Tag: Home Automation

Ultion Smart Lock Review – The best smart home lock I have reviewed to date (All in one Z-Wave Danalock by Brisant Secure)

I have covered smart locks quite a lot in the past, it is an area of smart home technology I have always loved the thought of but it has never seemed to gain much traction in the mainstream market, unlike lighting or home heating. I have already reviewed the Yale Conexis L1 Smart Door Lock and the Nuki Smart Lock. Both are excellent in their own right, but both have a few niggles that the Ultion Smart Lock potentially addresses. Smart Lock popularity in the UK One of the significant issues in the UK has been lack of compatibility...

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Ring Video Doorbell 3 vs 3 Plus vs 2 vs Pro vs Eufy Doorbell – What has Ring improved? Which is the best alternative?

There is no getting away from the awful PR Ring has had recently, it has been revealed that the company has some serious issues with privacy as well as agreements with law enforcement to share your data. They are trying to improve though; they claim to have locked down the privacy concerns enforcing mandatory 2FA on their web access as well as new privacy controls within the app. I'll be honest, I still love my Ring Doorbell 2, and apathy has meant I didn't worry too much about the privacy concerns. Ring has now launched the Doorbell 3, which...

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The best Z-Wave & Smart Home Switches & Buttons – Wireless & wired switches for lights and automation

Buttons and switches are a superb addition to any smart home system allowing you to carry commands without reaching for your phone or shouting at Alexa. When I started this post, I knew there were a lot of options, but it turns out there are way more products that I realised. I have been looking at replacing my SmartThings button, which I find to be quite temperamental, which I think is battery related. I use this button to control multiple Hue bulbs and also some TP-Link bulbs, allowing me to switch my bedroom, hallways and office lights on when...

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The Best Android Automation Apps for Your Smartphone

When it comes to automation apps on Android there are various variants on the Google Play Store today, but how to choose the best ones. If you browse the wide array of apps that specialize in this area, you’ll find this to be quite hard. Firstly, let’s explain why you need to automate your smartphone with some apps. In a nutshell, this sort of application is the perfect way to make your existence simpler. They allow you to create custom triggers and actions on your mobile device. Once you set them up according to your specifications, they run themselves....

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Blurams Launches Advanced Smart Doorbell with Free AI Facial Recognition for just $89.99.

I was previously impressed with the performance of the Blurams Outdoor Pro, the affordable camera is one of the few AI facial recognition cameras on the market and it was quite accurate, much better than standard motion detection. Blurams are now taking that tech and shoving it in a smart doorbell and to make things even better they are making the AI facial recognition free, whereas the Outdoor Pro required the cloud subscription. The smart doorbell can handle up to sixteen people can be named in the App, and lets people know if a courier delivering, a family member...

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Netatmo Smart Door Lock vs Yale Conexis L1 vs Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 vs Danalock V3 – What is the best smart lock for UK euro lock multipoint uPVC doors

Netatmo is the latest company to enter the smart lock market with the innovatively named Smart Door Lock and Keys. While there are a lot of products on the market, the big names such as August are designed for deadlocks only, but in the UK for our uPVC doors, we use multi-point locks with a euro cylinder. Design & Installation The Netatmo Smart Door Lock is basically one big cylinder that comes in one size and can be adjusted to fit any euro-cylinder lock, it should be one of the easiest solutions to install and get working properly. The...

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Ring launch Access Controller Pro for gates, lightbulbs and garden lights. Promises to be better with your privacy

Ring has had a string of bad publicity recently, so their CES product launch is somewhat tarnished. It has recently come to light, that Ring has been working with police to make it easier for them to access footage, and they are facing legal action for poor security and also a data breach. So as part of CES, Ring are promising to improve security and privacy with a new section of its mobile app, called Control Center. Control Center will allow users to manage which devices can access their feeds and block requests for clips from law enforcement. Moving...

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CES: Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is the first wireless floodlight camera

I am a big fan of floodlight and spotlight cameras, I have both the Ezviz Floodlight and Netatmo Presence. The problem with both of these is that they need to be wired into your mains, because big lights use more power. Arlo thinks they can do better than this and have launched the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight. The new floodlight camera uses a rechargeable battery and interestingly not many people have mentioned the battery life, but Arlo claims that the Floodlight Camera may get up to six months of battery life on a full charge. Thankfully Arlo gives you...

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Minut Smart Home Alarm Review – A simpler solution to Yale, Ring and other alarm systems Score 79%

Minut Smart Home Alarm Review – A simpler solution to Yale, Ring and other alarm systems

Smart home alarms have been gaining traction in the UK in the past year and I have reviewed both the Yale Home Sync and Simplisafe systems. Ring recently launched in the UK, and my review of the Somfy indoor camera can be part of a smart home alarm. Minut, formerly Point, is a new contender in the market, and the device is quite simple and different from competing brands. Here you have just one device that acts as both the sensor and alarm, with a single Minut will set back £129, or 2 for £215 and 3 for £299....

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What is OpenTherm? OpenTherm compatible smart thermostats for 2020

Smart home thermostats have come a long way since they first launched. Originally they were just a thermostat that controlled the on and off functions of your boiler. They promised various levels of savings compared to a traditional thermostat, but in reality, they were still quite inefficient in many areas. Then came zoned heating, Genius Hub was one of the first to adopt this technology and this introduced smart thermostats that allow you to control the radiator valve too. With these, you can then control your home on a room by room basis, so in my house, I can...

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D-Link mydlink Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W118) review

I have reviewed smart plug options from TP-link Kasa and Energenie MiHome in the past, and if you look on Amazon it has become quite a saturated market with many random Chinese brands flooding the listing, and even Amazon themselves with a smart plug. There are also various Z-Wave smart plugs and other options, but they are not exactly comparable. I would say D-Link are TP-Link are the two most recognisable brands, and the Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W118) is the latest option from D-Link. D-Link DSP-W118/B - Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug Compatibile with Alexa and Google Home and...

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The Best Home Automation Systems & Devices for 2019

Originally posted in March 2018, I have now updated the post for 2019 to reflect some of the new tech and suggestions. This includes some reader recommendations too In the past couple of years, the home automation industry has boomed, and the traditional Z-wave based systems have lost ground to the new wave of AI-based speakers from Amazon and Google. Amazon Links to some recommended products Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Charcoal Fabric £49.99 in stock 1 new from £49.99 Buy Now Amazon.co.uk Free shipping Introducing Echo Show 5 – Compact smart display with...

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