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Smart Home - Like them or not?

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Smart Home - Like them or not?

Old 11-19-18, 02:47 PM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

I don't think I could go without Hue lighting at this point. Between the scheduling and the scenes you can set up and swap between a quick press of a button on my phone, using real switches seems so archaic.

I also have a scene for watching movies or playing games at night which is very warm and dim (also completely turns off the LED strip light behind my TV). And when I'm last to bed, it's nice being able to turn off all the downstairs lights after I get upstairs so I'm not fumbling around in the dark.
Old 12-12-18, 10:08 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Just got a google home. started playing with it and is really cool. Already set it up with my Nest and harmony hub so that I can set the temperature and turn on and off the TV system.
Next is to integrate some lighting. Already have some Lutron Caseta dimmers, that i would finally be able to get the advantage of

Do any of you own a Google Home? what type of things you use it for ?
Old 12-12-18, 11:25 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

All I have currently are 2 smart plugs and 2 Dots. One plug is to turn on and off my Christmas tree, and the other is for a computer monitor in my bedroom that I use to turn on and off since it doesn't have a remote.

I would love to get into lighting, but I just bought this house, and I need to see if I have neutral wires. I would like to set up Zigbee compatible lighting along with some Ecobees.

Last edited by spainlinx0; 12-12-18 at 11:31 AM.
Old 12-12-18, 11:32 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

^ well the benefit of Lutron switches and dimmers is that they do not require a Neutral wire
Old 12-12-18, 02:44 PM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Originally Posted by nando820 View Post
^ well the benefit of Lutron switches and dimmers is that they do not require a Neutral wire
Really? Is it a wire-for-wire swap for a regular light switch? I used a Wemo switch for one light switch panel, and it was a hassle to make it work due to that neutral wire. It was a complicated 3-switch panel and my mistake, and it works now, but would have been a lot easier if I didn't have to worry about the neutral.

Originally Posted by nando820 View Post
Do any of you own a Google Home? what type of things you use it for ?
I have a Google Home and several Home Mini devices. I use all of them as home assistants to control various "smart" things (including the TV) from anywhere within the house, and also as a "Hey Google" information source to look things up. I put the Google Home in the kitchen since it has better sound and can be used for music or news reading.

Google Home and Amazon Alexa work well together these days. I have all of my smart devices set up on both, so I can turn something on from one room with Google, and turn it off from another room with Alexa.
Old 12-12-18, 02:54 PM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

One thing I like about these assistant hubs (I think Google Home is a bit better than Amazon Alexa) is the "routines." Basically you bundle a number of actions for the assistant to take when you say specific things, like when you wake up or when you leave or get home. For example when you wake up, you say "Good morning" and get the time, weather, your calendar, traffic to work, NPR news, etc. You can also have some things turned on and off, and temperature adjusted. It doesn't serve breakfast yet, but maybe next year.
Old 12-13-18, 11:52 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Originally Posted by nando820 View Post
^ well the benefit of Lutron switches and dimmers is that they do not require a Neutral wire
They also don't work with Zigbee unfortunately. I was hoping to stick with something open source so I don't get screwed over by a company dropping the product or killing updates. Looking at you, Google.
Old 12-13-18, 12:26 PM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

^ you right. I came across this article which explains the standards, pros and cons

https://www.the-ambient.com/guides/zigbee-vs-z-wave-298
Old 12-25-18, 08:06 PM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

I spent a day installing a Wemo smart light switch. The neutral wire was a big headache, and every time I tried something, I had to walk downstairs to hit the circuit breaker. What a pain. I can't count how many times I thought about getting a Lutron switch, and except that Best Buy and Home Depot were closed today, I probably would have done that. It was on my last ditch attempt that it miraculously worked, I'm so happy, but Lutron from the start next time.
Old 12-26-18, 09:14 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Lutron rocks! cant recommend it enough

Question what are some good color changing bulbs and LED strips for behind the TV. I want to setup moods for TV/movie watching like some pics I seen online
Old 12-26-18, 09:25 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Philips Hue is pretty much the standard for smart lighting. I have a similar setup in my living room. Smart bulbs in the lights and a LED strip behind my TV.
Old 12-26-18, 09:52 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

but aren't the Philips hue like $40 per bulb ? what LED strip you have? does it integrate with Google home?
Old 12-26-18, 09:54 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Originally Posted by nando820 View Post
but aren't the Philips hue like $40 per bulb ? what LED strip you have? does it integrate with Google home?
The colored ones are about that, yeah. You can get white only for quite a bit less. Using the Philips LED strip as well. All of Hue will integrate with Google Home.
Old 12-26-18, 09:58 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Just added new Hue lights in the bedroom, a new Hue light in my daughter's room and then new Echo Dots to my son and daughter's rooms too. Also rigged our tree up this year to be turned on and off with Alexa.

