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Philips now offers a warm-white LED bulb for their Hue WiFi-connected lighting system

on Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

My mission is to automate the lighting in my house.  I don’t have to have every light connected to the internet, but I would like to have WiFi-connected and controllable bulbs in certain rooms in my house.  I got the Hue Starter Kit for Christmas last winter, and I use them in my living roomRead More…


Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set is finally shipping

on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

Actually, they’ll be shipping on September 18, 2014, but Belkin is finally taking pre-orders for these WiFi-controllable light bulbs.  I’ve used Belkin WeMo Switches for a long time now.  I have lamps plugged into them around my house, and the Switches are programmed to turn my lights on at sunset and off several hours later.Read More…


Simplify your home automation with the SmartThings Hub and app

on Sunday, August 17th, 2014

There are a lot of home automation devices out there, each with their own app. As you work towards the smart home of your dreams, before long, you’ll have multiple apps for your multiple devices. You can simplify things by controlling everything with the SmartThings Hub and iOS/Android app (you’ll need at least iOS 7.0Read More…


Control your Philips Hue lights without a smart device

on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

I have a set of Philips Hue lights that I got for Christmas last year that can light up my living room and foyer with white light or with colored lights – whatever I choose.  I can define light “recipes” where I can make each Hue bulb whatever color I want so set the moodRead More…


The Android app for Belkin’s WeMo line of home automation products is now available

on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

I reviewed the Belkin WeMo Smart Home Automation Switch about a year ago, and at the time, you really needed an iOS device to control the products.  There was an Android app, but it was in beta, but Belkin announced late last month that the Android app is ready.  Just like with the iOS appRead More…


Turn any light bulb into a WiFi-connected bulb

on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

This Kickstarter project gives you the tools to turn any dimmable light bulb into a WiFi-controllable bulb.  You don’t need hubs, and getting your house connected is as easy as signing the bulb into your router.  The emberlight is a screw-in base that you can use with any of your current light fixtures or lampsRead More…


#ad Faveable helps your house become smarter

on Monday, June 16th, 2014
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that my house isn’t all that smart. You’d think someone who has the nickname “The Gadgeteer” would have all sorts of automation gadgets installed in their home, but I don’t. I currently just have two Dropcam cameras and the Venstar programmable / smartphone connected thermostat. I often think aboutRead More…


D-Link mydlink WiFi Smart Plug review

on Friday, June 6th, 2014
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, Reviews

I’ve been playing around with home automation products for awhile, but so far I haven’t found anything that is easy to use or conforms to a well established standard.  I have some Insteon devices, X-10 devices, and there are also Zigby and Z-wave protocol devices available.   All of these require some sort of hubRead More…


Manage your lights from your living room or from anywhere in the world

on Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

Belkin has announced some connected light bulbs in their WeMo home automation line, but they have been “coming soon” for a long time now.  I discovered some other internet-connect LED bulbs while checking on the status of the Belkins recently.  The Connected by TCP smart lighting system consists of 11W LED bulbs, a gateway toRead More…

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat-1

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat review

on Saturday, April 19th, 2014
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, Reviews

Thermostats, in my day they only came in two varieties: round and rectangular . Today, thermostats are still available in rectangular and round, but now they also come in smart versions and programmable versions as well. With features such as digital and touch screens, humidity sensors and even some that will learn your habits. ThermostatsRead More…


Magically turn on your lights with a wave of your hand using the iON capacitive switch

on Friday, April 11th, 2014

You’ve just come home to a dark house and your arms are full of groceries. With the wave of an arm or hand over the iON capacitive switch, you can turn on (or off) your lights without having to set your groceries down! And for the germaphobes out there, you no longer have to touchRead More…


Now you can control your Phillips Hue lights from your Mac computer

on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

I got the Phillips Hue lights starter kit for Christmas, and I control them with an app on my iPhone or iPad.  Sometimes I’m at my computer and would like to turn on the lights, but I can’t unless I have one of my mobile devices with me.  Phillips made the API available for third-partyRead More…


This connected window air conditioner keeps your home cool on your schedule

on Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

Programmable thermostats are great for minimizing heating and cooling costs while maximizing your comfort, but they don’t work for people who rely on window air conditioning units.  Leave it to the folks at Quirky and GE to develop the WiFi-connected Aros Smart Window Air Conditioner.  It works with the Wink app, so you can monitor,Read More…


