Stories

State of the Smart Home 2019 – Observations from CES

State of the Smart Home 2019 – Observations from CES

We share our view on the smart home market after our visit to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. After an exciting (and exhausting!) week of walking all over Las Vegas, chatting with...
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Wire-Free Smart Lighting from ThirdReality

Wire-Free Smart Lighting from ThirdReality

We review ThirdReality’s wire-free smart lighting products: the RealitySwitch, RealityLight and RealityAdapter smart home lighting products. A few years ago we made the decision to install Z-Wave smart outlets and switches throughout our house,...
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Smart Wi-Fi Controls from myTouchSmart

Smart Wi-Fi Controls from myTouchSmart

We review four Wi-Fi smart home products built by Jasco – myTouchSmart indoor and outdoor smart plugs and the in-wall smart switches and outlets. At AppMyHome, we have been using GE smart switches and...
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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 market grow and become more and more mainstream. These...
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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 an entry gate as part of the fence on the side of our house,...
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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 we first starting looking at different smart locks for our home, we were convinced...
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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 online meal kits to make our dinner time more convenient and fun. A few...
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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 technology industry. This event has traditionally been targeted at high-end audio/visual providers but as...
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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 be more healthy. Recently we heard about the Beautyrest Sleeptracker and decided to try...
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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 products we reviewed. Our friend and AppMyHome follower Laura Hollis wanted a smart garage too, but...
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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 and one outside our back window. Our development uses recycled water for landscaping, so...
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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 looking for a speaker system to let us play music in our bedroom so...
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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 of issues from addiction to cancer. But it doesn’t work at all if you...
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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 years. We have seen them demonstrated at Costco and other kitchen stores with someone...
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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 pleased with the performance. Kevo contacted us recently to see if we would be...
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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 covers and in the winter we hog them. Other than our Nest Thermostat, we...
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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 gone offline. For the last few years, we have been using the Mother, a...
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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 new products to test – the new Z-Wave Plus Smart Motion Sensor and the...
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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 the market has evolved significantly since we began our journey at AppMyHome, one of...
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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. The cameras all have had pros and cons but for the most part work...
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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, like most people, we think dogs and cats are cute. So we were really...
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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 all the pre-wired window and door sensors that came with our house. We never...
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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 the smart home market has continued to evolve with mostly incremental innovations from the...
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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 your voice. A garage door that reminds you when it is left open too...
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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. We love the convenience of having a box arrive at our house once a...
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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 are now on our third generation device and it’s time for an update on...
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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 Facebook, it seemed to good to be true. Most all of the ingredients with...
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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 its service in 2013 out of Chicago, and has since grown to cover 97...
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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 really convenient to get a shipment every week with just enough fresh groceries to...
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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 pretty careful about what we buy and how we monitor our stuff, but you...
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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 really love to have our shutters automatically open and close at certain times of...
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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 available. At the time we had been experimenting with other smart home hubs, including...
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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 products.  2017 marked the show’s 50th year and AppMyHome joined about 175,000 others to...
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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 time to reflect about how far we have come and how the products have...
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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, mountable security camera, the Ring Stick Up cam. As we have discussed before, we...
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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 AppMyHome, it is really interesting to reflect how far we have come in home...
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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 bought the first version and eagerly awaited its arrival from Amazon. Roughly a year...
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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 feels like most new cars are pretty decent, especially once you get to a...
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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 technologies into their LED lights. We reviewed the Sengled Pulse speakers here a while...
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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 lot of great smart cameras on the market, in general we have hesitated to...
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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 and looked at it in the Apple Store or at Best Buy at least...
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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 a subset of our home devices. We were originally excited to have a hub...
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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 Wemo plug-in wall outlet. The device is so simple to use to make anything...
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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 Smart Home Santa is planning a trip to AppMyHome, here are some gifts we’d love...
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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, with a lot of changes since last holiday season. You can see it immediately...
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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 video. Even after watching the more serious version, we were a bit puzzled. What...
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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 the market and it appealed to us since we already had Kwiksets in our...
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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 Home cooking comparison. It has been a few months since our last delivery but...
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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 boxed meal delivery market. We are big fans of Shark Tank, and we saw...
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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, including Iris, Smart Things, Staples Connect, and Wink (and compared them in November 2014). While...
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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 rid of our cable we were trying to figure out how best to stream...
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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 on via internet protocol (IP) and still stick to the old ways of using...
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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 $40 off our first Hello Fresh shipment, which translated to about four free portions....
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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 most of our challenges, we choose to try to solve it with technology. About...
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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 unit failed.  As the temperature kept rising outside it got more and more miserable...
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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 Powers if you are interested in help installing your Nests and other smart home products. ...
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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 water, and take your medicine? Now she can. Sen.se provides a small, white, slightly...
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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 of coverage in the press so we won’t go into the details here, evidently...
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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 at CES this year and when Sengled had a discount offer in time for Valentine’s...
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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 in a gated community that provides our front yard maintenance and when we planned...
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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 Tapt installs on the wall and can replace a regular single-pole switched outlet. If...
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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 here on AppMyHome. Over the past year it has served us pretty well and...
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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 for some time, but it wasn’t until we needed something under the sink that...
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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 bulbs, 34 switches and outlets at last count – we had to start keeping...
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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 ideas with the hope of capturing the imagination of the press and the industry...
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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 devices as the Wink app, using a touchscreen panel mounted to the wall that...
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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 devices with a single purpose, like the Nest thermostat or sophisticated specialty platforms that...
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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 your life with the latest technology to make her home smarter, AppMyHome is here to...
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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 and, yes,  I provided my credit card against what I think is right. Figured...
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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 technical and I do enjoy gadgets, but if it were up to me we...
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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 talk about our experiences cutting the Cable. We started experimenting with video streaming and...
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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 really like the app to support the tablet format. Certainly the various hub providers...
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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 couldn’t resist. After all, if it works, cool maybe the water value would be...
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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 Orbit water faucet. We are running out of switches and plugs that need updating....
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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 to say when we first discussed installing the Kevo locks, I was not supportive....
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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 the warning. It’s late at night anyways. What is worrisome is that I didn’t...
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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, I thought it would be useful to write a short review. Installation The installation...
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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 we left on all while in the air. Lights off at 30,000 ft This...
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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 bolt lock and work the same with a key. You can even rekey so...
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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 a remote door pad that has wifi. You install a motion sensor on the...
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SkyBell update

SkyBell update

Ok so the bell is mounted. The camera pointed the right way. As a bell works great. As a video bell basically once you answer the results are fine. Key words are “once you...
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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 shape of the back would have been handy. Skybell is installed Install was...
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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. Myself, just was notified by amazon that ours is on the way. Reading the...
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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 that works straight off the wifi or the GE/Jasco switches that requires z-wave? The...
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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 front entry. Well not so fast as I’ve now learned there are over 7...
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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 come up with a way to shutdown the house at night but couldn’t find...
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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 were there! So spent a while configuring the devices and setting up a few...
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Welcome to AppMyHome

Welcome to AppMyHome

In the upcoming weeks we will be writing about many of the different devices we have been setting up around our house to make our lives easier and more efficient (well, sometimes more efficient). We...
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