Like clockwork, thousands around the nation will stand in line for the latest and greatest technology. We can control our lives with our phones. So what happens when we marry our phone with our home? — A whirlwind of cost saving brilliance and some sort of head scratching mayhem
Nest Thermostat ($249): It learns your preferred temperature, adjusts itself when your away, and allows remote access over WIFI. However, if the design isn’t your cup of tea, Honeywell ($229) makes a traditional thermostat, requiring programming, but connects for remote access over WIFI, but gives weather alerts and filter change reminders to your phone. The Lyric ($279) is the exact same as the Nest except it uses the GPS on your phone to know when you are away. The ease & convenience of adjusting the thermostat while on vacation or when you need to adjust it during the day, is well worth it.
Nest Protect ($99): This smoke alarm sends alerts to your phone when it goes off, and also doubles as a carbon monoxide detector. Even better, if CO2 levels rise in your home, and you have the Nest Thermostat, it shuts off your gas furnace automatically.
Kevo ($200): Kevo operates off a Bluetooth signal as well as a traditional key if you prefer. It comes with a set of Bluetooth FOB’s, which is especially helpful with kids or when you’re hands are full. The lock will also respond with your phone via Bluetooth. Through the Kevo app, you can grant permission to a phone to enter your home. When the phone is near the lock it will glow blue and unlock. No more worrying about cutting new keys for family members or friends, simply share your key and within minutes the person can enter your home. No one else can forward a key, and you can revoke permission at anytime. You have total control how many keys are out.
Haiku Inteli Fan ($1,045): This fan automatically turns on when someone enters a room, adjusts speed based on temperature and humidity, and over time anticipates your needs, changing settings based on comfort preferences. It can also be adjusted via smartphone, and the Haiku communicates with Nest thermostats, to work along with heat and A/C.
Wally Home ($299): A simple way to stay in front of both hazards. The six sensors can be placed anywhere around the, and you’ll be warned via an alert on your smartphone if any issues arise.
Cree with Wink Hub ($15/$50): Cree’s newest LED fixtures are the best way to put smart bulbs all over the house. You’ll need a separately sold Wink Hub ($50) to control them, but that’s a worthy investment. Our favorite operation was turning off all the lights in the house at bedtime from one place.
WeMo Switch ($50): This all-in-one device makes any outlet WiFi-connected, meaning you can turn a lamp or anything else plugged into it on or off remotely with your smartphone or tablet. With an app calledIFTTT, you can get pretty creative.
Philips Hue Lux LED Bulbs ($100): The Hue Lux is the easiest way to experiment with smartphone controlled lighting — and you’ll be glad you did. It’s simple to install (screw in a bulb and plug in a bridge), and the results are immediately useful. Using the intuitive app, you can set lights to turn on and off when you’re on vacation and dim a lamp in the kid’s room to a night-light glow from the couch.
Chamberlain MyQ Garage ($130): The easily installed Chamberlain MyQ Garage adds smartphone control to most existing garage door openers. That means you can remotely double-check that the door is down long after you get to work. Additionally, the ability to open or close the garage from anywhere means a neighbor can return a yard tool even when you’re not around.
DropCam ($199): If you’re looking for basic security — or even a way to keep an eye on the dog — it’s hard to beat the reasonably priced DropCam Pro. Setup could not be easier — plug it in, join a WiFi network, and start watching live video from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. DropCam can also send alerts when it detects sound or movement. With an optional Cloud Recording Plan ($10 a month), you can save seven days of footage to the DropCam servers, which you can review at any time.
EcoNet Z Wave ($75): Eliminate the need for ladders, and with the simple use of your phone app, close or open air vents throughout your home.
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