Review of Qingping Air Monitor Lite CGDN1 air quality monitor for Xiaomi and Apple HomeKit smart home systems. This is the second version of the air sensor from the company formerly known as “Cleargrass”. The novelty has a more compact body, display and a set of sensors different from the CGS1 model. Qingping Air Monitor Lite was posted on Xiaomi Youpin crowdfunding, fundraising and device dispatch completed successfully on December 18, 2020.
At the time of publication of the review, the monitor is sold only on Chinese Internet sites at a price of ~ $ 75. However, according to the manufacturer, in the next couple of months it will go on sale on Amazon in the US and Europe. In EU-US, official sales may begin later in 2022. The manufacturer is already looking for a distributor for sale in the territory of the Customs Union.
A monitor is necessary to understand the parameters of air quality: CO2 concentration, particulate matter, temperature, humidity, and others. Only with the necessary amount of data with the help of household appliances such as a purifier, humidifier, air washer or breather can you effectively work on improving them.
But, even without the presence of additional household appliances or the ability to automate such processes, it is useful to know what we breathe and to be able to quickly take action. For example, the concentration of carbon dioxide (carbon dioxide) in a home, apartment or office affects our well-being, can cause headaches and fatigue. If there are several people in a room without an influx of fresh air, then the carbon dioxide content in it increases in an algebraic progression. In this case, even basic ventilation will help.
Ultrafine particles PM2.5 and PM10 are particles less than 10 and 2.5 micrometers in size, respectively, which can cause allergies, diseases of the cardiovascular and respiratory system. In reality, in rooms, most of these particles are fine dust. And particles less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) easily penetrate biological barriers and therefore pose the greatest threat to the body.
Temperature and humidity are two important indicators that primarily affect the comfort of the human body. In winter and summer, the parameters of their norms are different and interdependent.
Device parameters and sensors
- Model: CGDN1
- Weight: 143 grams
- Dimensions: 63.6 x 46 x 54.6 mm
- Display: monochrome OLED, 160 × 128 pixels
- Connection: bluetooth 5.0
- Temperature: 0 ° C ~ 50 ° C
- Humidity: 0 ~ 99RH
- CO2: 400 ~ 9999 ppm
- PM2.5 / PM10: 0 ~ 500 ug / m3
- Battery: 2000mAh
The set of sensors inside the monitor is quite decent. Temperature and humidity are measured by a sensor from the Swiss company Sensirion. The number of fine particles PM10 and PM2.5 is measured by a laser sensor from PlanTower. And the most popular carbon dioxide index is measured by the SenseAir S8 sensor of the same name from Sweden or Sensirion (apparently, depending on the batch). The sensors from these manufacturers have proven to be accurate and reliable. The manufacturer provided information on the sensors upon request.
Completion and appearance
The device comes in a small cardboard box with 4 sensors that measure 5 air parameters in real time. Inside the package is the air quality monitor itself, a USB Type-C cable, and a Chinese and English user manual. The power supply unit is not supplied. To work, you need a 5V 1A adapter.
The entire front side is occupied by a monochrome OLED display with a resolution of 160 × 128 pixels. Above is the touch control strip. Behind the decorative grille, there are openings for supplying and blowing out the analyzed air. As well as a charging port and a power button. On the bottom there is only a non-slip silicone base with a QR code for connecting to Apple HomeKit.
Indicators and parameters on the display
Immediately after turning on the Air Monitor Lite, you will see the indoor air parameters on the display. Using the touch panel, you can scroll them to the right and left. A colored indicator is located above the screen, which signals the status of the sensor selected for display. It changes color depending on the data it receives. This is very convenient because you know immediately if the values are outside the normal range. Due to the small size of the monitor, only one of the parameters can be displayed on the screen.
In addition to the values of the air parameters, the display has an indicator of the status of the connection to the WIFI network, the battery charge and the presence of external power. The manufacturer claims that the capacity of the built-in battery will last for 7 hours of operation of the monitor. But this time can be extended by setting to turn off the display. This is done in the device settings via the Xiaomi Mi Home app. Here you can set the display to turn off automatically at night and turn on in the morning at a given hour if it interferes with your sleep. The display can also be activated and deactivated using the power button on the back. A long press will turn off the device completely.
Connection and setup in Mi Home
To connect the monitor to Xiaomi Mi Home, open the corresponding application and turn on the device search. To reconnect the monitor to the wireless network, you need to hold your finger on the touch panel for 8 seconds until the Wi-Fi icon appears on the screen. And if you need to reset the device to factory defaults, simultaneously hold down the power button and touchpad at the top for 8 seconds.
Next, we select your home wireless network and wait for a connection, after which we give a name to the device and define a room for it in the house. The plug-in screen will display the current and historical data of each of the air parameters. They can be viewed in the last 24 hours or 30 days. In the tooltip for each of the parameters, you can find the gradation and the corresponding indicator light. For temperature and humidity, the values of the norm vary depending on each other.
In the device settings, you can configure the display to turn off at specified intervals, for example, at night. Or when the external power is turned off. Temperature units also change here: degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit.
The monitor can participate in the automation of a smart home. It works as a condition for each of the monitored air parameters. Those. You can create a scenario where, when the CO2 values are exceeded, the breather is automatically turned on, when the humidity drops, a humidifier, an air conditioner at a certain temperature, or a purifier when there is dust in the air.
In the advanced settings, the time zone of the device changes. In addition, this monitor also works as a Bluetooth gateway for other smart home devices, such as a safe or a door lock.
Connecting to Apple HomeKit
To connect to Apple HomeKit, you need the Home app on your iPhone or iPad. We add a new accessory, and, having previously reset the WiFi connection on the sensor, scan the QR code. The program will connect to our air monitor and offer to select the room, its location and name.
We see that HomeKit detects our device as 4 separate sensors: air quality, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity. These parameters can be added to scripts or sent to your device notifications when the limits are exceeded.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to see historical graphs of parameters in HomeKit. Also, you cannot configure the display to work on a schedule. To do this, you will have to install Mi Home or the proprietary Qingping application.
My experience with the Qingping Air Monitor Lite has been positive. First of all, I liked the compact body, it has an excellent not too bright display with a clear color indicator and a good set of sensors. The new air monitor turns out to be the most affordable CO2 sensor that works with Apple HomeKit and Xiaomi Mi Home, has the ability to monitor parameters remotely and participate in automated scenarios.