Smart Homes

Discussion in 'The VIP Lounge' started by Andrew Pratt, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

    Curious what you guys are running at home that is generally considered as part of a smart home? I put in a Nest thermostat and two smoke / CO detectors over christmas. I love the information I now get on just what my furnace is doing but a little (ok a lot) disappointed with the software that doesn't really do what it promises to do. Still information is power and with it I can make smarter decisions but as an IT person it frustrates me to see the potential not being used. I do like the ability to monitor it remotely via an app or website and being sent email alerts if the smoke detectors go off will be nice.
  2. Rick C

    Rick C Active Member

    We are using a Nexia system that came with our house. It controls two Honeywell thermostats, door locks, video monitors and outdoor lights. I have added a few interior dimmers and controllers for lighting and have some stuff tied to sunset and home arrivals. Not sure if I will stick with Nexia in the future.
  3. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I've been pretty happy with my z-wave system. I can open or close my garage door (or check its status), lock or unlock any of my man doors, and monitor my video cameras remotely. I haven't done the thermostat yet and I only have one lighting module but its basically infinitely expandable.
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

    I'd like to add some lighting but only need it to be controlled via IR so not really smart in the common sense. We have a keypad on the front door which was money well spent with kids coming home from school etc but again I don't see a need to replace that with a 'smart' option....except being able to ensure it is locked but I'm not willing to pay $ for that feature.
  5. murrayb

    murrayb Active Member War Zone Member

    The only "smart" things that we are running are some Philips Hue lights in our living room, which is where we have the HT system. A couple of coloured lights to go behind the TV to give backlighting for the TV and ones in each of the 3 lamps in the rooms (2 of which are white lights only). It's handy being able to control the lights - including dimming them so as to reduce their reflection on the tv screen - from an ipad and play with the colours. Getting them was a case of having too much time on my hands over the holidays, coming across them on the web and thinking they'd be cool. A completely frivolous expenditure but I like them; and, more importantly, so does the better half.
  6. Max Yokell

    Max Yokell Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I have a Harmony remote which controls Hue Lights and I also have an Amazon Echo which will control my Hue lights in the bedroom.

    My door bolt on the front door is a touch pad that is Zwave compatible and I am interested in zwave but have heard things were getting more standardized so figured I would weight.

    Would like to add a couple of Nest Thermostats as well.

    Chris likes this.
  7. Steve Wright

    Steve Wright Active Member War Zone Member

    I've read that the Ecobee stats are better than Nest. Anyone have experience with either or both?
  8. John Celardo

    John Celardo Well-Known Member Donor

    Only one smart thing in my house...Maureen!
  9. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

    Just an update to the Nest thermostat. We have been having issues with the pre heat smart feature that allows you to set the temperature you want the house to be at a certain time and it then learns how long it takes to warm up the house based on outside and inside temperatures etc. That feature hasn't been reliable but there was a software push the other night that seems to have fixed it and so now I can get back to using its smarts to know when to start warming up vs my hard set rules that are more or less a worst case scenario (i.e. assuming it always takes 2 hrs to warm up regardless of how warm it is outside).

    The EcoBee's are supposed to be as good or better and they're integrate with Apple's HomeKit but they aren't nearly as popular (less well known) so while I would have considered them I was able to find a new in box used model for $100 off the Nest
  10. jasn

    jasn Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

    That's one negative with these order to be idiot proof they automatically push updates....and the one in December caused issues. At least it isn't a Microsoft product ;)
    Chris likes this.
  12. Chris

    Chris New Member

    I have a few of the Hue lights in the house. One of them is on the outside front door set to turn on at sunset and off at sunrise. If you really want to mess around you can use IFTTT to do some cool things with the lights.
  13. Chris Smith

    Chris Smith Well-Known Member

    I have a few things.

    Ring Video Doorbell
    Two rooms with Hue lights
    Main room, bedroom, and outside lights controlled by Lutron Caseta switches (HomeKit compatible)
    1 "smart" outlet that controls some track lighting that I have on my bar. It's not HomeKit compatible by itself, but I'm running a Raspberry Pi running homebridge which helps bridge a few different protocols.

    The main problem in my house is that it's over 50 years old. Electrical was to code when it was built but doesn't include a common wire at the switch which is required for most of the smart switches. The Lutron Caseta has one that works that doesn't require a common, so it's one of the few options I have.
  14. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll HTT Refugee Donor War Zone Member

    Our front porch light switch and thermostats are Z-Wave compatible, but we don't have a controller or hub. Eventually we'll get around to it, but there are higher priorities for now.
  15. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    A Nest Thermostat

    Phillips Hue System which consists of Lights for the living room, Upstairs Hall, outside, and kitchen, and 2 Phillips Hue Sensors for entering the kitchen, and upstairs hallway.

    Amazon Echo Dot, primarily used in conjunction with my Harmony Ultimate Remote for controlling my Home Theater System using my voice. I can also use Alexa to play content through Plex.

    IFTTT for turning on the Fan rather than the AC if the house reaches a specific temperature. I also use this for Geo-Fencing. When I'm heading home and near my house, the living room light turns on. If it's dark enough, the outside light will turn on as well.

    Yonomi App (simliar to IFTTT) for turning on or shutting off devices in the house in the mornings when I go to work.

    Wink Relay for use as a second Temperature Sensor for the Downstairs area. I used to have an Ecobee 3 that crapped out after 6 months and I could not get it replaced. The Wink also turns on Lights around the house, and via Blue Tooth, I can stream music from the device to my Marantz Receiver. I usually use this when I'm working out.

    I don't own a Google Home, but through the use of Google Assistant and IFTTT, I can perform the same tasks used by the Echo Dot with my Android Phone.

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