So anyone that knows me will know I’m somewhat of a Geek / Nerd / a person that loves technology… and actually this is something I am proud of… However Geek / Nerd has such a stigma attached that people sometimes assume its someone that plays computer games all day or codes etc… and obviously in some cases that is true… I used to be a gamer, I used to build PC’s, every spare bit of cash I had used to go on the latests game or bit of tech… well how life has changed… and how my priorities have changed.
Don’t get me wrong I still love these things as I still love playing games etc, but my tech focus at the moment is about making my life a little easier after a life changing recent diagnosis… (See previous blog posts for more on that)
A lot of companies now have jumped on the whole “Home Automation” Bandwagon – Philips / TP-Link / Hive / Google / Amazon – to name but a few… since being out of hospital back in July getting out of bed to switch a light off is a huge deal and can be extremely painful… so I thought I would spend a little bit of money on some home automation to see if I could make my life slightly easier and less painful… I didn’t realise how easy it was in all honesty…
Obviously all these devices need a network to link too – so your home wifi should be more than capable.
My first purchase was an Amazon Echo (2 Gen) – I bought this during the “Black Friday” deals on Amazon and saved £20 – also this had better reviews than the Google Home (Which is another option) Also Alexa does other things apart from turn off lights.. it can be a Bluetooth speaker / Give Weather / New reports and even order a Pizza – the things it can do are endless and forever increasing.
My next purchase was the TP-Link HS100 Smart Plugs – I bought 2 for both lamps in my room, these can be controlled via their own mobile App called KASA (Available on iOS / Android) or via Amazon Alexa – Another good thing about these they can be grouped together and scheduled to come on at certain times etc (at sunset for example) all programable via Alexa or the KASA App and extremely easy too.
My next purchase was TP-Link LB130 Colour changing Bulb – I only bought one of these as they’re quite expensive and changing the lamp colour is more of a novelty than anything else.
Quote from their website:-
“The LB110/LB130 connects to your Wi-Fi and lets you control every aspect of your lighting from your smartphone or tablet. Whether home or away, you can always make sure your lighting is set the way you want it.
Turn the lights on from your car when you arrive home at night, and make sure all your lights are switched off even when you’re already at work.”
I have also converted my friend that I live with to get a couple for security lights, so that she doesn’t need to remember to flick a switch every night to turn on an outside light, it’ll come on automatically and also go off automatically.
All of these devices are Eco friendly and energy savings see below… now that has just got to be an added bonus!…
The other thing I use is IFTTT (If This Then That) which I currently have setup on my iPhone, but can also be controlled via android or the web and the possibilities with that are just ENDLESS! Here is the automation folder on my iPhone / iPad but to be honest once you have everything setup as you like it, you will hardly ever need to go into these.
At some point I will be converting over to the Philips Hue System as I love their different lights – I purchased the starter kit during this Black Friday sale on amazon also.
But so far just these few devices have saved me a lot of unnecessary pain and in my book that can only be a good thing… and absolutely worth every penny, just so happen to have saved quite a bit with purchasing them during a black friday event.