Smart Home Tech

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by cstrunk, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. cstrunk

    cstrunk Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2006
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    Tyler, TX
    I'm in the process of buying my first house. I've been casually looking into ways that I could use smart technology to improve security, save energy, make life easier, and provide some entertainment value.

    I will probably get the Amazon Echo to start, then start doing things like installing smart lights and smart outlets. I'll be looking into something like a Nest thermostat and some kind of security system sometime shortly thereafter.

    Anyone have knowledge or experience with smart home tech that can give feedback or recommendations?

    TIA!
     
  2. stormchaser2014

    stormchaser2014 Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2012
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    I have automated ceiling mounted machine gun turrets.
     
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  3. DSMCy

    DSMCy Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2013
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    I'm slowly buying similar products.
    I've got a Nest thermostat, 2 Nest Protects, and a few TP Link smart outlets.

    My first recommendation is to buy your own wireless router so you can control security.
    I have a dedicated network with my Nest products on it. I limit it to those devices and I don't broadcast the SSID.
     
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  4. alarson

    alarson Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2006
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    I'm just kind of getting into this as well.

    I've so far liked lutron's caseta switches, as i much prefer still having the switch option on the wall, rather than having to use an app or an echo\home every time i want to turn the lights on and off. There is a limit on how many devices can go on a hub though..

    As far as a smart thermostat goes, you may want to look into the ecobee4. It has remote sensors so it can read the temperature in various rooms and adapt to the room you're in. Also, Nest hasnt released a new version in quite awhile, which seems really odd for such a leading-edge company.

    The next area i'm looking at is getting a samsung smartthings hub for some other devices.
     
  5. isu22andy

    isu22andy Active Member

    Sep 17, 2012
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    The smartest way to improve security is probably buy an ADT Security sign off eBay and stick it in your lawn.
     
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  6. alarson

    alarson Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2006
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    That just lets criminals know there's something worth stealing.
     
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  7. BCClone

    BCClone Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2011
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    I can get the security and entertainment for you. Put cameras showing outside your house and point one at the bedroom window of the hot neighbor woman.
     
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  8. AgronAlum

    AgronAlum Active Member

    Jul 12, 2014
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    I was looking at big ass fans trying to convince my SO into one and ran across these made by the same folks. I was scared to look at a price so I didn't but they look awesome. They are made by the folks behind big ass fans.

    https://www.haikuhome.com/learn-more-haiku-light
     
  9. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2006
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    I believe the new ecobee has Echo built in.
     
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  10. LowOverhead

    LowOverhead New Member

    Jun 15, 2015
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    When shopping for home automation, find out if schedules and calculations are stored locally or in the cloud. The dependability of your Internet connection affects the reliability of your lighting systems or security measures, if schedules and or calculations are performed in the cloud.

    Also a dedicated security system will have a cellular connection to a call center. Not something a home automation system (i.e. Iris, Smartthings, or Nest) purchased from say Lowe's, Best Buy or etc may have.
     
  11. clonebb

    clonebb Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2015
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    I am going to start with a garage door wifi adapter so I can open and close with my phone. Then door locks so when I say goodnight Siri everything will lock and the door will be down. Since I already have a hub in my Apple TV I am going with all HomeKit supported products.

    I am intrigued by what I will be able to do once I have geofencing setup.

    If you go with echo, do you have remote capabilities? Can you set scenes and do automation
     
  12. CRScyclone

    CRScyclone New Member

    Jun 11, 2010
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    I started getting a few products for my house. Keep in mind the security of the system. From the research I have done Apple is more secure then smart things or echo. Also, get your own wifi router, don't use the wifi on the router that the cable company gives you.

    I have an ecobee and I really like it.
    I also have Phillips Hue lights. They are a bit more expensive then some of the other brands that have come out over the last few years, but they have more options to add to the system. Which means as you add stuff to your house you should not have to worry about having to add a second lighting system.
    The wifi garage control is great. I have LiftMaster.
     
  13. wxman1

    wxman1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2008
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    SimpliSafe is much more affordable than any other home security system while still having monitoring. No contracts and runs off of the cellular network so no phone line is needed.

    http://simplisafe.com/
     
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  14. JY07

    JY07 Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2009
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    I'd also recommend buying smart light switches over individual smart light bulbs: it'll be cheaper and it's unlikely you'll need to control each light bulb individually opposed to in a group/room
     
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  15. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    I've been happy with everything Hue that I've got in the house but when it came to outside lighting I decided that it made more sense to just buy lights that automatically turn on when it gets dark rather than smart lights.

    Philips LED Dusk to Dawn Bulb 3 Pack

     
  16. Stewo

    Stewo Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
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    I've never heard of that before. Such a fantastic idea. I've looked at timers that you install in place of light switches and they seem to fail quite frequently. Love this idea.
     
  17. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    Same here and the base if movable so the sensor can be moved. It is a little weird when lights right next to each other start a few minutes apart because of the light but pretty happy with them so far.
     
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  18. JY07

    JY07 Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2009
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    Along those same lines, I have a scene setup in our hub that turns on the outside garage lights at dusk, then there's another scene that triggers at 11pm or so that turns off those lights and shuts the garage doors if they're open and locks the deadbolt if it's not locked.
     
  19. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2012
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    I am a big "smart home" fan. I'd recommend not going down that road as it gets very expensive eventually . . . [​IMG]

    I am a Z-wave guy, and prefer the "hub based" solution. I had a Vera and it sucked, so I'm with Homeseer now. It's expensive, but rock solid. Smartthings is another popular one, that I've never used.

    I have some smart bulbs, but agree that the switches are better. It's good to have local control over things.

    I also don't like the Echo's of the world, but that's just a matter of personal preference.
     
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  20. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    I have it so if I hit Alexa "watch TV" it will turn on my TV and all the gear and if it's past sunset it will turn on a coffee table light. I need to figure out how to automate my fan.
     

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