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This post was originally written in November 2021. In 2022, with our energy bills significantly higher, this post is more relevant than ever. I have therefore updated it with some new products.


Following on from my smart electric radiator post, this post covers smart programmable radiator valves. Most press coverage and advertising focus on smart thermostats, which allow you to control your boiler via an app and, in some cases, set up various automation. Quite frequently, this coverage makes grand claims about how you will save money on heating.

Tado specifically states that you can reduce your energy consumption by up to 31% using their smart boiler controller, but it is a bit of a vague statement that will most likely rely on their paid monthly service of auto assist. Claims like this will no doubt be true, but it will probably be a best-case scenario for users who transition from poorly optimised heating to being able to make the most of the auto-assist function.

In my opinion, all that a smart thermostat does is provide a convenient control for your heating. If you were frugal with heating in the first place, I doubt you would see a significant difference.

However, the product that should have a noticeable impact on your heating bill is zoned control of your heating through the use of programable TRVs. Most of the smart thermostat brands now have these within their ecosystem, this includes Tado.

I have previously reviewed the excellent Genius Hub and also regularly recommend the Tado system to most consumers.

Using a smart thermostat and TRVs in conjunction allows you to heat individual rooms based on your schedule. So for me, working from home, I warm my office during the day but leave all the rooms downstairs off, then switch off my office and warm the living area in the evening.

With so many of us now working from home, this idea of zoned heating could save you significant money.

So, what are the best options for zoned heating? Do you have to invest in an expensive smart thermostat and valves to be able to achieve this?

All the below links will be affiliate links where possible

Smart Radiator Valves / TRVs

Things are much easier if you have a complete system under one brand. When I set my office to warm using Genius Hub, it controls both the valves and boiler.

However, if, like me, you have a fixed schedule, you don’t have to replace your entire system with a smart system. You could just get programmable TRVs and have them come on based on your schedule. This would likely be considerably cheaper upfront than a smart heating system but with similar energy savings (just less convenient).

Most of the big brand smart heating companies can work this way, too. Tado and Genius valves are still usable even if you don’t have smart control over your boiler. You just need to synchronise your boiler schedule with your valves manually.

Tado° Smart Radiator Thermostat Starter Kit V3+ [Probably the best overall option]

  • The Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat – Starter Kit V3+ has an RRP of £130 and is regularly discounted to £99
  • The tado° Wireless Smart Thermostat Starter Kit V3 (to control your boiler) has an RRP of £200 but regularly discounted, with the price dropping to as low as £100 recently and around £135 normally.
  • A single TRV has an RRP of £75 but is often reduced to £50
  • There is a basic smart TRV with an RRP of £60 and this has had reductions as low as £40

Tado is probably the best all-round option for most buyers, in my opinion. There are only a handful of companies that do both smart boiler control and smart radiator valves. I would guess Tado is the biggest brand in the business that has a full smart heating solution, and they regularly have some of the biggest discounts. I recently reviewed the Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat Valve and thought it was superb.

Tado also has some of the best third-party integrations with Siri/Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT (If This, Then That). It also works with Home Assistant and Homey.

TP-Link Kasa KE100 Smart Radiator Thermostat

TP-Link Kasa launched their smart TRV in the past year, and it has been one of the most affordable options. From September until the end of October 2023, the KE100 + hub was around £42. The smart TRV by itself has regularly been available for £30.

TP-Link Kasa don’t have boiler control. It is also worth noting that the KE100 TRV is not compatible with the TP-Link Tapo hub, even though you can import your Kasa devices into the Tapo app.

Aqara Smart Radiator Thermostat E1

I reviewed the Aqara Smart Radiator Thermostat E1 a year ago and have continued to use these valves on some of the less important rooms in my house as I have them on a fixed schedule.

The valves are priced at a standard £55, and you need a hub, but these cost between £25 and £60 depending on which one you get.

There were a few teething issues. The hub needs to support Zigbee 3.0, which the newer hubs do, I use the Aqara Smart Hub M2. Then, the hub needed updating before I could successfully add the valves. Then, the valves also need updating to remove the abnormal temperature warning. The scheduling could be better, you have three time zones, and that’s it. But overall, it’s an excellent, relatively affordable option.

It is also possible to integrate these smart TRVs into Home Assistant, I used the Matter functionality, which is available through the Aqara Smart Hub M2. Aqara also plays nicely with Homey. Using these services allows you to mix and match brands, though it is more complex to set up schedules in comparison to native apps.

Hive Hub & Radiator Valve

PreviewProductRatingPrice
Hive Hub Hive Hub No ratings yet £72.99Amazon Prime
Hive Smart Heating Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV) with... Hive Smart Heating Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV) with... No ratings yet £57.00Amazon Prime
  • Hub: £60
  • Valves: £54

It looks like Hive has struggled to meet demand as the valves are on a 3-week back-order when bought from Hive. Hive has also slimmed down the product range, and they have completely discontinued the old Hive 360 hub.

Before selling out on Amazon, they were as low as £44, which would have made this system one of the best options.,

Honeywell Home Rondostat HR20 [Not actually that smart]

Because this post is geared toward saving people money, I should point out that you can buy programmable thermostats without fancy app control. You have to do things the old-fashioned way and program it on the device. You have 7 day control, but it only has 4 switching times per day, which I think means on/off/on/off, so you only have 2 heating periods per day. This is worth considering for rooms you don’t use that much and just want to keep warm intermittently.

