Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Smart homes

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Smart homes

    I am curious how many here have added devices or other integration to make a smart home (nest systems, lighting, sound etc). Any thoughts, reviews etc?

    As we get closer to closing on our house I’m toying with the idea of implementing some of these items from the get go. I was resistant in the old house because I knew I’d sell it.

    I’d love to have sound in each of the main rooms downstairs controlled by zones, smart thermostats and lighting. Unsure about door locks. How safe are they?

    Any feedback or ideas from those that have implemented such items?

    #2
    I avoided 'smart' devices for a while, but I've found myself slowly adding various things. Currently, I have 2 Nests, 2 'smart' light switches, and a garage door that has connected functionality, and a TV, I suppose. I can control them through various apps from my phone, but I'm trying to figure out how I tie them all together though.

    The idea of smart door locks makes me nervous, but in reality, its no different than my garage door today.

    Comment


      #3
      I'm very interested in reading about what others have done. I'll share our limited experiences.

      I really like our Honeywell total comfort thermostat. I can control the HVAC system from my phone no matter which room I'm in. This is handy because our upstairs bedroom sometimes gets really warm in the middle of the night and needs a blast of the AC. By the way, our place was built about 1977, so had nothing in the way of tech features.

      I like our WeMo light switch for the backyard. I'm going to add more of those. Also, I added a few electrical outlets with USB chargers built in. I like those. I also want to add a garage door opener that works with a phone app.

      We also ran some HDMI and co-ax cables through the walls and behind the new crown molding when we installed that, which makes it nice to not have visible cables running all over the place. I wish I had also run some cat-5 cable as well when we had things torn open, because when we change internet providers, the new one didn't use co-ax, but cat-5 cables. I found a wireless work-around on that, but it would be better to have the cable.

      While not "smart" upgrades in the tech sense, the two biggest things in terms of livability and comfort were replacing the 40 year old windows and HVAC system a couple of years ago. We're near Los Angeles, so it gets hot. Those two changes cut our electric bill in the summer from close to $300 per month to a max of about $100.

      But even more, the AC system can actually keep the house cool. In the past, when that sun was blazing on the old windows on a 100 degree day, the old AC couldn't keep it under 80.

      In regard to music, we have computers or smart TVs in nearly every room with somewhat upgrade speakers. We have some kind of Bose blue-tooth speaker in the kitchen I never use, but my wife uses with her phone and Pandora. We just change the music when we move from room to room. No whole house system. I think that works for us better, because that allows different people to listen to different sources.
      WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by mebejoseph View Post
        I'm very interested in reading about what others have done. I'll share our limited experiences.

        I really like our Honeywell total comfort thermostat. I can control the HVAC system from my phone no matter which room I'm in. This is handy because our upstairs bedroom sometimes gets really warm in the middle of the night and needs a blast of the AC. By the way, our place was built about 1977, so had nothing in the way of tech features.

        I like our WeMo light switch for the backyard. I'm going to add more of those. Also, I added a few electrical outlets with USB chargers built in. I like those. I also want to add a garage door opener that works with a phone app.

        We also ran some HDMI and co-ax cables through the walls and behind the new crown molding when we installed that, which makes it nice to not have visible cables running all over the place. I wish I had also run some cat-5 cable as well when we had things torn open, because when we change internet providers, the new one didn't use co-ax, but cat-5 cables. I found a wireless work-around on that, but it would be better to have the cable.

        While not "smart" upgrades in the tech sense, the two biggest things in terms of livability and comfort were replacing the 40 year old windows and HVAC system a couple of years ago. We're near Los Angeles, so it gets hot. Those two changes cut our electric bill in the summer from close to $300 per month to a max of about $100.

        But even more, the AC system can actually keep the house cool. In the past, when that sun was blazing on the old windows on a 100 degree day, the old AC couldn't keep it under 80.

        In regard to music, we have computers or smart TVs in nearly every room with somewhat upgrade speakers. We have some kind of Bose blue-tooth speaker in the kitchen I never use, but my wife uses with her phone and Pandora. We just change the music when we move from room to room. No whole house system. I think that works for us better, because that allows different people to listen to different sources.
        Aside from my Nests, (my first 'smart home' purchase), I have loved my WeMo light switches. They also control outside lighting. Previously, we'd forget to turn off our garage/driveway lights countless nights and I'd either just leave them on or have to go all the way down to our garage to turn them off for the night. Since getting the WeMo, I set a timer so they go on and off automatically during the day, but many other times, I've either been doing stuff outside at dusk and have been able to kick them on remotely, or turn them on for us if we're getting home late, etc. It's great.

        Comment


          #5
          [MENTION=3886]drocpsu[/MENTION] I was like you. For a long while I avoided smart home stuff. But slowly they have been making their way in to my house.

          +1 on the Wemo light switch. I have one for our font door and love it. I've been able to program the light on our front door to go on and off according to our schedules and it's been great. Not only that if the light gets left on accidentally, I'm able to remotely turn it off. Can't speak highly enough of the light switch.

          I also have two Wemo plus and they are great too. I use them for 'dumb' lights and I'm able to set timers on them.

          Finally, I just installed a Mysa thermostat last night. I'm looking forward to programming it so the living room heats up by the time we get up in the morning. Then I can have the temperature cool down during the day when we're at work only to come on again before we get home. With that said I just installed the thermostat so I haven't had a chance to really muck around with it yet.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by hockeysc23 View Post
            Unsure about door locks. How safe are they?

            Any feedback or ideas from those that have implemented such items?
            I've wondered about door locks and about front door cameras.

