Exploring Smart Home Technology and Products

Welcome to AppMyHome exploring the Smart Home technology and products available for the Home, the Kitchen and Travel. We test and review the products in our own home, our friends and relatives. Our stories and videos are about the experience and the usage. We keep a list of the products we use in Our Smart Home Devices section so you too can have a Smart Home like ours.


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2018 Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

2018 Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to our fifth annual smart home holiday gift guide. Since we made our first shopping recommendations in 2014 we have watched the smart home ...


2018 Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

2018 Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to our fifth annual smart home holiday gift guide. Since we made our first shopping recommendations in 2014 we ...

A Smarter Light for Our Yard: the Maximus Camera Floodlight

A Smarter Light for Our Yard: the Maximus Camera Floodlight

We upgraded our side yard security with the Maximus Camera Floodlight and Kuna Artificial Intelligence. Like many homeowners, we have ...

Sleek and Stylish Smart Lock – the Kwikset Obsidian

Sleek and Stylish Smart Lock – the Kwikset Obsidian

We upgraded our smart home recently with a sleek and stylish keyless smart lock from Kwikset – the Obsidian. When ...

Smart Home Cooking with Martha & Marley Spoon

Smart Home Cooking with Martha & Marley Spoon

Here at AppMyHome we love technology and we love to eat. For the last several years we have been using ...

Smart Home at CEDIA Expo 2018

Smart Home at CEDIA Expo 2018

Last week AppMyHome attended the CEDIA Expo in San Diego, the annual gathering of professionals in the $14 billion home ...

Making our bed smart with Sleeptracker

Making our bed smart with Sleeptracker

Like most data geeks, we have been experimenting with tracking our sleep for years as part of our quest to ...

Smart Entry with Nexx Garage

Smart Entry with Nexx Garage

We have been using the Chamberlain MyQ garage door opener for years and it was one of the very first ...

Filling our fountains with the B-hyve hose faucet timer

Filling our fountains with the B-hyve hose faucet timer

When we first moved into our home and landscaped our garden, we included two fountains, one on the front porch ...

Alarm Clock with Alexa inside – the iHome iAVS16

Alarm Clock with Alexa inside – the iHome iAVS16

When we got our very first Amazon Echo we weren’t sure exactly what to do with it. We had been ...

Smart Meditation with Headspace Alexa Skill

Smart Meditation with Headspace Alexa Skill

Regular meditation doesn’t require any technology, but it can relieve stress, unleash creativity, and help you cope with all kinds ...

Our Smart Vitamix

Our Smart Vitamix

As aspiring home chefs and fans of Top Chef and other cooking shows, we have been coveting a Vitamix for ...

Make an Old Lock Smart – Kevo Convert Review

Make an Old Lock Smart – Kevo Convert Review

We have been using Kevo Touch-to-Open Smart Locks, together with the Kevo Plus, for several years now and have been generally ...

Smart Sleep Temperature with BedJet

Smart Sleep Temperature with BedJet

Temperature can be one of the biggest challenges to falling and staying asleep. In the summer we kick off the ...

Our Mother has gone offline

Our Mother has gone offline

It looks like another IoT product has outlived its useful life – today we discovered that our Sen.se Mother has ...

GE Smart Motion Sensor and Touch Sensing Smart Dimmer

GE Smart Motion Sensor and Touch Sensing Smart Dimmer

Since our recent story about GE smart switches and outlets, built by Jasco, we have received two more of their ...

GE Smart Switches built by Jasco

GE Smart Switches built by Jasco

When you think about starting to automate your home, you may ask yourself, smart light bulbs or smart switches? While ...

Attractive Smart Home Security from Maximus Lighting

Attractive Smart Home Security from Maximus Lighting

We have been experimenting with different security cameras over the years, both inside and outside and at our mom’s house. ...

Connect to your Pet with Petcube Bites

Connect to your Pet with Petcube Bites

Here at AppMyHome we are always intrigued with novel ways to monitor our home and solve problems with technology. Plus, ...

Smart Home Security with Konnected

Smart Home Security with Konnected

After we began our journey to automate our home, we wondered if there was some way to take advantage of ...

2017 Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

2017 Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to our fourth annual smart home holiday gift guide. As we reflect on the past year, it feels like ...

Smart Comfort with Haiku Home

Smart Comfort with Haiku Home

Installing connected devices to handle one task better is great. Lights that you can turn on with your phone or ...

Smart Home Cooking Challenge: Blue Apron

Smart Home Cooking Challenge: Blue Apron

For several years, we have been enjoying cooking at home more often thanks to boxed meal kits from Blue Apron. ...

SkyBell HD – Smart Doorbell

SkyBell HD – Smart Doorbell

Our SkyBell smart doorbell was one of the very first devices we reviewed on our site back in 2014. We ...

Smart Home Cooking with Terra’s Kitchen

Smart Home Cooking with Terra’s Kitchen

Our latest experiment with smart home packaged cooking kits is Terra’s Kitchen. When we saw the ads for the service on ...

