What are smart shower systems and smart shower heads and are they worth it?

What’s better than going to shower and having the water at just the right temperature without the need of any adjustments? Also helping you save the environment by preserving water, smart shower systems and smart shower heads are here to make your shower time that much better. However, are they truly worth it?

Talking about smart home tech, we can’t help but take a look at the current smart shower systems and valves that are on the market. We’ve all heard of the idea of having the perfect water temperature when going under the shower. What’s more, most modern smart shower systems and valves tend to integrate different automation processes to help you preserve water. Nevertheless, for most home automation enthusiasts, the shower and the bath as a whole are the last places in the house that they think of making smarter. That’s why we decided to check out the current options on the market and see what all the fuss is about. Here’s what we found out.

The Beauty in Design

When you look at the numbers, smart shower systems and smart shower heads do seem to be quite efficient in what they are advertised to do. According to most studies, an average US shower that lasts for about eight minutes uses as much as 65.1 liters. However, most new shower systems report of lowering that amount to just 32 to 35 liters by implementing different sensors and technology that stops and starts the water when you need it. In fact, they do so not only by lowering the amount of time you spent in the shower to only 4-5 minutes, but also stopping the water flow when you leave the shower for soaping and shampooing and reduce the amount of water that is usually wasted while you wait for the water to heat up. While the water bill is not something most of us think of reducing, simply because compared to electricity it is far lower, being able to save up some water can be great for the environment. Most of the smart shower heads we are about to feature are not the smart shower systems that should come up in the next few years, if they are developed according to their advertisements and marketing. Nevertheless, the current smart shower technology we have today is pretty decent and does provide a few additions to the usual shower experience.

Comfort or lack thereof?

Even though we rarely want to admit it, the fact of the matter is that we often tend to put our needs forward. With that in mind, knowing that we save the environment is something that can boost our self-esteem about the good we do in society, but it definitely isn’t enough for most to make them switch their shower heads. That’s why we also wanted to see what having a smart shower system really did for a shower experience and whether or not it makes your showers more or less comfortable. While we’ll get into each of the different systems that we’ve tried down below, as a whole we did have some fun with all the different devices and overall they improved on the showering experience a tiny bit. While the technology is not ground-breaking and it definitely isn’t for most people, it is a nice addition to the interior of some smart home enthusiasts.

The Smart Shower Systems

While there are a few companies that have produced their own takes on smart shower thermostats and heads and smart shower systems, we managed to get our hands on the WaterHawk 6″ Smart Rain Shower Head, the Dream Spa AquaFan 12-inch, the Yoo.MEE LED hand held shower head, the Smphiro A1 Smart Water meter, the Hydrao Smart Shower System and the LightInTheBox Wall-Mounted Smart Shower System. Here are our thoughts on those products.

The Hydrao Smart Shower System

The Hydrao Smart Shower Systems is one of the first that appeared on the market a couple of years back. Completely powered by the water flow that passes through, the Hydrao 2.0 is a truly futuristic looking shower head that is extremely easy to install. In fact, all you have to do is just replace your old shower head with this one, as you usually do and you are good to go. The french company Hydrao does manage to deliver what they advertise. Once you are under the shower, it will light up in amazing colors, depending on how much water you’ve used. As a whole Hydrao does manage to deliver a slightly better experience, especially if you turn off the lights in the bathroom. The idea of having different colors that tell you how much water is consumed is also fine. However, the true problem is that we liked the colors a bit too much. The Hydrao Smart Shower head has an app, which is connected to the head via BLE and as a whole the app does work. Even though it crashes at times and connecting it is not a fast process that does require trial and error, when you set it up, it does present you with a couple of different options to choose from. Hydrao is perfect for showing off to your friends and once you turn the bathroom lights off. However, under normal showering conditions, the shower head is not the most useful thing you will own. In fact, after about three days of use, you start to neglect the slight glow and blinking of the LEDs of the shower head as a whole. Nevertheless, the biggest issue is that Hydrao is currently only sold only within France. While they do have plans to deliver to other countries, currently there is no information on when they will do so.

What we Loved

  • Easy to Install
  • Futuristic Shower Experience from the LED Lights (when bathroom lights are off)

What we Didn’t Like

  • The Setup Process of the App is Slow
  • Only Sold Within France
  • Not That Useful

Check out Hydrao on their Official Website.

DreamSpa AquaFan LED Shower Head with Temperature Display

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Going forward in the same category of smart shower heads, we also tried the DreamSpa AquaFan 12-inch LED Shower Head with Temeperature Display. Trying it a few days after the Hydrao, we just couldn’t help to note that it is leaps ahead in terms of shower experience. The design of the shower head iteslf and the spread of the flow of the water is truly noticable on your skin. In fact, the water flow is truly gentle and can leave you relaxing under the shower for hours. However, this doesn’t make the shower head smart. In fact, it doesn’t present you with any way to track your water consumption levels and having in mind the comfort and relaxation, you might end up wasting more water for a shower than you usually do. The advertised ‘smart’ part of the head comes with the LED display. While it does show you the temperature of the water, it doesn’t do much more than that. Similarly to the Hydrao, the colors are not that great, unless you shower with the lights of the bathroom off. What’s more, unlike the Hydrao, you don’t have any control over the LEDs. All in all, the shower head is amazing as a shower head, but the ‘smart’ part of it, just doesn’t make that big of a difference.

