Frequently Asked Questions

Which Umbrela unit should I use?
You start with Umbrela+, which includes one Umbrela and one Bridge. From there, you can expand the Umbrela network depending on your needs and budget with the following :

• Umbrela units for additional rooms
• Umbrela Mini for areas where you don’t want cameras
• Umbrela Outlet to provide the same power and control to your outlets (when available)

What is the Bridge for?
The Bridge is used to link the Internet to the Umbrela network. It also acts as the Umbrela network traffic controller. It is simply plugged into an outlet located near your router, and connects to the router using a provided ethernet cable.

What is the Thermostat Bridge for*?
The Thermostat Bridge replaces your conventional thermostat and links the home HVAC system to the Umbrela network. It is installed in the same way as a standard thermostat. This allows you to control your HVAC system from any of the installed Umbrela units.

How many units do I need?
Umbrela’s all-in-one features allow you to expand naturally from a single room to any room in the house depending on your needs and budget. While a single unit can control the entire room’s lighting, expanding units to additional rooms will give you even more flexibility and control.

Do I need to buy a controller?
No.

Do I need to buy “smart lights”, dimmers, or cameras?
No, your existing lights are compatible and a camera is built into the Umbrela unit. 

Do I need to get a professional installer for Umbrela?
No. Installing Umbrela is like installing an electric switch. If you feel comfortable enough doing this,  you can install Umbrela without a professional installer. If you do not feel comfortable replacing an electric switch, any qualified electrician could easily and affordably install Umbrela.

Do I need special wiring?
Nope.

What tools do I need to install Umbrela?
The same tools you need to replace an electric switch: a pair of pliers, screwdriver, and AC power detector.

Can I swap Umbrela units from one location to another?
Yes, Umbrela units are swappable. 

Will Umbrela work in 3 way configuration?
Yes. However, 3 way switches have complicated wiring and we highly recommend to using a qualified electrician to install this.

Will my custom setup be lost if the power goes out?
No, all your settings will be retained in the event of a power outage. 

*not available at launch.

Is my data uploaded to the cloud?
No. All your information is stored locally, to maximize security and privacy.

Can my guests or other family members use Umbrela?
Yes. Umbrela does not depend on a smartphone to operate.

Can anyone modify or access Umbrela settings?
No. Only the person with an access key can modify Umbrela’s settings.

Do Umbrela units contain advertising?
No.  

How does Umbrela play music?
You can use your own music files (put files on a USB memory stick and insert  into USB port on the Bridge)  or stream from the internet.

Can I customize presets?
Yes. Presets are fully customizable.

How does Umbrela get updates for its software?
Umbrela automatically and seamlessly updates itself through the internet. 

How do I connect Umbrela to the internet?
Umbrela+ comes with an internet bridge which allows it to connect to the internet.

Can Umbrela link to my other smart home devices and wearables?
Umbrela has built in Bluetooth and WiFi which are reserved for connecting to other devices in future.

Does Umbrela support multiple languages or accents?
For now, Umbrela only supports “US English”. We will be adding more languages and accents over time.

If I lose my smartphone, would Umbrela still work?
Umbrela does not require a smartphone for its in-home applications.

If I lose my internet connection, would Umbrela still work?
Yes. Umbrela does not require the Internet to function. It uses power line communication for its in-home applications.

How Alexa or Google Home Compare to Umbrela
There is no comparison. Umbrela is a fully integrated smart home system while Echo (also known as Alexa) or Google Home is a speaker with microphones which requires a wireless internet connection in order to work.

To use Echo, for a smart home application, you need to buy Echo in addition to buying a whole bunch of Internet connected devices (dimmers, bulbs, etc). Then you need to link them on a cloud service such as the one from Amazon or IFTTT.

“When you say the word “Alexa”, it recognizes the word (Amazon calls this the wake word) and starts recording your voice. When you have finished speaking, it sends this recording over the Internet to Amazon.”

“However, this approach is also the Achilles’ heel of Alexa: it needs internet connectivity and Alexa Voice Services (AVS) to work. If your internet connection is slow or isn’t working, Alexa won’t be available, and your Echo will be useless. If Amazon decides to charge for the service (or just close it down), you’ll be left with a useless device”… and a one very dumb smart home.

Google Home also faces the same issues.

Excerpts taken from https://www.cnet.com/news/appliance-science-alexa-how-does-alexa-work-the-science-of-amazons-echo/

Can I control Umbrela when I’m not home (remotely)?
Yes, through your smartphone or a web browser. 

What mobile platforms do you support?
We will be supporting Android and iOS. 

Can I activate the alarm through the Umbrela app?
Indeed you can.

Can I view a live video feed through Umbrela app?
Absolutely.