Smart Home Cooking with Home Chef

Smart Home Cooking with Home Chef

We continue our review of some of the the latest home delivery meal-kit services with Home Chef. Home Chef started ...

Smart Home Cooking with SunBasket

Smart Home Cooking with SunBasket

We’ve been enjoying the benefits of weekly meal kit delivery services at AppMyHome for the last few years. It is ...

Smart Home Security with the Cujo Smart Firewall

Smart Home Security with the Cujo Smart Firewall

As we have installed more and more devices in our home, we have become increasingly concerned about safety. We are ...

MySmartBlinds adds window automation

MySmartBlinds adds window automation

We have been looking for smart blinds or another way to automate our window coverings for some time. We would ...

Smart Home Control with the Wink Hub 2

Smart Home Control with the Wink Hub 2

We purchased our first Wink smart home Hub in 2014, from Home Depot, not too long after it first became ...

CES 2017 Smart Home Wrap-Up

CES 2017 Smart Home Wrap-Up

Every year thousands of visitors converge on Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, the annual exhibition for new technology ...

State of our Smart Home

State of our Smart Home

As we head into 2017, after more than three years on our journey to automate our home, it’s a good ...

Solar-powered Smart Camera – the Ring Stick Up Cam

Solar-powered Smart Camera – the Ring Stick Up Cam

Around the same time we installed our mom’s Ring Pro doorbell, we decided we wanted to try out Ring’s portable, ...

2016 Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

2016 Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to our third annual smart home holiday gift guide. As we get ready to start our fourth year of ...

Smart Doorbell for Mom – the Ring Pro

Smart Doorbell for Mom – the Ring Pro

If you have been following our blog from the beginning you probably already know we have a SkyBell smart doorbell. We ...

Our Smart Car – 2017 Ford Escape

Our Smart Car – 2017 Ford Escape

For years, we have been looking at new cars without finding anything that compelled us to upgrade. These days it ...

Sengled Snap – Smart Home Security Lighting

Sengled Snap – Smart Home Security Lighting

We have been big fans of the Sengled smart home lighting product line and the way they have incorporated smart ...

Adding security with a smart camera

Adding security with a smart camera

Security cameras have been in use for years, long before the DIY smart home revolution. While there have been a ...

Making our car smart with Automatic

Making our car smart with Automatic

We have seen the Automatic Car Adapter and considered buying it for a few years. We probably picked it up ...

Lowe’s Iris Next Gen Home Hub – Not Ready

Lowe’s Iris Next Gen Home Hub – Not Ready

We bought our original Iris home hub from back in 2014 and have been using it since then to control ...

Some quick smart home additions with WeMo and Alexa

Some quick smart home additions with WeMo and Alexa

When we first started automating our home a few years ago, one of the first devices we bought was a ...

Smart Home Holiday Wish List

Smart Home Holiday Wish List

Now that we have recommended holiday gifts, it’s time to think about our own smart home holiday wish list. If ...

2015 Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

2015 Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to our second annual smart home holiday gift guide. 2015 has been a big year for DIY home automation, ...

Smart Home with Amazon Echo

Smart Home with Amazon Echo

The first time we heard about the Amazon Echo was about this time last year when a colleague shared this ...

Kevo Plus – Smart Lock adds Internet

Kevo Plus – Smart Lock adds Internet

We have been using our Kwikset Kevo since early 2014. It was one of the first smart home locks on ...

Smart Home Cooking with Blue Apron

Smart Home Cooking with Blue Apron

After testing three other boxed meal delivery services, we once again went back to Blue Apron to complete our Smart ...

Smart Home Cooking with Plated

Smart Home Cooking with Plated

Our next adventure in smart home cooking is Plated. Plated seems to be Blue Apron’s first serious competitor in the ...

Local Smart Home Control with Zipato

Local Smart Home Control with Zipato

Over the last couple of years, we have tested several of the leading smart home hubs available in the US, ...

Roomie Remote – Smart Entertainment

Roomie Remote – Smart Entertainment

Our home entertainment system was one of the first things we started automating here at AppMyHome. Even before we got ...

Connecting IR devices to our Smart Home

Connecting IR devices to our Smart Home

While we are in the 21st century, some companies like Samsung still do not know how to turn their televisions ...

Smart Home Cooking with Hello Fresh

Smart Home Cooking with Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh is next up in our comparison of boxed, ready to prepare meals. We received a coupon recently for ...

Smart Home Cooking with Din

Smart Home Cooking with Din

Here at AppMyHome, one of the most challenging questions we ask ourselves every day is “what’s for dinner?” And like ...

Summer Smart Thermostat Fail

Summer Smart Thermostat Fail

This week our temperatures soared up to the 100s, and at some point, the fan on the outside air conditioner ...

Smart Home Safety with Nest Protect

Smart Home Safety with Nest Protect

This post originally appeared on Powers Automation – Smart Home Gurus. We are mostly DIY here at AppMyHome, but check out ...

