Chances are good that by the time you read this, you've broken most if not all of your New Year's resolutions. Nobody's blaming you, of course. Our brains just aren't programmed to follow through on hard promises. But what if you could program your home to help you keep those promises?
To show you how easy that can be, let's break down a few of the most frequently made (and broken) resolutions, and a few easy smart home tricks designed to help keep you honest.
It's much easier to hit snooze on your alarm in the morning than it is to get up and go for a run, especially in the colder winter months.
With a good smart home hub (SmartThings, for example), it's super easy to program a Wake Up scene that nudges you from your bed. What that scene consists of really depends on what sorts of smart devices you have in and around the home. It might be lights that ramp up to 100 percent brightness slowly, your favorite morning playlist cranking out of your Sonos smart music system, and a smart plug that automatically turns on your coffee pot when it's time to wake up.
If you're more of an evening exerciser, you can also use SmartThings to keep you honest by linking it with your Fitbit activity tracker using this handy IFTTT recipe. Simply set up the recipe to control the device that's mostly likely to distract you from your daily workout (like a smart plug connected to your TV), and you won't be able to turn that device on until you've hit your daily activity goals.
Of course, you don't need IFTTT and activity trackers to cut down on your TV viewing. If you simply want to cut down on boob tube consumption and spend more time with books (and you're not alone if you do; according to Neilson, this was a top ten resolution in 2015) all you need to do is connect your TV to a smart plug, and set daily timers that cut power to said smart plug. This isn't a permanent solution, mind you, and it's easy to override those timers. But let's face it: it's probably easier to just pick up your Kindle or a paperback instead.
We've already touched on many of the ways that smart climate control can save you money. But did you know that a smart home can also reduce your energy consumption every time you turn on the lights?
It's true! Most good smart home hubs will allow you to pre-set a brightness level for dimmer switches in and around the home. So, for example, simply hitting the light switch on your way into a room might adjust the light to 75% brightness instead of 100%. If you need more light, of course you can manually adjust the dimmer yourself. But setting a lower default brightness means you're using less energy without even thinking about it, which can quickly add up to dozens or hundreds of dollars saved per year, depending on the cost of electricity in your area.
smart home, how-to, family living, smart home scenes, one touch living, Z-Wave, home automation, smart plugs, smart lights, IFTTT, SmartThings
With smart home technology, you can take the stress out of hosting your first (or fifteenth!) family holiday dinner, or at least remove some of the most common frustrations.
Smart home tech doesn't have to be limited to the four walls of your house - there are quite a bit of ways to enhance your outdoor experience with some connected tech.
Digital Life Virtual Smart Home - AT&T
Linear - Z-Wave 3-Way Wall Mount Dimmer
Everyone wants their home to be safer and easier to manage – but the many benefits of smart home tech appeal to different people. With the upcoming Father's Day holiday this weekend, we thought we'd look at some ways that a smart home makes dad's life easier
Whether it's the inside or outside of your home that could use some fine tuning, we have a smart home project using Z-Wave tech for you. Check out these 3 projects that you can do over the weekend without spending a ton of time or money.
FIBARO Motion Sensor
Complete Home Energy Efficiency - Vivint
Whether your winters are frozen over or soggy and gloomy, the end of winter means one thing for most of us: a greater risk of water damage. Whether it's frozen pipes that have burst, or spring rains that bring flooding, or drainage systems that are clogged, water in the home is a real issue in the spring. Either way, early detection can make all the difference.
The evenings are getting brighter and the days are warmer. It can only mean one thing - spring is almost here! With spring comes the reminder to turn our clocks forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time. How can a smart home help?
But you could also do Z-Wave. I recommend you steer clear of ZigBee for this because I haven't yet found a ZigBee switch I love. Aeontec and Fibaro offer these $40 modules that fit inside your electrical box that will allow you to keep your switch, if you happen to like your switches.
What will really set you apart from your neighbors is installing a system that comes complete with an accompanying mobile app. The GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control Outdoor Module does exactly that. When guests are leaving, you can wow them with a simple tap on your smart device.
The smart home revolution is only just beginning, and technology companies are still working out how it is all going to work together — but if you want to, you can make your home 'smart' today
I've decided to turn that boo into another woo-hoo by seizing the opportunity my new, falling-down, three bedroom house affords me. I want to make my home smart. As smart, efficient and as seamless as possible. And I'll be detailing that process in this weekly smart home diary.
So if you have a Z-Wave bridging smart hub, and want to monitor water levels in your sump pump, then the Aeotec Sensor is a great option.
For example, if someone needs to be let into my house when I’m not there, I can let someone in, and can even join with a thermostat or some Z-Wave lights. Z-Wave is a wireless technology that lets smart devices communicate with one another. Household products are made "smart" when Z-Wave connectivity is added inside the product’s design.
Smart home technology is still shiny and new, and people are adapting to it more and more every day.
ZigBee and Z-Wave are the two wireless protocols that pretty much all hub-based smarthome products use. There are a small handful of smarthome accessory makers that use their own standard (like Insteon, for instance), but ZigBee and Z-Wave are the two biggest open protocols out there.