Anyone started investing in Smart home devices?

Discussion in 'Networking, Telcos and ISPs' started by zagu, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. louie_gudboy

    louie_gudboy Member

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    We've been playing around with Alexa and some smart plugs at home. Added Sensibo to control the AC as well!

    Haven't used any smart bulbs yet but considering them, will the Lifx A19 fit our bulb sockets here in Manila?

    For those who have tried or currently uses Google and Alexa, is the former really more useful for searches since it uses Google and Alexa uses Bing? I was hoping I could do Google searches using Alexa.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ramil

    ramil Active Member

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    I have been using LIFX bulbs for several months now. I got A19 with E27 screws. I control my LIFX bulbs using Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit.

    I am also planning to get Sensibo to control the aircon units. What is your feedback about Sensibo?
     
  3. ramil

    ramil Active Member

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    What brand of smart WiFi plugs did you get?
     
  4. louie_gudboy

    louie_gudboy Member

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    Where did you get your LIFX bulbs with E27 socket?

    Regarding the Sensibo, I just use it to turn on/off the AC, I use the app to control everything else.
     
  5. ramil

    ramil Active Member

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    I ordered the bulbs directly from the LIFX website https://www.lifx.com/
     
  6. louie_gudboy

    louie_gudboy Member

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    Thanks, Ramil!
     
  7. oj88

    oj88 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Geekbes.
     
  8. desmosedici

    desmosedici New Member

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    I have different brands of plugs...Wemo, Insignia, Ikustar, Smarter Goods. Just make sure you get plugs rated to 240V - my mistake with the first 2 brands mentioned. Got them during a USA trip.

    Between Alexa and Google Home, Alexa is better for ordering stuff online and has more 3rd party support at this stage. Home is better for information searches. I have an Echo Plus and 2 Dots but I think I'll add a Google Home as well.
     
    #228 desmosedici, Jan 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  9. 31gna

    31gna Active Member

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    if you have an Echo dot, check lazada - "e27 smart led bulb". I have this and connected it to echo dot.

    https://www.lazada.com.ph/e27-smart...l?spm=a2o4l.searchlist.list.60.31b6bf8amlhasJ
     
    shootertwist likes this.
  10. VicB

    VicB PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Does anyone have Sonos Speakers (specifically Sonos Play 1) & been able to play Spotify on it using Alexa?
     
  11. oj88

    oj88 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    I now have two Echo Dots and I'm planning to get a Google Home Mini. Even though the Echo line of products are currently the de facto standard when it comes to voice-controlled smart home integration, you'll be stupid to ignore that Google Home is evidently trying to catch up. We don't know which platform will eventually win but for now, I can have the Echo Dots run the house, in a manner of speaking, and the Google Home Mini answer the trickier questions or just have a conversation with.

    Going back to the Echo Dots, I particularly like the multi-room music playback. It's kind of a Sonos-on-the-cheap sort of deal and it fills the whole house with music. The "drop-in"/intercom feature is also note worthy. It allows room-to-room or mobile app-to-room communications so I wouldn't even have to get out of the room or shout. Think, calling the kids at dinnertime.

    The abundance of Alexa "Skills" are amazing. Though, I would still want it to have more localized content, particularly local news. I surprise myself that I know more about the POTUS than our very own president (thanks to CNN and Reuters, which are part of my Alexa Flash Briefing, among others).
     
  12. ramil

    ramil Active Member

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    Where did you buy the Broadlink RM? How is it performing? Can you control aircon and tv with it?

    This Broadlink RM seems to be a cheaper alternative to the next set of devices I am considering (Sensibo for aircons, Logitech Harmony for entertainment system).
     
  13. Jigger

    Jigger New Member

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    I have an RM Pro+. I bought it in Lazada, but I am based in Saigon and I don't know if it's authentic. We'll see. :)

    So far, I can control my TV and entertainment system via Echo Dot and IHC app, just simple on/off, change channel, and volume up/down. For the entertainment system to work via Echo Dot, you have to trick the RM Pro that it's a TV because the skill available in the alexa app for broadlink is just for the TV. You can find a tutorial in youtube on how to set it up. The youtuber is Paul Hibbert.

    As for the aircon, I tried doing same like what I did in the entertainment system, it didn't work or I might have missed out something in the setup. But you can still add your aircon in the IHC app and can control your aircon using that app, not thru alexa though.
     
