Smart Home Accessory Review
Perhaps our first real familiarity with the idea of smarthomes originated in pop culture, The Jetsons, Tony Stark (Iron Man), Disney Channel’s “Smart House” (1999). But now our perception has changed to a more realistic view.
Automated home security, lights, audio systems and more are all possibilities of the present.
So you have a smart home hub like the Amazon Echo or Google Home, but how do you use it to control all of these things? If you are looking to venture into the world of automation within the home these are some good places to start.
The Apple Home Kit
If you are an Apple product fan you may want to try out the Apple Home Kit. This hub allows you to control all compatible smart home products (lights, shades, thermostat, locks, outlets, garage doors, security systems and more) remotely from your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Apple TV. Unfortunately if you are more of an Android fan, this isn’t for you.
Phillips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit
This white light dimming kit itself cannot pair with the Echo or and other larger set-up without the purchase of the Phillips Hue Bridge, but if you are looking for an easy way to control up to 10 lights per remote without setting up or using a hub, this is the way to go. This easy to install and customizable kit is a great first step into home automation.
Lutron Serena Remote Controlled Shades
These smart shades are pricey, but they are easy to use and to install. However, as far as smart capabilities go these shades are lacking in a few key areas. They can be programmed to open and close at certain times, but if you would like them to conserve heat and open and close based on temperature you have to use a third party app. These shades are compatible with Siri, and use the Apple Home Kit and the Caseta Bridge plug, but as anyone knows Siri is very particular and doesn’t always work to it’s full potential. While the shades have cons, they are also compatible with a longer list of other smart home products than many other smart shades.
Nest Home Accessories: Learning Thermostat, Smoke and CO Alarm, Indoor and Outdoor Cameras
All of these accessories are able to be set up in a larger hub using Google Home and Amazon Echo. The thermostat works with your schedules and learns your patterns to save you energy and money. With it’s smart eco-friendly temperature alerts and sleek design, Nest’s thermostat is both effective and attractive. In the same regard, the smoke and CO alarm is able to send notifications to your phone, identify fast and slow burning fires and locate where CO leaks are in your home. And perhaps the most impressive, the indoor and outdoor cameras are able to record, use intercom, and, with a subscription fee for Nest Aware you can access your video history up to 30 days later. You will also get alerts on your phone when the camera sees a person, and never lose power, as the cameras plug in rather than use battery power.
Blink Home Security System
If the idea of wired in home security sounds like too much for you, the Blink system is small but effective. These tiny battery powered cameras have a guaranteed battery life of two years, and replacing the batteries is easy, as they are powered by replaceable AA Lithium batteries. Motion detection, temperature sensors, Echo compatibility and tons of other features have put this home security system on the radar of CNN, Business Insider, Forbes and tons of other publications.
With the addition of these products into your home the smarthome once only referenced in pop culture is closer than you think.