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Friday Fun: Smart Home Device, do you have?


Hello Community, Happy Friday! ðŸ˜ƒ

Better late than never. I always think about Technology - of course, why I work with it - but how much does it influence our lifestyle.
I have family and friends who have their house full of devices and control everything through their smartphones. And others who seek life far from it hehehe!

So, I would like to know from people who live a day to day similar to mine if you belong to the team that has a smart home device or a traditional home (like me)?

My husband likes lights, so we have chandeliers and lamps and LED's here, but that's all! Hahaha!

I wish you a great Friday ahead and a fantastic weekend! ðŸ¥°




Screen Shot 2021-11-19 at 12.10.48.png


We have Alexa dots and Amazon echo.  I use the echo in kitchen to see recipes and photos I have taken, and play music.  Otherwise, the dots are used for turning on, off and dimming lights, setting up reminders/timers.

We have LED lights throughout the house - trying to save energy.

That is all....

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Hi @Marjorie

Good to know. We're thinking about Amazon echo, and it should be a good thing like you mentioned.

And yes, LED lights to save more energy - was one of the good things it came up with. We're super fans here. 

Thank you!

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OH I forgot, we have blink cameras and door bell now.... :) 


And, automated thermostat. 


Guess we are more connected then I originally remembered.

Hey @Marjorie

My post brought new perceptions about what do we have at home :)
Awesome. Thanks for sharing again with us! = ))

Robert Wen Community Leader Nov 19, 2021

I have a moderate array of smart home stuff.  I use Insteon light switches to remotely control lights, a Ring doorbell at the front entrance, and Nest thermostats and smoke alarms.  All of these can be controlled by Alexa (Echo Dots and the Echo in the office) or my smartphone.

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Hi @Robert Wen,

Wow, it seems that Insteon light switches are pretty cool. But, of course, all part that involves security is interesting too! Thanks for sharing!

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Robert Wen Community Leader Nov 19, 2021

I use the Ring more for the motion detector capabilities.  It lets me (and my dog!) know when someone has dropped off a delivery.

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Fabulous @Robert Wen and makes everyday life easier too! ;)

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Jack Brickey Community Leader Nov 24, 2021

cool. I have not tried Insteon as yet. I use Lutron Caseta primarily.

Robert Wen Community Leader Nov 24, 2021

yeah, @Jack Brickey , Lutron and Insteon look pretty equivalent.  I figured having the control at the switch was better than a per-bulb/plug type of architecture.

Plus, there are many tales of woe of smart lightbulbs that store wi-fi passwords "in cleartext".

Although, maybe right now I could see the value of smart lightbulbs that can change color on my porch lights (I still have the "Halloween decoration" colors.  Soon I'll have to change to "Christmas decoration" colors and then to white).

Excellent topic @Patrícia Fortunato Montenegro !

We´ve got 5 echos, of various sizes, around the house and 4 smart plugs. Nest thermostat.

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I appreciate that you liked @Kristján Geir Mathiesen = ))

I knew that I'd hear new things here! Awesome!

When we live in one way, so many things in parallel might not be so familiar.

Cool to know regarding smart plugs, and this Nest thermostat is sensational.

I wrote it down here, hehe! :P

Thanks for sharing!

Like • Kristján Geir Mathiesen likes this

My home has become so smart that my wife threatens me that I cannot pass before she does.



Here is a sampling of what I have.

  • Smart lights on both my house and workshop
  • Smart thermostat
  • Smart door locks
  • Smart entertainment center
  • Smart TV
  • Smart Exterior cameras
  • Multiple Alexa devices that have been highly configured with routines, groups etc.

I am now working on making my Beach cottage smarter.

Given the season I thought I would share one of my Alexa routines...

Christmas On

Me: Alexa, it's Christmas time!

Alexa: "Hot damn! I love Christmas. The presents, the Nog, and oh yes, all those pretty lights. Let there be lights!"

