What is a smart TV? What do you need to know?

Smart TVs aren’t just popular, they’re the status quo now. As an example, every single model on our list of the best TVs you can buy is a smart TV. Originally called “connected TVs,” these sets were later branded as “smart TVs” by companies such as Samsung and LG. Even the models on our list of the best TVs under $500 are all smart TVs.

The major feature separating smart TVs and not-so-smart TVs is an internet connection. Nearly all smart TVs come equipped with both an Ethernet port and built-in Wi-Fi support, so they should be able to connect from anywhere in your house. Generally speaking, Wi-Fi should be fast enough for most purposes, but if you plan on streaming games or 4K content, you might want to hardwire to your network instead.

5 Best Smart TV:

Virtually every major TV manufacturer makes a smart TV today, with the trend toward making every set “smart.” A smart TV uses either a wired Ethernet connection or built-in Wi-Fi to connect to a home network for internet access. Most models today have built-in Wi-Fi, but check that it does before you buy. For streaming movies, some sets support the latest and fastest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.

  1. LG Electronics 55UK6300PUE 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2018 Model)

The UK6300 is crafted with a slim, seamless body that’s ideal for any room aesthetic. This new LG UHD TV with AI (Artificial Intelligence) ThinQ becomes the hub for the smart home: Using Intelligent Voice control, speak into the LG Magic Remote* to pull up family photos, control light settings, check the weather and more. The UK6300 uses a powerful quad-core processor that minimizes video noise, enhances sharpness and assures accurate colors for a remarkably lifelike 4K picture. This LG 4K TV supports multiple formats of HDR content, including HDR10 and HLG, both optimized with scene-by-scene picture adjustment.

*Service limited to certain languages. Some features require 3rd party service subscription. Requires LG Magic Remote, sold separately.
Dimensions (Wx H x D): TV without stand 49.1″ x 28.7″ x 3.5″, TV with stand: 49.1″ x 30.9″ x 9.1″
LG UHD TVs with AI (Artificial Intelligence) ThinQ become the hub for your connected smart devices. Beyond apps and entertainment, LG AI TV uses intelligent voice control to create a hub for the smart home and beyond.
The multi-format 4K high dynamic range support includes HDR10 and HLG, both with LG’s advanced tone mapping technology that provides scene-by-scene optimization.

LG Electronics 55UK6300PUE 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2018 Model)

2.  LG Electronics OLED65C8PUA 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2018 Model)

The sleek C8 is designed to elevate a room’s aesthetics while complementing any decor. This new LG OLED TV with AI (Artificial Intelligence) ThinQ becomes the hub for the smart home: Using Intelligent Voice control, speak into the LG Magic Remote to pull up family photos, control light settings, check the weather and more. Movies, sports, and games come to thrilling new life, more immersive with the perfect black and intense color made possible by LG OLED display technology. The new α9 (Alpha9) Intelligent Processor makes the most of the self-illuminating pixels, providing true-to-life images with rich colors, superior sharpness, and enhanced depth. The C8 features comprehensive support of major 4K high dynamic range formats including premium Dolby Vision, as well as HDR10 and HLG.

LG Electronics OLED65C8PUA 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2018 Model)

3.  Sony XBR65X900F 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2018 Model)

BEYOND HIGH DEFINITIONThe Sony X900F model television offers the best in 4K HD TV picture quality. With stunning clarity plus high dynamic range color, contrast and detail, and full-array local dimming technology, enjoy a lifelike picture, enhanced contrast and remarkable brightness packed inside an incredibly slim design. ENHANCED QUALITYFeaturing the X1 Extreme Processor, 4K X-Reality PRO and X-tended Dynamic Range PRO 6X, this tv offers superior brightness and a wide contrast range for a premium 4K television experience. Enjoy detailed and powerful real-time image processing whether you are surfing channels, watching a movie or playing a video game.PREMIUM DISPLAYThe Sony X900F includes X-Motion Clarity technology and a TRILUMINOS display. X-Motion offers the best in fast action clarity to control blurriness and maintain smooth, clear and bright images whether you are watching a high-speed chase in an action movie or speed skating. TRILUMINOS combined with 4K HDR Super Bit Mapping provides the widest, brightest and most vivid color palette seen on a tv.VOICE CONTROLThis tv offers voice control compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Sony XBR65X900F 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2018 Model)

