More and more people are now for the first time using smart devices in their home, and I am often asked what I use around my house and how I connect all of those devices together. I will share what equipment I use, and I’ll explain why I picked that specific item, and a link to buy if you’d like.
I made a post a few years ago about my smart home setup, this is the year 2020 update of the equipment I use:
However, (Unlike the Amazon Echo Plus) the Google home can NOT connect to Z-wave or Zigbee, two of the most popular communication methods of most smart home devices, so to connect those types of devices I have:
Samsung SmartThings V3 – I can connect all my devices to the Samsung smartthings hub, and then control them through the voice interface of the Google Assistant or the physical smart buttons around my house.
Finally, the last hub (I try to avoid things that needed a dedicated hub (Lutron caseta, phillips hue, ect) is the Harmony Hub – that is used to control my TV, Xbox, and cable box all through my voice or the Harmony app
Now the devices I have that connect to Smartthings:
Smart Light Bulbs: Lifx Light Bulbs – these smart light bulbs don’t need a separate hub to operate, and they are easy to control in either the smartthings or the dedicated lifix app. I even have the Lifx Z light strip too, which is cool because you can control multiple sections and make them different colors to match the festive theme of the year!
Smart Light Switches: Leviton Decora 600w dimmer z-wave – These light switches are the classic white paddle light switch, but they can be controlled and dimmed all remotely. Even if the wifi goes out, these light switches will still work. Very easy install, just swap the wiring out and connect the new switch to your smartthings hub
Smart Motion Sensors: Samsung Smartthings motion sensor – I use these in conjunction with a smart-plug to trigger a light when I go in a room that didn’t have the proper wiring for a smart switch, or I also use it in the laundry room where I want hands-free activation. I’ve also set an auto-shutoff routine in the Smartthings app as well, so lights turn off after 8 minutes.
Smart Contact sensors: Samsung Smartthings multipurpose sensor – This lets me know if a door or window is open or shut around the house, and has many other uses as well, it also has a built-in thermometer too.
Smart Buttons: Samsung Smartthings button – these buttons can be used to control multiple devices at the same time, and one button can have multiple commands through a click, double click, or a hold. I use these to turn on/ off all the lights in a room, and it’s nice to have one on the bedside table as well to shut off all the lights.
Smart Thermostat: Nest e Thermostat – my utility company had a $50 rebate for switching to a smart thermostat, then they sent me another $50 for using it, so this thing basically paid for itself! Installation was super easy, the instructions were great.
Smart Front Door Lock: August Pro with wifi connector – this makes sure we never leave the front door unlocked again! This is perfect because our HOA is strict and doesn’t want us to change the outward appearance of our front door – this installs on the inside of the lock, perfect solution! It also has an auto-unlock based on your GPS location as well
Smart Garage Door Opener: GoControl Garage Door Opener – Ever felt like you forgot to shut the garage door? This kit allows you to see if the door is opened or closed, and also allows you to control the door remotely!
Smart Sink: Delta VoiceiQ – This module hooks into my sink and allows me to ask google to fill up a specific amount, like 20oz of water, or a preset amount like my water pitcher, which is 72oz, or my dog bowl which is 23oz.
Video Doorbell: Ring video doorbell with Chime This is my front door camera, no security issues here, I’ve set up 2-factor authentication, I’m not worried about any of the news articles saying Ring is insecure. After the 1st year it looks like I will have to start paying a subscription fee – lame, I may look into other solutions here
Wifi Cameras: Wyze Cameras – these are great little cheap wifi cameras, $25 for a full 1080p HD camera, what can be better. All you need is an SD card to plug in, and you are good to go. You can view the footage on your phone or on a chromecast
Smart Heater – Dyson HP02 Hot / Cold fan – This heater is controlled over wifi, and can blast either hot or cold air, perfect for all seasons!
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