>>> all inside and outside Christmas lights turn on

Alexa: "Here comes Santa! Woo hoo!"


Christmas Off

Me: Alexa, turn off Christmas

Alexa: "WHAT? But, I, I Love Christmas!"

Alexa: "Sorry, I'm just not going to do it!"

Alexa: "You can't make me."

Alexa: "Well,, damn it!"

Alexa: "OK, very well then, but I'm not one bit happy about it! I hope you get coal in your stocking!"

>>> all  inside and outside Christmas lights turn off

Alexa: "I hope you're happy sitting in the dark."

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@Jack Brickey

I sure bet your house is smarter than mine, hahaha!

And your wife knows things, hehe!

How nice to see the goals set that can make your beach cottage as smart as your house!

The conversation with Alexa was fantastic! (The cherry on the cake!)

Thanks for sharing!! =))

Like • Jack Brickey likes this

OMG, hysterical.... I need that routine.

Love the "talk backs" from Alexa, Jack  :) Now you've got me excited to do some more fancy stuff. I also use the smart plugs more (well more of them) during Christmas.

Thanks, KGM

We've got a few.

We started out with a Nest thermostat, and couple of smart-ish light bulbs, controlled by apps on mobile devices, but then an Alexa turned up.  We worked with that for a while, but we realised that it did not listen to Chrissy, despite her doing all the voice training and so-on.

Meanwhile, I was adding the odd device here and there, but then we got a google home and found it did listen to both of us, so we stuck with that.

We don't have a lot of need for a smart home, so it's mostly down to being able to yell at lights and heating or cooling devices, do a search for a question without needing a screen, and do some basic commands with the media centre.

But I've done a few things on top, there's a couple of lights that come on automatically around dusk and off at Chrissy's bed time, and some of the lights go on to a bit of a random schedule after dusk if we're out of the house, to make it look lived in.  And for a bit of energy saving, there's a bank of things plugged in in the living room (chargers mostly) that turn themselves on or off depending on whether the idiot-box is on or not!

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Jack Brickey Community Leader Nov 19, 2021

yes setting up for energy savings is very smart!

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Wow! A pretty strategic way to use the resources to help you with at home and save energy! Cool, @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_Thanks for sharing! = ))

Like • Marjorie likes this

I do however have more plans...

There's a raspberry pi 0 with a project sitting on the table opposite me.  It's got a load of environment sensors on it, and my plan is to use them to measure humidity and air quality as well as temperature, so I can tell the de-humidifier and purifier what they should be doing.

This requires me to learn Python, so I've finally got some incentive to do it!

Plus I might be getting some plant sensors for Christmas.  I like house-plants, but only two have lasted - a monster plant that was a cutting from a family plant (I still don't know if cuttings of originals really count as the same plant, but if they do, this thing is old enough to be my grandfather), anda Peace Lily I picked up a decade ago seems to be lasting, despite my repeated failures in over or under watering it.  All the others die. 

So the next project is smart plant pots...

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OMG @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_

I enjoyed a lot you added your enthusiasm to learn Python to handle your new project.

I genuinely enjoy your idea about smart plants pots! And your family plant, awesome! I mean your grandfather, LOL. I have one plant at home that I have had for one year, and sometimes I give more water than need it. But we're going well together! =))

But she's only smart because I tell her that. It has zero technology, LOL.

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John Funk Community Leader Nov 19, 2021

We only have a couple of smart plugs and an Echo Dot. 

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Cool!! Smart plugs were new to me today!

Thanks for coming here, @John M Funk! =)

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We don't have any yet. But it is my planned activity to build something on our own when my sons are older. I guess I need to wait for more 6-8 years :)

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Hey, @Martin Bayer _MoroSystems_ s_r_o__ good to see you here!

For sure, for each house, the right time and the ideal strategy! Pure wisdom, right? =))

Thank you!!

