home automation Stories February 8, 2016

expiredGet into home automation with TP-LINK’s Smart Plug for $20 Prime shipped (Reg. $30)

Network Giant (98% positive feedback from 4,173 ratings in last 12-months) via Amazon offers the TP-LINK HS100 Smart Plug for $19.99. Free shipping is available for Prime members or on orders of $35+. Today’s deal is $10 off its regular price and a match for the lowest we’ve ever seen. It allows you to “control electronics from anywhere using your tablet or smartphone.” Rated 3.9 out of 5 stars from 72 Amazon reviewers. Other features include:

home automation Stories November 3, 2015

Amazon EchoI’ve had my Amazon Echo smart speaker since they were available to the general public and can honestly say it has changed the way our family lives. We put it in our open floor plan kitchen/family room where the far-field mic can hear our voices up to 20 feet away and has pretty incredible speech recognition accuracy. We were a little weirded out calling it “Alexa” so we changed the default name to “Amazon” – the only other current choice.

My wife used to ask me what the weather was going to be like in the morning which would annoyingly (jk love of my life) require me to go to a computer or smartphone and ask the…same…question. The Amazon Echo allows me to strut my passive aggressive side so when she asked what the weather was going to be like, I would just repeat “Amazon, what’s the weather going to be like today”. My wife, who hates using Siri because she feels like it makes her look weird/uncomfortable talking to her iPhone, stopped asking me what the weather was going to be like. She started asking Echo.

Bam! Worth the money right there. But there’s so much more… expand full story

home automation Stories September 14, 2015

expiredBelkin WeMo iOS connected LED Lighting Starter Kit + extra bulb: $40 shipped ($75 value)

Belkin is taking 20% off its WeMo line of home automation products all week long when you enter coupon code SAVEWEMO at checkout. All orders qualify for free shipping.

Our favorite deal to hit during this promo is a terrific WeMo Lighting package. Add the Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Kit (2 WeMo Smart LED Bulbs, 1 WeMo Link) to your shopping cart for $49.99 and coupon code SAVEWEMO will drop your final price down to $39.99 shipped plus add an additional WeMo Smart LED Bulb to your order for free. The Starter Kit carries a regular price of $50 and the extra Bulb is worth $25, so the total value of this package is $75.

Belkin’s WeMo Lighting lets you control your lights from anywhere using the free WeMo iOS or Android app. You can dim, turn on/off, and create a custom schedule for your lighting setup. The included WeMo Link can connect to and control up to 50 WeMo Smart LED bulbs. Take a look at our recent review of several WeMo Lighting products to get a better idea of what the platform has to offer. Also, keep in mind that Belkin has pledged future support for HomeKit so WeMo users won’t be left behind when Apple’s home automation framework begins to really take off. Rated 2.8 out of 5 stars from 323 Amazon reviewers.

home automation Stories September 3, 2015

Philips is expanding its Hue family of connected lighting products with the new Lightstrip Plus. This two meter parade of LEDs can produce millions of colors, which is nothing new for Hue products, but it also glows in different shades of white light — a huge feature its predecessor lacked. Philips also made it possible for you to extend these lightstrips to a length of up to 10-meters. Continue on for more launch details and a promo video: expand full story

home automation Stories September 2, 2015

Nest made a splash yesterday with the announcement of its third generation Learning Thermostat. But despite its larger screen and new Farsight feature, the second generation model is the better buy for most people at its new, lower price of $199 (Orig. $249).

Nest did a great job of talking up how its third generation screen is a big deal, but in practice it probably won’t improve your life that much. Farsight sounds like it would be helpful, but how often do you really want to check in on your thermostat from 3-ft or more away or don’t have access to clock? Most thermostats live in hallways anyways, where you’re never more than a few feet away from its display. The other big improvement is Furnace Heads-Up that analyzes your furnace’s shutoff patterns, but that feature will also be rolling out to all previous generation Nest Thermostats later this year.

At the end of the day, it feels like Nest didn’t do enough to make the third generation Thermostat worth the extra $50 over its predecessor. That being said, you won’t always have this option since the second generation’s discounted price of $199 is only going to be around “while supplies last.” expand full story

home automation Stories July 6, 2015

expiredAmazon Gold Box – up to 38% off Belkin WeMo devices with prices starting at $31 Prime shipped (Reg. $50)

Today only, as one of its Gold Box Deals of the Day, Amazon offers up to 38% off select Belkin WeMo devices. Prime members (free trial) receive free 2-day shipping on the lot, while all other buyers will need to spend $35+ to get free standard shipping.

