Best thermostats for your home ( january 2019 )

What is the best smart thermostat out there in 2019? Well, it’s not like a few years ago where Nest completely owned the game. The game has changed, and I’m here to tell you all about it.

There are a lot of new options. If you are trying to figure out what the best smart thermostat is, then that really depends upon your personal situation. How many zones you have in your home, etc.

Hopefully, this guide will help you make your decision. I will update it regularly to ensure that you have the latest information.

smart thermostat nest

Some people refer to them as wi-fi thermostats and some people refer to them as smart thermostats. A smart thermostat controls your home’s temperature no matter where you are on the planet all while giving you significant energy savings as well.

Whether you are on the beach on vacation or just at work and want to check the temperature of your home. Smartphone thermostats are something that you may want to consider.

Why Should You Buy A Smart Thermostat?

There are lots of reasons to get a wifi thermostat. It makes sense for just about anyone. Primarily from a cost savings standpoint, which I’ll delve into a bit more later in this article.

If that isn’t enough reason to get one though, then just think of the convenience factor. You can check and change the temperature in your home from anywhere in the world when you aren’t home or from the comfort of your couch.

Smartphone controlled thermostats can learn your schedule and can drop and raise the temperature which makes them extremely energy efficient on a day to day basis.

If you are like me then I’m sure that you have left the AC running all day while you were gone. The best part is that you can set up geofencing and it will automatically turn off when you leave the house.

Although wifi thermostats are easy to install. There are many different heating companies that will install smart thermostats for you (for free in some cases) or even give you a better rate because you have one installed. So you may want to check with your local provider to find out what kind of deals they are running.

 

Are Smart Thermostats Worth The Cost?

The simple answer is yes, they are absolutely worth it. Especially when you consider that the average home saves quite a bit according to a report by Nest.

When you consider that they are collecting a 10-12% savings on heating and 15% savings on cooling, that’s about $131-145 savings per year.

According to the readers on Nest’s forum they are saving between $10 and $20 a month on average.

Ecobee claims that they are saving their customers an average of 23% annually!

Those are pretty big numbers when you think about the big picture. Absolutely worth every penny in my opinion as well! We installed Ecobee 3 Lite thermostats last year and over the winter we saw a $200 savings in our heating bill!

So when you ask if smart home thermostats will save you money? The resounding answer is yes based on all of the statistical data.

Are Smart Thermostats Secure?

Smart home security for a connected home, whether we are talking about learning thermostats, cameras, or your Amazon Echo, are all linked to your router. Which in turn can cause security risks if you don’t know what you are doing.

With that being said, there are ways to make sure that your smart home network is secure.

smart thermostat ecobee

Of course, everyone’s home is slightly different and the heating and air conditioning set up differently. Luckily there is a smart thermostat for just about every scenario.

Have you installed either a four- or five-wire thermostat in the past? Well, this process should be roughly the same. Making it easy for the average homeowner to install. Be careful though, most smart thermostats do require a C wire.

I have been walking through a local big box hardware store before and seen signs that tell you that none of them require a C-wire. But most of them will.

If you aren’t sure on what to buy, you may want to check with a local electrician or other professional. In most cases, you can get a smart thermostat connected with very little trouble.

One workaround for getting power to your smartphone controlled thermostat if you do not have a C-wire is to use a standard 24-volt adapter. You can read more about it in my article called How To Install An Ecobee Thermostat With No C-Wire.

ecobee wall mount

Obviously, there are a lot of different brands of smart thermostats out on the market right now. Nest, Ecobee, and Honeywell just to name a few. If you are trying to figure out which one is the best fit for your home then this is the part of the article that you came to read.

When it comes to choosing which one is best for you, then you need to consider what you might be using as a smart home hub. Are you using a Samsung SmartThings? Are you planning on just using Alexa or Google Home to control your thermostats?

Do you have an entire house that you are heating or are you looking for the best thermostat for a small apartment?

All of these things need to be taken into consideration when you are shopping for smart thermostats. I have put together my top three smart thermostats on the market today. The wifi thermostats featured in this article are all thermostats you can buy over here on Amazon.

So let’s begin!

Ecobee 3 Lite – The Best Smart Thermostat Hands Down

Not for nothing. This smart thermostat has changed my life in so many ways. I have four of them in my house which shows my devotion to the Ecobee brand. These will save you up to 23%* on your heating and cooling costs. 

But the price point for these is bordering on the budget value smart thermostats that are out there now.

It installed very quickly and easily. Everything you are going to need is right in the box. The other nice feature about these thermostats is that they tell you what the current weather is like outside right on the thermostat.

Ecobee 4 – Best Smart Thermostat For Multiple Zones

The Ecobee 4 is the big brother of the Ecobee 3 Lite. It comes with a few more features which are actually a pretty big deal. One of those features which may mean a lot to you is that they have Alexa built right in.

So instead of having to add an echo or an echo dot into a room, you can just talk to Alexa right through your thermostat.

They can also sense when a room is occupied and you can set the heat to go off when you leave that room.

Here again, the strongest features are the long-term cost savings of having one of these in your home. These are also just as easy to install. Although configuration might take a bit longer due to the added learning features that the Ecobee 4 brings.

Nest – Best Smart Thermostat Compatible With Google Home

Nests learning thermostats have been around in the smart thermostat market since 2010 and is one of the top dogs. They recently introduced the 3rd generation in its Nest Learning Thermostat line. It has four vibrant colors that you can change the display to, and the display is easy to read.

This smart controlled thermostat spends it’s time learning your routine and can save you money by automatically adjusting the temperature in any room. It does take it a couple of days to learn your patterns. But once nest learns it works flawlessly.

Nest is a little more pricey, but it does come with a couple of neat features that Ecobee does not. It measures the humidity in the air and will turn on the Air Conditioning when it needs to automatically. Also, it has a neat feature that will remind you when it’s time to change your air filters on your furnace, which it bases on how many times the furnace has turned off and on.

All in all, Nest is probably one of the best thermostats that you can use with Google Home.

Honeywell Lyric – Best Budget Thermostat

What’s your budget? If other options don’t get you excited because they are too pricey then the Honeywell Lyric T5 might do the trick. I’m really impressed with how well Honeywell has adapted to this market and they might even be the leader one day in my opinion.

It also has a neat feature called “adaptive recovery”, which is where it learns how long it takes to achieve the right temperature at the right time. It automatically turns your system on to get to your desired temperature, and it auto changes from cool to heat when you need it to. 

One other nice feature is that it has “smart alerts” which give you push notifications when you need a filter change and extreme temperature warnings.

Conclusion

Whichever one of these smart thermostats you end up going with I’m sure you will be satisfied. Just make sure you pick the best smart thermostat for your lifestyle and your needs.

Best Smart Thermostats That Work With Google Home ( January 2019 )

Sure there are a lot of great smart thermostats out there but if you have Google Home, then it can be a bit more of a challenge.

 

The best smart thermostats that work with Google Home are made by:

  • Nest
  • Hive
  • Honeywell
  • Ecobee
  • Mysa

Google Home was unveiled in May of 2016, and then actually released to the public in the United States in November of the same year.

Since then they have been trying to catch up with Amazon and their Alexa counterpart, but what we’ve seen is a large burst of Google Home implementations in newer technology.

Allow me to preface the rest of this article by saying that I have researched extensively and I have found every single smart thermostat that works with Google Home as of the writing of this article. I will do my best to come back and update this as I find newer products.

smart thermostat google home

Gotta get a piece of the pie ya know!

Smart integrations keep coming, and at such a pace that it can be hard to know exactly which products work with Google Home.

Smart Thermostats That Work With Google Home

To help you pick the best smart thermostat that works with Google Home, I’ve created this comprehensive guide.

Below are the best thermostats that are compatible with Google Home. Obviously, I will be updating this list as newer smart home technology becomes available.

Nest – The Best All-Around Smart Thermostat

One of the standout features of Nest is that it literally can take it a week to learn your habits and how you use your heat. It’s training capabilities definitely make it one of the best options you can choose along with it’s preferred compatibility.

Google Home compatibility allows you to control heat and hot water and never even mess with that pesky dial on the wall again.

If you want to find out more or just check out the reviews on the product here is a link to it over on Amazon.

Hive – The New Smart Thermostat On The Block

Hive is all over the map now and definitely an emerging company with some of their newer smart home technology. The Hive family of smart home products now includes smart cameras, smart lighting, and even smart plugs!

This does also require a Hive Hub, which it comes with. It does also require that you have a C-wire for the installation, but that’s pretty much standard for every smart thermostat out there.

