Xiaomi – the smart home (and car) puzzle

Xiaomi have gone big on home automation and offer the best value kit I’ve found. I’ve bought a few items and got them working well but there are a few vagaries to them. I don’t speak or read Chinese and bits of the Android apps aren’t in English. The instructions look comprehensive but again are in Chinese. Even the English can be challenging, it sometimes reads like it is straight from Google Translate.

Trying to get the devices to talk outside the Xiaomi ecosystem has been challenging and limited in success. I thought I’d collect my learnings and share what I know about getting Xiaomi kit to work.
I’m in New Zealand which means I can use Chinese plugs, just upside down with no need for international adapters.

My Kit at the moment

  • Xiaomi Gateway Gen 1 hooked up to 2 temperature and humidity sensors
  • non-zigbee smart plugs
  • smart powerstrips
  • Smart Band 2 (and a 1S still lurking)
  • Roidmi 2S – a bluetooth to FM adaptor for cars
  • a smart lightbulb too but I need to buy a lamp to see it in action as bayonet connections are standard here and they only come in screw in format…

I’ll be adding specifics around what I’ve found out over time.