Belkin expands its WeMo line with internet-connected light bulbs and a Crock Pot

on Thursday, January 9th, 2014

According to Belkin’s latest press release, they are introducing new WeMo products at the 2014 CES.  I’ve been using Belkin WeMo Switches to automate my lamps for months now, and they have worked flawlessly.  I wanted to use some of their WeMo Light Switches to control ceiling lights, but the wiring in my older homeRead More…


Now you can monitor energy usage with the latest WeMo Switch

on Thursday, October 10th, 2013

I’ve been using four WeMo Switch modules in my house for a few months now, and they work great for turning lights on and off on a program and for letting me manually control them from anywhere I have internet connectivity.  Belkin isn’t resting on their laurels, though, and they have announced the WeMo InsightRead More…


Now you can control your light switches with WeMo controllers

on Monday, October 7th, 2013

I recently reviewed the Belkin WeMo Smart Home Automation Switch, and I’m still happily using four of them everyday to control my table lamps and the Fake TV.  There are some rooms, like the bathroom, that don’t have table lamps, but I’d still like to be able to remotely control my ceiling fixture in there.Read More…


Control your entire house with the Revolv system

on Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Posted in: Gear, Home, Kitchen, News

If you’ve started trying to automate your house and find you’ve now got a variety of systems doing various tasks, you should check out the Revolv Smart Home Solution.  Simply power up the Revolv hub in your home, and it uses the proprietary FlashLink system to join your local network (you’ll need to enter theRead More…

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Philips compact fluorescent bulbs with built-in photocell automatically turn on your porch lights

on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

I recently reviewed the Belkin WeMo Switch and said it was one of the steps I was taking to automate my home and increase its security. The Switches work great to control lamps plugged into outlets inside my house, but my porch lights don’t plug in to an outlet. I had first thought that IRead More…


Belkin WeMo Smart Home Automation Switch review

on Monday, July 22nd, 2013

I have some OCD tendencies that are under control now for the most part, but I still freak out about leaving the house unattended for any length of time.  I don’t mean I have agoraphobia, but I’m afraid someone will break into the house while I’m out, even for a few hours.  We don’t haveRead More…


Creating a wireless network without a PC is now a reality with the Almond+ Touchscreen WiFi Router

on Saturday, January 26th, 2013

We live in a world now where the advancements in tablet devices allows them to replace the home PC. The problem with this new trend is that home wireless networking has not kept up with the influx of these tablet devices, and most routers still require a wired PC for setup and administration. The Almond+,Read More…


INSTEON Ships World’s First Remote Control Networked LED Bulb

on Saturday, July 7th, 2012

How many WiFi enabled devices other than your computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets do you have in your home? I have more than the average person. In addition to my 5 computing devices (iMac, Macbook Air, MBP, iPad and iPhone), I have a Boxee Box, Roku and 4 WiFi cameras setup. When I saw theRead More…


Control Household Devices from Anywhere with Belkin’s WeMo Switch and an iOS App

on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

Belkin is announcing the launch of a new line of WiFi switches that, when paired with an iOS app for iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, allow you to control household devices from anywhere.  The WeMo Switch (left) allows you to turn on/off any connected lamp or appliance over WiFi or mobile Internet.  The app will also let youRead More…


Automate your house lights – No wiring required

on Friday, January 6th, 2012
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

Having the ability to turn your lights on and off at predetermined times can be really useful for a variety of reasons. But wiring your house for X10 and other home automation equipment can be pricy and time consuming. A simple alternative is this Automatic Wall Switch Timer which fits right over a standard wallRead More…


Control Your Home Theater – and Even Your Home – With RedEye for Android

on Thursday, August 18th, 2011

RedEye products and apps from ThinkFlood have allowed you to use your iOS devices as home theater remotes for a couple of years now.  If you add some of their hardware connectivity products, you can even use them to control lights and appliances in your home.  But why should Apple users have all the fun?Read More…

X10 FireCracker Kit Review

on Monday, February 12th, 2001
Posted in: Home, Kitchen

Product Requirements: Desktop: Windows PC required if you wish to use the FireCracker desktop software (optional) FireCracker 1.8meg self executing archive Remember those funny commercials for the device that would allow you to clap your hands to turn a lamp on or off? You know the jingle, "Clap on… Clap off… Clap on, Clap off.Read More…