Smart Home Automation Review – Control of Your Home
Peter Donnell / 3 years ago
A Closer Look – Logitech Harmony Elite
The Logitech Harmony series is legendary in the home automation world, having long been a pioneer and leading brand in this area. The latest remote from Logitech comes designed to not only control your entertainment gadgets but now also features controls dedicated to home automation. This means it can control smart plugs, lighting and more right from the remote, and even includes automation controls for those devices in its “activities”, but more on that later.
The Elite comes bundled with what looks like a frightening amount of hardware, but on closer inspection, things are much simpler than they first appear. In the box, you’ll find the remote, the hub, the dock, two IR blasters, a USB cable, and international plug adaptors.
First impressions are everything and it’s immediately apparent that this is a premium quality product. The remote has a trusty weight to it, but it’s very well-balanced too. It features a grippy back, mechanical buttons that have a lovely tactile click/pop to them for accurate feedback and control, a large touch screen at the top and even a haptic feedback response built-in. On the base, you’ll notice two gold connectors, they’re for the charging dock, but there’s also a discrete cover for a USB port should you need it.
The dock is heavy-duty and provides excellent stability for the controller, which drops into place with ease, allowing you to easily keep the remote charged when not in use.
Everything is very well laid out on the Elite, with home automation controls at the bottom for lighting and power, as well as a +/- control that can be used for tweaking the brightness of your smart lighting systems such as LIFX or Philips Hue. Every button on the remote is fully programmable for seemingly any device you can point a remote at, and there are multiple functions for each button per profile, as well as the option to set different commands based on a single, double, or long press of each. That’s a lot of control and what’s more amazing is that it’s terrifically easy to configure. When you don’t want to use voice control through Alexa or Google Assistant, Harmony is where the action is.
Harmony can send the signals to your IR devices through the hub, blaster or remote, although the hub will also control Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices too, so it’s better to rely on that for bigger smart home setups. The fact that you get two IR blasters with long cables is also handy for multi-room or devices that are tucked out of sight in cupboards.
The hub and IR blaster are neat and tidy, and since the hub and the charging dock only need a USB port to power them, they can easily be dotted on a bookcase or shelf out-of-the-way, so long as you give at least the blaster a line of sight to your home AV hardware.
Now that’s powered up and ready to rock, let’s grab some of the other gadgets and take a closer look at those.