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Ask The Expert: Have a Question about Smart Home? The Expert is Here!

Ask The Expert: Have a Question about Smart Home? The Expert is Here!

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Administrator Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 1,035
Registered: ‎12-09-2014
Message 1 of 11
(2,017 Views)

 

Do you have questions about Smart Home products? 

 

AskTheExpert_Lauren_final.jpg

 

Lauren Lee, the subject matter expert, will be here to answer your questions on everything Smart Home.


How does it work?

Come to the Forum and post your question by Tuesday, November 19th. 

Lauren will do her best to answer your questions by Monday, November 25th. 

Why should I come to the "Ask The Expert" session?

 

  • Do you need basic info on Smart Home Products?
  • Do you need to learn how to use Smart Home Products? 
  • Are you getting the most out of your Smart Home Products?
  • Do you have specific issues that you have been trying to troubleshoot?


And if those aren't good enough reasons...what about taking the opportunity to talk directly to the "strategic thinker" behind the Smart Home Products? 

The event will occur on the Ask The Expert section of the community. 

We are looking forward to answering your questions by Monday, November 25th!

 

 



Nilsa
Community Manager

10 REPLIES 10
Copper Contributor Khories
Copper Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎04-04-2019
Message 2 of 11
(1,633 Views)

Hi Lauren,

 

We recently just started "smartening" up our home. Smiley Wink 

 

I am just wondering which 3 smart home gadgets are your favorite?

 

 

 

 

Copper Contributor Zihna
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎02-20-2019
Message 3 of 11
(1,631 Views)

Hello,

 

Do all smart home devices need an internet connection? 

What happens if there is an internet outage? Will I still be able to control my devices and how?  

Trivia Champ
Trivia Champ
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-18-2018
Message 4 of 11
(1,605 Views)

I heard that some smart home tech products are designed to decrease your monthly bills? Can you tell me a little more about this? 

Contributor Precious628
Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎05-30-2019

If someone just started out setting up their home with smart home devices, which items would you recommend for beginners?

 

Thanks.

Copper Contributor forumuser123
Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎05-29-2019

I watched the ring doorbell video in the How to video section and it provided a lot of valuable information. Will you be creating additional smart home videos to help with buying decisions?

Employee Employee
Employee
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-15-2019

Welcome to the automated world of smart home, Khories! My favorite smart home devices are very much influenced by my apartment lifestyle. Since my building provides heating/cooling units in unit, door locks and security measures, I only need certain smart home products. That being said, my favorite smart home gadgets are:

  1. A voice assistant to provide weather updates, timers, measurement conversion, music, and more.
  2. Smart light bulbs to control and automate the lighting based on my needs. Plus if you buy colored light bulbs, you can create fun scenes like “Underwater” using blue and green lights.
  3. Smart plug to turn regular electronics into a voice controlled or programmable devices. Typically, I’ll use a smart plug to automate my not-smart water boiler for french press coffee in the morning. Now that the holidays are approaching, I use my smart plug to control my Christmas tree lights and avoid maneuvering below the tree.

Although my favorite devices are a result of my apartment lifestyle, I would still recommend these devices to people who live in houses. If you live in a house, you should also consider a smart thermostat to control the temperature of your home from the comfort of your bed and smart security cameras to monitor package deliveries. Good luck!

Employee Employee
Employee
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-15-2019

Great question, Zihna! The answer depends on the type of device it is because not all smart home devices require an internet connection to function. When the internet goes out, some smart home devices work with their desired function -- albeit without the “smart” capabilities -- and some devices will be useless. Let’s take a look at the different types of smart devices to see what happens when the internet goes out and what type of control you would have:

  • Wi-Fi Cameras: Most smart security cameras rely heavily on a Wi-Fi connection to do pretty much everything; so when the internet is down, these cameras will also be down. Since video recordings are typically stored on the cloud, the camera won’t be able to record any new footage and you won't be able to view any old recordings.
  • However, there are some Wi-Fi cameras that have the ability to store recordings locally. For example, you can add a USB flash drive as a back-up storage option to some devices to continue recording when the internet goes out. 
  • Philips Hue Lights: If the internet goes out and you're at home, you will still be able to control your lights from your phone as long as your Hue Bridge hub is connected to your router and your phone is connected to your home's Wi-Fi network. The only functionality lost during an internet outage is the ability to control your lights away from home and through your voice assistant.
  • Safety devicesGood news here, most critical devices like smart thermostats, smart smoke alarms, and smart locks work perfectly fine for their desired function when the internet goes down -- the only lost functionality is the ability to control the devices from your phone. If you have a schedule set up, the device will continue to abide even if it’s not connected to the internet and you can always control the device by manually adjusting.
  • Voice Assistants: Although some functions will work, like alarms and timers, controlling your smart home with your voice and asking questions about the weather or traffic will not be possible without an internet connection.
Employee Employee
Employee
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-15-2019

Sure, smart home devices that decrease your monthly bills typically do so by reducing energy waste and making certain aspects of your home more efficient. Smart home devices introduce 3 new capabilities to help control usage:

  1. Remote control access to your devices when you’re away from home. Make sure they're not on unless you want them to be!
  2. Automation to set a schedule for your devices to turn on and off, so that you know certain devices are off when you’re gone.
  3. Artificial Intelligence. Certain devices have the ability to learn your preferences, set schedules, and adjust based on your standard usage; ultimately reducing energy waste and saving you money along the way.

For example, after you use the Nest Learning Thermostat for a week, the device will learn what temperatures you like and when you like them. Then it programs itself and creates a schedule for you. The Nest Thermostat even learns from your home and figures out how it heats and cools, because no two homes are exactly the same, and automatically adjusts to the temperature of your home. According to Nest, the Thermostat can save 10% - 12% on heating and 15% on cooling for an estimated $131 - $145 average savings per year!

Employee Employee
Employee
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-15-2019

Hi Precious628, I would recommend my favorite smart home devices! They're perfect for apartment & home living:

  1. A voice assistant to provide weather updates, timers, measurement conversion, music, and more.
  2. Smart light bulbs to control and automate the lighting based on my needs. Plus if you buy colored light bulbs, you can create fun scenes like “Underwater” using blue and green lights.
  3. Smart plug to turn regular electronics into a voice controlled or programmable devices. Typically, I’ll use a smart plug to automate my not-smart water boiler for french press coffee in the morning. Now that the holidays are approaching, I use my smart plug to control my Christmas tree lights and avoid maneuvering below the tree.

What’s even better is that these devices are affordable so beginners can get a taste of what it's like to have a smart home without fully investing in big ticket devices. All of these products can be found for less than $100 and in many cases can be found for less than $50 (especially during Black Friday!)