I like what Hive is doing with their product line and the fact that their thermostats are now compatible with Google Home might just be the game changer they needed.

Here is a link to the Hive Smart Thermostat over on Amazon. Check out the reviews. It’s definitely worth the look.

Ecobee – Best Multiroom Smart Thermostat

 

I personally have 4 Ecobee thermostats in my home (one for each zone) and I love them!

The Ecobee3 Lite smart thermostat is probably my personal favorite just because of its low price point. You can usually find them for a pretty good deal on Amazon when they are on sale.

You can pair it with Ecobee room sensors (sold separately) to help manage the areas in your home that are particularly cold or hot.

Again, this is my personal favorite, but don’t just take my word for it. Check out their reviews on Amazon and see what other people are saying.

Honeywell – Best Smart Thermostat Deal

Their Lyric T5 features adaptive recovery technology that works with its built-in geofencing capabilities. This allows the thermostat to know if you are home or not and what the temperature should be set to.

I had to do some research here because it was not clear at first whether or not Honeywell is compatible with Google Homes Assistant.

But I have good news!

According to Honeywell’s website, their Lyric T5 and others are now compatible with Google Home.

Their price point is so low that I’d have to be an idiot to leave them out! You can check out their current price on Amazon as well as reviews.

Mysa – Best Smart Thermostat For Baseboards

Of course, if you have electric baseboard or fan-forced heaters, then you know how expensive it can be to heat your home. Mysa is one of the smartest ways to save up to 30% on your heating bill.

Mysa is not the most expensive smart thermostat out there either with a price point which really isn’t that bad all things considered.

You can take full control of your home’s energy usage by using their app. It also allows you to use your voice via Google Home and you can even add it to your Samsung SmartThings routine or set up IFTTT applets.

If you are curious to see more about the Mysa, you can check it out over on Amazon here.

Conclusion

Google Home compatibility with companies that make smart thermostats has definitely come around and the tide is changing. Google is now compatible with many different smart home devices including smart locks, smart speakers like Sonos, and smart security cameras like the Arlo Pro.

If you have a Google Assistant product then you should really make the most of it by utilizing the newer smart home thermostat technology that is out there.

Smart Home Networks : The Ultimate Guide

Wether you’ve never built a smart home network or you are a pro, you’re probably going to at least like this guide. Do you need to come up with ways to secure your smart home? Do you think there’s a ghost living in your smart home? Is your TV coming on when you didn’t ask it to? Then you need this guide.

Smart home technology has brought on a whole new world of potential network security issues. Even for the experienced user like myself. Not only that but I’m sure you’ll have questions about weather or not your wifi will handle the workload of a smart home network.

But there are several things you can do to prevent it from ever being something you need to worry about. Let’s start with security.

Lock down the router

You need to start by making sure that you have at least completed these basic security steps to lock your router down and secure your smart home.

  • Make sure you have changed your default login for the router backend.
  • Also, make sure you have changed the default credentials for the Wi-Fi as well.
  • Make sure you are using WPA2 Encryption for your Wi-Fi password.
  • Update the firmware on your router.
  • Use MAC address filtering to make sure that someone isn’t just wandering around your network.

Use Two-Factor authentication

Good password management is extremely important to secure your smart home. However, if you add an extra authentication factor it can make your IoT devices much more secure from being hacked.

You could use a security key that is received on your phone. You could also use fingerprint recognition in some cases to keep intruders away from your smart devices and all those apps that you want to use to control them.

Many smart home device apps already offer two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, which you will usually find in the settings section of the app.

There is one really good thing about doing this. Even IF someone were to get your username and password from one smart device, it would stop them from infecting or otherwise attacking the rest of your network.

Use Antivirus Religiously

So I suppose it is just one of those necessary evils that we have to live with. It is definitely important to have some kind of antivirus on the smartphone or computer that is being used to control IoT devices.

Hackers are no different than the average joe. They want the easy way out too. If a hacker can access your smart thermostat, for example via a malicious app rather than hacking the device itself, believe me, you, he’s going to go with the app.

Antivirus programs are very important to the survival of any smart home. They add another layer of security with built-in firewalls that let you decide which apps can or cannot run on your smartphone or computer.

I’m not saying that antivirus is the end all, be all for network security. However, not having almost guarantees that you will be hacked by some idiot sooner rather than later.

Malware Protection Devices

Malware Protection is just that one extra layer of security. While your Wi-Fi network might be secure, it won’t stop certain forms of malware from sneaking through. A unified threat management system might be the way to go. It is much more sophisticated than just using a firewall.

Actually it’s a monitoring system that will monitor all of the devices on your network and block known attempts to try to compromise the devices, but more importantly, it will give you a heads up when one of your devices is trying to do something that it shouldn’t.

Although this is on the higher priced side. It may be a valuable tool in your toolbelt if you are under attack and help secure your smart home network.

Don’t use public Wi-Fi

smart home security

 

There are safe alternatives though. For example, you can use wireless hot spots from your cell phone or devices like a Verizon Jetpack. If you want to secure your smart home network it’s important to stay off public wifi.

Only use known devices

I am a huge fan of this. Primarily for my network security sake. Companies like Ecobee, Blink, and just about anything from Amazon not only have lots of cha-ching invested in the development of IOT devices, but they have their reputations on the line.

Trust me when I tell you not to skimp. I know the name of my blog is DIY Smart Home Guide. Well, doing it yourself is fine, but skimping to save money is not the way to do it when you are planning out a smart home is probably not the way to go.

If you spend a little more to avoid the off brands you’ve never heard of it will help lower the risk of someone getting access to your smart home security camera. There are enough things to worry about in this world.

You don’t need your information getting into the wrong hands. Hackers are pretty smart. But the odds that a large, well-established company will ignore any lingering network security issues is more unlikely than the little guy. Better safe than sorry.

Secure Your Smart Phone

smart home network security

In fact, 33%, was the last number according to the last Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report. All IoT gadgets are controlled by a cell phone application, so cell phones have turned out to be a core focus for hackers.

Put yourself in this position for a minute. Let’s say you had a smartphone that wasn’t password protected and it fell into the wrong hands. Sadly for you, you never logged out of the app that unlocks your front door. Whoopsie!

Now you understand the importance of locking that smartphone down. Personally, and I know this is a pain, I read the privacy policy of the apps I install to see what types of data the app will be accessing from my phone. I want to know what data it will collect, and what will be done with that data. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

Prioritize Updates

secure your smart home

It’s important to stay up to date on any software updates for the products you own and use. If you don’t, then the answer you will get from the company is more than likely going to be, “sorry, not sorry”.

If you fall behind on software updates it doesn’t just mean you are going to have a few glitches in the system, it can put your entire network security at risk. Developers typically put out updates to stop any gaps that were in the original coding they used to build the software.

This is just common sense nowadays anyway. Your antivirus/malware software needs to be updated. Windows needs security updates constantly. It stands for just about every item on your network. So stay alert on this one.

Manage Your Passwords

Ohhh, your not one of those people are you? Please tell me that all of those pretty new smart devices you just bought still have their default administrator password! I mean, this could include things like your Smart TV or even Wi-Fi printers.

I can go google the model number of any device and find it’s default username and password in seconds. So don’t mess around when it comes to this. It’s an easy in for a hacker.

Make sure you change these passwords to something really hard. Chances are you’ll not need the username or password again anyway. Just do it, and that way you don’t have to worry about it down the road.

Go With A Cloud Service

smart network security

These services, like Qualcomm or Vivint, typically cost money and while some people are still concerned about privacy issues. In most situations, these companies do a better job of securing these devices than the average user can.

If you are ok with handling the security of your smart devices yourself then you don’t need to bother with this. The thing is, you really don’t need to be tech-savvy. You just need to stay on top of it.

Use A Separate Network

One of the easiest and most tech-savvy ways to keep your network secure is by using your smart devices on a separate network. My Netgear R7000 has two networks built right in, as do many of the routers you will buy today. This lowers the risk of hacking across smart devices as well. But you really have two options when it comes to this.

The other way is to buy an additional router and set that up with your existing network. If you put your smart devices on a different network from things like home computers, then you can help yourself greatly and avoid identity theft.

Here again, you really don’t have to be the most tech-savvy person in the world. But if you need a hand to get this going I’m sure there are plenty of people around you who could help you get this set up in a matter of minutes.

Use A VPN

This is one of my favorite ways to keep myself invisible to hackers. The game of online privacy and security has changed. In the last few years, in particular, I have seen a large upswell in people using VPN’s (virtual private networks).

Every time one of the devices on your network goes out on the internet to do anything it opens up the risk of being hacked.

