Combined IoT SmartHome topic


I didn’t exactly buy it. It came with my Pixel. If i added it to my shopping cart I could get one free with my purchase of a phone.

I did it in haste and didn’t add the Google Home. I needed a phone stat because I was going on a trip the next couple of days. Anyway, they must have way too many of those damn things in stock because they sent an email a week ago saying I could still claim a free Google Home.

It’s kinda stupid too because whenever I talk to it, my phone tends to pick up and respond first.


of course I bought one before it was officially available in Canada and of course I still have to plug it in yet.


The one good thing is setup is a cinch compared to Alexa.

You don’t even need to manually change wifi to its hotspot. It’s a nice setup app.


Ok I bought a house. Hooray! Yikes! I have ignored smart home iot things until now. I’m trying to get a sense of what’s worthwhile vs unnecessary IoT, and the best ways to control it all. I’m on Android, wife is on iPhone, and I could see when my daughters get older we’ll all be on Apple devices, because young women are all on Apple devices why would we even consider Android? (tongue in cheek, I prefer Android myself).

Connected wifi appliances - worth it? Need to buy appliances (though spread over time). The idea of checking my fridge temp seems dotcom bubble to me. Oven / range though?

Alarm - house is pre-wired but no alarm. I’m inclined to just panel over the exposed wiring ends and put in a basic 2-3 camera home kit. Thoughts?

Smart doorbell - probably worth it.

Smart sprinkler system - again a few years away, I’m broke this year :).

Lights? Switches work fine in my mind other than perhaps the rec room.

Garage door opener?

Thermostat of course.

What else? Thanks!


Do you REALLY want wifi to hack your oven and burn up all the pans you have inside for storage?

I have a samsung smart fridge, it’s dumb, absolutely no use.

For security I just put up a few motion-sensor solar-powered lights. Nice 45 degree cone, about 2 car lengths range.

I have a ring pro doorbell, it’s more a discouragement. Alerts are immediate, but it takes up to a minute to see the video. It seems to work faster on the stupid apple phones. I have not tested conclusively. It is slow so I just walk to the door.


Anyone have tips or experience with smart switches? I’m struggling because I need a three-way smart dimmer. It seems like there simply aren’t any, even the expensive Lutron Caseta just has a remote which you can mount instead of an auxiliary switch.


Right! But if this gives you the functionality and appearance of a 3 way switch, why is it a problem? That’s the setup I run and it works perfectly and no one even knows the mounted Pico remote isn’t an actual wired dimmer.


Hmm, I searched and I guess it attaches quite seamlessly. Are you otherwise happy with your setup? How is the range of the hub? I need the three-way dimmer and a couple of other smart switches so it’s a bit pricey.


Of the various smart home devices I have (camera, security system, thermostat, lock, bulbs, other brand of wi-fi switch, Z-wave switch), the Lutron Caseta switches have been the most rock solid and trouble-free.

I have the hub in a small basement furnace room area (where my utilities come in) and it reaches all over my 3-story townhouse (so narrow but tall) without problem. Highly recommended.


Being a tech-savvy guy, I, uh, have never had a smart plug. I do have a couple of Home Minis (3, supposedly, but one that never got installed anywhere has gone missing - another story…).

So - plugs, specifically ones that do not need a hub. Each seems to have their own app. Does that lock you in to one brand, or do different brands function together (or at least co-exist) just through Home? Or do folks just pile up various apps as one acquires new cheapo plugs of different brands?


You will need multiple apps, but typically you just ask Esmeralda (my name for the Google home assistant) to turn on the lights for you.


Can you wake her up by saying ‘Esmeralda’? Or is she just another ‘Hey Google’, but with an added layer of fantasy?


… the second one.


Don’t we all have this? Alexa is damn fine, in my head.


I have Alexa with an Australian accent, and imagine she’s this asian Australian chick I saw on a cooking show a couple years ago.

What? No, you’re being creepy! Shut up!


Weird, I gave Alexa a Brit accent last year, and for some reason that put me in the UK, region/market-wise. She no longer recognized local places and such. Could have been my imagination, but things felt instantly normal once I gave her her US accent back.

As for smarthome stuff, I just installed a Hue motion sensor in my bathroom and it works great. Didn’t have to tweak it at all, even for the shower.


Can Alexa have Darth Vader voice? I would never stop talking to it.


You have darker fantasies than the other guys here, dude.


In my defense, I just think his voice is cool lolol.


Received a 2-pack of smart plugs for Christmas, then found a dimmer that works with the same app for some wall lights that I really wanted to have dimmer control for. Everything works pretty smoothly, except for having to jump through hoops to get my phone to connect to the wifi on 2.4GHz for initial setup.

My biggest problem is that we’re about to take down the Christmas tree, and I have absolutely no idea what else to use that plug for between now and next Christmas. Perhaps that’s why I was such a slow adopter of smart-stuff…