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Thread: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

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    Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Hey all,

    I'm just getting into the idea of Smart Home Tech, have already got a Nest Thermostat installed, and am about to install a Ring Video Doorbell Pro.

    Just curious what other goodies people have tried and love/recommend?

    I'm thinking Hue lightbulbs are next on my list, thinking also about a Yale Smart Lock for the front door, and getting the Amazon Echo plus as the Hub for it all.

    Any thoughts?

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by rich835 View Post
    Hey all,

    I'm just getting into the idea of Smart Home Tech, have already got a Nest Thermostat installed, and am about to install a Ring Video Doorbell Pro.

    Just curious what other goodies people have tried and love/recommend?

    I'm thinking Hue lightbulbs are next on my list, thinking also about a Yale Smart Lock for the front door, and getting the Amazon Echo plus as the Hub for it all.

    Any thoughts?
    Personally I wouldn't touch any of it, but especially an Internet connected door lock. It'd be worth seeing what your home insurer feels about that one too.

    All that said, it's probably wise to stick with one protocol. Your nest is Google, and Google home will talk to hue lights etc too. Alexa might too, but then it probably won't like your nest controller as it's from the other team.

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Forgot to mention, I also have an Echo Dot, it talks to Nest very well, I'm thinking of the Echo Plus when it comes out, as that has a smart hub built in.

    I also have an Nvidia Shield, which runs on Android of course, surprisingly that won't talk to the Nest thermostat!

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Nice to see a thread like this i have the following setup and i'll list pros and cons i've encountered - I'm actually looking to add the nest to my setup as echo plus is new i never had that option

    Equipment

    Samsung Smart Things Hub
    2 Lifx Coloured Bulbs - these are wifi so can be controlled by app or even via smarthings hub
    1 white Ikea Blub - this is based on ZigBee protocol which is supported by smarthings and easily connects
    Several ZWAVE plugs
    Bose Sound Touch 10 speaker
    Amazon Echo Dot

    All these items i can control from my Smarthings App apart from echo dot - but that has actually replaced my app now and i use the echo dot to control all the equipment

    The issues i've encountered with the lightning is the Lifx blubs seems to on occasions stop responding to requests from smarthings hub or echo dot - i'm not sure if they losing wifi or the service is down - it's very rare i think had it twice in a year

    Where as i found the ikea bulb which cost a lot less more reliable and also if someone turns of light switch and you turn back on it will respond quicker - lifx will work but it takes them like 30 secs to min to reconnect before they controlable

    Saying that the lifx are brighter bulbs and for my living room i think the ikea bulb would not be bright enough - also lifx bulbs are now apple home kit compatible

    I did consider Phillips hue but i did not want another box on top of all the other things - also because smartthings supports more protocols from zigbee and zwave - was best option at the time

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    I'm nearly ready to install Lightwaverf light switches - as far as I know they are the only IoT light switches that replace, without rewiring, a conventional light switch - they are always on, using 0.5W,which us not enough to light up a bulb.
    Only thing stopping me is that, for example, my bedroom has 3 switches, quite a dear upgrade.

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    I have gone quite far down this route so far..

    Smartthings Hub
    Hive Heating and Hot Water
    Hue Bulbs (11 so far)
    Amazon Echo and Dots
    Yale Lock
    Aeon Siren
    Smartthings Leak Sensor
    Smartthings Motion and Door Sensors
    Smartthings Power Switch
    Logitech Harmony Remote

    When you start building your system, my first piece of advice is to stick with one control sytem for everything. I use the Smartthings hub and its community webcore app for more advanced control setup but the hue app and hive app are all just pointed at smartthings so I only have one place to configure everything.

    There are three main protocols that are used - Zwave, Zigbee and ifttt. Zwave and zigbee are the control system for the in house devices while ifttt links the services like Hive, Alexa, Logitech together via the web.

    For smart locks - Direct line have a good piece https://www.directline.com/home-insu...re-smart-locks and they do state that these do not affect your insurance.

    Let me know if you want any further info on all this.

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Do any of those work with UK lighting wiring, or do you have do the out of sensible reach cost of 48 quid a bulb?

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by snedger View Post
    Do any of those work with UK lighting wiring, or do you have do the out of sensible reach cost of 48 quid a bulb?
    Most, if not all, On/Off light switches require the US style wiring, that is L/N/N, so you have to buy bulbs and leave the light switch on.

    The LightwaveRF switches are dimmers, so never truly off, so I believe they work fine.

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    I don't get the purpose of an internet-connected lock, could someone explain?

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    I don't get the purpose of an internet-connected lock, could someone explain?
    The one I've seen is it allows you to let people in when you're not there, such as giving a delivery person a one time code to allow them to leave a parcel inside your house.

    Quite what your home insurance company will say if said delivery person robs you blind is anyone's guess.

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Step 1: hide key

    Step 2: tell delivery person / airbnb guest where it is

    *or*

    Step 1: get internet-connected door lock

    Step 2: hackers laugh at how naive the door lock companies are, either or both hack their servers or target your specific lock, come to your address when they otherwise would have just stayed at home

    Just seems dumb to me.

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    Step 1: hide key

    Step 2: tell delivery person / airbnb guest where it is

    *or*

    Step 1: get internet-connected door lock

    Step 2: hackers laugh at how naive the door lock companies are, either or both hack their servers or target your specific lock, come to your address when they otherwise would have just stayed at home

    Just seems dumb to me.
    Me too. It was the example given to me, I didn't find it compelling at all.

    There's not a chance in hell I'm connecting anything that allows access to my home to the Internet.

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by spacein_vader View Post
    ....

    Quite what your home insurance company will say if said delivery person robs you blind is anyone's guess.
    From wbat I can make out, insurers generally expect householders to 'secure' theud property properly, and take the attitude that the absence of clear evidence of forced entry, like a broken window or kicked in door, as evidence that you must have firgotten to lock up, or left a window open.

    If a remote lock was of good quality, it couldn't be hacked so you must've given someone the code You didn't? Well, if you installed a hackable door lock, sir .... then you clearly failed to adequately secure the property.

    Either way, you're at fault.

    Cynic? Me?
    Noli nothis permittere te terere.


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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    From wbat I can make out, insurers generally expect householders to 'secure' theud property properly, and take the attitude that the absence of clear evidence of forced entry, like a broken window or kicked in door, as evidence that you must have firgotten to lock up, or left a window open.

    If a remote lock was of good quality, it couldn't be hacked so you must've given someone the code You didn't? Well, if you installed a hackable door lock, sir .... then you clearly failed to adequately secure the property.

    Either way, you're at fault.

    Cynic? Me?
    That's entirely my take. Someone linked the other day to Direct Lines policy on smart locks and it said "smart locks will not alter your policy". Which I took to mean exactly as you describe. Just like a standard lock, if it's picked then they won't pay out.

    The difference is a smart lock can be picked from anywhere in the world, not just your doorstep.

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    Re: Smart Home Gadget recommendations?

    For me, I'm quite happy to install a smart lock.

    I think that if you have a security camera and an obvious alarm installed, that's a massive deterrent for a would be thief, before they even get to see that you have a smart lock and try to hack it.

    I would make sure that those things are in place first, and that my WiFi is secure, down to MAC address access only.

    It's all about good deterrents. Let's face it, a would be thief could pop a double glazing window out in a matter of seconds. I've seen removal guys do that just to get furniture in the house!

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