Elgato Eve Energy Review
Smart plug adapters are a quick and easy way to get your smart home up and running. Some may stick their nose up to the idea of a plug adaptor that can turn your light on/off via your phone or with voice control, but the fact is few smart home products are as versatile as these little guys. That is because they are both portable and have the ability to power most appliances and fixtures in your home. Elgato Eve Energy is a prime example of a versatile smart plug. Not only is the Eve Energy able to be moved around as needed or adapt to multiple fixtures and appliances, but it can also change the way you think about energy usage around your home.
Smart Plug Basics
So what is a smart plug and what can it really do? A smart plug is a small device that plugs into an existing outlet. You can then plug an appliance or fixture directly into the device which gives you the ability to control the power state of that device. Most smart plugs today integrate with smart home platforms like Amazon’s Alexa, Samsung’s Smarthome, Google Home, or Apple’s HomeKit. Providing these integrations allows for a smart plug to not just be controlled via your voice or application, but can also be put on custom schedules or be automated by numbers of rules and parameters set in conjunction with sensors and other compatible devices. The most simple example of this might be to have a lamp turn on a dusk. A more complex example might be to have your coffee pot turn on, but only Monday through Friday, when motion is detected in the master bedroom between the hours of 5:00 am and 6:00 am.
Elgato Eve Energy
Now that we understand smart plugs in general what makes the Elgato Eve Energy different? The Eve Energy much like other products in the Elgato Eve product line is minimalistic, not flashy, but has been thoroughly thought out from design to functionality.
The small square device fits neatly into your receptacle as to not cover the second plug receptacle in the outlet. The device has a small indicator light that lets you know when the device is sending power through its ports which double as a manual power button. You can press the light to turn off the power and then again to cut the power back on.
Elgato Products, at least for the time being, only integrate with Apple’s HomeKit which limits its user base but arguably increases its security level drastically. By integrating with HomeKit the Eve Energy can be paired to react to many other devices compatible with HomeKit and you can set this up from directly inside your Apple devices Home application.
Perhaps one of the most interesting features of the Eve Energy is the ability it has to monitor power consumption of devices that are plugged into it. For instance while I write this article I am currently using my Eve Energy to charge my laptop. If I pull up the Eve Energy accessory from the Elgato Eve application I can monitor exactly what the energy usage is for charging my laptop in real time. Not only can I control the power state on/off of the device, but I also see that I am currently using 81w of power right now. The next option I have is to view projected yearly cost of the device I am using. These can be based on the last week, day, or minute information. By taping on each I get a new projected annual cost. Next a “Total Consumption” graph appears that shows about 48 hours of energy usage in the form of a graph. Finally a “Total Cost” graph is positioned at the bottom of the screen and allows the cost associated with the device being used. Each of the bottom two graphs can be tapped into for more customizable reports and data findings by tapping on the more information button in the bottom right had corner of the graph. From this screen I can break down the data reporting by hour, day, week, and month. I can also reset the count from these screens to start my data tracking over again.
Elgato Eve Energy is as close to a plug and play product as you can get. As with all the Eve devices I have tested you simply energize the product (in this case plug it in) and navigate to the Elgato Eve application to complete the set up and pairing process. You can click here for a step by step of how to set up the Elgato Eve Energy.
Full Control Through Automation
As noted earlier one of the most exciting abilities the Elgato Eve Energy provides is scheduling and automation. You can set these directly in the Home application on your iOS device, but for more complex scheduling and automation’s you will want to use the Elgato Eve application. The difference between the Home application and the Eve application lies in the Eve application ability to create rules based on multiple triggers and value settings. For instance, I may want to set a location trigger which will use my phones location to stop charging my computer when I leave home. Once I leave the area the application will trigger an automation to turn off the power to my Eve Energy thus stopping my computer from charging saving energy and possibly preventing a fire while I’m away.
Elgato Products, at least for the time being, only integrate with Apple’s HomeKit and because of that you will need and iOS device running on 10.3 or higher to utilize the product. You will also need an iPad or Apple TV running tvOS 10 or iOS 10 or higher to be able to control your device when you are away from home.
As far as smart plugs go I can’t say that Elgato Eve Energy is the only product on the market with the abilities to monitor power usage. Or that it works any better than other products that I have tested. I can however confirm that the product works as advertised, is very responsive and reliable, and when used in conjunction with the Eve Application can provide very detailed usage data and create very complex automations. This smart plug is what I would compare to a utility man in baseball. It may not be the star of the show but may it will be one of the most versatile and adaptable products in your home. Two thumbs up from Joe on another quality product by the Elgato Eve team!