I strongly suggest an integrated VPN for your router. This will greatly help you prevent hackers using exploits on your smart devices. It not only changes your virtual location on the planet, it also gives you military-grade encryption for anything on your network.

Personally, I’m a big fan of IPVanish. They are easy to use and easy to set up. But there are many many others out there. However, I’m not really a fan of using the free ones, as they rarely work in a consistent manner to protect anything.

Use Bitdefender

This small hardware-based security appliance is designed in a way that has a network firewall, (IPS) intrusion prevention system, vulnerability scanner and an antivirus solution all in one!

The reason I even mention it is that one of my close friends has one, and they work very well at deterring almost any attacker for several reasons. It plugs into your router and secures all of your Wi-Fi and internet connected devices. This uses a combination of hardware, software, and cloud protection. It’s easy to use and set up for literally anyone and their support is outstanding.

The Bitdefender does carry a $99 annual fee. However, if you want the “easy way out”. Then this may be the solution for you. You can check it out over here on Amazon.

What Is The Best Wi-Fi For My Smart Home Network?

Maybe it’s not your smart home network WiFi! How fast does your wifi have to be for smart home automation? I’ve seen a few people on the interwebs asking this question and the answer is this.

Your internet speed will only be affected by the video that is being transmitted over the network. So generally unless you are streaming a lot of video over the network you shouldn’t have a problem with speeds on your smart home network.

Types Of Speeds

First, we need to clear something up. Internet speed and WiFi speed are two entirely different things. The Internet speed is referring to your networks communication with outside world and Wi-Fi Speed is only referring to communications between devices on your Wi-Fi home network internally.

Typically your home internet has 2 different speeds. One for uploading data and one for downloading data. If you are referring to streaming video to somewhere outside of your house, then your upload speed is what you really want to look at. Usually, it is about one-tenth of your download speed.

wifi-speed-smart-home

The speed of your internet connection matters for sending the video somewhere outside of your network and not much of anything else. Reliable internet, on the other hand, can be much more important. Of course, this applies both to the external internet connection and to the internal WiFi.

You could run into hiccups, with different types of old wiring in the walls or brick walls that hinder the signal of your home Wi-Fi. That will put a damper on your day for sure. The good news is, you can buy a Wi-Fi extender to resolve that issue.

If you just have unreliable internet then there really isn’t much you can do about that. Other than the obvious, which is to complain to the service provider you are subscribed to or switch to another provider.

Wi-Fi Components Matter

wifi-home-automation

If reliability is a concern, however, you should avoid the more cloud-based devices and look more at ones that are not as reliant on the internet.

With all that said, you shouldn’t let your internet connection hinder you. Osram has the Lightify connected bulbs, which can create scenes, groups, and schedules. No internet needed, and users can set them off with motion sensors or wall switches.

The Internet is only necessary for going through the setup with new bulbs, syncing up smartphones and tablets, connecting with other online services, and controlling the lights remotely.

Should I Switch To A Mesh Network?

Literally, every month right now there is another company making a new mesh network that gets thrown into the market!

Are they all they are cracked up to be?

Absolutely! I would tell anyone who is having connectivity problems with their router that they need to get a mesh network.

Why? You might ask. Mesh networks are much more powerful wifi systems that give each room of your house a strong, reliable Wi-Fi signal, supplying optimal performance for all of your smart home technology.

Some of the more reputable companies in the mesh network space are EeroVelopOrbiGoogle, and Samsung.

What are the differences between each? Well, that is worthy of a separate blog post all by itself.

Mostly because they use multiple nodes or access points to create a mesh network that will cover your entire home.

I personally recommend Eero .

The nodes can be set up and paired with each other pretty easily by using the dedicated app, and you’ll end up with an insanely fast network right out of the box.

However, it is notable that mesh networks are not cheap! You are going to spend at minimum $250 to get started and the pricing goes up from there.

Other Speed Considerations

Really, you should consider spending a little extra on a better, more high-end router no matter what you do, if you are going to spend all that money on home automation, to begin with.

I mean even if you aren’t using a ton of video over the internet these can provide you with a way to increase the signal inside your house. Plus you’ll gain a healthy measure of security which will ensure hackers aren’t using your web-enabled toaster for a web server.

As always, I recommend researching a variety of vendors and systems before choosing one. You can also check your internet speed with speedtest.net before you set up an array of video cameras part of your smart home network. As I mentioned earlier, smart home cameras tend to use more bandwidth than any other smart home product you’ll have.

Conclusion

I had no problem streaming the video from my Blink XT cameras when I was on vacation in Florida. I’m not saying that you’ll never have issues with your internet connection if you get a particular kind of camera, don’t get me wrong. But my experience is that with a 10MB upload speed I had no problem at all viewing my cameras.

So be aware of what you have for upload and download speeds via your provider. That will make all the difference in the world when you aren’t home and you want to be able to view your cameras.

If security cameras are not on the list of things that you need to have hooked up, then I really wouldn’t worry about internet speed at all.

Personally, I find all of the solutions above to be effective. But the goal of anyone with a smart home network should be to secure it as much as possible.

I implore you to take a multifaceted approach and use several of these techniques together. You can never be too careful when it comes to securing your network.

How To Install An Ecobee Thermostat With No C-Wire

Do you have an Ecobee Thermostat and only have two wires (a red and a white) and no c wire? Then this article is the easy answer to the problem that no one seems to be talking about.

When my wife and I recently purchased the four Ecobee Thermostats that now reside in four zones of our 2700 square foot house we had no idea that there was one potentially problematic (yet common) installation problem if you do not have a C-Wire.

The following are the steps that we took to install an Ecobee with no c-wire.

Step 1 – Some Preparation

If your furnace does not have a C terminal then according to Ecobee you will need to use their PEK or Power Extender Kit. Which looks something like this.

If you contact Ecobee they will tell you that you need to have a c-wire in order to get your thermostats up and running and that includes the PEK.

Even though at the time when we bought ours Home Depot didn’t say anything about needing one. In fact, they had a sign right in front of the Thermostat display saying “No C-Wire needed for installation”.

I have seen on the forums where a lot of people are complaining about this. So I did my research and have crafted a simple way of doing the install yourself without any need for adding a C-wire to your existing system and it is TOO SIMPLE.

Step 2 – Remove your old thermostat

I suppose I should preface this by saying a couple of things.

1. – I am not a certified electrician or plumber and that if you do this, you are doing it at your own risk.

2. – My heating system is a forced hot water boiler system and I am using Ecobee thermostats so your results may vary depending on the type of heating system you have in your home.

Now that I have that out of the way, let’s begin. First of all, you will need to have your Ecobee Thermostat completely unboxed and ready to go.

Remove your old thermostat. If you only have two wires, like me, then you will see a red wire and a white wire. Personally, I prefer to shut off the breaker to the particular thermostat that I am working on before going any further.

ecobee thermostat

Once you have turned off the power to that thermostat, then remove the red and white wires from the back plate. Typically you will find that they are held in by small phillips head screws.

Step 4 – Remove The Back Plate

Remove the back plate from the wall. Usually, this is held in place by two to four screws into the wall. If you have Sheetrock, be careful not to tear it to ribbons when removing the old back plate.

Step 5 – Installation Of The New Thermostat

ecobee-thermostat-no-c-wire

You will need to buy a 24 Volt C-Wire Power adapter from Amazon (I haven’t found them in local stores personally). Check the current price on the ones that I personally purchased 11 Tips For Smart Home Beginners. They are relatively inexpensive and typically can be purchased for under $30. Many of these come with a rather long power cord, some are 25 feet or more!

Cut down the wire to the intended length and strip off the ends of the wire to a very short length. Then you will want to run the two wires that come from the AC adapter as well as your red and white wire coming from the wall up through the center of the round backplate before attaching the back plate to the wall.

As you can see in my picture from the one I installed in my finished basement it doesn’t need to be very long if you are near a power outlet. I know it looks messy, but this can easily be remedied with a little wire molding to tidy it up.

Step 6 – Wiring Your New Thermostat

ecobee-thermostat-wire

Now connect the red wire from the boiler into the RH slot and your white wire into the W1 slot.

Double check your connections and then finish up by affixing the back plate to the wall.

At this point, you should be able to pop on your Ecobee thermostat and see it power right up with no problem.

How We Found Out About This

A little bit of a side story on this. We didn’t realize that it was this simple, so we brought home four thermostats from home depot on a Saturday morning and returned them that same Saturday night.

