Test: Smart home solution of Enki

enki

It is impossible to miss Enki, Leroy Merlin’s new solution for “smart home”. Everyone’s been talking about it since the CES2018 in Las Vegas, where this DIY giant did a Buzz in the middle of the desert to present his solution!

And yet the Enki application has existed for more than a year with a mini Enocean home automation box, and some compatible connected objects. But in recent days, Leroy Merlin has been deploying its solution on a large scale in all its stores, but also at Boulanger and Auchan…

With a little delay, this shelving coincides with the release of its new Multi-Protocol Home Automation Box, the second brick of the Enki solution. It complements the application, which is already available free of charge on IOS and Android blinds to offer you an even wider range of connected objects of different brands and technologies for your home.

The Enki home automation box is equipped with 5 communication protocols (Zigbee, Enocean, radio 433 Dio, Bluetooth and wifi), and centralizes all communications so that connected objects can talk to each other. From heating to access control and garden watering, Enki’s solutions are endless.

The Enki application is your main user interface, it allows you to install your products, connect them to your home and your Box. It is also via the application that you first create your scenarios before they are automatically executed via the Box.

Evolutive, it is enhanced every month with new brands, new products and new functionalities. It is simple and ergonomic! You don’t need to be a technology expert to use it. Everything is done to make your experience with Enki as easy as possible.

What can we do with Enki?

Enki allows you to control objects of different brands or technologies according to your needs, and by being interoperable. No more limits, a simple wireless and battery-free Enocean switch can trigger a Somfy IO shutter, for example.

Enki already manages more than 200 objects for lighting, heating, automation, security,…, and allows you to create scenarios according to your habits. Combine different connected objects, conditions, a calendar, and create intelligent scenarios. Close your shutters every day at 10pm without the weekend, turn on the outside lighting when someone rings the doorbell only between 7pm and 11pm, and many others… The only limit is your imagination!

And whether you are at home or on the other side of the world, the Enki application allows you to launch an order and your Box takes care of everything. Simulation of presence, restarting the heating, opening the shutters,…

Evolutive, each month the Enki solution is updated with the addition of new products, brands, and features.

How to install and configure your Enki Box?

The Enki box can be set up in a few minutes. Place your Enki box in the centre of your home, connect it to the area and follow the instructions on the screen and let yourself be guided. You are only a few steps away from being able to create your scenarios!

Its installation is very simple, everything is done from the Enki application where you just have to follow the different steps to create an account and add your Box connected in Wifi or Ethernet.

Once you have added your Enki box, choose the object you want to pair, and make sure that this object is powered (batteries/battery or plugged into a socket) and that it is close to your smartphone.

Enki is compatible with a large number of connected objects of different technos and brands, the application menu allows you to display them by manufacturer or type. Add all objects according to your needs, and assign them to a zone or room.

Your first objects installed and paired to your Box Enki, it is possible to create your first scenarios. Enter a name, the type of trigger (manual, programmed, conditional), and the action. Enki even suggests some ideas, such as “Leaving home” which, depending on your objects, will activate the alarm, turn off the sockets and bulbs, close the shutters, etc…

In summary, here is what Enki can do:

Associate connected objects

Enocean, Zigbee, Wifi, Bluetooth, 433

Somfy, Di-O, Ubiwizz, Nodon, Evology, Hue, …

Put objects in Favorites

Allows access from your home page

Modify the characteristics of the objects

Give it a name

Assign it a zone or room

Associate other connected accounts

Philips Hue, Somfy, Lifx, Netatmo or DiO brand items

Check your objects individually

Choose to turn on a lamp and dim its intensity

Configure your Alarm mode

Program the temperature of your room directly….

Create manual, programmed, or conditional scenarios

In Manual to define a given behavior for one or more products and to trigger it at any time.

In Programmed you can also define one or more periods during which your scenario will run.

In Conditional, it will also define one or more execution conditions.

Associating a scenario with a switch or button

Select a button on your remote control and assign it the triggering of a different scenario or techno object

Control your heaters

Change the set point temperature

Changing the heating mode

Restart your boiler remotely

Access your logbook

Tripping your sensors and detectors

Scenarios launched

Search for an event by date

I tested Enki for a few weeks….

