Philips Lighting Hue White and Color (second generation)  If the lighting of your home is to a large extent in the ceiling and controlled by a switch on the wall, you can use this stupid Instead, replace switch with intelligent switches and dimmers. That's because a smart lightbulb gets dumb as soon as you turn off the switch that controls it. Leviton, TP-Link, Lutron, Ecobee, and other manufacturers make smart light switches that work on your Wi-Fi network and do not need a central hub. Take a look at the Noon Home system, which offers a sophisticated but relatively expensive lighting control system.
If you use bulbs for most of your lights, you can turn the light on and off with a smart plug like the Wemo Mini. and dimm his stupid bulb – with a smartphone app.
What's more convenient than tearing out your smartphone to dim the lights in the movie night? Say "dim the lights" and have a smart speaker connected to your smart lighting. The Amazon Echo series and the Google Home series are the market leaders in this field. And while Amazon has taken the lead in recent years – it has a much larger installed base, has enjoyed much broader support and had the only smart speakers with ads for a time – Google is making great headway.
A display adds many features to a smart speaker. You can watch movies, stream a live feed from your private surveillance camera, use two of them as a home video intercom, and even make video calls (devices with no display can make voice calls)
The digital assistants of the two companies – Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant – are increasingly being found in unique third-party products. Ecobee has the courage to echo into its Ecobee4 smart thermostat and the Ecobee Switch + smart switch, while Lenovo first introduced Google Home displays equipped with displays (the Lenovo Smart Display series).
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And Because these smart speakers are so well received by other manufacturers of smart home devices, they have become independent hubs and serve as a central point of interaction for everything from smart lights to home security Cameras, and show video feeds from the latter to connected TVs or their own displays, if any.
Few smart home devices can match the ability of a smart thermostat to deliver both comfort and cost / energy savings. These devices go far beyond creating a heating and cooling schedule based on when you are at home to enjoy these benefits. You may recognize
if you are at home and if you are not at home for your HVAC system to work only when needed.
The Ecobee4 is our favorite intelligent thermostat. It not only uses sensors to heat or cool your air conditioner based on the room you're working in, but also a built-in Amazon Echo smart speaker.
The latest trend at this front is to equip thermostats with sensors that allow you to use the most frequently used rooms so that the thermostat works based on your whereabouts instead of triggering heating and cooling cycles based on the location of the thermostat, which normally takes place only in a corridor. The Ecobee4 is our current favorite smart thermostat, with both sensors and integrated Amazon Echo Smart speaker. We also like the offerings from Nest Labs, the company that made the most of the market for smart thermostats.
Home Security Cameras
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A quality home security camera allows you to remain alert to your home, especially while you're away. Indoor models can help you monitor your kids and pets, while outdoor models can catch drifters – and hopefully keep them from passing.
Some models – from Ring, Netatmo and Maximus – integrate lights can brighten your path. Doorbell-integrated cameras can monitor your porch and let you interact with visitors without having to approach the door – or even be at home.
Multi-Room Audio Systems
Sophisticated multi-room speaker systems from Sonos, Yamaha (MusicCast) and Denon (HEOS) are mostly stand-alone, allowing you to place speakers in multiple rooms in your home, allowing you to enjoy music of your own Collection or from online services like Spotify to send all can be synchronous or send different tracks to each
Michael Brown / IDG
With the soundbar in front of the TV you control the Lights in your home theater? It's easy with a speaker like the Sonos Beam, which comes with Amazon's Alexa digital assistant.
Several companies have soundbars in their collections, so you can enhance your TV and movie viewing experience if you do not listen to music. In any case, a smartphone or tablet is enough to control everything. Some Sonos models even include Amazon's Alexa Assistant, which allows them to control other smart home devices.
Intelligent smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Conventional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are inherently stupid devices. Your alarms may be loud, but if no one is home to hear them, what can they do? An intelligent smoke detector also emits a local alarm, but also sends a warning to your smartphone – and anyone who authorizes you as a contact – if a hazard is detected.
Nest Labs  Nest Labs manufactures our favorite intelligent smoke and carbon monoxide detector. If you also own a Nest Smart Thermostat, the smoke detector can tell the thermostat to shut down your HVAC system in case of a fire to prevent smoke from circulating to every room in your home.
Some smart smoke detectors like The Nest Protect includes emergency lights that can help you get out of a smoke-filled house. Others, such as the new First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound, include advanced features such as an integrated smart speaker. When money is a problem, Roost offers a less expensive alternative: a smart battery that can make your existing smoke detector smarter.
Water is our most valuable resource. An intelligent irrigation system can help keep your lawn and garden hydrated enough to stay healthy and alive without wasting it. And of all the smart home subsystems you can invest in, this could least benefit from integration into a hub. Intelligent irrigation systems can also be complex, so using a custom built app is usually better.
A Word About IFTTT
IFTTT (If This Then That) is like a smart home hub in the cloud. Thousands of smart home devices can interact with thousands of other smart home devices
One of the most powerful ways to work with different smart home devices is to create a free account with IFTTT. The acronym stands for "If This Then That", a free service where an action from one device (or service) can trigger one or more other devices. IFTTT is very much like an intelligent home hub in the cloud and is widely supported – not just smart home products and services.
IFTTT is super easy to use: you simply create an applet by going to the IFTTT website and then pointing and clicking on the service or device you want to use as the trigger (the
this in If This That), link them to your IFTTT account, and then point and click on the service or device you want to enable when this trigger is activated.
If you want to give it a try, the IFTTT site contains thousands of ready-made applets that you might find useful. For example, a Philips Hue lamp will flash when an Amazon Echo timer expires. Expressed as an applet, this would be "When the timer expires on my Amazon Echo" (the
if this half of the applet), then my Philips Hue smart light bulbs will flash (the then the half of the applet). Are you ready for the start?
We listed smart home components roughly in the order in which we think most people will install them, but there is no hard and fast rule. If you think that installing an intelligent smoke detector has a higher priority than smart lighting, then you should!
If you think you want to invest in a smart home hub that combines all of these components under a single interface Make sure that all the parts you buy work with one of the most popular hubs: a Samsung SmartThings, a Wink Hub 2, an Iris by Lowe or other system that can accommodate third-party devices. Much of the ultra-cheap, generic smart home equipment you'll find when shopping will not be there. The Hub Manufacturers websites will tell you which devices everyone can support.
Adding this compatibility to your purchase criteria will maximize the value of your initial smart home investments in the long run.
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