Because we figured we were just out of luck altogether. But I was determined that there MUST be a fix for the problem of not having a C-wire to the Ecobee thermostats in my house without spending an arm and a leg to have an electrician come in and rewire things. So I googled for hours and found all kinds of other problems but not this one in particular.

I really hope this helps someone else out before they make the mistake of returning these thermostats. Also, if you are just starting out on your home automation journey, then you may want to check out my article 11 Tips For Smart Home Beginners.

Conclusion

Once you have smart thermostats in your home it is impossible to go back. It is absolutely a lifesaver, especially if you own a second home or if you rent an apartment out to someone and want to be able to control the heat.

I live in New England and just took a trip to Disney with my wife and daughter. It was so nice to be able to just schedule the thermostat differently while we were away and then have it automatically scheduled to heat up the house before we came home!

No one wants to return to a cold house in New England in the middle of winter after enjoying 8 days in sunny Buena Vista, Florida!

So there you have it, all you need is a 24 Volt AC adapter for each of your Ecobee thermostats and you are good to go. I’m no math whiz, but it makes so much more sense to me to do this rather than calling an electrician!

Best smart home gadgets ( January 2019 )

Looking for the coolest and best gadgets for your smart home? I’m rather impressed with some of these new useful smart gadgets. You won’t find your typical smart home gadgets here. These are some of the more off the wall gadgets that we ran into and thought you might be curious to read more about.

We decided to feature these as the best smart home gadgets in 2018:

  • Bond
  • PetSafe Smart Feed
  • Anova Precision Cooker
  • QiLi Ceiling Lamp
  • Dojo
  • Weber iGrill Mini
  • Flower Care 2
  • Muse: Brain Sensor
  • Circle – with Disney
  • Feiyen Echo Dot Hanger 
  • Hapifork
  • Tonbux Wi-Fi Power Strip
  • Smart Sockets
  • Sensibo Sky
  • Logitech Harmony Hub

I know that we all know about smart home thermostats and smart home security and all the normal stuff that I discuss here on a daily basis.

I think you will find some of these smart home gadgets are a little more intuitive and solve everyday problems that we all run into. Heck, some of them are just for fun.

You can click on any of the pictures on the right to take a deeper look at each item over on Amazon. So here is my list of 15 of the best gadgets for your smart home that you should take a look at in 2018.

1. Bond

 

 

 This little smart hub is great as a smart home gadget. I don’t usually think of ceiling fans right off the bat when I think of smart homes. But now, when I do I think of the Bond. Basically, it allows you to turn your old remote controlled ceiling fan into a smart ceiling fan.

It allows you to control up to 6 ceiling fans with one single controller and from one central location. It has support for both iOS and Android APP. It was really easy to set up too. You just download the app, then point your remote at the BOND and you are done. It also integrates slickly with Alexa and Google Home. Just bear in mind that if you don’t have a remote for your current fan, Bond won’t be able to help you.

Features

  • CONTROL CEILING FANS AND FIREPLACES FROM YOUR SMARTPHONE – BOND turns any remote controlled fan or fireplace smart in seconds. Activate the fan, control fan speeds, and switch on lights—all from your iPhone, Android phone, tablet, Amazon Echo, or Google Home Assistant. With BOND, you’ll be able to use these smart devices to do whatever your remote control could do.
  • ALEXA AND GOOGLE-ENABLED – This device is certified by Amazon and Google to work with Alexa and the Google Home Assistant. Control your ceiling fan with voice commands. You’ll never need to reach for the light switch or the remote again. Controlling a ceiling fan and fireplace has never been easier!
  • CONTROL UP TO SIX CEILING FANS – A single BOND can control up to six ceiling fans from one central location. The BOND can record and transmit RF (radio frequency) as well as IR (infrared) signals, so it will work regardless of what kind of remote you have. The area range is about 2,500 sq. ft. so you’ll be able to control fans in other rooms or on another floor.
  • NO INSTALLATION NEEDED – Set up is extremely quick and easy. Simply plug in the BOND device, download the app to your phone, point your fan remote at the BOND, and you’re done! All of the functions on your remote—including fan speed, light dimmer settings, and timer using IFTTT—can now be controlled via the BOND.
  • SMART HOME FUNCTIONALITY WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK – Everybody wants devices and appliances with smart home functionality, but many of these products are extremely expensive. With BOND, you can make your old appliances smart without replacing them. Our software currently supports ceiling fans and electric and gas fireplaces, but updates are on their way for A/C units, garage doors, and motorized shades!

 

2. PetSafe Smart Feed

 

Buy now

 

It is definitely flexible, as your pet’s meals can be dispensed from 1/8 cups to 4 cups.

You can use the “slow feed” option which allows food to dispense slowly over a 15 minute period. This will help prevent bloating and vomiting. Because that’s the last thing you need happening when you aren’t there to clean it up.

This also allows you to get alerts so that you know that your pets are eating on the schedule you set for them. It’s easy to clean and has a reliable design for a smart home gadget. Overall I highly recommend it.

Features

  • SMARTPHONE PROGRAMMING: Control your dog or cat’s feeding from anywhere using your smartphone; Requires an Apple iPhone or iPod device iOS 9.0 or later or a compatible Android smartphone 5.0 or later
  • CUSTOMIZABLE MEAL TIMES: Program up to 12 meals to feed on your pet’s schedule; Feed Now option allows you to feed your pet outside normal feeding times
  • FLEXIBLE PORTIONS: Meals can be dispensed from 1/8 cups to 4 cups to fit your pet’s unique feeding needs; Unique Slow Feed option allows the food to dispense slowly over a 15 minute period to help prevent bloating and vomiting
  • RECEIVE ALERTS: Monitor your pet’s feeding from anywhere for peace of mind; Feeds on schedule as programmed if Wi-Fi connection is lost or feeder is offline
  • RELIABLE DESIGN: Unique conveyor design dispenses most shapes and sizes of dry and semi-moist food and helps prevent jams; Pet-proof dispenser keeps prying paws from sneaking food
  • EASY-TO-CLEAN: Lid, hopper, bowl and bowl holder are top-shelf dishwasher-safe for convenient cleaning. For indoor use only. Made of BPA-free plastic and stainless steel
  • POWER ADAPTER INCLUDED: Power adapter operated with an optional battery backup (requires 4 D-cell alkaline batteries, not included)

Buy now

 

Sous vide cooking has been around forever and produces restaurant quality results that are impossible to achieve through any other cooking method. You can cook everything from meats, fish, vegetables and even desserts.

It’s easy to use too for a smart home gadget! Just attach the cooker to any pot, add your water, put your ingredients in a sealed bag or glass jar, drop it in, then press start. Seriously, if I can do this, then any Homosapien can!

Features

  • ANOVA PRECISION COOKER WI-FI – Perfect to cook from anywhere with WI-FI. Serves up to 12. Fits on any pot. Adjustable clamp
  • COOK LIKE A PRO – The Anova Precision Cooker allows anyone to cook a restaurant-quality meal at home. Our sous vide Circulator is the perfect kitchen appliance for hands-off cooking of vegetables, meat and much more with consistent control and precision. We’re so confident in our product Anova backs it with a 2-year warranty
  • PERFECT RESULTS, EVERY TIME – Precision Cooking enables you to produce results that are impossible to achieve through any other cooking method. No dry edges and no rare centers. Juices and flavors don’t escape. Food comes out perfectly moist and tender. Continuous temperature control provides reliable and consistent results, every time. Perfect for vegetables, meat, fruit, cheese and much more
  • SMART DEVICE CONTROL & COOKING NOTIFICATIONS – The Precision Cooker can be controlled remotely with smart devices, allowing you to escape from the kitchen while you cook. Simply download the Anova app to easily monitor, adjust or control the device from your iPhone and Android or other smart devices. The Precision Cooker also provides you cooking notifications while you’re out of the kitchen so you’ll know when your food is ready. The Precision Cooker’s WI-FI connection allows you to control the device from anywhere
  • EASY TO USE – Simply attach the Precision Cooker to any pot, add water, drop in desired food in a sealed bag or glass jar. Start cooking with the touch of a button. The sous vide cooker’s timer and precise temperature control allow you to step away and relax while your food cooks perfectly. No additional equipment needed
  • GET CREATIVE WITH 1,000+ RECIPES – Choose from sous vide guides and recipes created for home cooks of every skill level by award-winning chefs, with simple directions to walk through each recipe with ease. All available free of charge. Great for beginner and veteran chefs!
  • SIMPLE TO CLEAN – The Precision Cooker’s detachable stainless steel skirt and disks are dishwasher safe making this kitchen appliance easy to clean and maintain

4. QiLi Ceiling Lamp

It has multiple light colors built right into the LED Ceiling light, and warm white as well as cool white for options as well as dimmable functionality. You can use the iLink app to control the colors. You can control it via Bluetooth from 16 to 20 feet away. The only downside is that you can only pair it with one phone.

