Tag Archives: smartphone

Team Marti’s 10 Tips for Using Smart Home Technology

Team Marti’s 10 Tips for Using Smart Home Technology

As technology evolves, more  and more homeowners are using smart home technology to control systems and appliances in their homes – thermostats, refrigerators, dishwashers, lighting, sound systems and more. These systems and appliances can be controlled by your smartphone, but many can now be controlled by voice-controlled devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home.

If you’re considering smart home devices, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Manage your smart home devices on a secure home WiFi network.
  2. Start small to see if smart home technology fits your lifestyle. For example, try LED light bulbs that you can dim or turn on and off with your smartphone, or buy a smart plug to turn lamps on with a timer.
  3. Smart lights, which are all LEDs, use a lot less electricity than other light bulbs.
  4. Voice controlled devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home let you use voice commands to order a pizza, play music, shop online, or tell you the news or weather.
  5. Security cameras like those by Nest and video doorbells like those by Ring are a great way to monitor your home from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. You can mount them outside your front door to see who is coming and going. Some also offer monitoring services and cloud-based video storage.
  6. Smart locks are also growing in popularity. You can lock and unlock your front door using your smartphone, and you can grant temporary access to guests like a pet sitter or babysitter.
  7. Smart home hubs can control multiple smart home devices, so they communicate with each other. Companies like Samsung create hubs, but Amazon Echo can also act as a hub.
  8. Want to save on your energy bill? A smart thermostat can help. You can automatically set the temperature of your home with your phone, and adjust it as needed. You can even turn on the heat remotely if there’s a sudden weather change, so you don’t have to go home to a cold house.
  9. You can now get a smoke detector to let you know if there is smoke or fire in your home, no matter where you are.
  10. If you enjoy technology, universal remotes are a cool way to control your TV, stereo, DVD player, cable box and more, all from one device.

There are so many smart home products on the market, and we don’t want to recommend any specific products here, but there are review sites like The Wirecutter and Tom’s Guide that will give you their recommendations. Also, before you buy anything, check buyer reviews on Amazon to see if customers are pleased with their purchases. Good luck!

The Jetsons have arrived: fun mobile apps to control your home

The JetsonsOnce upon a time, The Jetsons were a futuristic family with an ultra-modern home full of gadgets designed to make their lives easier. Well, the Jetsons have arrived, and you too can have those goodies at your fingertips to control lighting, temperature, security and more. Here are a few mobile apps to try, explained by American Home Shield.

Philips Hue – Wirelessly control your Philips Hue lighting system from your iPhone or iPad.

Nest – Adjust your home’s temperature using your smartphone or tablet.

SmartThings – Use your smartphone as a remote control to manage your household systems, including door locks, lights, music and appliances.

Control4 My Home – Manage all of your home’s systems including security, lighting and energy from your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Once quite pricey, many of these devices are available for just a few hundred bucks, well worth it for the convenience and energy savings you’ll enjoy. George and Jane Jetson would be proud!