Home Automation Gift Guide

Home Automation Starter Guide

Everyone is talking about home automation.  You know, stuff like turning your lights on and off from your phone and stuff like that.  I’ve put together a starter home automation gift guide with 4 items that will work seamlessly together and get you started quickly and easily!

What I like most about home automation stuff, it that when done properly it works effortlessly, behind the scenes.  You don’t need to see fancy control panels, or wires everywhere, or anything.  All these products work with Amazon Alexa, as well as Apple Home Kit, so you have full control by voice, phone, and even Apple Watch!

Thermostat – Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat.  First of all let me say that I love the look of Nest products, especially their thermostat.  But for everything to work well together, the need to speak the same language, and Nest speaks a different computer language than most products).  So I’ve selected the Ecobee 3 Thermostat.  It has a great modern design, and has tons of features that will save you energy as well as keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Lock – the August Smart Lock is different than most smart locks – not only do you get control from your phone, but because of the way it is installed (from the inside), people coming to your door won’t know you have a digital look because they can’t see it.  You can provided timed access such as making sure your door locks every night at 8:00 before bed, or provide a PIN number to your parents that are coming to visit so they can come and go as they need.

Lights – If you are like me, you are at IKEA almost as much as you go to Home Depot or Lowes.  That’s why I’m selecting the Ikea’s TRÅDFRI lights.  For less than $80 you get 2 LED light bulbs, a controller, and a remote switch.  They can be controlled from Alexa, as well as Apple Home Kit.   Another feature I really like is  that you can dim them so  they aren’t so bright.  Finally you have the ability to select from 3 color temperatures: 2200 Kelvin (warm glow), 2700 Kelvin (warm white) and 4000 Kelvin (cool white), depending on your style and taste.

Alexa – In order to be able to control these items by voice – you need something that responds to voice commands – I’ve selected the Amazon Echo Dot.  For $30 you get full Alexa Control.  Just say “Alexa – lock the front door” and watch the deadbolt turn.

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