It does also have a timer setting so that you can time the start of the smart ceiling lamp to turn it on or off automatically and have it set to any color you want. You can even set the bulb to wake you up in the morning with a naturally soft light. It definitely has some great features and is an interesting smart home gadget for just about any home.

Features

  • BUILT-IN SOUND SPEAKER – There is sound speaker inside of lamp, you can play your phone music by this speaker, this is great if you want to relax and unwind after a long day, make your kids bedtime an enjoyable experience, or help kick start the party
  • LIGHT COLORS – This smart LED Ceiling light is RGBW multi color changing, and warm white cool white for choice, brightness dimmable. Use APP “iLink” to control colors. Wireless control distance is 16-26ft. (Please note this smart lamp can only be paired with a single phone)
  • REMOTE CONTROL – Simply use remote controller to control colors.3000K-6500K color termperature adjustable and RGB multi color changing. Press “Rhythm” key on remote, colors will change by music.
  • PACK INCLUDES- Each pack includes 1pcs LED ceiling light, 1pcs user guide, 1pcs mounted holder with strong magetic, 4pcs screws and wall expansion micelles, 1pcs cable with plug ,1pcs strong package(Φ13.2inch(diameter) x 3.15inch(thickness))
  • WARRANTY – 2 years 100% warranty and friendly, easy-to-reach Support.90 days money back guarantee for any reason.Please reach out to our support email assistance.

 

5. Dojo

Buy now

 

This was really easy to set up. Basically, you connect your Dojo to your router, download the Dojo app and Dojo does everything else. As someone who used to work in Network Security Sales, it’s nice to see smart detection and prevention for the home user.

This little gadget also automatically detects, blocks and mitigates cyber threats. The app will give you real-time risk information on privacy breach detections and anything that it blocks. It is constantly learning by studying your home network which allows it to enhance and protect at all times.

Features

  • SMART CYBERSECURITY – Dojo protects all your connected home devices from malware, viruses and any cyber attack while keeping your privacy intact. Dojo is the only smart thing making sure all your smart devices and network are behaving and secure
  • Simple Setup – Connect Dojo to your Wi-Fi router, download Dojo app and Dojo does the rest
  • Smart Detection and Prevention – Automatically detects, blocks and mitigates cyber threats. Dojo also gives you real-time risk information (via app) on privacy breach detections and blocks giving you total peace of mind
  • Intelligent Learning – Dojo constantly studies your home network to enhance and protect at all times. It never sleeps and is always adapting, planning and protecting
  • Enterprise Grade Security – Advance cyber security service for all your smart devices
  • Refer to the User Manual attached below in Technical Specification

 

6. Weber iGrill Mini

Buy now

 

The iGrill mini has a smart probe that measures temperatures between -22° F (-30°C) to 572° F (300°C). It comes with an app that allows you to monitor it. It also has a temperature LED indicator with proximity wake-up shows the progression from start to done without lifting the lid on your grill or smoker.

Features

  • Single probe capacity (one meat probe included)
  • Meat probes are heat resistant up to 716˚F
  • Smart LED
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 150-hour battery life (battery included)
  • Magnetic base
  • Preset temperatures, temperature monitoring, and many other features offered in Weber iGrill app
  • Weber iGrill app available on App Store and Google Play

7. Fower Care 2

Buy now

 

The app stores a daily growth record. They even have a database of over 5,000 plants and flowers that you can find your plants in. This little smart home gadget also works in both the United States as well as in Europe.

  • REAL TIME SOIL & SUNLIGHT SENSOR FOR INDOOR & OUTDOOR USE – Smart tester for your house and garden plants that provides accurate data on Sunlight, Moisture, Temperature, and Soil Fertility. IPX5 Waterproof design.
  • FULL SPECIES COVERAGE & EXPERT CARE TIPS – Analyzes and tracks daily plant growth in real-time, and provides expert tips on how to better take care of your flowers, plants, vegetables and herbs. Database supports over 5,000 different flowers and plants with individual care recommendations.
  • TEMPORARY CARE – Let your friends or family members take care of your plants while you’re away with the all-new Temporary Care feature. Now you don’t have to worry that someone will flood your plant with this moisture meter!
  • FRIENDLY MOBILE APP & EASY SETUP – Quick set-up process that guarantees you will have a green thumb in no time! Connects to a free FlowerCare Android App (iOS is in Beta testing and currently not officially supported).
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT – Powered by 1 x DC 3V CR2032 button battery (included), lasts up to 365 days thanks to manual sync via energy efficient Bluetooth 4.1 connection.

8. Muse: Brain Sensor

Buy now

 

While you are meditating it measures how calm your mind is and it translates that data into weather sounds. So for example, you’ll hear nice peaceful weather sounds when you are calm. When your mind wanders off the weather will intensify which guides you back to being calm again.

After your done meditating you can see all the data, and set new goals. I’m not the meditation type (although I probably should be), but I’m pretty impressed with this little smart home gadget.

Features

  • MEDITATION MADE EASY: Muse is your personal meditation assistant by providing EEG based real-time neurofeedback, allowing you to take the guesswork out of your meditation practice
  • MUSE WILL GUIDE YOU TO A CALM MIND: Sometimes your mind is calm and sometimes it’s active – Muse will teach you to recognize a calm mind and help you get there
  • IMMERSE YOURSELF: Put on the Muse headband, plug in your earbuds or headphones, start the app, and close your eyes. Immerse yourself within the sounds of a beach or rainforest via the Muse App on iOS or Android
  • MUSE TEACHES FOCUSED ATTENTION MEDITATION: When you’re calm, you’ll hear peaceful weather sounds. When your mind wanders, the weather will intensify, guiding you back to a calm state
  • REAL-TIME TRACKING & FEEDBACK: While you meditate, Muse measures whether your mind is calm or active, and translates that data into weathers sounds
  • REVIEW DATA AFTER EACH SESSION: After each session, review your data, set goals, and build a deeply rewarding meditation practice that gets better every time
  • ENSURE YOU ARE GETTING AUTHENTIC MUSE HEADBANDS – Manufacturer warranty is valid only when the Muse headband is purchased via ‘Ships and Sold by Amazon.com’ – No other seller on this site is authorized; product from others may not be authentic

9. Circle – with Disney

Buy now

 

Circle with Disney gives you the ability to filter what your kids see and allows you full parental controls without having to be ultra tech savvy. You control it right from your smartphone, and yes it is compatible with both Android and IOS. You will want to check before buying to make sure that your router is compatible. You can find a full list of compatible routers here.

I love the fact that you can control online time limits with Circle and that you can even pause the internet all together with a single tap on your phone.

If you think this might be something for you, then you should check it out over here on Amazon.

Features

  • MANAGE EVERY CONNECTED DEVICE: Circle recognizes and manages wired and wireless devices on your home network.
  • REQUIREMENTS: Setup and manage Circle using a device with iOS 9+ or Android 4.2+. Home Internet connection and a compatible router also required, check your router’s compatibility on our Support Site.
  • SET ONLINE TIME LIMITS: Create daily time limits on apps and popular sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.
  • FILTER ONLINE CONTENT: Set individual filter levels by age (Pre-K, Kid, Teen, and Adult) for each member of your family. Create custom filters for websites too!
  • PAUSE THE INTERNET: Pause the internet for a single Family member or the whole Family with a single tap.
  • ONLINE USAGE AT A GLANCE: See where your kids spend time online by app and category.

10. Feiyen Echo Dot Hanger 

Buy now

 

You can set it up in seconds because there is a secure lock to keep the echo dot in place. This also holds your cord, so you can literally say goodbye to it. The best part of this little doodad is that it improves the responsiveness of the Echo Dot because the microphones are completely exposed.

Overall I just love the convenience and functionality of having this for my Echo Dot. Be aware though, it only works with the Echo Dot 2nd generation. Still, this is a very useful smart home gadget for anyone who has purchased or will be purchasing an echo dot.

