ioLiving TCL data collector device in a fridge
25.02.2020

Trying out ioLiving service and data collector devices

I had been a digital marketing trainee at ioLiving when I got a chance to try out their service for measuring and monitoring conditions. I got excited because our fridge door stays often open if you don’t close it carefully enough. With ioLiving IoT solution for monitoring conditions I can easily track temperature in the fridge and for example humidity in our bathroom air.

Starting to use the service was quick and easy

I got to choose between starting to use the service and registering the devices myself or through an extremely easy way with “turn-key delivery”. The turn-key package includes all the devices you need, the account is already set up and the devices and license are already registered. The only things left to do are to put the devices in desired places, change password and set alarms if you want to. I wanted to try starting to use the service and register the devices on my own so I skipped the turn-key delivery.

I started to try out the condition monitoring service by creating an account at ioliving.com and clicked “login“. I think the registration process was very quick and easy with clear and simple instructions on the quick-start guide. After logging in I activated the license by entering the license code. Then I clicked “device settings” and then “add new device”. It was also simple to start using Gateway Mini data transferring device – I just turned on power and connected the Gateway to our broadband modem with a cable that came with the package. The Gateway could be connected with wireless internet connection as well. If you want to see more on how to start using ioLiving service, go to ioLiving’s YouTube channel to see a video.

I wanted to monitor conditions, inter alia, in our fridge and bathroom

As I have mentioned before our fridge door gets easily left open. For monitoring temperatures in the fridge I got three TCL data collector devices with temperature sensors. We have renovated the whole bathroom about a year ago so I wanted to monitor conditions such as temperature and humidity in the bathroom as well. For that, I got a HL data collector device for monitoring room humidity and temperature. I was also interested in knowing our living room temperature near the floor versus at the shoulder height, because usually it is cooler lower than higher. For room temperature tracking I got a DWL data collector device with two external temperature sensors. To transfer the data from the collecting devices to the ioLiving cloud service, where I can see the results, I got a Gateway Mini data transferring device. You can see all ioLiving’s products here.

I placed the condition measuring devices in different spots

I put the TCL temperature measuring devices in the fridge in the foreground – one on top shelf, one in the middle shelf and one in the vegetable box located in the bottom of the fridge. To monitor the living room temperature I placed the DWL measuring device on top of a cabinet that is about 170 cm tall. The other sensor measures temperature about 30 cm above the floor and the other at shoulder height. In the bathroom, on top of the mirror cabinet, I placed the HL device for monitoring room humidity and temperature. It will be interesting to see how taking a shower or going to sauna will affect the bathroom temperature and humidity in the air. Our home is a two storey town house apartment, and the bathroom is located upstairs.

We adjusted the fridge temperature cooler right away

According to Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira the recommended temperatures in refrigerators are +2 – +6 Celsius degrees. At first, the temperatures in our fridge was +5,2 degrees at the lowest and +10 at the highest. We adjusted the fridge temperature lower already in the same evening. The next day we adjusted the fridge temperature even more. It is good to take into account that the temperature in refrigeration units moves high and low, so the temperature is not for example +5 degrees all the time. If you try to measure refrigerator temperature with an old-fashioned thermometer once a day, you probably get unreliable results because of these fluctuations in the temperature. Considering HACCP system, it is important to have accurate and real-time temperature measuring especially in cafés and restaurants because of food safety.

Screenshot that shows temperatures during a week measured with ioLiving TCL data collector device.
Screenshot: Temperatures in the fridge measures on the shelf in the middle during a week. You can look at more accurate results by moving the mouse cursor in desired spot.

According to Finnish Food Authority and Martat, Finnish home economics organization founded in 1899, the temperature in freezers should be below –18 Celsius degrees. The taste and nutritional content of food that is stored in warmer conditions is reduced. Luckily, our freezer was set even a little too cold. At lowest the temperature has been –27,2 degrees and at warmest –21,8 degrees. Thanks to real-time monitoring, I could have set alarm to send notification via SMS or e-mail if the temperature gets warmer than –18, and I could immediately react to the too warm temperature. I think alarms are a handy function considering HACCP in professional kitchens and restaurants.

Room temperature and air humidity in the bathroom

Suitable relative humidity of the room air in wintertime is 20−40 percent, according to the Organisation for Respiratory Health in Finland. It is pleasant to get to see that the humidity levels in our bathroom is just inside those limits. Of course, the humidity levels get temporarily higher when one of us takes a shower or when we go to sauna, but it is nice to know that the ventilation is working properly. We don’t have to worry about the bathroom having too much humidity which can cause damage to the structures and impair indoor air quality. Besides monitoring conditions in buildings and building sites you can use the wireless data collecting devices also for monitoring storage conditions real-time.

Screenshot that shows air humidity in a bathroom during a week measured with ioLiving HL data collector device.
Screenshot: The air humidity in the bathroom measured with HL data collecting device. The spikes indicate taking a shower.

Is the room temperature same around the whole room?

As I mentioned earlier, I placed the DWL device, which measures two temperatures simultaneously, in the living room on top of a cabinet pretty close to the wall. The other sensor measures temperature about 30 cm above the floor and the other about 170 cm above the floor. The sensor that is near the floor has recorded 18,8 degrees at the lowest and 20,5 degrees at the highest. The temperatures that the sensor that is higher has recorded the lowest temperature to be 21,7 degrees and the highest temperature 23,5 degrees. All those temperatures make sense also according to the laws of physics.

Screenshot that shows room temperatures during a week measured with ioLiving DWL data collector device.
Screenshot: Temperatures measured with DWL device that tracks two temperatures simultaneously. In this picture you can see temperatures about 170 cm above floor.
Screenshot that shows room temperatures during a week measured with ioLiving DWL data collector device.
Screenshot: Temperatures tracked with the other sensor of the DWL device. In this picture you can see temperatures about 30 cm above floor.

The two temperatures simultaneously measuring DWL device can be used for example in cafés and restaurants for monitoring the dishwasher temperatures of both wash water and rinse water. It can also be used in agriculture for monitoring storage conditions in different heights or to track storage temperature versus outside temperature.

My thoughts of trying out the condition monitoring service

It was interesting to try out ioLiving’s solution for monitoring conditions and measure temperatures and humidity in the bathroom air. The data transferring device Gateway Mini as well as the data collecting devices measured and recorded conditions flawlessly during the try-out period. The devices seem to be very accurate and collect data frequently enough to monitor conditions real-time. Also the mobile app (available in Google Play and App Store) was really handy, and I could track conditions in our home remotely with smart phone as well.

Next, I will place the data collecting devices to monitor humidity and temperature both up- and downstairs at the same time, so that I can compare conditions in different storeys. I am also interested in the conditions in my parents ground cellar, because they storage food such as potatoes and carrots in there. It would be fascinating to monitor summer cottage conditions as well. We don’t go to the cottage that often so the remote tracking and alarms would be very useful when monitoring the temperature and humidity in the cottage.

Text is written by Digital Marketing Trainee Johanna Pyhtilä.