Home Automation

Google Pixel XL, Three Months In

For the last few months I’ve been using the Google Pixel XL. In the past few years I have used quite a few smart phones. In reverse order my daily drivers were the Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Galaxy Note3, HTC One M8, Galaxy Nexus, HTC Droid Incredible & the Incredible 2, Blackberry Storm, Samsung SCH-i730 and…Read more

IFTTT Integration Coming to Apps (Already Live in Some)

IFTTT has been working with developers over the last few months to directly add integration into apps so that you can unlock and potentially activate recipes from the apps rather than the web site or the IFTTT app itself. Integrations with Abode, Awair, BloomSky, Foobot,Garageio, LIFX, Qapital, Roger, Skybell, and Stack Lighting are live today…Read more

Occupancy and Presence

One of my projects within my smart home is to be able to monitor home occupancy as well as specific room presence. While the two are similar they end up being very different things. Occupancy is pretty basic. For the house itself I currently have three modes. Home, Out and Away. Away means we are…Read more

Aeon Labs Aeotec Zwave LED Light Bulb

Recently I picked up an Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave LED Light Bulb, Gen5 on sale from Amazon just to check out and compare to my Hue bulbs. I like Zwave as it’s generally easier to control from my HS system and I don’t have to kludge it or control from a 3rd party plugin or through…Read more

DreamScreen TV

Browsing around Reddit this afternoon I ran across a relatively new product that looks to be pretty neat. It’s called DreamScreen. Basically it’s a series of LEDs that you stick on the back of your TV like you would with a Hue strip. The main difference is that with DreamScreen they include an HDMI splitter….Read more

Wink Hub Updates

I think I may have posted elsewhere that I have a Wink Connected Home Hub. Apparently they are currently beta testing a Vacation mode subscription that’s going to cost $9.99 a month. What the holy hell? If the Wink hub weren’t only using half it’s sensors, that only work half the time, on a hub…Read more

GoControl Security Essentials – Updated

So Home Depot has been carrying GoControl Z-Wave “security” kits for a while now. They are compatible with Wink which is why I guess they decided to carry these products as Home Depot sadly decided to back Wink in their Home Automation stuff. I have exactly ONE product linked to my Wink hub only because…Read more

Alexa, IFTTT and Homeseer

Just a quick and dirty demo of what I can do using the power of the Amazon Echo, IFTTT and Homeseer. There are several ways to control it. Alexa is limited to single statements and using IFTTT “triggers” and is also limited to whether IFTTT is being laggy or not. It’s usually pretty stable but…Read more

The Perfect Smart Home: What I’m Using…Part II

So in Part I  I touched on most of the hardware I’m using and some of my software. I keep coming across stuff I missed and I’ll mention some of that here. So on to how all this works together. Down among the creepy crawlies that inhabit my garage and basement along with my son’s…Read more

The Perfect Smart Home: What I’m Using…Part I

SO I’m a big gadget geek. As far as phones, while there is nothing wrong with Apple products my personal preference is for Android. The platform is much more extensible and I can do 1,000 more things with my Nexus than I ever would be able to with Apple. But…this isn’t about that. I came…Read more