Darryl Lee Community Leader Nov 19, 2021

Well, this is embarassing. In our not-large 3br2ba house, we have:

  • Amazon Echo (1st gen) - 1
  • Amazon Echo Show (1st gen) - 1 
  • Amazon Echo Dots (2nd gen) - 2
  • Google Home Mini (1st gen?) - 1
  • JBL Linkbar (w/ Google assistant/Home) - 1
  • Roku Streambar

I had hoped the Echo Dots would work as intercoms for the boys' rooms, but they either unplug or ignore them. :-P

Google Home Mini was free with some promotion. Linkbar was to provide better sound than some the crummy TV speakers... But yeah, I'm a big old nerd.

On the other hand, not much actual automation happening. Even though we also have:

  • Ring Doorbell (1st gen - really old)
  • Ring Light/Camera (for driveway)
  • Arlo (2nd gen?) for corner of house

A few smartplugs just plugged into lights.

I do pay for a family Spotify subscription, so we can all play music whereever, although annoyingly all the Echos end up on the same account, so the "shared" suggestions lean heavily towards videogame and cartoon music. :-P

Oh oh, I finally upgraded to a Raspberry Pi 4 which can handle being a Pi-Hole (ad filtering), as well as saving logs from our new Tesla Solar system and Powerwall, AND serve as a very rudimentary "info panel" on a TV mounted above the dining room table.

I'm using the "picture-by-picture" setting, with HDMI plugged into the Roku Streambar so we can watch YouTube, etc., and on the other side the Pi shows shared Google Calendars, current solar production/battery charge, weather, air quality, and the odd New York Times puzzler. It's ugly - just browser windows that don't always line up right and require a lot of tweaking, but it's good enough. :-}

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Darryl Lee Community Leader Nov 19, 2021


As a bonus, the Roku has a screensaver that can show your own photos, so that always runs. The Pi just has XScreenSaver running, and we have a wireless mouse beneath the monitor to wake it up. I tried (and need to try again) to hook up a LittleBits sound sensor to the Pi so that it wakes on sound, but I'm definitely not a hardware guy. Friend lent me an oscilloscope, so eventually I should get around to figuring out what kind of resistors/capacitors/gates (!?) I need to add to the circuit to make it work.

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Hi @Darryl Lee,

You have a massive project!

Congratulations on all the insights and dedication you have in doing all of this, especially thinking about your family's entertainment. =)) Pretty cool your organization too!

Thanks for sharing with us! 

Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Nov 19, 2021

I love this question @Patrícia Fortunato Montenegro!

I personally don't have anything intentionally.  We did get a smart tv which I can control remotely from my phone (because that is usually with me and who knows where the actual remote went).

I feel I also need to call out my boss here who has so much in smart devices and home automation it requires a server to run everything.  His most recent addition is a small sensor hooked up to a raspberry pi that monitors the amount of salt in his water softener and will send him an email notification when more salt needs to be added.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thank you, @Jimmy Seddon I appreciate that you loved it!

I got it; I don't have many smart devices at home, as I mentioned. LOL.

BTW, I didn't know about this sensor about the amount of salt. Sounds great regarding health life. Nice to know that! Thanks for sharing!! 

Fabian Lim Community Leader Nov 19, 2021

Great topic.

Google home, nest ring, nest thermostat, rumba for first floor, another rumba for the second floor (too lazy to move it around), google mini to broadcast messages to the kids and google hub to set the timers for cooking and seeing them go down.

Just waiting for autonomous cars to get groceries and drop my kids to school and to extracurricular activities :)

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Awesome @Fabian Lim

OMG, I would like to have a rumba, but we have so many different rugs at home that's impossible. LOL.

Wow, autonomous cars! I don't know if I can trust. LOL.

But nice to hear from you!

Thanks for sharing!!

@Fabian Lim 

I'm glad you liked the topic too! :)

Well, I have a TV remote & a smartphone.

All other things are oldschool.

