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Bond Bridge review: Dumb to smart

Bond Bridge review: Dumb to smart

Bond Bridge

I already have a ton of smart home devices, but some of my “dumb” appliances, such as a ceiling fan, can't connect. However, if you get the Bond Bridge, then you can connect them to your smart home setup.

Quick specs

  • RF Reach: ~760 meters (not tested through walls)
  • Controls up to 30 devices
  • Connects via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi

Unlike other smart home hubs, the Bond Bridge is actually, as the name suggests, a bridge. The Bond Bridge connects dumb devices to your smart home networks, such as Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, or Amazon Alexa. It works by controlling these “dumb” devices — which operate using RF signals — by sending its own RF signals, and replacing the remotes. It also tracks the state of the devices, but it's not fool-proof. If you use a remote to change any settings, it will mess up the tracked state.

It's powered by USB.
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

For example, if you turn on a fan with the Bond Bridge, then turn it off with a remote, the Bond Bridge may still think the fan is on. That's still manageable, since you can turn it on and off again. But if you're dealing with say, blinds, then you may accidentally open them fully or close them fully. If you set a blinds to go to say, 85% closed, and then use the remote to adjust, the Bond Bridge will still think it's at 85% closed when it could be at 50%. If it has another setting to go to say, 60%, it may end up being at 15% closed instead since the Bond Bridge thinks the blinds are still at 85%. So put the remotes away, and never use them if you want to use the Bond Bridge to manage your RF devices.

Bond Bridge
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Setting up the Bond Bridge is really easy. Plug it in, then use the Bond app from iOS or Android. You connect the Bond Bridge to your Wi-Fi network, and it's good to go. From there, you just need to add devices manually, which is simple enough. You just need to select the device, choose the correct toggle, such as the Power button, and point your remote at the Bond Bridge. Then press the button on your remote until the Bond Bridge recognises the signal. From there, you add the rest of the commands to the virtual remote. Once set up, it will expose your device to your smart home network, and you can then use voice controls. It doesn't work with Apple's HomeKit, but you can use a third-party setup like Homebridge to do so.

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I've only tested the Bond Bridge with my Fanco ceiling fan, as well as my Somfy-powered shades. It works great once you've set it up, and I like the fact I can use the app to toggle the shades from anywhere at home, instead of having to grab the remote every time. At around S$176 on Amazon SG, the Bond Bridge is a great way to smarten up your dumb devices. It's also available on Shopee, but at a much higher price.

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