A Mother for our Smart Home

A Mother for our Smart Home

Have you ever wished that your mother still lived with you, to remind you to get enough sleep, drink enough ...

Wink Hub Goes Down

Wink Hub Goes Down

Yesterday Wink had a major meltdown and ours was one of the many hubs impacted. There has been a lot ...

Smart Home Sound with Sengled Pulse

Smart Home Sound with Sengled Pulse

The Sengled Pulse light bulbs, smart LED bulbs that double as a Bluetooth speaker, were one of the hottest devices ...

Smart Irrigation with Rachio

Smart Irrigation with Rachio

We have been in the market for a smart irrigation solution for our yard and garden for some time. We are ...

Our new Wink Smart Switch – the Tapt

Our new Wink Smart Switch – the Tapt

The Wink Tapt is a shiny white smart switch, that looks like half of its cousin the Wink Relay. The ...

SkyBell Version 2 – Smart Doorbell

SkyBell Version 2 – Smart Doorbell

A little over a year ago we bought and installed one of the first SkyBell smart doorbells and reviewed it ...

Detecting Water Leaks with Iris

Detecting Water Leaks with Iris

A few weeks ago our garbage disposal had a meltdown. We use it a lot and it had been struggling ...

Tripper Door and Window Sensors

Tripper Door and Window Sensors

Now that we have replaced a good portion of our home’s lights with either smart bulbs or switches (16 light ...

CES Smart Home Wrap-up

CES Smart Home Wrap-up

The Consumer Electronics Show is the place for companies from all over the world to show their latest products and ...

Our new Wink Relay

Our new Wink Relay

We recently installed the new addition to the Wink family, the Relay. This device allows control of all the same ...

Which Smart Home Platform is Right for You?

Which Smart Home Platform is Right for You?

When we first started our experiments at AppMyHome, there were no real DIY smart home platforms out there, just point ...

Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

  Home automation is hotter than ever this holiday season. If you are looking to surprise that special someone in ...

Lowe’s Iris hub works ok, but too slow

Lowe’s Iris hub works ok, but too slow

We had the Orbit Water Valve sort of working with Smartthings but it was unreliable.  So, I repurchased the Iris hub ...

Home Automation without the CTO

Home Automation without the CTO

Last week I was on my own in my automated house, without my chief technical officer. I consider myself fairly ...

Cutting the Cable

Cutting the Cable

With all the talk this week about Aereo and the Supreme Court decision, it seems like a good time to ...

Home automation needs true integration

Home automation needs true integration

With the house almost completely automated we now look for an integrated app to control all the functions. And would ...

Lowe’s Iris is a disappointment.

Lowe’s Iris is a disappointment.

I wasn’t going to get the Iris hub since we already have Smartthings but being in Lowes today I just ...

Have we reached our goal to automate?

Have we reached our goal to automate?

I picked up some additional z-wave gadgets. A GE dimmer, a couple of outlets and a three-way kit, plus an ...

Kevo locks continuing to improve

Kevo locks continuing to improve

Today’s post is from the other half of AppMyHome, the webmaster and marketer, not the installer and geek. I have ...

Where is the local control?

Where is the local control?

Received an email from Chamberlain MyQ today. Seems they have a planned outage this weekend. Which is fine. Thanks for ...

SkyBell – Six Weeks Later

SkyBell – Six Weeks Later

We have been using our SkyBell now for about six weeks and now that the initial excitement has worn off, ...

Lights off at 30,000 ft.

Lights off at 30,000 ft.

Sometimes home automation is fun. Well at least showing off the capabilities. Just turned off the laundry room light that ...

Kevo door locks.  Do they work?

Kevo door locks. Do they work?

Yes they do. These locks are easy to install at least for the physical part. They look like a standard ...

The very easy to use Chamberlain MyQ

The very easy to use Chamberlain MyQ

One pleasant surprise was the automation of the garage door. Chamberlain certainly made a simple elegant solution. Basically this is ...

SkyBell update

SkyBell update

Ok so the bell is mounted. The camera pointed the right way. As a bell works great. As a video ...

Skybell is installed

Skybell is installed

Well mostly. Still have to permanently mount to the stucco. Never a fun job. A two sided thick sticky tape ...

The bell is coming. SkyBell that is.

The bell is coming. SkyBell that is.

Amazon must have received their supply of sky bell automated doorbell Skybells. Others have reported receiving theirs the past week. ...

Which wall switch to use?

Which wall switch to use?

Just picked up a couple more wall switches. Needed to make a decision. Did I want the wemo light switch ...

Had some fun this weekend installing a three way switch.

Had some fun this weekend installing a three way switch.

Picked up a 3 way z-wave from GE model 45614 three way switch . Figured would be great for the ...

IFTTT ties all this together nicely

IFTTT ties all this together nicely

Well hadn’t been using IFTTT up until today. Once all the devices were installed then this made sense. Tried to ...

Smartthings now supports wemo and hue

Smartthings now supports wemo and hue

Last night I asked smartthings to add wemo and hue to our hub. And low and behold this morning they ...