Nothing to say about the installation and configuration process of the Enki Box, everything happens via the Enki application, and takes only 2 minutes, simple and efficient! Perhaps a label with the box number would have been more practical on the bottom of the box when pairing, to avoid opening the battery door.

Ditto for the addition of products, I was able to take advantage of my Enocean installation to pair a good twenty products to the Box and some accounts connected to the application (Netatmo, Somfy Protect, Philipps Hue), I could not test the other technologies Zigbee, Bluetooth, or 433, but I will come back to it.

Choose from brands or object types, and follow the instructions on your smartphone’s screen. The procedure is explained, and it’s pretty simple. It should be noted that it would have been nice to be able to choose also by Technology….

We then find “My objects” divided into zones and categories. Click on one of them to access the available options, On/Off, sensor states, sensor values,…, and a star at the top right of the screen to set it as a favorite, “Home” page.

Unfortunately, I have encountered latency delays that can sometimes exceed a few seconds with a “loading” pop-up on the screen that tries to get the information from the Box. It’s quite annoying when you want to turn on a lamp or lower a shutter on your smartphone, and it takes several seconds. I have no doubt that this problem will be quickly corrected…

On the ergonomic side of the App, everyone will have a different opinion: “We like it or we don’t like it”. I think it’s pretty good, it’s still missing a few things, but it’s not easy to find the limit not to exceed at the risk of losing a lot of users en route. It’s simple, and within everyone’s reach… Bravo Enki!

There remains the “Scenarios” part, essential in a home automation solution that must fill a maximum of automatism without having to bring out your smartphone all day long. Whether it is to close its shutters, put its heating in comfort mode, detect a water leak and be alerted,…, so many tasks that must be programmed with scenarios.

Enki is doing very well, it is clear and well explained, there are even suggestions of scenarios compatible with your objects. Thus, and without any particular knowledge, it is enough to let yourself be guided by the proposals. And if nothing matches your expectations, you always have the choice to modify one or create a new one. However, and this is a major problem, no continuity of service is ensured in the event of an Internet outage. The box works in Cloud mode and if the control part is no longer possible, what is not normal is that no scenario works.

Enki has an alert configuration page (My notifications) on which it is possible to activate the Push notification on changing the status of your objects or triggering your scenarios. Opening a door, motion detection,… The notification will be displayed on your smartphone or on a compatible connected watch, even remotely.

In terms of heating management, it is possible to create one or more virtual thermostats from the objects you have matched on your Box. For example a boiler module and a temperature sensor. Depending on the module, you can influence the set temperature or mode (comfort, eco, frost protection), and program a calendar.

There remains the “Logbook” which lists all the events related to the triggering of scenarios, changes in the status of the various sensors or detectors, actions related to objects, alerts, etc.

After two weeks of reviewing the main features of the Enki application, I could have been satisfied with it overall if there were not yet a few points to correct or improve. I am aware that the launch of a new product or application can face a number of problems that are difficult to anticipate.

The most disturbing thing is the appearance of this “loading” pop-up that can remain on my smartphone’s screen for several seconds, during which time it is not possible to launch a shutter or lighting control, and to display the status or value of a sensor. It takes me about 10 seconds to display the value of my temperature sensors.

If the debate is often a topical one between the Cloud or No Cloud, what is not normal is that the scenarios do not launch the associated commands in the event of an Internet failure. They will only be carried out when the box regains Internet connectivity. Besides, you won’t have a push message to report the web outage either and that’s a shame because it doesn’t appear in the logbook either.

But I am counting on Leroy Merlin’s teams to assess these few problems and correct them quickly. There is no doubt that this “Enki” solution will quickly become a must for the general public, especially by relying on an enormous network of Leroy Merlin, Boulanger, and Auchan stores…

With a very competitively priced product catalog, the Box Enki is at 109€, the Evology actuators at 35€, with many kits and more than 200 compatible connected objects, Leroy Merlin could well succeed!

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