Ecobee Switch+ now up for pre-order

If you’re planning to put an Amazon Echo Dot and a home automation (HA) controllable light switch in every room, I guess I can see the value in the $99 Ecobee Switch+. But, I’m not convinced that I want to tie my home so tightly to the Amazon ecosystem, especially because in my experience the 3rd party Alexa experience kinda […]

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HomeSeer’s new Z-Wave switches now available

HomeSeer announced a couple new switches at CES 2018 with integrated RGB lights which can be used to indicated status for other elements in the control system. There is a $55 dimmer and a $50 toggle switch available, both support Z-Wave Plus, multi-tap, and S2 security. This isn’t a new concept in the home automation device market, but it is […]

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CES 2018 – abode itoa all-in-one security camera home automation controller

I wasn’t familiar with abode’s iota security system, home automation controller (HAC), and camera system before meeting them at CES. Overall the system looks quite approachable, and is obviously more intended for users who prioritize ease of installation and user experience (UX) over flexibility. I don’t mean that as a negative, per se. Just something that would need to be […]

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CES 2018 – HiberSense connected climate control system

Smart vent systems are a tricky thing to get right. Too little modulation and they aren’t terribly useful, too much and you risk breaking the HVAC. HiberSense connected climate control system claims to strike the right balance. Energy efficient comfort control that is also sensitive to the lifespan of your furnace and air conditioner. HiberSense works by replacing the vents […]

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CES 2018 – MySmartBlinds Bluetooth retrofit kits and bridge

I love the concept behind MySmartBlinds { https://www.mysmartblinds.com/products/automation-kit} solar powered $99 2.5” automation retrofit kit. I would love to have automated blinds, but the cost of a complete replacement is prohibitive. Especially considering that the blinds we have are in great shape. If rollers are more your thing, a kit should be available in a few months for $149.   […]

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CES 2018 – ZLINK $20 Z-Wave USB dongle

Installation cost is one of the major barriers to home automation. In addition to the cost of your switches, bulbs, etc. you also need to purchase a home automation controller (HAC) in most cases. The other major issue is complexity, which is where the development budget of large companies like Amazon and Google help immensely. They have the $ to […]

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