and movies from the comfort of your sofa or bed
- Requires the Hue Bridge (sold separately) for the full Hue experience; this battery-powered dimmer smoothly and wirelessly adjusts your light's intensity without any added installation
- Mount the Hue Dimmer Switch anywhere with screws or adhesive tape (both sold separately), or control it from your sofa or the Philips Hue App with the Philips Hue Bridge
- Charging House for iPhone and Apple Watch : Seneo 2-in-1 wireless charger works as the perfect combination of a wireless fast charger for iPhone 11/11 Pro Max/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/8P or an Apple Watch Series 5/4/3/2 (Nightstand Mode available) charging holder. Gift for Apple fans
- Best bedside nightstand charger : The nightstand mode of Apple Watch is available with the watch charging holder for viewing time, date, and your alarm at a glance conveniently. What's more, extra cable storage room in the bottom keeps it tidy by storing all the cable in
- More Than Wireless Charger : The two-coil wireless charging stand creates a more stable charging experience, intermittent charge or Overheating caused by a mismatch would not occur anymore. Meanwhile, Seneo Wave Mat 193 works as a smartphone holder that charge your phone in two ways: Vertical charging in working time, the facial recognition is available and send message easily; Charge your phone horizontally during the rest period, watch a TV show or practice yoga in spare time.
- The Auraglow Motion Sensor Plug In Night Light is ideal for lighting hallways, landings, walkways and bedrooms
- The light will automatically activate when you pass within 5 metres of the sensor providing a warm glow of light for 30 seconds with each activation
- The light will remain on whilst motion is being detected and the daylight sensor installed ensures the light only operates in darkness
- 4 tuners which work with Free-To-Air broadcast HDTV (DVB-T and DVB-T2) across the UK from your digital TV aerial
- Send HDTV via your existing home Wi-Fi or wired network to the widest range of smart Devices
- Pause on one device and resume on another with multi-user, multi-device, multi-room seamless viewing. Use Our Slice view EPG to choose your channel and plan your viewing
- This radiator thermostat is only designed to work alongside an existing Wiser Smart Heating System with a Wiser Heat Hub. Replace your existing radiator TRV valves to give room-by-room heating control.
- Simply screw off/on existing TRV radiator valves and replace with Wiser smart thermostats to expand your current system. Works with 90% of existing valves. An adaptor to fit the Danfoss RA valve is included in every box.
- Add up to 32 smart radiator thermostats in up to 16 different rooms/zones. Begin with 1 radiator thermostat and add more over time. 1 Thermostat required per radiator for maximum comfort and energy saving.
- 4G SIM mobile router With the latest generation of 4G LTE Advanced networks you can share 4G LTE network with 32 devices and enjoy download speed of up to 150 Mbps & upload speed of 50 Mbps
- Easy to use compatibility of SIM cards in over 135 countries just plug in your selected SIM card and then enjoy high-speed Internet with no configuration required
- 4G mobile router with LAN/WAN ports provides options and flexibility Plug an Ethernet cable into the LAN/WAN port for flexible access as a backup option If you can't get a 4G connection
- this POE Splitter is suitable for household IP camera with Micro USB Plug 5V power Port
- Power Output Port: Micro USB Power Plug
- Support the IEEE 802.3af the Power over Ethernet PoE Switch
- ✔️ Light Switch plate cover for Hue Wireless Dimmer to allow fitting to standard UK & EU light switches
- ✔️ Helps to aesthetically restrict access to a physical light switch, thus preventing an accidental switching off and keeping Philips Hue bulbs connected to the power source 24/7
- ✔️ Universal design and high compatibility with many wall light switches ranging from 80x80mm up to 92x92mm in size
- Affordable and easy to install
- Automatic stops at full open and closed positions. Can also stop at any intermediate position
- In event of a power failure, clutch permits drapery to be opened and closed manually
- SLEEK AND SLIM WHITE MOULDED DOUBLE SWITCHED POWER SOCKET: From BG Electrical, has softly rounded corners and colour matching fixing screws– combining quality with modern elegance
- TRUST IN THE SMART USB FEATURES: Which standby once your device has fully charged and it can also auto detect your USB device and adjust its charging pattern - making it suitable for iPhone and android appliances
- CONVENIENTLY ANGLED IN-LINE COLOUR CODED CAPTIVE SCREW TERMINALS: Makes it incredibly easy to install and to connect the wires, setting it up as one terminal – even with the addition of the USB ports
- Control gates, curtains, LED strip and other electrical circuits from anywhere using your smartphone
- Magic Button: trigger your smart relays from any Lightwave Smart Dimmer around your home, no extra wiring required
- Can control volt-free circuits or mains power up to 500W
- Easy to add to existing Wiser systems and takes seconds. Add up to 10 plugs per system and control alongside your heating via the Wiser Heat App (IOS and Android).
- Features a built-in range extender to boost signal to all your Wiser devices. Ideal for larger houses or houses with thick walls where smart radiator thermostat's may be situated further away from Heat Hub. Typical range of the hub is 25-40ft but dependent on wall thickness.
- Set schedules 7 days a week with up to 8 events per day allowing full automation. Full integration with Wiser app and will sync with Wiser’s Away Mode.
- High quality. Easy installation and elegant appearance.
- Suitable for standard mounting and mounting. Use for: network adapter + TV antenna. Combined with RJ45 plug and TV socket.
- Material: PC; Colour: white; Nominal current: 10A. Package Contents: 1 x Network TV Faceplate Plug, 2 x Screws
- Brushed Steel Double Switched Socket with USB Outlets
- Twin 13A switched socket with 2 x USB charging points
- Fits in a standard 25mm back box or deeper
- included components: HomeKit Single Switch
- Turns one or multiple lights on automatically when movement is detected
- Resistant to all weather conditions. (IP54)
- Various placement options possible. The outdoor sensor is battery operated, and communicates wirelessly to the bridge, so you can take it wherever you want to detect movement. All the necessary components are included to mount it on the wall or in a corner
- What's Required? - This product requires the 'Philips Hue Bridge' (sold separately) for initial setup.
- Installation-Free Control - Mount or stick the smart button wall plate anywhere in your home and enjoy installation-free smart lighting control.
- Portable Smart Button - Take the portable magnetic button off the wall plate and control your smart lights from anywhere in your home with a simple tap of the button.
- Works with LED Lamps
- Power metering
- Acts as a Z-Wave range extender. Compatible with any Z-Wave or Z-Wave+ Controller.
- This kit allows you to take full control of your heating and hot water system via your phone on a room-by-room basis thanks to the included Smart Radiator Thermostats. The Wiser App allows you to easily control your home’s temperature room-by-room whilst also viewing your system’s heat report from anywhere in the world.
- Suitable for conventional boilers (2 Channel with separate hot water tank). This kit will not work with gravity-fed systems.
- This system can support up to 16 different rooms with 32 Smart Devices (Radiator & Room Thermostat) and 10 Smart Plugs, these can be added or removed as needed.
Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API