Features

  • Easy Setup – Great alternative to others that require drilling holes. Installs it in seconds without user guide. There is a secure lock to greatly keep the dot from dropping down and a seamless footprint perfectly packing the orginal power adapter from Your Echo Dot.
  • Perfect Cord Arrangement – Say goodbye to mess long cord bunched up behind the Echo Dot and be off of the counter top of kitchen, bathroom and bedroom with our specific power cable.
  • Voice Recognition Improvement – The microphones and speakers are all exposed. Your Echo Dot is actually more responsive in this position with the microphones facing out from the wall. There is a rear openings for maximum sound output.
  • Elegant Decoration – It’s nice to have it suspended off of the flat surface with these outlet plug accessories of echo dot. Move your Dots to more convenient locations and give your outlet space a lot cleaner and tidier look. Never block the plug of any outlets. It also can be echo dot stand on the counter. Why not buy it as a great Christmas gift with the beautifully designed packaging.
  • Notes – ONLY FITS Dot 2nd generation! Package includes: Short USB cord x 1, Outlet wall mount x 1

11. Tonbux Wi-Fi Power Strip

Buy now

 

You just connect this USB power strip to your wall outlet, and download the smart app, then add it to your account via your home network. When you turn it on/off on app, you can turn your devices on and off and set schedules from anywhere in the world, which offers you a surprisingly intelligent life.

Features

  • TopTen Collections Pick
  • Work with Alexa Echo: Work with Amazon Alexa Echo to control each of the outlets individually Via voice control after connecting the Jinvoo Smart app successfully. Turn on/off your devices based on specific time you set for energy saving with the wifi intelligent power strip
  • 4 AC Outlets + 4 USB Charging Ports: Equipped with 4 outlets and 4 USB charging port for travel, home or office, provide a convenient power supply for notebooks and other Tabs Socket. And you can remote control your indoor lights, space heaters, fans, and other appliances at the same time.( NOTE: the 4 Outlet can be controlled individual ;4 USB ports are controlled as a one unit)
  • Free App Control: Connect to your Wi-Fi network and Download the Free Jinvoo Smart APP ( IOS8 or above/Android 4.1 or above) on your smart device and pair with Amazon Alexa using on Apple store/Android Market/ GooglePlay. Support 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network, not support 5.0GHz
  • Energy Saving & Safety: Remote control your daily electrical equip with Security via Voice Control when you are indoor. Built in leakage, overload protection switch, product support Surge Protection, effective absorption of the sudden huge energy, protect the connection equipment from damage
  • Easy to Operate: Just connect your lights and appliances to this usb power strip, download the Jinvo Smart app, add it into your account via 2.4G wifi network. When you turn it on/off on app, you would find that the app and this smart device sync on/off, not time delay. This power strip has been approved for safety and quality assurance (ETL and FCC certificate.

12. GMYLE Smart Sockets

Buy now

 

 

 

The real beauty of it? You can control them from anywhere with no hub or subscription fee. They are also compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Home, so you can control them via your voice as well. You install them by setting up your smart plug with the wifi network and then register the appliances.

They even have a timer and a countdown function which lets you control when appliances turn off and on. That stops you from having any issues with overcharging or power waste. You can sync your lights or other devices to turn on when you come home by setting up a geofence as well. Very cool stuff here for a very reasonable price.

 

13. Sensibo Sky

Buy now

 

This works on a geofence and automatically turns the A/C off when you leave and turns it back on when you come home. That is a huge saving.

Sensibo works with both Amazon Echo and Google Home. You can even control the temperature with your voice! How cool is that? Sensibo also works with SmartThings and IFTTT. I’ll take three, please.

Features

  • COMPATIBLE WITH ALL STAND ALONE ACs : Smart A/C controller that works with mini-splits, mobile a/c units, window a/c units through any wi-fi connected phone or voice aware device.
  • MANAGED BY ANY DEVICE : Use iOS and Android phones to set a/c and heating schedules, automate a/c and heating to save on energy costs, all with an easy to use app.
  • POWERED BY YOU : Use voice commands with your Alexa Echo or Google Home voice aware devices to control your a/c and heating quickly and efficiently.
  • FULL CLIMATE MANAGEMENT : Smart climate control feature Climate React helps you set comfort zones based on temperature (inside and outside), humidity and time of day.
  • SAVES MONEY : Saves energy costs by controlling a/c and heating usage when you are away. Senses when nobody is home to turn climate control off and turns on as you get home.

 

14. Logitech Harmony Hub

Buy now

You can use Amazon Alexa with your Logitech Harmony Hub to turn on your television to your favorite channel by just using your voice. You can set it up to turn any of your home entertainment equipment off or on with the sound of your voice actually. It allows you to combine up to 8 remotes and countless apps into one easy-to-use smartphone app.

Don’t want to see your devices anymore? Want to hide them in a cabinet? Then this is perfect for you. You won’t see that stuff anymore. You can also check out my short review on the Logitech Harmony Hub to find out more.

Features

  • Works with Alexa to easily control your home entertainment devices with your voice
  • Combine up to 8 remotes and countless apps into one easy-to-use smartphone app.
  • Create customized activities to control your home entertainment. For example, simply tap “Date Night” and Harmony can turn on your Sony Android TV, launch Netflix, dim your Philips Hue smart lights and turn on your Sonos connected speaker
  • Harmony App for iOS or Android smartphone or tablet: Simply swipe and tap to control channels, movies, 50 customizable channel Favorites
  • Closed cabinet control: Included Harmony Hub lets you control devices in closed cabinets

Conclusion

These are just some of the fun smart home gadgets that I talk about regularly on the blog. If you find this information useful please share this with friends and family.

Power Strip, Safemore Smart 6-Outlet full review

Power Strip, Safemore Smart 6 was to tall to sit on a end table and looked bad. Well of course it is to tall to sit on something like that, especially in your den or living room! I purchased it to sit on the floor behind my end table in the living room. It is really great, 10-Oulets with 4-USB Ports and surge protection for just over $30.00. What also is a nice feature are the blue led lights on top and on each USB Port. They are not that bight, and the blue led lights on each of the USB Ports are great because you can see to plug in your laptop, cell phones etc.

Portable and Convenient
With 6-Outlet and 4-USB ports, a perfect power strip charging for most electrical device at the same time, no need two or more power socket overlaid to charge for your device which save your space

6.5 Feet Protective Cord
Use the power strip with a distance and the PVC cooper cable is over-heating protection

Smart LED Initiator
Built-in separate individual power switch with LED indicator for power saving option

Safety Protection
Made by fireproof ABS plastic and 110-250V worldwide voltage, guarantee charging security, overload and over-heating protection

Worry-free Warranty
12 months worry-free product guarantee for every purchase. If there exists exists any problem of our item, please contact with us with no hesitation, we will try our best to help you solve the problem.

Specifications
Product Size: 5.9 x 3.5 x 3.5inch
Material: ABS +Fireproof
Current: 10~16A
Voltage: 110V~250V
Power: 2500~4000W
Frequency: 50~60HZ
USB Rated Voltage: 5V
USB Max Output: 2.1A
Cable: 6.5 ft

features

  • 6-Outlet + 4-USB: A perfect power strip charge for your cellphone, tablet, laptop and lamp simultaneously, avoid too much cord for all the electrical stuff
  • Use Vertical Space: 6 outlets and 4 usb distribute vertically in four sides of power strip, providing enough space between each outlets
  • 100V-250V Surge Protector and 2.1A USB Output for worldwide use and provide standard current for the electrical stuff
  • Good Quality Guarantee: Made by fireproof ABS plastic and PVC copper cable, guarantee charging security and overload protection
  • Portable and Widely use: Suitable for all kinds mobile device and charging for them in limited area (Such as: home /office / school)
Buy now

 

WE also recommend to check : best air conditions for your home

 

 

 

Tripp Lite Isobar 6 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip Review 2018

Tripp Lite’s Isobar is the world’s number-one selling premium surge protector. The ISOBAR6ULTRA’s combination of rich features, metal-clad construction and powerful surge protection make it best power strip for a wide range of applications, including home offices, retail outlets, factories, warehouses and more. Its six widely-spaced AC outlets are arranged in three isolated filter banks and can accommodate up to two large transformers. A set of four plug-in covers is included to safeguard unused outlets.

Special features

  • The housing is made of aluminum alloy,the the interior of the socket is made of plastic, much more durable than normal type of power strip, also looks fancy.
  • Voltage: 125V ~ 250V ,current :10 A. It is the prefect idea for Office/Kitchen/Conference Room,but it cannot support high-power appliances,like air conditioning,microwave.
  • After using the socket ,please close it , the top of the socket can waterproof splash, but the inside of our socket is nonwaterproof, Please protect outlet from water spray.Prefect Idea helping you keep your counter tidy and clean, provide you an efficient workspace.Attention :Please make the cables on the bottom straight before using.
  • Note !!! Please cut a 4’’ hole, and remove the ring and slide the body from top, screw the ring tight from bottom. And the hidden length is 14’’ , and the pop up length is 8.7’’.
  • Have an idea install it somewhere else, just do it. The item can be install both vertical and horizontal.——-Please contract us if you need customization, we can provide all kind of ports as you like.

