My Smart Home Experience6th March 2020
As in October 2019 I had the amazing opportunity to buy a house in the beautiful town called Ludwigslust in Germany. It is an old but recently renovated lovely house. As I'm much interested in tech I couldn't wait to try some cool Smart Home stuff.
I made some amazing times with the following Smart Home gadgets:
Smart Bulbs Teckin: That are smart bulbs with integrated wifi. You can easily replace your existing ones with them.
Smart Sockets Teckin: Pretty nice power sockets which you can plug between your electrical device and the socket in your wall to remote control it. It works with your wifi as well.
Smart Garage Door: A cool garage engine extension. It enhances your existing garage engine to be remote controllable via wifi.
Thermostats: Very nice little gadget to time schedule your heaters. Those I tested didn't had wifi or bluetooth connection.
Further done I have links to those gadgets if you would like to try them out yourself. My highest priorities were to save costs like electricity or gas in the long run and increase the living quality from me and my wife.
There are dozens of Smart Home solutions out there and you need to be careful which one you take as often gadgets from different vendors are not playing nicely together.
I decided to buy gadgets which can be controlled with the 'Smart Life' app, as it has a huge offer on all kinds of Smart Home devices.
Which Wireless Frequency?
It is important to mention that all of my Smart Home gadgets only are working in a 2.4 GHz wireless network. It is unlikely that you find gadgets for the 5 GHz network. 2.4 as the length of the waves are longer compared to 5 GHz it reaches better through walls but it has a smaller maximum bandwidth. Actually Smart Home devices don't need a high bandwidth, so thats fine. Make sure to establish both of those network frequencies on your router!
Smart Light Bulbs Everywhere
I opted in buying the Smart wifi LED lights from Teckin. You can buy them in a bundle of for for saving a bit. What can I say, I really love those Smart bulbs. I already saved money with them just replacing the existing bulbs which ran on 40 W to use those Smart bulbs which just need 8 W to shine.
As it is just natural to forget turning out the light and it already happened, I configured every replaced bulb to turn off at 1 am as usually no one is wake at this time. Anyway there are some places in the house, where the wifi signal is not strong enough. For that case I didn't installed a smart bulb. I only replaced the 40 W against a simple LED ones.
The next smart device were the Smart Sockets. I love those sockets as they have a bunch of nice features. First as we in Germany don't have manual on off switches integrated in the power sockets like I know from UK, it is very convenient that those smart sockets have an on off switch. Than you don't need to force pulling out if you want to cancel the power and your device doesn't have an on off switch itself.
The next cool feature of those sockets is that you can configure a time schedule for switching off and on devices. I do use a schedule off switch on my TV station as there are a bunch of energy waster which I would like to cut off at night. So I configured the TV smart socket to turn off at 1 am. An other off schedule is on the microwave. As it is an old microwave it spends a lot of energy even just being in standby. That isn't acceptable so the microwave turns off at 7 pm and 1 am now. If you want to turn it on again, simply press the button on the socket.
Last but not least the washing machine. It now has a smart socket between as well. Three reasons for that. As well the on off switch is practical. It saves energy because it turns off the machine completely. Really cool I configured the "Smart Life" app to send me a notification when the cloth is done washing. That is possible because you can trigger a notification event when the power level reaches a threshold . I love that!
Smart Garage Door
Imagine if you could open your door with just saying "Hey Siri, Garage". Well thats the case for me. And still until now I feel like Batman when his cave opens kind of automatically when he approaches in his batmobile :D. So very very cool. How I did that? When I bought the house, there was already an electrical garage door which could be controlled with a simple infrared remote. Yes thats nice but it isn't handy to carry that remote with you all the time and it can't be voice controlled at all. So I wrote down the name of the door engine and bought on Amazon for a Smart Garage gadget which is compatible with that engine and the 'Smart Life' app.
The installation of the device was easy. I have the following enhancements. The old-fashioned remote control is still working but now I can open and close the door with my smart phone and the app 'Smart Life' or using Siri. Furthermore I can check if the garage is open or closed on my phone and I do get an alarm when the door gets opened. And really cool I scheduled the power of the garage engine to turn off the electricity at night. That saves costs and increases the security.
Time Scheduled Thermostats
I am very happy with my "Smart" thermostats from Eqiva Radiator for most of my heaters. Though I am not sure if they are falling under the category of Smart Home devices as they are basically just configurable through the display and I am currently only using them for time scheduled heating and easily turning on and off. Anyway there were very easy to install and they do work like a charm.
Smart Home Gadgets
If you found something I mentioned here interesting, check it out those Affiliates links (I would get a little commission for supporting my blog post work):
Smart Bulbs Teckin (Amazon): UK DE USA
Smart Sockets Teckin (Amazon): UK DE USA
Smart Garage Door (Amazon): UK DE USA
I feel like that I just started my little Smart Home journey. Soon I would like to try more complex technologies like the Tado Smart Radiator system. As well I am thinking about to create my own private Smart Home Server running an a PI. I found some interesting articles regarding that in a german magazine.
Smart Home devices are not just tools for playing around with. They actually help you to save real coins which will add up over the years and will increase your living quality. If you think about peeking in the Smart Home devices world start with simple devices like those wifi Smart Bulbs and Smart Sockets which doesn't need any other devices to work and they are cheap! Be creative for how you can use them in a smart way. And yeah most important have fun!
To the wonderful readers of this article I'm saying that feedback of any kind is welcome. In the future I will try to include a discussion and comment feature here. In the meantime, please feel free to send me feedback via my social media accounts such as Twitter or FaceBook. Thank you very much :).
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