If you really want to know what's going on with the weather where you live, the Netatmo Weather Station is an excellent tool. Fully maxed out, the system lets you know the inside and outside temperature and humidity, the wind speed and rain amounts. The app works brilliantly and shows you loads of historical data. There's little that you can do with the data and the system is a touch expensive, but for those that really want to know what's going on outside their home it's excellent.
- Detailed view of the weather
- Customisable alerts
- Lots of sensor options
- Records and keeps historic data
- Quite expensive
- You can't do a lot with the data
- Review Price: £118
- Indoor and outdoor sensors as part of kit
- Optional wind and rain gauges
- Smartphone app
- Amazon Alexa support
The basic package gets you an indoor and outdoor module, for basic temperature, humidity and air quality readings, but you can add in Rain and Wind Gauges if you want these measurements too. A detailed and intricate app packed with weather data is great, but the system is quite expensive, so it’s probably one for those with a greater interest in the weather.
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The Netatmo Weather Station needs careful installation to deliver the most accurate results
The base Netatmo Weather Station comes as two components. There’s the indoor module, which has to be plugged in all the time and gives you the temperature, noise, humidity and CO2 readings. It connects to your Wi-Fi network and should be placed in the room that you most want to monitor.
Then, you get the outdoor module, which should be placed out of direct rain somewhere in the shade. This gives you temperature, pressure and humidity readings. It’s a battery-powered module, with the 2x AAA batteries quoted as lasting for up to two years. After running the system for a few months, that estimate seems likely.
If you want to expand the system, you can add additional battery-powered sensors. There’s an indoor monitor (around £50), which replicates the features of the one that you get in the main pack and lets you monitor a second location in your home.
There’s also the option of the Smart Rain Gauge (£59.99, up to one-year battery life), which gives you live updates on the amount of rain that’s fallen. It should be placed 50 to 150cm above the ground to get the best readings, and should be placed at a distance that’s equal to the height of surrounding obstacles.
For the Smart Wind Gauge (£77, up to two years battery life), you should install it at a height of at least 1.2m above the highest point of your room. So that’s ladders out and, potentially, a professional installation that you’re looking at to get the best results. There’s a ¼-inch screw thread on the bottom, which you can use for a suitable mount. Don’t forget to place the arrow northwards.
Cleverly, the Smart Wind Gauge used four ultrasonic transducers, measuring the variations in the signal to record both wind speed and direction without the need for any moving parts. All of this adds up to a pretty serious amount of installation and thought, particularly as you need to get to the kit to replace the batteries.
Wireless range, as you can imagine, is very good. Placing the wind sensor on the roof, the signal got to the indoor module two floors down.
The Netatmo Weather Station has an excellent app but you can’t do a huge amount with the data
Via the simple Netatmo app, you can see exactly what’s going on in and around your home. The top part of the screen shows your readings for the outside sensors, and you can swipe between screens to get the background ozone reading, temperature, humidity and pressure, as well as rainfall, and wind speed and direction. Each screen shows you both current readings, as well as the maximum measured.
At the bottom of the screen, you get your current indoor readings, with the temperature, noise, humidity and CO2 levels available. The coloured dot shows you the relative quality of your air, going from green (good), through yellow (average) to red (warning). This information is handy to have, but if you really want to get into the details of your home environment, a more in-depth air quality sensor, such as the Awair 2nd Generation, makes more sense.
Where the Netatmo Weather station excels is with external readings. Using the app, you can see the weather forecast for the next seven days. Using the data from the Wind Gauge, the system can more accurately display the ‘feels like’ temperature.
Tilt your phone into portrait mode and you can delve through all the data that’s been collected, so you can see what the wind, temperature and rainfall were really like in the past.
There are pre-built alerts that will warn of changes, such as it starting to rain, when temperatures get cold enough for a frost, a drop in pressure warning you that the weather has deteriorated, and a drop in room temperature warning you that there might be a failure in your heating system. The latter is something that you could check with a smart thermostat. You can also configure your own notifications, setting your own thresholds.
These alerts don’t have to be warnings. For example, you could set an alert when it’s windy enough to fly a kite. If you use the IFTTT channel, you can trigger other devices to react when targets are hit. An example rule turns Hue bulbs blue when it’s freezing outside – fun, but maybe not that useful. There’s an Amazon Alexa Skill, too (but not Google Assistant), which lets you query the Netatmo system to get the current read-outs from your sensors.
Ultimately, there’s not a huge amount that you can do with the data, and the Weather Station is more about monitoring and reporting what’s going.
Should you buy the Netatmo Weather Station?
If you really want to know what’s going on with the climate around you, then the Netatmo Weather Station is a great product. Provided you take the time to install the sensors properly, you’ll get accurate, up-to-date readings, telling you exactly what’s going on. Whether you’re a keen gardener, want to know what the weather’s like for a hobby or sport, or are just really interested in what’s going on around you, the Netatmo Weather Station delivers. The main downsides are that the app does little more than report what’s going on and the system is quite expensive, particularly if you include the additional Wind and Rain Gauges.
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