Eve Thermo Smart Radiator Valve [No hub required]

PreviewProductRatingPrice
Eve Thermo - Smart Radiator Valve with LED Display,... Eve Thermo - Smart Radiator Valve with LED Display,... No ratings yet £68.99Amazon Prime
  • No hub
  • Radiator Valves are £45 / £65

The Eve Thermo TRV is not cheap, but it works independently with Bluetooth control and it is about the only well review option you can find that works independantly. They have an older version for just £45, which might be worth considering. Eve works with Homekit and will support Thread in the future.

The main downside is that they don’t have a smart boiler controller if you want to expand into a full system down the line.

Genius Hub + Radiator Valve

  • Hub: £130
  • Valves: £70
  • USB Communications Adapter: £30

Not quite as cost-efficient as Tado, but it may be worth keeping an eye out for sales. You will need a hub which is £130 then the valves are £70. This can then be grown into a full smart system that can be far more advanced than many other options.

Since I first wrote this post, it looks like Genius Hub has updated the valves, and you now need an additional USB adaptor on the hub for them to work.

Bosch Smart Home-  Radiator Thermostat & Controller

  • Starter Kit : £250 includes 2 valves and door/window sensor  – has been as low as £160
  • Hub by itself is £125
  • Radiator Valves: £55 (has been as low as £41.50

I hadn’t realised this system existed, but it is well-reviewed. It seems to be popular in the German market. As usual, you need a hub which is £125, or they do a Room Climate Starter Kit for £250

Lightwave + Honeywell Home Wireless Radiator Valve

  • Lightwave Link Plus controller: £125
  • Valves: £55

The Honeywell EvoHome hubs are very expensive, with a hub and 2 pack TRV costing £300, but you can save quite a lot of money by using Lightwave. The Lightwave Link Plus controller is £125, and they then sell the Honeywell valves for £55. Lightwave is unique on this list as they also do smart lighting and power.

TCP Smart Thermostatic Radiator Valve & Wireless Hub

  • Requires a hub, but a comparatively cheap upfront cost vs other brands
  • Additional valves are £52

Reviews of this brand are not great, but the valves themselves appear to be identical to the Aqara ones I listed above. This brand actually came out before the Aqara models, and I assume they are white label valves, but I am unsure who the original manufacturer would be.

The poor reviews seem to indicate issues with the hub and app. While I wouldn’t highly recommend this product, due to the poor reviews, it could be worth trying out if you are willing to go to the faff of having to order and potentially return.

Qiumi Radiator Actuator Valve Kit

PreviewProductRatingPrice
Qiumi Radiator Actuator Valve, Tuya ZigBee3.0, Smart... Qiumi Radiator Actuator Valve, Tuya ZigBee3.0, Smart... No ratings yet £186.99
  • Works on white-label Tuya app
  • Starter kit has 5 valves and hub for just £195!
  • Be warned of the mixed reviews

This is another product that looks similar to Aqara, and this one uses the Tuya smart home app, which is used by many Chinese brands as a unified smart home app.

There are a couple of bad reviews that indicate issues with the temperature readings.

AVM FRITZ!DECT 301 Thermostat Head

Another one I didn’t realise existed. This is a little different because the hub is actually a router. So if you already have a FRITZ!Box then these are worth considering. Amazon UK pricing isn’t favourable, but you can buy these from Amazon.de for €51.56 delivered which works out as £44, undercutting all the above options.

[Original Post: November 21, 2021]

[Updated On: December 13, 2022] Added new smart TRV options

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Last update on 2024-05-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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3 Comments

  1. There are a few problems with the tado system.
    The main control unit uses radio frequency to communicate with other devices (valves, thermostat etc.), not WiFi. You can only have only main control unit per system, and these have a limited range. In large houses the signal may not be strong enough to reach all parts. Equally, in older houses with thick walls, the signal may not reach valve controls.
    In my experience, in a largish 16th Century stone-built house, the positioning and orientation of the base unit was critical. Move the base unit just a centimetre or two and one or more radiator fell off the system!
    The valve control heads can be temperamental, and suddenly need re-setting for no apparent reason.
    Don’t rely on the displayed temperature on valve heads. In most cases it is necessary to adjust the valves so that the displayed temperature setting actually matches the room temperature. Unfortunately this can be a trial-and-error process.
    In my case I found it quite difficult to get the valve heads really tightly-fitted to the radiators, which results in the hole assembly turning when one needs to remove the head for battery replacement or re-setting.
    Also, be aware that Amazon is a major investor in tado!

    1. Good comment, thanks! I don’t think any of the valves I listed use WiFi, though I have seen a couple. WiFi uses a lot of power, so most brands opt for Zigbee or some other proprietary system.

      Genius Hub has a similar problem you mentioned, but they also have smart plugs which work as a relay for the signal.

      Both Z-Wave and Zigbee are supposed to be mesh-based systems, so these issues shouldn’t really exist. I do have the same problem as you if I unplug my Genius Hub plugs. Looking online, Tado uses 6LoWPAN, which is also supposed to be mesh-based, so in theory though looking online it is a common complaint.

      It’s a shame Tado didn’t work for you, I had been considering switching myself, but may reconsider now. Did you settle on a different brand?

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