After the publication of my article "How to monitor the quality of indoor air (IAQ) in your smart home" from Residential technology todayI received a message from a reader informing me that I needed to take a look at the Kaiterra Sensedge IAQ monitor. At the author's suggestion, I contacted Kaiterra and, although they did not send me Sensedge, they sent me one of their Laser Egg + Chemical IAQ monitors to review.
As its name suggests, the Kaiterra Laser Egg + Chemical includes sensors for airborne particles and chemicals. Both are very important indoor air pollutants.
As the picture above illustrates, the PM2.5 particles are composed of, among others, soot and tobacco smoke. Dust, pollen and mildew are examples of PM10 particles. PM10 and PM2.5 particles are particularly dangerous for human health because they can penetrate deep into the lungs and, in some cases, even into the blood. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to particulate pollution has been linked to:
The airborne chemical pollutants measured by Laser Egg + Chemical are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Again, according to the EPA, VOCs are generated by:
VOC exposure can usually cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Headaches and nausea are another common symptom of exposure. However, damage to the health of the liver, kidneys and central nervous system as well as cancer are more serious for health.
Because of the serious health problems that can result from indoor air pollution, an IAQ monitor, such as the Kaiterra Laser Egg + Chemical, is an important tool for making your home a safe and healthy place to live. .
The Egg + Chemical IAQ Laser Monitor is distinguished from the competition by the use of a laser particle detector for the measurement of airborne particles. Most residential IAQ monitors use an infrared detector that is not as accurate as the laser egg sensor. The Kaiterra website contains an excellent article describing the different sensor technologies used to measure particles. You can find the article here.
Another difference between the Kaiterra Laser Egg + Chemical and the other IAQ analyzers I have reviewed is that the Kaiterra Laser Egg + Chemical does not require you to use an application to display the readings it has collected. Instead, the device includes a 2.5 inch LCD screen (measured diagonally). By pressing the mode button located at the top of the device, the user can browse the various display screens, including:
The connection of the device to the application Kaiterra offers some advantages, because it is via the application that the unit is connected to the Wi-Fi network of the owner. These advantages are:
Another convenience is that the application also offers the user the ability to select which screens to display when the mode button is pressed. So, for example, if you do not care about the temperature and humidity data displayed on the "Details" screen, this screen can be turned off to reduce the number of times it is necessary to press the Mode button. . screens displaying data.
The installation is very simple. After plugging in the device and repeatedly pressing the mode button, it starts to provide limited readings of IAQ, as described above. The next step is to connect the Egg + Chemical Laser to the Kaiterra application.
Once the application is downloaded from the appropriate application store, simply press the "Add" button displayed on the screen. After selecting the type of device you add, you can simply add it by capturing a HomeKit configuration image. The room where the appliance will be located and the location of your home are then selected. It should be noted that taking these selections into account may take a few minutes. A note on the screen informs the person who installs the device of it; but it's easy to miss.
Finally, you can select the brightness of the display, the temperature format (Celsius or Fahrenheit), the language (English or Chinese), the screens you want to display when you press the Mode button on the device and the size of this information. displayed (zoom mode on / off).
It is worth mentioning that while Laser Egg + Chemical currently only supports English and Chinese, the application supports the following languages: English, Chinese, German, Polish, Spanish, French and Hindi .
Kaiterra Laser Egg + Chemical offers a multitude of ways to integrate the device into a smart home. Like most other IAQ monitors, the device can be integrated into a smart home via IFTTT. You can create triggered applets based on the readings of the connected device, device read time averages, device data above a threshold, AQI by location, and AQI per site and above a threshold.
Unlike all the other QAI monitors I have worked with, Kaiterra is the only one to include HomeKit integration. This is a welcome bonus for people whose smart homes are based on Apple products and their HomeKit standard.
Finally, Kaiterra has released an API that can be used by smart home system manufacturers to integrate Kaiterra IAQ monitors into their platforms. The API is public and can even be used by amateurs. I've used the API and developed a module to integrate the Kaiterra Laser Egg + Chemical monitor into a Crestron-based smart home system. The module is available for download from my GitHub here.
Kaiterra Laser Egg + Chemical includes a more accurate PM2.5 sensor than its competitors and offers more integration choices, but it's not without areas where I think the product could be improved.
Overall, Kaiterra Laser Egg + Chemical is an excellent product. The inclusion of a laser particle counter to measure particle pollution as well as a choice of integration options differentiates it from the competition. The only real drawback of the design of the device is the lack of a sensor to measure CO2; a pollutant of the common indoor air. Finally, the application should be improved to allow the display of all data captured by the device.
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