• Do you want a “Smart Home” (or maybe just a smarter home)?

    April 29, 2017 | Blog | admin
  • If your answer is yes, the Guru has some suggestions. 

    Decide if you want some specific gadgets or an “integrated” smart home.  You’re likely in the specific gadgets category and here is a suggestion or two.

    First, what problem do you want to solve or what daily task to simplify?  If you want to adjust your kitchen lights from bed, then get a smart light switch or bulbs. If you want to identify that strange guy at the front door when you’re away, then get a smart video doorbell.  The Guru has one and he loves it!

    Eventually you may want to add another device with intriguing implications - at that point the Guru suggests you weigh the benefits of adding something designed to work with the first device versus something that will remain completely independent.

    If you are an “integrated” smart homer, you should probably start with an overall control system. Instead of a collection of gadgets, you are going for a system where everything works together. This usually means a hub like SmartThings or Wink. These hubs work with the most popular wireless protocols (Z-Wave being the primary one), and allow users to pick from a wide assortment of compatible devices. The planning and programming phase may take some time and is best for people who like to tinker, test and try out new things (or call the Guru for some expert advice!).

    Many folk already have some home automation: a Nest thermostat, a web-connected surveillance camera, an Amazon Echo.  For you, you need to worry if it will work with another you just bought?

    Your first purchases may influence later buying choices. Having devices that work together is convenient, especially if you have a lot of devices, but if you have only a few and are comfortable opening a separate app for your smart smoke alarm and another for your smart water sensor, Guru says that you will be O.K.

    It’s OK to have a Wi-Fi camera and a Wi-Fi thermostat that don’t talk to each other. You may, however, be missing out on some features. For instance, if your thermostat and camera work together, the geofencing built into your camera can trigger your thermostat to adjust the temperature when you leave the house. Guru thinks that might be valuable.  

    The Guru thinks that the Amazon Echo and Dots are probably the things you will use the most. They connect to the lights, can run a home theater, keep shopping lists, read you the morning news and play music.  Happy Smart Home!