When all of the Lake Wisconsin flooding happened last year, I installed a security camera system at the lake house that would allow me to remotely keep tabs on the dock, boat lift, and boat. I went with an inexpensive wired security system, which worked well but broke over the winter when a tree branch … Continue reading Ring Security Camera
For a long time, I’ve wanted to replace the thermostat that controls HVAC for the top two floors of the house. My wife hated the old one, and it was clunky with no ability to control via my phone. I took advantage of a Black Friday deal for a Nest Learning Thermostat at the Home … Continue reading Nest
Several weeks ago when I was in Dallas, I received word from my realtor that the boat lift (and the boat) at the lake house was in danger of being swept away due to flooding on Lake Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River. After following up for more information, I was eventually able to get ahold … Continue reading Boat Lift Fiasco
One of the many home automation technologies that I use in my houses is Samsung SmartThings. It supports a wide array of sensors, integrated well with Alexa and Arlo, and provides a slick phone UI with the ability to manage multiple homes. For a long time, I’ve used the SmartThings Leak Sensor to monitor for … Continue reading SmartThings Smoke Alarm
As noted in many previous posts, I have a ton of smart devices throughout my houses, all tied together by a plethora of Amazon Echoes. Today, as described in detail in a post on Gizmodo, Amazon rolled out a ton of new Echo devices. I’m excited to see how I can incorporate them into my … Continue reading So Many New Echoes!
How many do you have? Even with apps that act as multi-brand hubs, I’ve still ended up with so many: Continue reading So Many Home Automation Apps
One of the primary goals of my initial home automation installation was to install smart light switches that would allow me to turn lights on and off with my voice. While it is cool to be able to walk into a room and say “Alexa, turn on the living room,” the real power comes when … Continue reading Choosing the Right Smart Switch
Over the last several weeks, I have been adding various home automation technologies to the house: Arlo for home security, Wemo and Lutron Caseta for automated lighting, and Amazon Echo/Alexa for voice control. Out of the box, Alexa’s integration with other smart home technologies is pretty good. It doesn’t take any custom work to be … Continue reading Custom Alexa Skill for Tracking Car Use