The Terrifying Secret Future Of Home Automation

Cloud computing has made smart home integration easier than ever, but the cloud brings with it a hidden problem that no one is talking about.

With this in mind it’s time to look at alternatives to Broadlink. Today I am looking at Sonoff’s line of residential products and how they compare to their Broadlink alternatives.

Sonoff switches and plug sockets require no hub and can be controlled with Alexa, Google home and IFTTT which makes them very versatile. Please bear in mind their RF switch is in it’s infancy and currently can only control certain products and does not work with IFTTT at present.

LINKS (I recommend buying through the below links as they are the cheapest I’ve found and are direct through Sonoff, they are more expensive on Amazon and Sonoff have advised there are fakes circulating Ebay!)

Sonoff basic inline switch – Please note this switch does not have an Earth connection and is only suitable for products that don’t require an Earth unless you plan to wire the earth outside of the switch:

Sonoff T1 mains light switch:

Sonoff S20 Plug socket (featured in this video):
Subscriber Discount: 10% off when using coupon code at checkout: 4X7C4N36
Valid until 20/03/2018

Sonoff RF bridge (£11.24):

I’m guessing the first question is going to be “What about Infrared Paul?”… Infrared control still only has three real choices at present…

Broadlink Blackbean:
Logitech Harmony hub:
Any old phone with an Infrared blaster on it!:

Other product links involved in this video:
Amazon Alexa:
Echo dot:
Echo full speaker:

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As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. By buying through any of the links above I will earn commission at no extra cost to you 🙂 🙂

FAQ’s on this video:

Why don’t you try Openhab, or Home assistant on a raspberry Pi?:
I love the idea of home assistant, and I REALLY want to get into it. But one of the grave concerns in my video is that I’m 99% confident that Amazon have frozen it out with their latest devices. I am still trying to get complete confirmation of this as I am reporting it based on numerous reports to me from 3rd parties, not first hand experience.

How do you know Amazon are blocking non-cloud based devices?:
It’s all very new. I’m the first person to report it as far as I know. Some of what I know if from first hand testing, and other things I’ve found out because I’m getting reports left right and centre from people unable to control the RM plugin (on an Android device) on their new Echo’s, despite it working just fine on their old Echo. I’ve had a couple of similar reports from Raspberry Pi users too running stuff like HA. It makes sense now that Broadlink have chosen to move away from the RM plugin on their new devices to mirror Amazon. I would love Amazon to prove me wrong here, but I’m confident this is a deliberate effort by Amazon to reign in what can and can’t be controlled and Broadlink have fallen in line.

Logitech Harmony still works without an internet connection, why are you lying?:
Correct, Logitech downloads its codes from the cloud and keeps them locally. If Logitech went bust tomorrow though you would not be able to get any new codes, and the Alexa skill would stop working.

Why did you say the future is bleak because of the cloud, and then immediately recommend a device that is entirely dependent on the cloud?:
The message of this video is: everyone is being forced to the cloud by Amazon and Google, so if you’re going to buy from someone then it had better be someone you trust. I no longer trust Broadlink so I’m giving Sonoff a go.

What do you recommend for Infrared?:
Infrared control still only has three real choices at present…

Broadlink Blackbean:
Logitech Harmony hub:
Any old phone with an Infrared blaster on it!:

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