4.  LG Electronics 32LK540BPUA 32-Inch 720p Smart LED TV (2018 Model)

This LG LED TV, in 720p high definition, gives you a crisp, clear picture that rich with detail. The LEDs brings exceptional brightness to the beautiful high-definition picture, plus Virtual Surround Plus, HDMI, and USB.
Dimensions (Wx H x D): TV without stand 28.8″ x 17.4″ x 3.2″, TV with stand: 28.8″ x 18.8″ x 6.9″
Smart Functionality gives you access to your favorite apps and content using webOS. Connectivity Wi-Fi built in 802.11ac
An Array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) across brings exceptional brightness to the beautiful high-definition picture
Virtual Surround Plus adds new life to TV shows and movies with Simulated Surround effect

LG Electronics 32LK540BPUA 32-Inch 720p Smart LED TV (2018 Model)

5.  Sony XBR65X850F 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2018 Model)

Beautiful scenery comes to life with the 4K HDR X1 Processor and TRILUMINOS Display in the X850F 4K HDR TV. Lifelike detail is revealed in your favorite entertainment with Dynamic Contrast Enhancement and 4K HDR Super Bit Mapping, displaying contrast and color gradation in stunning accuracy. It doesn’t just display content, it evokes emotion.
Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 57 1/8 x 33 x 2 1/8(9/16) inch, TV with stand: 57 1/8 x 35 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch
Stand width: 44 3/8 inch (diagonal) . Take non-HDR content to the next level with the X1 processor and 4K X-Reality PRO
Enjoy smooth and vibrant colors with TRILUMINOS Display & 4K HDR Super Bit Mapping
Pairs 4K Ultra HD picture clarity with the contrast, color, and detail of High Dynamic Range (HDR) for the most lifelike picture
Voice-control your TV with Amazon Alexa compatibility. Android TV with Google Assistant technology gives you a genius TV
120Hz native refresh rate plus Motionflow XR technology gives you fast moving action scenes with virtually no motion blur

Sony XBR65X850F 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2018 Model)

In a nutshell, a smart TV incorporates an operating system/platform that allows you to access, manage, and view online and network-based media content without the need to connect to an additional box. The main benefit of a smart TV is access to a large number of “channels” that offer TV programs, movies, music, without having to connect a TV antenna or subscribe to a cable/satellite service. Also, some smart TVs may provide web browsing, gaming, as well as access to compatible media content stored on your PC.

All Options

SaleBestseller No. 1
TCL 40S325 40 Inch 1080p Smart LED Roku TV (2019)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 35.6" X 20.5" X 2.9", TV with stand: 35.6" X 22.7" X 7.2"
  • Smart functionality delivers all your favorite content with over 500, 000 movies and TV episodes, accessible through the simple and intuitive Roku TV
SaleBestseller No. 2
TCL 50S425 50 inch 4K Smart LED Roku TV (2019)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 44. 1" X 25. 7" X 3. 2", TV with stand: 44. 1" X 28" X 8"
  • Smart functionality delivers all your favorite content with over 500, 000 movies and TV episodes, accessible through the simple and intuitive Roku TV
SaleBestseller No. 3
Samsung UN50RU7100FXZA FLAT 50'' 4K UHD 7 Series Smart TV (2019)
  • 4K UHD Processor: A powerful processor optimizes your TV's performance with 4K picture quality
  • HDR: See shades of color that reveal more detail than HDTV can deliver
SaleBestseller No. 4
Toshiba 43LF421U19 43-inch 1080p Full HD Smart LED TV - Fire TV Edition
  • Toshiba Full HD Smart TV - Fire TV Edition delivers 1080p picture quality for lifelike detail, rich contrast, and brilliant colors.
  • With the Fire TV experience built-in, enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills, including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more.
Bestseller No. 5
TCL 32S305 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 28.9" x 17.1" x 3.2", TV with stand: 28.9" x 19.2" x 7.2"
  • Smart functionality offers access to over 4,000 streaming channels featuring more than 450,000 movies and TV episodes via Roku TV

/ Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System for Smart Home : Review

The level of convenience that smart technology has brought to cooking and food preparation is almost astounding. While there is no replacement for a well-trained chef, smart technology can take the difficulty out of finding recipes, preparing ingredients and cooking food to perfection. It makes cooking easier and more accessible, no matter your level of skill!