What we Loved

  • Makes the Shower Experience That Much Better
  • LED Lights Do Light Up the Water Nicely (when bathroom lights are off)

What we Didn’t Like

  • The Display Can’t Be Controlled in Any Way
  • The Shower Head Only Displays Water Temperature and not Consumption
  • There isn’t any way to control the color of the lights

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The WaterHawk 6″ Smart Rain Shower Head with LED Display

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Seemingly a combination of the above two shower heads, the WaterHawk 6″ Smart Rain Shower Head with LED Display was the best of the bunch in terms of smart technology. Similarly to the Hydrao, it lets you know the water usage, but it also shows you the temperature. Furthermore, taking a page from the DreamSpa’s book, the WaterHawk does so with an LED display that is easy to read and does not require you to know color schemes. A project funded with the help of IndieGoGo, the WaterHawk 6″ Smart Rain Shower Head with LED Display is a definite recommendation for those who want to know both the temperature of the water and their water consumption with a simple and sleek LED Display. However, the functionality of the shower head pretty much ends there. Unlike the previous two shower heads, this one won’t make your shower experience more colorful, as the display is blacked out in the middle of it and the LEDs only show you numbers. What’s more, as a shower head alone, the WaterHawk does not present with anything that out of the ordinary, as the water flow is pretty consistent with a normal shower head. Nevertheless, the device does what it is advertised to do and presents with pretty accurate readings of the water temperature and water consumption levels, which is perfect.

What we Loved

  • Shows Both Temperature and Water Consumption
  • Pretty Neat and Does not Obstruct your usual Shower Routine in Any Way

What we Didn’t Like

  • Similarly to the DreamSpa, The Display Can’t Be Controlled in Any Way
  • The Display Itself does not Light Up the Water Around It

buy_from_amazon

The Amphiro Self Monitoring Smart Shower System

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Trying out something different, we also came across the Amphiro Self Monitoring Water & Energy Smart SHower System. A rather obscure piece of technology, the monitor shows you the energy consumption, as well as the water temeperature and consumption of your shower. Manufactured in Austria, the device is a neat piece of technology and as a whole, it may not be as exciting as the other ones on this list, but it manages to do what it says. Similarly to the other pieces of tech on this list, the Amphiro Self Monitoring Smart Shower System does not need any batteries as it powers itself from the water flow. During our testing, the device managed to keep on working wihtout any issues.

What we Loved

  • Simple and Easy to Install
  • Does what it says on the box

What we Didn’t Like

  • It’s a clunky monitor that hangs below your shower head

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The Yoo.Mee LED Hand Held Smart Shower Head

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If holding your shower in the hand is more your speed, then we’ve got something for you as well. A rather more affordable option, the Yoo.Mee LED Hand Held Smart Shower Head is a stylish looking shower head that is designed to be comfortably used handheld. What’s more, there is an LED display that is water powered and displays the temperature. While not exactly ‘smart’ the shower head is relatively nice and if you need something a bit more modern for your bathroom, then this will definitely be the right choice for you.

What we Loved

  • It’s a Stylish Looking Shower Head
  • Relatively Nice Showering Experience

What we Didn’t Like

  • The Display Can’t Be Controlled in Any Way
  • The Shower Head Only Displays Water Temperature and not Consumption

buy_from_amazon

Noteworthy – The EvaDrop Smart Shower

Funded by IndieGogo and available for pre-order the EvaDrop is a rather innovative smart shower device. While we didn’t get our hands on it and we can’t vouch for what the device will actually be, the advertised functionality does spark some interest. Unlike the other devices on the list, the EvaDrop is aimed to reduce your water consumption levels by actually controlling the flow of the water. Depending on what you are doing, the EvaDrop is said to adjust the water flow. Nevertheless, we are still not aware of when EvaDrop will actually hit the market.

Check EvaDrop at their Official Website

Should you invest in a Smart Shower System or a Smart Shower Head?

Whether or not you should invest in a smart shower system or a smart shower head is completely up to your personal preference. As a whole, the technology and the sector are relatively new and there isn’t much development in it, with regard to smart home devices. Nevertheless, the aforementioned options do add a bit of excitement to the bathroom. What’s more, compared to their tech-free counterparts the aforementioned smart shower heads and smart shower systems are definitely not that much expensive. That being said, if you have the money to spend, you should definitely look into purchasing an upgrade for your shower time.

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