These devices allow you to control and schedule your lights and other appliances from your iOS or Android mobile devices. All three of the WeMo devices included in today’s sale are at their lowest Amazon prices ever:

home automation Stories June 24, 2015

The Roost smart battery cleverly disguises itself as a typical 9V battery. But it’s so much more. This battery can send notifications to your iOS or Android device whenever your smoke or CO alarm goes off. The best part is that it doesn’t require you to replace your old detectors. Instead, you just pop the Roost battery into your existing detectors and you’re good to go.

roost-wifi-battery It works 24/7 and doesn’t require a subscription of any kind. You can even allow friends and family receive notifications as an extra layer of protection for when you’re out of town.

Each Roost is equipped with a replaceable lithium battery pack that lasts about 5 years. You’ll get an alert letting you know when the battery is on its last legs and then you’ll have to order a replacement for $14.99.

Late last year Roost took Kickstarter by storm and then made a splash a few months later during CES. Now, Roost is finally ready for primetime: pre-orders are now open at Amazon with a September release. A single Roost will cost you $34.99, while the 2-pack offers a slight discount at $64.99. expand full story

home automation Stories April 18, 2015

expiredBelkin 30% off orders of $100+: Thunderbolt Dock $210, Two WeMo Switches $71, WeMo Coffeemaker $105, more

For two days only, Belkin is chopping 30% off all orders of $100 or more with coupon code HAPPY30. This discount spans Belkin’s entire lineup of iPad accessories, WeMo home automation, Mac gear, and more.

Some items, like the WeMo Lighting Starter Kit, fall just short of the $100 order threshold so you’ll want to use this $0.99 mouse pad to unlock the 30% discount. All orders of $50 or more qualify for free ground shipping. This is a rare opportunity to get many of Belkin’s most popular products at all-time low prices:

home automation Stories April 9, 2015

expiredTurn your lights on/off from up to 100-ft away w/ this 5-Pack of remote control outlets for $20

Etekcity via Amazon offers a 5-pack of its Wireless Remote Control Outlet Light Switches with 2 remotes for $29.98. Apply coupon code 5LX10OFF during checkout to save an additional $10, which drops your total price down to just $19.98 Prime shipped.

Just plug one of these switches into any wall outlet (no setup required) and then plug an appliance directly into the switch and you’ll be able to turn that appliance on/off up to 100-ft away (through walls, floors, etc) with one of the included remote controls. It may not be as an elegant solution to home automation as something like Belkin’s WeMo line, but it’s sure as heck much more cost effective!

This kit is the best selling product in Amazon’s Electrical Outlet Switches category with a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 1,000 reviewers.

home automation Stories April 2, 2015

Philips’ Hue family of connected lights has gained another member this morning. Hue Go looks like a half-glowing orb (or wisp?!) and sets itself apart from its siblings by being completely portable. It’ll blend into your existing network of Hue products, but it’s meant to be used in a completely different way… expand full story

home automation Stories March 31, 2015

Admittedly, I love coffee. All the different roasts, blends and ways to make it are so intriguing to me. There has been an influx of coffee makers recently that offer a variety of different solutions for getting your morning cup of joe. I’m not sure that I’ve seen one recently as eye-catching as the Pour-Over from Quirky. This line of products – named Poppy – also has solutions for feeding your pets and your baby (separately) and will even order new food automatically from Amazon when you need it. expand full story

home automation Stories March 6, 2015

expiredBelkin WeMo Light Switch + WeMo Switch & Motion Sensor $90 shipped ($130 value)

Newegg offers the Belkin WeMo Light Switch + a WeMo Switch and Motion Sensor for $89.99 shipped. This is a $130 value and $27 better than if purchased separately at Amazon.

The Belkin WeMo WiFi-enabled light switch allows users to turn electronics on or off anywhere via the iOS or Android app. This switch will work with any one-way connection lights (not three-way) and requires a neutral wire for installation.

Belkin’s WeMo Switch and Motion Sensor can trigger power to electronic devices, either remotely or when motion is sensed within a space. Additionally, it can trigger notifications when movement is detected to your smartphone via the app or through SMS.

