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Review: Embracing Automation with the Astute Smart Home Range

We try out the CBI-Electric: low voltage Astute range.

Jeremy Proome



CBI-Electric: low voltage’s Astute Range.

South African smart homes are coming – are you ready? Often associated with costly high-tech devices, today’s smart home is affordable and easy to implement thanks to CBI-Electric: low voltage’s Astute Range.

Essentially operating as smart-enabling switches controlled directly from a smartphone or tablet, the Astute Range includes solutions like the Astute Smart Controller (ASC – R348), Astute Smart Isolator (ASI – R417) and Astute Smart Plug (ASP – R348) which is managed with the CBI Home App, available on the App Store and on Google Play. This allows for monitoring, control, and scheduling of energy at the touch of a button.

CBI-Electric: low voltage’s Astute Range.

But, South Africa lags behind the world in smart home ownership, with a 23% gap between South African and global consumers when it comes to embracing the use of internet-connected devices to enable the remote monitoring and management of appliances and systems.

Barriers to smart home adoption

“While there are some understandable barriers to smart home adoption in South Africa, opportunities also exist for smart home proliferation,” says Dr Andrew Dickson of CBI-Electric: low voltage.

Of course, cost is a key hindrance to many South Africans adopting smart home technology in their homes, fortunately, there are several locally developed products that are available at a more affordable rate, such as the Astute Smart Home range. “Plus, there are ways to make homes smarter without enormous cash outlays, adds says Dr. Dickson. “Homeowners themselves will need to be smart in how they go about doing so, such as by installing one smart device at a time and focusing on energy-intensive appliances or security areas first.”

CBI-Electric: low voltage’s Astute Range.

“As more South Africans become aware of the benefits smart home devices offer, such as monitoring and managing electricity consumption, as well as providing appliances with some protection in the event of load shedding surges, the adoption rate will increase in the country. Simply put, smart is the way for homes of the future,” concludes Dickson.

CBI-Electric: low voltage Astute Range

The CBI Astute Range is a range of energy monitoring, scheduling, and control devices with load management and automation capability. The CBI Home App (available for Android and iOS) enables the user to configure these devices to react to current, voltage, time, power and many other variables or a combination thereof. The CBI Astute Range of products can be used to remotely control pool pumps, lights, geysers, and more. The range is ideal for use in residential homes as well as for commercial use.

Considering the current challenges of loadshedding we are currently experiencing in South Africa, installing smart home solutions like this is becoming a no-brainer. With the Astute Range you can connect to your home from anywhere in the world, giving you the freedom to switch off devices before loadshedding hits so that when the power comes back on, you can avoid catastrophic power surge damage.

CBI-Electric: low voltage’s Astute Range.

The devices in the range are all WiFi-enabled (2.4 GHz only) and enable the user to take advantage of energy monitoring and energy control features from their smartphone or tablet. To get started with the Astute Range, all you need is 2.4 GHz WiFi with an internet connection as well as a smartphone or tablet to run the CBI app.

Once installed and connected with the CBI Home App, these smart home automation devices enable you to program the automation of your plug points and create custom scenarios to suit your needs. The app offers multiple ON/OFF programs and allows for scheduled operation by day, week, hour, or even minute. As a backup, the devices also feature a manual bypass with ON / OFF switch (Power Button) in the event you need to control it without the app.

Control your geyser with the Astute Smart Isolator (ASI)

The Astute Smart Isolator is the perfect example of how smart home automation can save you money in the long run. This handy smart switch can be installed to enable you to remotely control your geyser, hand dryers, air conditioners, and more from your smartphone. It’s particularly handy for controlling your geyser throughout the year. For most households, the geyser accounts for approximately 40 – 50% of their total electricity consumption. So, having the means to easily control your geyser offers the opportunity for huge savings!

CBI-Electric: low voltage’s Astute Range.

Once installed, this easy-to-use smart switch enables you to set up schedules for your geyser for specific times of the day, so you can start saving electricity and ensure you always have warm water at home. You can switch on your geyser from the comfort of your couch, or wherever you are, to ensure you have warm water when you need it.

Installing this switch for our geyser was an absolute game-changer. Not only, are we now able to better manage our geyser electricity usage with an automated schedule, but we are also able to switch off our geyser before loadshedding hits, to avoid a possible power surge, which could see us having to replace our geyser at a huge expense.

Keep the lights on with the Astute Smart Plug (ASP)

When the sun goes down, smart home automation tools do all the work for you. The ASP makes life a little more convenient by enabling you to remotely monitor, control, and schedule your lights and devices like your fridge, PC, router, washing machine, and much more from anywhere.

CBI-Electric: low voltage’s Astute Range.

For example, with the ASP installed, you can schedule your bedside lamps to switch on at your convenience or ensure your appliances are switched off before loadshedding hits.

We’ve been using this handy plug to control our USP connected to our router and fibre box during the disruptive loadshedding bouts. This handy plug has enabled us to have our USP turned on only when it is needed. In this way, we’re able to prolong the battery life of our USP device, saving us money in the long run.

Astute Smart Controller (ASC)

The Astute Smart Controller is another wonderful innovation. The easy-to-install control enables you to remotely control pool pumps, geysers, lights, underfloor heating, irrigation, security lights, office lights, illuminated signs, and much more from your smartphone or tablet. If you’ve forgotten to turn on your outdoor security lights when leaving the house at night, turning it on is as easy as opening the app.

Of course, it is also the ideal solution for controlling your irrigation system or pool pump, as the app enables you to set up an ON/OFF schedule or even adapt the schedule according to weather conditions or time of day.

For more information on the Astute Range visit or connect and follow them on FacebookInstagram or Twitter

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