The Automate Pulse 2 Hub lets you control your smart curtains and blinds via HomeKit - as long as your motor is compatible with the hub.
Automate, a company that may sound unfamiliar, offers motorized rods for all types of curtains. Using the Pulse 2 Hub, they can be controlled from your devices. Smart blinds are a great way to set the mood when you're starting a movie night or going to bed. They also help let the sun in when your alarm goes off in the morning. The downside, however, is that they require a separate hub to communicate with your devices, which can be expensive, and the Pulse 2 Hub is no different.
Behind the hub is a pairing button, a small insert to reset the hub, a 5-volt micro USB port for power, and an RJ45 jack to connect an Ethernet cable. The Pulse 2 Hub has an IP20 rating, which means a degree of protection of up to 12.5mm against solid objects such as fingers or dust. This also means it's not waterproof, so be careful when placing drinks near it.
The Automate Pulse 2 Hub has two ways to connect to your WiFi: wirelessly or via the Ethernet port. Connecting the Ethernet port will provide a more stable connection between the hub and your Internet. There is an almost 40-inch Ethernet cable included in the box for you to use. On the other hand, if you want to connect the hub wirelessly, you will need to connect it to a 2.4 GHz network. For our review, we tried connecting the Pulse Hub 2 to our wireless network, but after numerous attempts, it failed to connect. This was surprising because we've installed other smart-home devices (with similar networking requirements) and experienced no issues.
Unlike other HomeKit devices, where you can choose which app to set up, you mandate the Automate Pulse 2 Hub to use its original code. This doesn't add the hub to your home but instead creates a bridge from one app to another. A bridge allows you to communicate with accessories that cannot communicate directly with HomeKit. Once the installation is complete, you can link your curtain(s) to the app. For our pairing process, we only needed the remote control that controlled the motors. Once everything is successfully paired, they will go through the bridge to the Home app that was originally created.
You can adjust your curtains in the Home app, just like with other compatible devices. You can combine each curtain into one group, customize their name and icon, and launch or add them to your existing automation or shortcut. If you add your curtains to an automation or scene, you can preset the position you want when activated.
The Automate Pulse 2 Hub app lets you do almost everything in the Home app, such as creating rooms, scenes, and timers to control the curtains at specific times. However, unlike the Home app, the native app provides essential information worth knowing such as battery percentage, signal strength, and real-time status updates on the curtain's connectivity status.
You can buy the Automate Pulse 2 Hub from Amazon for $255.95. At the time of this review, there is a 6% discount on the hub. You can also purchase this from the RollEase Parts website for $249.99. There is also a 20% discount applied at checkout at the time of this review.
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