I’ve been a fan of Switchbot for a while, they make great quality products and started with the philosophy of allowing you make your existing home items smart rather than having to buy new products. In this Switchbot curtain rod 2 review we share our thoughts of using the new and improved smart curtain rod motors.
What is the Switchbot Curtain Rod 2?
The Switchbot curtain rod 2 is a motor that attaches to your existing curtain rod and allows you to control your curtains via an app, your voice and set various scenes, letting you automate your curtains. It’s compatible with a whole variety of curtain types including back tap, grommet, tab top and ring top but Switchbot also make products for rail-based curtains.
When it comes to the design not a lot has changed to the main body since the first generation of the Switchbot. It has a nice, modern looking rounded design with the logo on the front and then a button and USB-C port on the back and comes in a choice of white or black.
The main difference is with the top of the device which has a new, spring loaded system allowing for better navigation over bumps on rails and better compatibility with it now working with curtain rails between 15 and 40mm in diameter.
Whilst this product looks great, for the most part it’ll be hidden behind your curtains and you won’t see it!
Switchbot Curtain Rod 2 Review: The Specification
So what’s packed inside the Switchbot curtain rod 2?
Inside you’ll find a strong motor which Switchbot claim can handle weights of up to 8KG, bluetooth connectivity for connecting to your phone or Switchbot Hub Mini and a battery with up to 8 months of battery life. We haven’t been able to test this battery life but have been using the solar panel accessory which we’d highly recommend as you never have to worry about charging!
The device can be used with your smart phone (Apple and Android) or, if you buy the Switchbot Hub Mini (which we reviewed a while back) you can also use it out-of-home, via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri Shortcuts and IFTTT. For the more tech-savvy you can also use it via HomeKit using HomeBridge and a Raspberry Pii.
In the box you get the Switchbot Curtain Rod 2 which comes in two parts which clip together, a device for smoothing bumps in the rails, a very long USB C to USB cable and a variety of bead fixers.
The bead fixers are the most curious part of the included accessories as they don’t attach to the curtain rod 2 itself and are mainly designed to help the even spread of grommet curtains…this does mean using them is optional and we found the Curtain Rod 2 worked with and without them!
Setting Up the Switchbot Curtain Rod 2
Switchbot claim you can set it up in 30 seconds which is probably meant to be interpreted as ‘setup is quick’ rather than it being a literal statement but setup is simple.
You start by making sure your Curtain Rod 2 is fully charged and open the Switchbot app and press the + button in the app. The app then talks you through connecting the Curtain Rod 2, attaching it to your curtain rod, adding the bead fixers and then calibrating your curtain rod 2 so it knows how far to travel.
From there you can connect two together if you’re hooking up a pair of curtains, you can also turn on cloud services for using it with voice assistants and out-of-home and you can setup a variety of automations or just operate the curtains.
Does the Switchbot Curtain Rod 2 work and how do you use it?
Once setup you’ll probably rarely reach for Switchbot’s well-designed app other than to tweak automations but here are the various ways you might use the curtain rod 2 to open and close your curtains automatically.
- Schedules – Switchbot’s schedules allow you to set your curtains to open or close (or even part open/close) at various times of the day and on certain days of the week. Great for allowing you to be woken up by the daylight at different times…allowing for weekend lay-ins.
- Light Sensing – This is an option in beta mode and be used with the solar panels to open and close curtains depending on light levels outside…in testing this we didn’t find that it’s very reliable yet but certainly a great feature to have when it improves and comes out of beta testing.
- Voice Control – Saying ‘Open my curtains’ and having them open automatically might feel like something out of The Jetsons but thanks to the Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility you can achieve this. This worked well every time for us.
- Give them a pull – Switchbot have included a feature whereby if you give your curtain a slight tug open or close the motor will kick in and do the rest…if you’ve got a pair of Curtain Rod 2’s linked up you only need to pull one for both to work.
- Third Party Controls – Alongside Alexa and Google Assistant you can use them with IFTTT for connecting with other apps (e.g. closing them if a Hue light comes on or opening them at sunrise) and you can use them with Siri Shortcuts too.
- Other Accessories – Finally, Switchbot sell other accessories such as their remote which can be programmed to allow you to open and close your curtains with a push of a button.
This is a huge list of ways you can automate and control your curtains and we’ve found this is what really brings the Smart Curtain Rod to life although you’ll need the Switchbot Hub Mini to use most of these.
Using the Solar Panel Accessory
We’ll write a full review of the solar panel accessory in due course however we’ve had this hooked up to the curtain rod’s and would certainly recommend them. They do have an optional wire but we have had them clipped onto the curtain rod 2 itself and have found they keep it charged and add a nice eco-friendly way of never having to worry about battery life.
Switchbot Curtain Rod 2 Review: The Verdict
All in all Switchbot have improved what was already a really innovative product with the Curtain Rod 2 and we think this is a great smart home accessory. At £85 for one or £144 for 2 they’re not cheap (but are cheaper than smart curtain rails and don’t require an electrician to fit them) however they work well and are a nice addition to the smart home packed with features and compatibility with third-party services.rate
From the 7th to 13th July 2022 Switchbot are running some awesome offers to celebrate launching 7 products in the first part of this year which means you’ll be able to pick up the Curtain Rod 2 at some even better prices. You can shop for Switchbot offers here and use our discount code ‘35PRIMESB‘ to save 35% off your order.