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Home / Apple / Awair Glow C review: Automation of "stupid" devices is still this monitor's best air quality trick

Awair Glow C review: Automation of "stupid" devices is still this monitor's best air quality trick



Awair Glow C is a successor of Awair Glow, a small air quality monitor that also acts as a smart plug to automate "dumb" devices in response to air quality changes. That said, the new features – the ability of users to customize the colors of the LED to transform it into a night light – seem less effective than what remains the device's core function: Not just monitoring but improving the quality of the air in your home .

Awair Glow C looks almost identical to the older Awair Glow, with a couple of cosmetic changes: The former model's touch-sensitive wood grain cushion and light strip have been replaced with a square LED light that does double work as an air status indicator and night light. In addition, a detachable plastic cover is added to the three-pole AC outlet built into the front and providing a child safety level.

As its predecessor, Glow C uses a color-coded system to rank the overall air quality, as well as the individual factors that affect it: green is good, yellow is light and red is poor. You can get a momentary status on your overall air quality from the device LED. But pairing it with the Awair app on your smart device gives much deeper insight.

  awair glow c with humidifier Awair

You can automate humidifiers and other appliances by connecting them to Awair Glow C.

When you connect Glow C to the app, you are asked to choose between several monitoring preferences: "General" emphasizes comfort; "Allergy" tracks irritants, such as dust and chemicals; "Sleep" optimizes for nocturnal rest; "Baby" keeps the temperature and humidity at an ideal level in the child's daycare; and "Productivity" promises to "help you stay on top of your game", although it does not explicitly say how it performs that mission.

The main screen of the app displays a general numerical air quality score that corresponds to good-fair-bad color code (and the device's LED). Below it is a distribution of the factors that affect the air quality: temperature, humidity and chemicals (ie volatile organic compounds, or VOC). The Awair products have always been very accurate in my testing, and Glow C is no different – the temperature and humidity readings were consistent near those like the indoor thermometer and hygrometer.

The Awair app also tracks fluctuations in your air quality. score and contributing factors over time. These are displayed on a single line chart on a separate tab, but you must run Glow C for a week or so before getting any significant data. A custom tab Tip provides recommendations to improve your air quality – to turn on the AC power to lower humidity indoors, for example.

  glow c main Michael Ansaldo / IDG

The Awair app provides a total air quality score and temperature, humidity and chemical measurements.

Lubricate your dumb appliances

If that's all that Glow C did, it would be a solid air quality monitor, but not so different from a variety of similar products. What keeps separating Awair's device is its ability to automate a variety of conventional appliances, including fans, heaters, and humidifiers. You just need to connect the device to the front of Glow C, select the type of device in the app, and choose whether you want the device to be updated based on air quality changes, a schedule or motion.

Like we have started connecting Glow C to a fan and set it to turn on anytime someone came into the room. Later I connected to a Honeywell air purifier and let it trigger if the chemical level reached a level of 350 pounds (parts per billion). Finally, I used Glow C with a dehumidifier to keep the humidity indoors around 50 percent. In each of these cases, I could see the respective levels fall immediately after the device was activated.

You can further expand Glow C's power by integrating it with a number of popular smart home services and systems, including Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Wemo. In many cases, the connection is simplified through an IFTTT applet, but you can also turn on devices directly from the Awair app.

A more colorful night light

The Glow C adds the ability to control the color emitted by the motion-triggered night light. This "environment mode" feature opens through the app's settings menu. You can choose a hue from a color wheel and adjust its saturation and brightness to create your own custom lighting. It's not a game changing game, but it's a nice touch if you're a fan of mood-enhanced smarthouse scenes.

Bottom Line

The original Glow ability to monitor air changes and enable non-smart devices in response earned it our Editors' Choice award in its category. Because it's still the main proposition of Glow C – and the fact that it is offered at a launch price of just $ 75.00 on Awaire's site – we are also forced to give it our best recommendation.


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