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Hi @Alexander Pappert

Thanks for coming here! :))

Nice to know, but I have to emphasize that old-school things have a more special meaning!


Like • Alexander Pappert likes this

I appreciated each comment putting me in "each of your environments".

It was super cool for me!

Thank you for joining in and making my Friday (and Saturday as I finished reading today) more fun!

You're special!

Have a great weekend! 


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Brant Schroeder Community Leader Nov 20, 2021

@Patrícia Fortunato Montenegro 

My house is dumb.  I have a smart plug but that is it.  

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Ditto, but dont even have a smart plug. I only have a smart phone... which I pretty much use just as a phone.  🙄

Hahaha, LOL @Brant Schroeder

Awesome @Linda Milne_Togetha Group_I appreciated your comment here!

And @Brant Schroeder, I don't have a smart plug, LOL. 

So, I think your house might be studious at least! Almost smart. :P

Have a nice day! = )

Alex Koxaras Community Leader Nov 21, 2021

@Patrícia Fortunato Montenegro nice topic!

I have mostly some interior and exterior cameras, and I'm planning to buy some smart plugs. I'm quite new to this smart thing :)

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Hey @Alex Koxaras

I'm new to these smart things, too!

Also, cameras are something fundamental, especially if we live at home, right!

Smart plugs are my number one here; I need to buy them.

Thanks for coming! Good to see you again.

Have a nice day, buddy! :))

Like • Alex Koxaras likes this

It always impresses me how many people have their households equipped with smart devices. My home is super, super dumb ðŸ˜…  I have a smartphone and a smartwatch. That's it. I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse of the smart device industry, haha. But we do have Alexa at work. It's connected to this hi-fi set that's like 20 years old and we use the combo to operate our shared Spotify account. It's a true fusion of 'old school' and 'the future is now' ðŸ˜€

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Hi @Michaela Staffova

I enjoyed your comment, I pretty much have this feeling, but I like to look at the smart device industry to know what the market is doing, you know?

Alexa was present here, and I loved it, although I don't.
But it's cool, and as you mentioned in your work for Spotify, good choice!!

I agree, LOL > It's a true fusion of 'old school' and 'the future is now' ðŸ˜€!

Awesome, thanks for sharing with us!

Have a great week! =))

Like • Michaela Staffova likes this

My house is in the dumb category too, but with character!

  • When it gets colder outside, the front door opens automatically (because it shrinks).
  • We also have smart smoke detectors that haven't detected anything so far, except that their battery was running out and so they started making a hell of a noise (in the middle of the night).
  • Our garage door can be opened with a smart remote, which unfortunately we lost somehow a couple of years ago.
  • The lighting in our garden can be controlled with hidden smart sensors. They are hidden so well in the vegetation that they only notice us when we virtually step on them.

In short, it helps us keep smart ourselves!

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John Funk Community Leader Nov 22, 2021

Yes to the smoke detectors!!! Why does the battery always run out at 2:30 in the morning?!?!?!?!?!

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@Walter Buggenhout _ACA IT_

I appreciate a lot of your humor! Hahahaha, it's so much fun seeing things with the best perspective you can! And I agree about all of this; it keeps you even smarter.

Fabulous! = ))))

I wish you an amazing day!

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I completely forgot that we also have a pair of Nest smoke alarms.  They seem a bit pricey at first, but we really like them because:

They take 6 batteries, but they last for years (It's looking like the radioactive elements in the Nest will decay to the point of uselessness before I have to change the batteries a second time).

They have motion and light sensors, and glow enough to stop me walking into things or falling down the stairs when I get up a 4am to wander around the house, but low enough not to blind me like the main lights.  

They talk to you instead of cryptically bleeping or wailing.   "We're going to get noisy unless the smoke we've detected goes away soon", instead of deafening you while you're trying to stop the salad burning (yes, I'm not a good cook), and they're linked, so the people upstairs know I've set fire to some water as well as the people in the kitchen pointing and laughing!

