SwitchBot 2 Curtain Rod Review: Coming Together Well
What a smart home is really complete without automatic opening curtains? In movies, automatic curtains usually signal that we are in the future (or that the protagonist is way too rich). With the SwitchBot Curtain, you can have a little taste of the good life by automating the opening and closing of your curtains with the sun or on your preferred schedule. Get a SwitchBot hub and you can even tell your favorite smart assistant to open the curtains while you’re lounging in bed.
The promise of sunlight gently waking you up and curtains that automatically close to keep things cozy at night is exciting, but it comes at a price. Single or Individual SwitchBot 2 Curtain Rod costs $99, and you need two for a pair of curtains. A SwitchBot remote control is $19, and the SwitchBot Mini Hub is $39. Overall, it’s comparable to the shallow end of the motorized curtain market, but SwitchBots can be quickly and easily installed over your existing curtains with no drilling or power outlets required.
This is the second generation SwitchBot. I tried the original last year and found it flawed, but the company has made several improvements that make this smart gadget a worthwhile addition to your home.
The original Switchbot had different versions you could buy for different types of curtains, but the revamped model only applies to standard rods. (There have been app updates that To do applies to all models.) I have light ring curtains with a uniform rod. The original SwitchBot curtain rod had a single clip to go over the rod, but the newer version has two separate clips that clip snugly into the bot’s body, which hangs past the first ring on your curtains. (It still might not work with everything types of curtains.)
The SwitchBot app guides you through the setup process, which is now much easier to follow. You connect to the robots via Bluetooth on your phone and calibrate the open and close positions. Choose “open in the middle” and you’re prompted to add them in pairs, so they open and close together. I was pleasantly surprised that the newly designed curtain rod 2 opens and closes my curtains smoothly and consistently, which was not the case with the original.
You can program the curtains to open automatically at set times, with different schedules for weekdays and weekends, or you can have them open and close when the sun comes up and goes to bed. Start opening or closing them by hand, and the motor starts and finishes the job for you. You can also use the app to open your curtains, and there’s a slider if you want them partially open. It’s finicky, but the app takes a few seconds to load and then a few more seconds to respond, which is annoying.
If you want to get the most out of your SwitchBot curtains, you’ll need to make a few additional purchases. The two button SwitchBot Remote ($19) offers an easy way to open and close them, though it really should be included with the SwitchBot itself. To use voice commands via Google Assistant, Alexa or Siri, or to set up automation via IFTTT, you need a SwitchBot Mini Hub ($39). I use Google Assistant and it works perfectly. Voice control is my favorite way to open and close the curtains; it feels opulent to have your digital butler draw the curtains.
This Is run on battery power, but you’ll only need to charge them once every few months via the USB-C port on the back. Alternatively, you can hang a SwitchBot Solar Panel ($19), which plugs into the back of the SwitchBot, or you can attach them to your curtains with adhesive Velcro. Intelligent!