  14. oj88

    oj88 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Bought the RM Mini from Lazada. As far as Alexa is concerned, the RM (Mini or Pro) can do basic On/Off for A/Cs, including most IR-controlled devices. But to do so, you'll need the Broadlink e-Control app and RM Tasker Plugin (Android). A separate Broadlink app called IHC acts as a universal remote app to control everything under the sun. But Alexa will only be able to use the TV profile from IHC, nothing else. For that, if you want to give Alexa control of devices other than the TV, you'll need to use the e-Control app with the RM Plugin as described above. The RM Plugin acts as a bridge between Broadlink e-Control and Alexa and needs to be running in your network (I use a spare Android phone for this). IR codes learned through e-Control can be 'translated' to Alexa as a Philips Hue Bulb, giving it the ability to turn On and Off anything. The catch is, you can't do things like change the thermostat or alter the fan speed. I'm ok with this as we don't typically alter the A/C settings. For the times I have to change something on the A/C, I switch to the IHC app.

    Additionally, the RM Plugin allows you to do macros.... something similar to what the Harmony hub can do. Only, it's easier to do it in Harmony (through the web).

    But if you don't need to integrate with Alexa, you can just use the Broadlink IHC app exclusively. It's got a great interface and operates off the cloud. By cloud, it means you can turn on and operate any Broadlink-controlled appliance in your home from anywhere where there's an internet connection. You can do things like turning on the A/C, adjust the temp, etc., when you're 10 minutes away from home.
     
  15. jerichojanolo

    jerichojanolo Well-Known Member

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    Just starting on this madness.

    Bought an Echo Dot, hooking up with 2 TP-Link Smart Plugs, 2 TP-Link Smart Bulbs and 2 Yeelight color bulbs. All linked to the Alexa app.

    Enablng the Yeelight skill to Alexa took a while to make it successful.
     
  16. oldtimer

    oldtimer Active Member

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    Question for those with Smart light bulbs -- where (which room(s) in your house do you use it) and how? I am all for smart plugs, but still on the fence when it comes to bulbs. I can put it in one of the rooms, but it'd be faster for my kids to use the light switch to turn it on and off. When they turn it off via the switch, the bulb is useless as it has no power. HELP.
     
  17. oj88

    oj88 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    We're in the same boat.

    A smart bulb has two distinct advantages:
    1. They're easy to setup. Literally, just twist & play.
    2. Each bulb can be controlled individually or as a group through the app whether or not they're connected to the same physical line/light switch or not

    But it also has disadvantages
    1. First and foremost, they're expensive.
    2. And as you have experienced, the "smarts" that supposed to have been added to make it do a lot more can become downright unintuitive

    IMO, a light bulb is a house utility that must work when needed. It means that anybody in the house should be able to turn it on using known conventional methods such as flicking on an actual switch. For that, I've decided to use wireless smart switches instead of smart bulbs for the MAIN lights, and relegate the use smart bulbs as secondary illumination (ie. mood and/or ornamental lighting).

    Smart light switches can be turned on and off either through the app (standalone app, home automation, or Alexa/Google Assistant) but can also be operated by anyone using the physical light switch.

    I have the following switch on order.

    [​IMG]
     
    oldtimer likes this.
  18. kenobiz

    kenobiz Active Member

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    Just sharing my smart home switches and plugs. Not sure if someone here already using these products.
    Anyway, its been a month now and it works perfectly fine on my needs. It works great on my google home speakers (these products also works on alexa obviously)

    [​IMG]

    What's interesting is the sonoff basic switch which I got under $5. Its a DIY product and its really useful, you can do a lot about this smart switch. I was able to convert my power strip and extensions to smart power sockets. Its customizable, you can find a lot videos about this in youtube.

    [​IMG]
     
    #238 kenobiz, Jan 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
    suavecito likes this.
  19. oldtimer

    oldtimer Active Member

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    Thanks. Still on the fence on this one. Yes, a Smart switch will help, definitely, but adds to the expense, and does not save electricity. :(
     
  20. ramil

    ramil Active Member

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    I am using the LIFX smart lights in our bedrooms and in the living room. We usually turn them on/off using either light switches or Alexa.

    I use the smart lights to help us wake up in the morning. I simulate sunrise by setting them to gradually turn on (i.e., 0% to 100% in 10 minutes) before the morning alarm.

    I also use low warm lighting (either orange or red) during bed time to help us sleep. Then they will automatically turn off while we are sleeping.
     

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