                                        Buy now

Review

I haven’t had the chance to destructively test this yet, however the overall product is great.

-build quality: (Aluminum housing, thick wire, sturdy and tight sockets, held together by 10 screws),
-great design (small plug footprint angled at 45 degrees will never block other outlets, nice wall/bench attachment hangers on the back, and serious look)
-electronics: Inside you will find two PCB’s, one for control lights and another for the main protection elements. The main board contains:

-Large movs (9 in total) correctly rated for the application.
-HRC fuse.
-Large filter chokes + common mode chokes.
-1KV rated line filter capacitors, etc. etc.
-thermal detection

The electronic components are not top brands, but all are correctly rated. E.g. the line Capacitor is branded “Carli” which is an acceptable Chinese brand – and even brands like “Bourns” are making most of their stuff in China, so those guys are getting pretty good at this. On the other hand, I am not happy that they depict “blue” MOVs (presumably from Bourns) in the circuit picture on their product page, but use the cheaper Chinese versions in actual products. that is a tad deceptive, but oh well, I guess the marketing guys just couldn’t stop themselves from being evil!

The protection circuit topology is simple but follows sound design. The wiring is rated for high current draws and large fault conditions. The earth connections are done correctly and the earth path is extremely heavy gauge. Very very sound engineering. Looking at the circuit, this is probably overkill for small/medium sized appliances, but hey, you can never have too much protection!

Check it on Amazon

 

Best power strips for your home ( december 2018 )

Power strips protect any home electronic device from power surges & spikes

Here we recommend “Best power stripes for your home

1. Tripp Lite Isobar 6 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip

  • White surge protector with six outlets protects your PC, personal computer, laptop, printer, scanner, router, phone, fax, modem, television, lamp or any other home/office electronics from dangerous power surges, spikes & line noise
  • PREMIUM SURGE PROTECTION WITH METAL HOUSING: This white surge suppressor provides six widely spaced NEMA 5-15R outlets which are arranged in 3 exclusive isolated filter banks to limit noise interaction among connected equipment. The extra-long 6-foot AC power cord acts like an extension cord to give you the flexibility to reach distant outlets, while its right-angle NEMA 5-15P flat plug allows furniture and equipment to be moved flush against the wall to save space

                          Read Full Review Here

                                            BUY NOW

2. Power Strip, Safemore Smart 6-Outlet with 4-USB Surge Protection

  • 6-Outlet + 4-USB: A perfect power strip charge for your cellphone, tablet, laptop and lamp simultaneously, avoid too much cord for all the electrical stuff
  • Use Vertical Space: 6 outlets and 4 usb distribute vertically in four sides of power strip, providing enough space between each outlets
  • 100V-250V Surge Protector and 2.1A USB Output for worldwide use and provide standard current for the electrical stuff
  • 100V-250V Surge Protector and 2.1A USB Output for worldwide use and provide standard current for the electrical stuff

                         Read Full Review Here

                                           BUY NOW

3. Tripp Lite Isobar 12-Outlet Surge Protector

  • NETWORK-GRADE SURGE PROTECTION: Rack-mount protection for A/V components, network hardware, retail displays, appliances, power tools and other expensive electronics against dangerous surges, spikes and line noise in home, office and industrial environments. Also known as: IBAR12-20ULTRA, ISOBAR12/20 UL, ISOBAR12-20ULTRA, ISOBAR1220ULTR.
  • PREMIUM 12-OUTLET SURGE PROTECTION: Surge suppressor features 12 NEMA 5-15R outlets – two front, 10 rear – which are arranged in two exclusive isolated filter banks that prevent equipment connected to one bank from interacting with equipment connected to the other.
  • HIGH JOULE RATING & PREMIUM SAFETY FEATURES (15A): Network-grade surge protection rating of 3840 joules. An integrated 15A circuit breaker protects all outlets and shuts down connected equipment in the event of an overload. A lighted on/off switch with locking covers. Diagnostic LEDs.

                                 BUY NOW

4. Desktop Power Grommet Hub 2 Power Socket

  • Extend power source within your reach, no more crawling under desk to find power strip on floor.
  • 2 X AC power outlets & 2 X USB ports & 6 ft Power Cord & Current:10A Voltage:125V Rated Power:1000W
  • It’s easy way to clear up your desk, and get all these cables in line.
  • You need to make a 3 1/8 round hole on the table surface or you can use the existing cable hole on your desk. After that you just need to insert the power grommet through the hole and put back the ring underneath the table, so it can fixate you grommet.

                                BUY NOW

5. Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Audio/Video Surge Protector 

  • Robust Audio/Video AC surge suppressor to protect your home theater system or other valuable electronics from a voltage spike and more
  • 2-lines of surge-protected, high definition 2.2 GHz gold coaxial connectors to safeguard devices on cable, satellite and antenna lines. Built to protect your television
  • 1-line (RJ11 jack) for telephone/DSL modem/fax protection – includes 6ft phone cord
  • 3240 joule surge suppression rating with EMI/RFI line noise filtering to help components perform at their peak (i.e. sharper, crisper video; deeper, fuller audio and longer component life spans)
  • Convenient built-in outlet safety covers protect young children from possible harm and prevent dust from eroding internal components
  • Keyhole mounting tabs for installation in a wide variety of applications and a space-saving right angle plug

                            BUY NOW

6. Tripp Lite 12 Outlet Audio/Video Surge Protector 

  • Robust Audio/Video AC surge suppressor to protect your home theater system or other valuable electronics from a voltage spike and more
  • 3-lines of surge-protected, high definition 2.2 GHz gold coaxial connectors to safeguard devices on cable, satellite and antenna lines. Built to protect your television
  • Built-in splitter turns 1-line for telephone/modem/network/Ethernet (100BaseT, high speed) into 2 while providing surge protection
  • 2880 joule surge suppression rating with EMI/RFI line noise filtering to help components perform at their peak (i.e. sharper, crisper video; deeper, fuller audio and longer component life spans)

                                 BUY NOW

7. Automatic Raising Type Pop up Power Socket Power Strip Outlet

  • The housing is made of aluminum alloy,the the interior of the socket is made of plastic, much more durable than normal type of power strip, also looks fancy.
  • Voltage: 125V ~ 250V ,current :10 A. It is the prefect idea for Office/Kitchen/Conference Room,but it cannot support high-power appliances,like air conditioning,microwave.
  • After using the socket ,please close it , the top of the socket can waterproof splash, but the inside of our socket is nonwaterproof, Please protect outlet from water spray.Prefect Idea helping you keep your counter tidy and clean, provide you an efficient workspace.Attention :Please make the cables on the bottom straight before using.

                                   BUY NOW

Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt Review 2018

Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm, Satin Nickel, BE469 CAM 619, Works with Alexa via SmartThings, Wink or Iris

From your smartphone to your car, you want advanced technology that makes life simpler. Technology that can keep up with everything life throws at it. With Schlage connect, we’ve brought that level of thinking to your door locks. Schlage connect combines all of our best security features into one lock – redefining what it means to be secure. With a sleek, modern touchscreen, you have the convenience of going keyless and no longer having keys to lose, hide, carry or forget. The fingerprint-resistant touchscreen ensures numbers won’t be detectable to intruders after repeated use – safeguarding your home even more. And thanks to Z-Wave technology, Schlage connect gives you advanced remote management capabilities and compatibility with home monitoring systems – letting you run your home from anywhere.

Buy it from : Here

Schlage Connect

From your smartphone to your car, you want advanced technology that makes life simpler. Technology that can keep up with everything life throws at it. With Schlage Connect, we’ve brought that level of thinking to your door locks.

Schlage Connect combines all of our best security features into one lock – redefining what it means to be secure. With a sleek, modern touchscreen, you have the convenience of going keyless and no longer having keys to lose, hide, carry or forget. The fingerprint-resistant touchscreen ensures numbers won’t be detectable to intruders after repeated use – safeguarding your home even more. And thanks to Z-Wave Technology, Schlage Connect gives you advanced remote management capabilities and compatibility with home monitoring systems – letting you run your home from anywhere.

Schlage Connect lives up to its name – it truly is a lock for the connected age. With so many advanced features, this isn’t just a lock. It’s the lock, loaded.

