Smart Home Overview

2018-01-17T23:22:39+00:00 January 15th, 2018|Home Automation|0 Comments

Having a Smart Home is all about controlling the devices in your home.  It is about controlling things by remote control, voice, or even triggered events based on weather, time of day, or location.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to guide you through automating your house.  You don’t need professionals to install things and you don’t need to be a technical guru.  My goals are the following for any technology introduced into my house:

  • The device has to be easy to use with little to no training to use.

  • Nothing is permanent.  I should easily be able to replace the device with the newer, better model when it comes along.

  • The device should integrate with everything else.

  • Most importantly, a guest should be able to enter the house and operate everything as if they were at home.  The “automation” should over-ride normal usage.

Think of Using Your Voice to Trigger Actions

Time for Bed” and the TV turns off, downstairs lights turn off, the thermostat goes into energy save mode, the stairwell lights and your bedroom lights turn on.

What can I do with Home Automation?

Just about anything!  Think of your routine tasks when you move around the house.  You never just do one thing when you enter a room.  Here are some examples, I’m sure you can come up with more.

  • Watching TV –  You don’t just walk in the room and turn the TV on.  What about the lights, temperature, blinds, ceiling fan?  Dim the family room lights, turn the TV on, and set the thermostat automatically.
  • Dusk – As the sun goes down, I have the back deck light turn on automatically for when the dog goes out his doggie door.
  • Ordered Food Delivery – The front porch, flood lights, and foyer lights are turned on.
  • Time for bed – Turn off all the downstairs lights, outside lights, and the TV.  Then turn on the stairwell lights and the bedroom lights.
  • Coming home – If it is dark outside, turn on the flood lights. Open the garage door and unlock the door to the house. Turn the thermostat to a comfortable setting and turn the entry lights on.
  • Away from home – Turn the lights on or off while you’re out of town. Set the thermostat to a power save mode.  Check the front door for delivered packages.

Here is what I’ve done… so far

Here is a list of everything I’ve installed in our house.  For each of the devices I’ve installed, there are dozens of competitor products.  I typically spend hours researching products and comparing technical specs and usability.  I’m not planning on going into a complete product comparisons thing for each, but I will list the primary reasons for selecting each product.

  • Family Room (where we watch TV)
    • 65” Samsung 4k TV
    • Apple TV 4k
    • Logitech Remote
    • Philips Hue and Hue Compatible light bulbs
    • Nest thermostat
    • Amazon Echo
    • Orbi Satellite
  • Kitchen & Kitchen Table
    • Lutron Caseta light switches
      • Kitchen lights
      • Kitchen table chandelier
      • Flood lights
      • Deck lights
    • Amazon Echo Show
  • Keeping Room
    • Wemo outlets for bookshelf lights
    • Philips Hue lights
    • 2 Sonos Play:5 speakers
  • Foyer
    • Schlage Sense Door Lock
    • Ring Doorbell
    • Lutron Caseta light switches
      • Foyer chandelier
      • Front porch light
      • Flood lights
    • Nest Protect fire detector
  • Garage
    • LiftMaster JackShaft Garage Door opener with MyQ gateway
    • Striker Garage Lights
    • Sonos Play:1 speaker
    • SkyDrop lawn sprinkler system
  • Master Bedroom
    • Philips Hue and Hue compatible lights
    • Lutron Caseta light switches
    • Amazon Echo Dot
    • Sonos Play:1 speaker
    • Nest thermostat
    • Nest protect
  • Basement Office
    • Philips Hue lights
    • Amazon Echo Dot
    • Orbi Satellite Router
    • Comcast Business (Router in Bridge Mode)

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