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nCube: Save on energy bills with this Raspberry Pi-based smart home system

nCube is a smart home system that lets you tailor a money-saving solution to suit your needs.  

Whether you want to save on energy bills by controlling light switches, heaters and thermostats from your phone or connecting to security devices on the go, you’ll be able to control a multitude of home systems from your iOS device with nCube hub. 

The nCube hub is a small Raspberry Pi-based unit that communicates with smart devices and switches around the home using the Z-Wave wireless protocol. 

nCube: Save on energy bills with this Raspberry Pi-based smart home system
The nCube hub in all its fruity glory

Read Recombu Digital's guides to WiFi and Smart Home TechnologyZ-Wave is a wireless communications protocol that lets devices talk to each other on the 900MHz radio band. In a nutshell, this means that the nCube won’t interfere with or congest home WiFi networks, which use the higher frequency 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands. 

nCube is a smart home solution that doesn’t come with bespoke components like Valta, Hive by British Gas and services. It’ll work with any device, like Danfoss thermostats and Aeotec smart dimmer switches, that communicate using the Z-Wave protocol. 

nCube: Save on energy bills with this Raspberry Pi-based smart home systemnCube: Save on energy bills with this Raspberry Pi-based smart home systemnCube: Save on energy bills with this Raspberry Pi-based smart home system

This, nCube reasons, means that it will work with a large variety of systems and let anyone configure their smart home however they like. 

However you set everything up, the iOS app will let you control everything from your iPhone or iPad, wherever you’ve got enough signal or decent WiFi. 

You can name individual devices, rooms or ‘zones’ (if you want to control heating and lights in more than one room at once) on the app, which lets you turn specific appliances off, or turn whole rooms or floors on or off. 

nCube: Save on energy bills with this Raspberry Pi-based smart home systemnCube: Save on energy bills with this Raspberry Pi-based smart home systemnCube: Save on energy bills with this Raspberry Pi-based smart home system

There’s an ‘energy leaderboard’ section on the app as well. Designed to let shared homes and families see who is the most wasteful in the house, this could perhaps lead to a more equitable split of energy bills. 

nCube is aiming for a fuller launch later this Autumn, with pricing details for the nCube hub to be announced. The mobile app will be free to download. Peripherals like the Aeotec micro smart dimmer (£37.99) and the Danfoss Living Connect Z-Wave radiator thermostat (£54.99) are sold separately. 

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