These products are rated 3.5/5 stars by over 2,100 Amazon customers.

home automation Stories February 26, 2015

expiredHome: Dyson AM05 Hot+Cool fan/heater (refurb) $140 shipped (orig. $400), smart home items, more

The official Dyson eBay store is offering the manufacturer refurbished Dyson AM05 Air Multiplier Hot + Cool Fan/heater in blue/iron for $139.99 shipped. That’s $270 under the original $400 price tag, $140 below Amazon’s new listing and the lowest refurbished price we’ve seen by $20. Dyson says these units are “Guaranteed mechanically perfect, but may or may not have minor cosmetic blemishes due to the extra handling. These have been remanufactured according to Dyson’s rigid standards by Dyson. Most of these units were returned for box damage.”

It features cooling and heating with the safety and cleaning advantages that come along with having no exposed heating elements or dangerous moving blades. These units come with a 6 month warranty from Dyson and an additional 6 months from ABC Vacuum for parts and labor. Nearly 300 Amazon reviewers give it a 3.6/5 star rating. You’ll also still find some of yesterday’s Dyson eBay deals still live like the popular DC44 stick/hand vac for just $220 shipped and more.

Head below for more of today’s best home deals including smart home lighting, eBay gift cards, and more:

home automation Stories January 21, 2015

The physical world and ‘Internet of Things‘ movement continues to grow closer and closer together and today that gap got a bit smaller with the new Internet Button from Spark. Known for its ‘Photon‘ stamp-sized WiFi module, Spark is taking it a step further today with a physical button that can trigger a lot of action on the internet. If you are someone that has a frequent repeated task that is compatible with If This Then That (IFTTT), then you won’t want to miss the new Internet Button.

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home automation Stories January 3, 2015

The home automation sector of consumer technology continues to grow and generally improve, as more devices gain “smart” functionality. We’ve seen a number of products enter the fray during Q4 of 2014, but it’s yet to be seen whether any one company is ready to bring it all together in a truly mainstream way. While we continue to wait on Apple HomeKit-compatible devices, we had the opportunity to spend some time with products from SmartThings, a Washington, DC-based company that promises an “easy, open and limitless” smart home experience.

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home automation Stories December 3, 2014

eBay’s new Innovator’s Collective pushes the online marketplace further away from its yard sale roots. This collection features fifteen high-tech gadgets from smaller outfits with crowdfunding backgrounds like Nomad to powerhouse companies like Nest.

Most of the products have a smart home twist, but there are a some playful options like the Boosted Electric Longboard and the Sphero 2.0 app-controlled ball. Each product page has large beautiful images and a simplified layout, which is a welcomed departure from eBay’s typical cluttered layout.

Make sure to apply coupon code CTAKE15 to save 15% on some of these gadgets. Full coupon eligibility and more info follows: expand full story

home automation Stories November 26, 2014

Update (11/27 1:45am): Amazon has matched the price of $199 shipped.

Lowe’s has gone live with many of its Black Friday deals. Amongst the bunch is the Nest Learning Thermostat (2nd generation) for $199 shipped. That’s $50 below list and the best price we’ve ever seen. Thousands of Amazon reviewers rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

  • The Nest Learning Thermostat remembers what temperatures you like, turns itself down when you’re away and can be controlled from your smartphone, tablet or laptop
  • Auto-Schedule creates a personalized schedule for your home by remembering when you adjust the temperature
  • Auto-Away automatically turns Nest thermostat down when there’s nobody home so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling an empty house
  • Remote control Nest thermostat over Wi-Fi from your smartphone, tablet or laptop
  • Energy History shows you how much energy you’ve used and what affects your energy use most
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home automation Stories November 18, 2014

Home automation possibilities are endless and what our homes will be like in the coming 5, 10 or 15 years is truly unknown. It is a constantly evolving sector of the technology scene that continues to grow each day with every new product announcement. From WeMo to SmartThings, Z-Wave to ZigBee, someone somewhere has something that will satisfy your home automation needs.

The reality is that we are in a time of great change, with internet-connected offerings in nearly every product category, even coffee makers. It’s an industrial revolution happening in your home and with that comes a lot of trial and naturally, error. So how does one choose?

There seems to be two options, one for the basic consumer, which includes your WeMo outlets, Philips Hue, etc. On the flip side you’ve got the open source crowd that wants to tinker and tweak and create their own system, and this is where littleBits comes in. While most of the aforementioned products have structured ecosystems and physical designs, with the ability to communicate via If This Then That (IFTTT) or the like, littleBits has gone to the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

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