            I've read that with keypad locks, one of the dangers is that a would-be bugler can look at the keypads to see which numbers are worn and figure out the combination.

            Also, with locks that unlock with an app, I have not seen any that work with deadbolt locks. I wouldn't depend on just the doorknob lock.
            WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

            Comment


              #7
              I just have an echo Dot in the bedroom that controls our mood lights, and a battery bank/speaker combo for it when we take it to the garage gym.

              Just saw that if you have a Spotify premium family account, you can sign up to get a free Google Home mini starting tomorrow.

              Comment


                #8
                The Chamberlain Garage door opener with "MyQ" is fantastic. Open the garage door from your phone and thus, in my case, not leave a garage remote in a car parked outside, where someone could use it to break in.

                I use Sonos for music, and we got an Alexa Dot for Christmas. It works pretty well as a shopping list keeper, Sonos remote, and random question answering machine. Yelling "Alexa stop" to cut the music is easier than fumbling with a phone on my way out the door or walking with 2 dinner plates in hand.

                Just a note on Sonos - you can listen to different music in every room that has a device. I have a bunch of old music on a Mac, streaming music from Amazon, Apple Music, Podcasts, Pandora, XM, tune-in radio ... I won't ever run out of stuff to listen to.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Awesome responses so far. I appreciate it gents.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I too like the Chamberlain garage door opener and app. It’s great for when you’re on vacation and have that panicked moment when you think you may have left it open. Check the app to see, and close it from the app if it is open. (My opener also lets you set it to close after a certain amount of time being open, so there’s that, too.)

                    I also have a SkyBell doorbell camera, which is even more valuable. It can alert my phone when someone rings the bell or if there’s motion, which is great for monitoring things while away (especially if the kids are home alone or I’m waiting for a package). I can even have a conversation with whoever’s at the door. My setup stores video footage in the cloud, so there’s a monthly cost. It’s rolled into my security system’s monthly fee.

                    There are security concerns about these devices, but consumers don’t need to worry about most of them. The devices typically sit behind your home router and are pretty well isolated from the Internet, except when they need to connect back to a central service (like for uploading video). It does pay to keep an eye out for updates from the vendors in case new vulnerabilities are discovered, but it’s pretty unlikely somebody’s going to take over your house this way. (Source: information security is my field.)


                    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Sonos has REALLY ticked me off. I like the system BUT...

                      You used to be able to control the speakers/volume from the lock screen on your phone. But the most recent update to the Sonos controller has taken that feature away because they are trying to push users to their Alexa voice activated speakers.

                      I read on the interwebs about this, so I refused to update my system (as I have the older, non-voice activated speakers). Then the other day I go to use the system and BOOM! I couldn't use it unless I updated the operating system. Sonos had effectively locked me out of my own speakers, speakers that I own and paid for, unless I did their system update.

                      I did the update because I couldn't use the speakers unless I did.

                      So not impressed.
                      Last edited by DocDave; October 31, 2018, 11:28 PM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        While certainly not a smart device, the home (built by my wife's grandfather, who was quite the thinker) we're getting ready to move into has three separate thermostats for different zones of the house. Because it has boiler heat, we can activate different areas of heat to keep it nice and chilly in the master bedroom, while keeping the family room/kitchen toasty for company. I'm looking forward to seeing how it works day to day.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I started with a Samsung Smartthings hub a few years ago, mostly because they have tried to have an open system instead of proprietary. I started with a handful of motion detectors, three light bulbs, door sensors, and a siren connected. I was also able to add each iPhone in our household as a presence device to trigger various actions depending upon people leaving the house or coming home. I have also added a couple of WeMo switches that work perfectly with the Smartthings hub. Last year I added two Arlo Pro cameras, one for the front of my house and one for the back. The Arlo Pros are great by themselves but can also be integrated with the Smartthings hub. I can use the motion sensing of the cameras to trigger things like lights coming on.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by DocDave View Post
                            [MENTION=3886]drocpsu[/MENTION] I was like you. For a long while I avoided smart home stuff. But slowly they have been making their way in to my house.

                            +1 on the Wemo light switch. I have one for our font door and love it. I've been able to program the light on our front door to go on and off according to our schedules and it's been great. Not only that if the light gets left on accidentally, I'm able to remotely turn it off. Can't speak highly enough of the light switch.

                            I also have two Wemo plus and they are great too. I use them for 'dumb' lights and I'm able to set timers on them.

                            Finally, I just installed a Mysa thermostat last night. I'm looking forward to programming it so the living room heats up by the time we get up in the morning. Then I can have the temperature cool down during the day when we're at work only to come on again before we get home. With that said I just installed the thermostat so I haven't had a chance to really muck around with it yet.
                            This is how I have my bedroom Nest set. It turns slightly up at night before we go to bed, turns down a bit overnight, turning back up a bit for the morning hours, and then turns down for the rest of the day until the evening again. In a room that's only 'actively' used a couple times a day, its an awesome way not to waste power with it being heated 24/7.
                            Last edited by drocpsu; November 1, 2018, 08:20 AM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              We got dad an echo show and us the smaller echo spot.
                              He can video chat us, or our phone, by just saying "computer call mike." Something so easy dementia hasn't been able to take away so far.
                              I also set his side to allow "drop in" which means he doesn't have to answer for our calls to go through, cause if he gets confused he panics and won't know how to accept the call.

                              Since then we have added wemo's for inside and outdoor lights, a nest thermostat, and a robot vacuum. They are all tied together. For those wanting to tie together even more, double check if your smart voice device needs an additional hub. The timer settings on the wemo'ed lights are great for people like me with time blindness.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X