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Thread: Are you running any smart home devices?

  1. #1
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    Are you running any smart home devices?

    I'm educating myself on the smart home devices and I like what many of them can do and do for me. Do any of you have experiences with these devices?
    Last edited by Dennis Peacock; 01-30-2018 at 10:16 PM.
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  2. #2
    I've had a smart/wi-fi thermostat for a few years. I wouldn't pay the $200+ price tag some new ones cost, but for a bit cheaper off of Craigslist, it's nice being able to warm up the house after I'm away for a long weekend before I get home. My father has a detached barn and uses one to turn on the heat as he eats breakfast so it's warm by the time he makes it out there.

    I also have a couple of Amazon Echo Dot's-- one in the dining room/kitchen area and one in the shop. For $30 (used or on sale around the holidays), we use them mostly to stream music, check the news in the morning, or get the weather forecast. Especially for the shop and kitchen it's nice to be able to play or change music even if your hands aren't free.

    Finally, my home alarm system and camera system aren't "smart" per se, but they are accessible via the web. It's useful to be able to check on things from work or open the garage remotely, etc.
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  3. #3
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    I haven't taken that plunge yet, Dennis, but will be interested to learn more from this thread.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Love my amazon echo. The list feature (grocery, hardware store, Costco, etc...) timers (Alexa, set a timer for 17 minutes), and music streaming, plus a quick weather or traffic check alone are worth it to me. But I also have it set up to control (so far) the basement lights, including my shop. So when I can't remember if I left the shop lights on, it's simple to tell Alexa to shut them off. I plan to add a high current module so I can control the air compressor in the basement so when I want to use air in the garage (I ran a line out there) I don't have to go downstairs to fire up the compressor. I don't use the compressor that often so I don't leave it turned on.

  5. #5
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    I have a Honeywell wifi thermostat (color touchscreen) at home, and 3 at our church. Wonderful devices, especially the ones at church because I can warm/cool it a couple hours before a non-regular event or meeting. Plus they are set to email me warnings if the temps are out of a range I set.

    We also have a security system with a tablet as the main device, so if I need to let someone in from across the country, I can set a temp code (or disarm it), and they can use the codepad on the garage door to get in.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Roehl View Post
    We also have a security system with a tablet as the main device, so if I need to let someone in from across the country, I can set a temp code (or disarm it), and they can use the codepad on the garage door to get in.
    You aren't concerned that someone could hack your home WiFi and get in and rob you? This along with house door locks that are controllable remotely I would never have.
    George

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  7. #7
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    I have two Samsung SmartCams at my cabin, 4 hours north. They do the typical camera things like sore video after motion sensing. They used to hang up and need to be reset but I had to drive the 4 hours 220+ miles to go there. I bought some wi-fi smartplugs (don't recal the brand right now) and they connect to the internet so I can remotely turn them on and off, so now each camera is plugged into a smartplug and I can restart my SmartCams remotely via an app on my phone. The smartplugs were about $15 ea and well worth it. I also have 3 wi-fi temperature sensors from Accurite that I can access via a smartphone app to monitor the indoor and outdoor temperatures at my cabin. Also an older telephone modem controller that is tied to my propane fireplace stove up there. I can call it up and turn it on the day before we head up so the place is nice and toasty when we get there.

  8. #8
    I only have a smart thermostat which came with the new hvac system and I thought I would not use it but I like that I can check if the heating is working when not home but líll doubt that I will get any device that is voice activated since they creep me out.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Bokros View Post
    You aren't concerned that someone could hack your home WiFi and get in and rob you? This along with house door locks that are controllable remotely I would never have.
    Using current high-security protocols and complex passwords makes for a system that's pretty secure from all but expert hackers with heavy-duty computing devices. The average thief doesn't bother with that kind of thing...they break in physically, snatch and grab. Most WiFi "hacks", which are really "cracks", result from folks not configuring their gateway device for the proper level of security and insistence on using less-complex passcodes. Good security also means turning off any carrier "public sharing" mesh capability, such as XFinity WiFi...
    -----

    Jason, your mention of the thermostats is interesting to me. Not for our house, but for my shop. Trudging out there on a cold morning to raise up the heat setting with only one eye open is getting old... And now that I have the network extended out there...it's doable!
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 01-31-2018 at 10:46 AM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
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    We have a smart thermostat and just got some Hue lighting. So far, so good.
    Shawn

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    "I resent having to use my brain to do your thinking"

  11. #11
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    This is an interesting thread.
    Not smart home related but LOML gave me a WiFi based weather station for Christmas and it's a lot of fun being able to see the inside/outside temps, wind speed, etc. from my phone, anywhere, anytime.
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  12. #12
    I installed a $35 smart wall switch from Amazon during the holidays. It controls an exterior receptacle that we use for Christmas lights. From the smartphone app, I can turn the receptacle/lights on and off and set up as complex a timer program as I like, including on/off times tied to sunrise and sunset. It's really cool and makes the old appliance dial type timers look primitive. And the wall switch works manually on the wall just like the old one, so think of all the smart phone functionality as being "in addition to" not in place of.

  13. #13
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    I am considering a smart thermostat, like the Nest or Ecobee4 plus adding an Amazon Echo to the bedroom to replace a broken alarm clock.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  14. #14
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    Does my wife count?

    Any time my fat old lazy butt wants something I just yell for her.
    Every loaf of bread is a tragic tale of grains that could've become beer.......but didn't....

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    Does my wife count?

    Any time my fat old lazy butt wants something I just yell for her.
    Is her name Alexa?

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