Building a Smart Office

Meross Smart Plug

Making anything smart requires a degree in itself just to set up. Over the past 6 months I've slowly made my entire home smart. I started with the office as it's much smaller and easier to manage (6 devices vs 40 in the house).
I bought 4 bulbs. 2 internal and 2 external. To manage I use the Philip's Hue system alongside HomeKit as I wanted a pain free experience. And so far, it's pretty much pain free. Only two issues which I address below.

The problems I have experienced have been with the heating/smart plugs. In the office I have a small De'Longhi 1.5Kwh oil heater. I've had it for 2 years. I've found the office either too hot or too cold as it relies on an internal thermostat which has more options than a modern day coffee shop. I like simplicity and I like it perfect so I decided to do something about it.
The latest release of HomeKit allows for temperature automations. However, it doesn't work with the Philips Hue Motion sensor I have installed in the office. Although it's great to have the lighting turn itself on when I enter the office, I really bought it for the temperature readings and really wanted it to work.
Philips Hue Motion Sensor

Unfortunately, either Homekit doesn't like it or simply doesn't work (which wouldn't surprise me given how often Apple products underdeliver). That's problem number 1.
This was solved by using Home+ app. Quite expensive but if it works then that is all I want.

To get this to work properly you need to configure in a way that isn't standout obvious. The event needs to be set as any temperature change. Logically, it should be when the temperature gauge reads a specific temperature but that would be too easy. Under conditions, you say that if the room temperature is less than 17C, the time is between 0730 and 1700, someone is at home and the day is Monday-Friday the heating comes on. Then do another automation for turning the heating off. Although the automations becomes messy with all of the configurations, once you've set it up you never really need to look at it again unless you want to alter the triggers.

Problem number 2, which is the most frustrating of them all are the smart plugs that I bought from Meross.
They worked for a week then simply stopped working. Turning them off and on made them work again for 12 hours or so but because they were controlling the heating it could leave the heating on 24/7. Not so good.
Trying to figure out what had changed was a dead end. I was ready to send them back when I wondered if they needed a dedicated IP address. There were no instructions to do so but read that they were using open source software. I've used a lot of open source software when setting up a wireless broadband network in the village where I live. It was worth the punt. It worked. The Meross Smart plugs have not failed since giving my plugs a dedicated IP via my router. Meross, if you are reading this, please just tell your customers this is what's needed. Don't be suggesting updates, turning off and on, changing routers etc it's just a cop out. You might lose sales as it sounds more difficult than it is but it's so much better being honest! Your plugs are 5 stars. I just hope that if you are having the same issues you get a chance to read this before you spend hours on trying to figure out why they keep appearing as unresponsive.

Meross Smart Plug

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