But the most important point here - they know when the battery is low and they tell you when you trigger the motion sensors.  No 3am blipping noises, just a verbal reminder when you go near one.  And they email you about it too.

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Awesomeeeeeee @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_

Nest smoke alarms with a verbal reminder?  PERFECT!

Have a nice day! :))

Robert Wen Community Leader Nov 24, 2021

Love my Nest smoke alarms for these additional reasons:

1. Every month, they check themselves automatically. Test results show on the smartphone app.  No more hitting the "test mode" button with a broomstick (if you even do it at all!)

2. If the alarm goes off when you're burning water (don't ask!), you can turn it off via smartphone app.

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HAHAHAHA, fabulous sense of humor @Robert Wen ðŸ˜ðŸ˜!

Excellent points that you brought! 

I can write down many ideas and think of new resources for home, only by reading this page! LOL. I love it! 😃

Hi @Patrícia Fortunato Montenegro 

   I have a traditional home, the only whim we have is a small Alexa to control the television, but even though I love technology, we are still traditional


Hi @Vero Rivas, me too! :))

But I don't have Alexa yet. LOL.

I'm like you; I love technology, however, with a more traditional life so far.

Have a lovely day ahead! 

Like • Vero Rivas likes this
M Amine Community Leader Nov 23, 2021

Alexa for me

Nice one, @M Amine!

Have a great day! Thanks for coming here! :D

Nice topic @Patrícia Fortunato Montenegro , I used to be traditional like I can recall my childhood with alarm clock followed by alarm in mobile phone but unfortunately not any more.

I have started using many smart devices and presently we have two Google Home Minis, Roku connected with Television, Smart Phones, iPad & Laptops etc. I am not counting the Bluetooth headphones. I am trying to reduce usage and I feel better while I am on a vacation. 

Nice to know, @Suvradip Paul

I have to say, years ago, and I was a super fan of many devices. However, that's why I prefer strategic stuff today to improve our security or grab practice life. But it is not mean that I want to be super connected to social media, for example. Especially on vacation! 🤩

Thanks for coming here.

Have a nice day!

Glad to hear @Patrícia Fortunato Montenegro . Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Andy Gladstone Community Leader Nov 26, 2021

Earlier this year I tried installing a Google Nest Smart Home Thermostat. My wife would be able to turn the heat on when she left work and come home to a comfy house. When the heat comes on at 2AM and everyone just wants to stay in their warm cocoon of comforters a quick swipe on my smartphone would lower the thermostat threshold. It was bliss.

Actually, it was a disaster.

The number of cables that were coming out of the furnace were so confusing, I thought I would rather switch back to the old analog thermostat than blow up my house!

Robert Wen Community Leader Nov 26, 2021

Yeah, I waited until I had a maintenance appointment for my heat pumps to have him install my two Nests

Hi @Andy Gladstone

Thanks for joining here! 😃

A fun story amid your "disaster."

However, there is always a way to solve everything.  And I agree, cables around the house can be a mess.

Have a great weekend!!

Hakeem Olasupo Community Leader Nov 28, 2021

This gingered me to get one. Thanks for sharing ☺️☺️

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Kishan Sharma Community Leader Nov 29, 2021

I just have a SMART TV, that do some smart things at times like playing my fav music, videos, set up reminders etc and connects to smart phone for additional functionality.

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That's great, @Kishan Sharma

Similar to my home. 😃  Thanks for coming here! 

Have a great week, buddy! 

Like • Kishan Sharma likes this

I have so many smart devices.  I have an apple homepod, 2 alexa's, a smart tv, many smart light bulbs and small handful of smart outlets, wifi thermostats... I couldn't live without them now.

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Hi @Kristin Lyons

Thanks for coming here! After all the comments, I got many great ideas, and I knew how much all kinds of things help us and make life practical, right?


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