Eventually I'll get this whole house voice-controlled
Old 12-26-18, 10:12 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Originally Posted by nando820 View Post
but aren't the Philips hue like $40 per bulb ? what LED strip you have? does it integrate with Google home?
You can find cheap LED strips for around $15. Search under "bias lighting" on Amazon, and get one that has a remote control.

I don't know of any that integrates with Alexa or Google Home, but usually you plug them in the USB port of your TV, so the lights turn on and off with the TV (I say usually because on some TVs like Sony, the USB port is not powered with the TV, so you have to turn the lights on and off separately, and that's why you want a remote. Another thing is that although the back of the LED strip has adhesive tape, it does come off sometimes, depending on the texture of the back of the TV. You just reattach it but it's a pain.
Old 12-26-18, 10:20 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
Eventually I'll get this whole house voice-controlled
I finished setting up every smart device on both Alexa and Google Home. I have one within voice reach everywhere in the house, so now I can control a lot without having to physically turn on and off. Talk about lazy . I counted around 20 devices so far, mostly light bulbs and plugs.
Old 12-26-18, 11:39 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Originally Posted by nando820 View Post
Lutron rocks! cant recommend it enough

Question what are some good color changing bulbs and LED strips for behind the TV. I want to setup moods for TV/movie watching like some pics I seen online
Amazon sells Alexa/Google enabled led controllers for approx $12-15. Then you can do a cheap led strip for $10. Just pay attention if you want RGB or RGBW(W). I currently use 2 of them
Old 12-26-18, 01:14 PM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Originally Posted by nando820 View Post
Lutron rocks! cant recommend it enough

Question what are some good color changing bulbs and LED strips for behind the TV. I want to setup moods for TV/movie watching like some pics I seen online
Do you have a USB port on your TV and/or access to a power plug?

I bought one of these and couldn't be happier:
Amazon Amazon

I can change the colors (with the remote) to a bunch of different things. My kids love picking different colors when we watch a movie. Super easy to install, too.
Old 12-28-18, 01:24 AM
  #119  
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

I saw at Best Buy another option which is a Philips Hue Play Bar (
Amazon Amazon
). It's pricey, one bar for $60. What I like about it is that colors are adjustable like a Hue light bulb, and the bars can be angled to direct the light wherever you want. I have several sticky LED light strips which I attach to the back of the TV, but they come off easily and I can't angle them very well.


Here is a review of the light bars:

Old 12-28-18, 03:10 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Syncing those lights to your tv seems kind of cool on paper, but it seems like something that would be horribly distracting while watching a movie.
Old 12-28-18, 05:57 AM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

The biggest problem with the light bar is that it requires an app and a pc to get the sync to work with the tv. Not plug and play. I returned mine.
Old 12-28-18, 07:11 AM
  #122  
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

That's more advanced than I had in mind. I would use it only for bias lighting when watching TV.
Old 01-07-19, 04:08 PM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

I don’t know if I ever recommended them or not, but Canary is turning out to be an incredibly unethical business. They have progressively removed feature after feature from the device and resold them back through their “membership” plan. Garbage company.
Old 01-07-19, 04:12 PM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

I just added 8 more white Hue lights to my setup. The 4 packs come out to 10 bucks a bulb and that's easier to swallow than the colored bulbs (despite them being way more fun). It is nice to shut off all the lights in the house at night with a call to Alexa as I go up the stairs.
Old 01-07-19, 08:31 PM
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Re: Smart Home - Like them or not?

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
It is nice to shut off all the lights in the house at night with a call to Alexa as I go up the stairs.
There goes your New Year's resolution for weight loss in 2019

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