Security:

Schlage Connect is BHMA/ANSI Grade 1 certified, the highest residential rating. Built from high-quality materials, this keyless deadbolt gives you the highest level of security at the main point of entry. Additionally, Schlage Connect comes with a built-in audible alarm sensor that alerts you to activity at the door. You can select between three alert modes – activity, tamper, or forced entry – providing alerts from first contact with door or handle to when the door is opened. Quickly and easily cycle between three settings simply by pressing a button on the lock.

Home Access Anywhere

Z-Wave Technology connects to your home automation system and lets you lock or unlock your door remotely via the web or smartphone.

Built-In Alarm Technology

Three alert modes (activity, tamper and forced entry) let you know when someone is coming or going and communicate potential security threats.

Grade 1 Highest Residential Security Rating

ANSI Grade 1 – Delivered the highest level of durability and security at the main points of entry.

Illuminated, Fingerprint-Resistant Touchscreen

Fingerprint-resistant touchscreen protects against fingerprints and smudges and ensures wear patterns remain undetectable.

Run Your Home From Anywhere

Z-Wave Technology is what puts the ‘connect’ in Schlage Connect. With Z-Wave, you can run and monitor your home from wherever life happens to take you. Need to unlock your front door for the housekeeper? Forget to turn your lights off this morning? Z-Wave lets you do all that and more remotely – right from a computer or smartphone.

Supporting a wide range of leading household brands, Z-Wave Technology is a powerful way to manage your home, with support for everything from locks, lighting and thermostats to small appliances and even cameras. What’s more, it’s flexible and extendable – simply add devices to your network over time as your needs grow and change. The possibilities are almost limitless.

Schlage Connect and Z-Wave Technology give you a complete new level of control and convenience. Now, on some level, you’re always home.

Other Details

  • Works with Alexa for voice control (hub required, Alexa device and hub sold separately)
  • Touch Screen keypad and lock cylinder on exterior and thumb turn interior. Door thickness range is 1.37 to 1.75 standard
  • Stores up to 30 personalized user codes at a time
  • Built-in alarm with 3 alert settings. Battery-Uses 4 AA alkaline batteries. Exterior Dimensions- 3 x 5 x 1 inches. Interior Dimensions-3 x 8 x 2 inches
  • Z-wave technology connects to your home automation system and lets you lock or unlock your door remotely via the web or smartphone
  • Battery operated and fit standard door prep
  • ANSI Grade 1 Highest Residential Security
  • Durable Resistive Touchscreen with matte finish to protect against fingerprints and smudges

BUY IT FROM : Here

Other recommendation : best air conditions for your home

 

Best air conditions for your home ( december 2018 )

Whatever best air conditioner you choose will greatly depend on your specific needs, so I would look at the individual specifications (BTU’s etc.) on whatever you intend to purchase. I’m going to give you my top picks for smart air conditioners as of the time I am writing this.

Frigidaire Cool Connect

I don’t know how many Frigidaire products we have in our house at this point. I’m pretty sure our entire kitchen is compromised of every cool Frigidaire product out there. The company has definitely changed their branding and the cool new look of Frigidaire tells me that they aptly named this best air conditioner correctly.

The Frigidaire Cool Connect will give you 10,000 BTU’s of cooling power. More than ample for most any room in your house. In fact, we have one of these on the bottom floor of our house which is approximately 1000 square feet and it does the entire first floor without a hiccup.

You can turn it off remotely and know when to change the filters with ease because of the app that comes with it for your smartphone. When it comes to compatibility with your smart home the Frigidaire Cool Connect works with Google Assistant, Alexa and Samsung’s SmartThings.

Kenmore Smart Room AC

If you are looking for a slightly less expensive option, then the Kenmore Smart Room AC is what you are looking for. It runs at 8,000 BTU’s, is perfectly quiet and a great addition to any home whether you use it to cool the upstairs bedrooms or just want to cool your home or business office space.

It comes with a simple remote control to adjust settings from across the room. The AC can be set to a specific temperature to maintain the room’s feel or even just set to fan only when you want to circulate air.

One nice feature is that it has lots of settings to get the exact feel you’re looking for in any particular room, but also has the option to keep it simple and just run normally.

As far as smart functionality you can control and monitor on the go with Kenmore Smart AC App on your phone or tablet or just enable the Kenmore smart skill in the Alexa skill store and control it with your voice.

Smart Home Air Conditioner Adapters

Now that we’ve gone through the best options for smart air conditioners. I can delve into another topic which is something that people have asked me about frequently. In fact, they’ve asked me about it enough that I wrote another article called how to make your dumb air conditioner smart.

Most people don’t want to drop another $300 on a new air conditioning unit if they don’t have to. So what are the alternatives?

There are a few of them and I’ll give you the skinny on all of them.

Sensibo Sky

If you need an affordable smart AC converter, the Sensibo Sky is probably the least expensive option you will find. The neat thing is that it works with any remotely controlled air conditioner on the market and comes in multipacks if you have more than one AC that needs to be converted into a smart AC. Sensibo comes with built-in temperature and humidity sensors. This allows you to control each air conditioner individually.

The Sensibo’s best feature? Climate React Mode!

Because this controller has a thermostat and a humidistat built into it, you can program the climate react function to fully turn your unit off and then back on as needed by either temperature or humidity.

You can control the Sensibo from anywhere, or just set it up with Alexa, Google Assistant even use it with IFTTT applets. All in all, this is a personal favorite.

On a side note: Their technical support is impeccable. So much so that if you run into trouble installing these they can walk you through just about any situation that you run into.

The Tado

This is probably my second favorite, only due to the slightly higher variation in price from the Sensibo. It definitely has some really neat features and boasts incredible compatibility.

The Tado Smart AC Control works with all air conditioners with a remote control that displays the air conditioner’s current settings. For example target temperature and fan speed.

It has a “smart climate assistant” built in which will handle everything for you. It automatically sets the temperature based on the current weather in your location.

The insane part about this little gadget is that you can set it to know when you leave and when you return so that it can turn the system off when you leave the house and cool down a room before you get back home.

The Tado also provides you with monthly energy reports and has other reporting features as well, such as daily climate reports.

As far as smart home compatibility, it does work with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Ambi Climate

Ambi Climate is A. I. powered. What does that mean? It means that you just let their artificial intelligence work its magic! It will auto-adjust your air conditioner based on your personal preferences and what you tell it within your profile on the app.

It has three modes.

Comfort Mode: This is where you give feedback to the Ambi Climate on your comfort level and from the 3rd feedback onward the AI engine will auto-learn what you are telling it.

Away Mode: Perfect for your vacation home! This will set the Ambi Climate to only be on when you are physically there.

Temperature Mode: This is where you set it and forget it. The Ambi Climate’s A.I. completely takes over and learns when you have it on and turn it off. Very similar to a lot of smart thermostats nowadays.

Manual Mode: When you are on the road and you want to be able to change the climate at will. This is the mode for you.

So it is a bit different just because of it’s learning capabilities. That really is what the difference is with Ambi Climate.

It is compatible with Alexa and IFTTT, but there really aren’t a whole lot of voice compatibility options for your smart home here otherwise.

Conclusion

Well, that’s the full guide to smart air conditioners. I will update this guide as newer and better products come along.

Buyers guide.

Smart air conditioners have really taken off in 2018. We’ve seen a few new ones show up in the market. It’s no wonder due to their unreal energy savings.

Whether you are thinking about buying a smart air conditioner for your home or office it’s always a good idea to take a look at all of your options.

That’s what this guide is best used for and a good way to get an understanding of which smart air conditioner is going to be best for your situation. I understand that not everyone is going to be able to make a decision easily and hopefully I can help you with that in this guide.

smart air conditioner why

Why A Smart AC? : What You Need To Know

When evaluating why you need a smart air conditioner there are several things to take into consideration. There are many different types of air conditioning setups, from central AC for your entire home to window and wall mounted units which you can buy in any big box store.

Smart air conditioners are making your life easier and less expensive in general. Many people complain about their high electric bills due to running their air conditioners a lot. Particularly during the summer.

Most of the time this happens because proper measurement of the space that you want to cool hasn’t been done. So make sure you take a good measure to keep track of is BTU’s that are being used. Typically you’ll want to be getting 20 BTU’s per square foot.

If you are just hunky dory with the existing AC unit that you’ve purchased, but you just want to make it smart, then you may want to look into buying a smart air conditioner adapter to connect your old air conditioner through IR technology. But I’ll get more into that in a minute.

What’s my qualification to even discuss this topic?

(Don’t slap me) For several years I used to be a service advisor for a local HVAC company. So I know a thing or three about installing, cleaning and parts for air conditioning systems.

With that said, let’s dive right into all of your different options and how each one might be good for your particular situation.