My take on CEDIA 2018: The Ultimate Smart Home Show

While this year’s CEDIA Expo certainly showcased a tremendous number of high-end connected home products and services, there wasn’t much that was worthy of me thinking “wow!” There were newer versions of control systems, with some new features of course, 8K video was seemingly everywhere…and in some respects—aside from price tags—it started to get hard to tell the difference between the high-end and DIY sides of the market. More on that later.

Will this be a Smart Home September To Remember?

New products and announcements from Philips Hue, Sylvania, Samsung, Grundig, LG, Honeywell and others have dotted the smart home landscape of recent months. But, September tends to be the start of “tech announcement season”, and of course, the earlier-than-ever start of the holiday shopping season. So what new gadgets will we see?

Smart Home Q&A - August 2018

For the August Q&A, there's questions if TP-Link works with SmartThings, the range of Z-Wave sensors, wireless interference, and what's this Crestron thing? All of this and a little more on this month's smart home questions and answers session!

Smart Home Q&A - July 2018

On July's Q&A, there's questions on fitting two smart locks on one door, smart shades / drapery / blinds for a very large sliding glass door, and how to control an indoor smart switch from an outdoor smart motion sensor. All of this and a little more on this month's smart home questions and answers session!

Is the smart home market in a lull?

Ring launches an alarm system. Apple introduces Siri Shortcuts. Google says you can have a “Continued Conversation” with your smart speaker. Amazon launches a voice-enabled A/V controller and streamer. Philips launches outdoor Hue lights. All of these products are nice improvements, but where’s the true innovation?

Smart Home Q&A - June 2018

On June's Q&A, there's questions on the brand-new Amazon Fire TV Cube, how to trigger or schedule Google Assistant Routines, and using Insteon keypads to help automate devices in a smart home. Plus, a follow-up from Pete's questions last month. All of this and a little more on this month's smart home questions and answers session!

Smart home security systems new and old

You’re probably familiar with traditional home security systems, but do you really need a full system from one of the “usual” security companies? Today, the choices in home security for consumers have multiplied, with traditional security companies jumping into the smart home and the new smart home companies jumping into security. And, if you’re more “hands-on”, you can even piece together your own custom home security system and bypass the packaged systems altogether.

Smart Home Q&A - May 2018

On this month's Q&A, there's questions on less expensive smart light strips, the best non-Apple HomeKit app to use, and combining existing in-wall speakers with smart speakers. All of this and a little more on this month's smart home questions and answers session!

Quick Tips: Smart Ceiling Fans

Summer is quickly approaching in some parts of the world. And while ceiling (and other) fans help keep us cool instead of turning down the air conditioning, wouldn't it be great if they adjusted themselves automatically? It's easier to do than you think, and this edition of Smart Home Quick Tips will show you how!

Home Sweet Smart Home

Have I become too reliant on home automation? Am I spoiled by it? Even while on a quick weekend getaway up to the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, AZ, I felt strange not having convenient control of the environment of the hotel room where I stayed. Do I need to join a support group?

Quick Tips: Push Those Buttons!

These days, we're so used to the convenience of smart speakers and voice control, along with touch screens and apps, that we tend to forget that the original way to control the smart home was with physical controls. Multi-button control pads and wall controllers were commonplace years ago, but Apple, Google and Amazon want us to believe that everything will be voice controlled in the future. Well, I beg to differ.