Well, at long last, the much fabled heating controls seem to be imminent.
I received an email yesterday with a link to a pre-order store where home thermostats, boiler switches and radiator valves were available. Apparently ready to ship in March 2014.
There is very little information about the products. At the very least I think people would need to check the installation instructions, to see if the devices are going to work with their existing heating infrastructure.
They do seem to be putting more emphasis on using professional installers these days. Perhaps they feel that fewer people are going to be confident tinkering with their heating wiring than are willing to attempt to replace a light switch.
There’s no mention of room thermostats as yet. Although the radiator valves have thermostats in them. But a room thermostat would give you more information about the current temperature and means you wouldn’t need to scrabble around behind the sofa looking for the little LEDs on the radiator valve.
The only time I’ve seen any kind of official mention of the room thermostats was on the site of a company called Megaman UK. They have since removed the page, but I managed to grab a PDF of Google’s cache (PDF) before it got updated. You can see some small images of the devices there.
Bizarrely, there is a handheld remote on the site. I’m not sure how useful that would be, due to the absence of any kind of screen on there to let you keep track of set temperatures etc. I suppose you could use it to switch your heating on or off from in bed? From the picture (singular) I can’t see if there’s even an LED to let you know whether the system is on or off.
The site says:
Please note: In order for Lightwave heating to operate each household will require a Wifi Link, Boiler Control Switch and a Home Thermostat plus any additional items required.
Considering the boiler switch and Home Thermostat retail for £74.99 (so that’s £150 for both) and one radiator valve going for £49.98, retrofitting an entire house could get a bit costly.
I’ve got 11 radiators I’d want to (eventually) convert, so the whole system would set me back £700!