The Cue System is everything you need to get started. The education component of the Hestan Cue is the star of the product. Videos are included with each step of a recipe, so you can see exactly what you’re supposed to do. And there are many delicious dishes from which to choose, whether it’s sauces or salmon or pancakes.

Cue Pan – 11″

  • 11” durable, long-lasting tri-ply stainless steel
    With proper use, Cue recipes don’t stick
  • Precise temperature sensor
    Measures temperature on the surface of the pan, not just the heat source
  • Embedded Bluetooth® capsule syncs with Cue App and Induction Burner
    AAA battery included

Cue Induction Burner

  • 1600-watt Portable Induction
    Energy efficient precision
  • Compact, stylish design
    A smaller footprint than other induction burners
  • Part of the Cue system
    Sync with Cue cookware, from our 11” fry pan to the Chef’s Pot to cook what you want

Hestan Cue App

  • Hundreds of recipes from everyday to special occasion
    Created and tested for Cue by our team of chefs and culinary scientists in our Napa Valley test kitchen
  • Cue sets and maintains the best temperature and time as you cook
    Take the guesswork out of cooking
  • Learn new techniques and take comfort outside your comfort zone
    Because Cue knows the ideal temperatures for each cooking step, you get consistent results

How does Cue work?

Hestan Cue creates a seamless cooking experience. Our smart cookware, induction burner and recipe control center app all communicate with each other to work in unison with you.

Hestan Cue connects you to your cooking through Bluetooth® technology and embedded culinary sensors in both the pan and burner — adjusting the cooking temperature as you proceed through each recipe.

Central to the Hestan Smart Cooking system is the iOS and Android app which acts as the command center for the connected cooking process. Get inspired to cook better by downloading the Hestan Cue app today.

Temperature

Powerful embedded cooking sensors in both the pan and burner respond immediately to the dynamic in-app thermometer.

Time

Automatically controls and organizes cooking and prep times to ensure flawless meals.

Control Mode

For the times you want to cook without a recipe or on your own, use Control Mode and our integrated Temperature Cooking Chart to set the perfect temperature for the best results. Cook all your favorite foods and never burn another dish again.

Hestan Cue

Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System

  • A connected cooking experience – Hestan Cue is a video-guided cooking system that automatically controls temperature and time, every step of every recipe.
  • Our smart cookware, induction burner and recipe app all communicate with each other using Bluetooth technology and embedded sensors – automatically adjusting the cooking temperature and time as you proceed through each recipe.
  • Hestan Cue is your coach in the kitchen, walking you through each recipe step with video guidance. Try new dishes. Learn new skills. Elevate your cooking without fear of overcooking or underwhelming.
  • Cue doesn’t cook for you – It helps you cook better food, more often.
  • Set includes 11″ Smart Fry Pan, Smart Induction Burner, and full access to the Hestan Cue Recipe App
  • Learn how to cook better no matter what your skill level – in the comfort of your home, without any stress, and deliver remarkable results every time
  • Hestan Cue automatically adjusts the cooking temperature as you’re guided through recipes with step-by-step videos, from prep to plating – by professional chefs
  • Smart fry pan, smart induction burner, and recipe app continuously communicate with each other using Bluetooth technology and embedded temperature sensors
  • Guided cooking system with recipe app uses step-by-step videos with detailed instructions from professional chefs that lead you through each recipe.

Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System

The best smart kitchen appliances : what you need to know?

The Kitchen plays a huge role in our lives. It’s where we prepare and enjoy meals. It’s where we spend time with friends and family. The top smart kitchen devices are now commonplace in the internet of things revolution, with a whole host of cool connected accessories and appliances up for grabs ranging from smart stoves to forks and plates that help you manage portion control. It’s where some pretty valuable memories are made. It’s also where some very essential technology resides like the refrigerator, the oven, dishwasher, coffee maker, toaster, and so much more.

As with any smart technology, convenience is a huge part of venturing into space. It’s what most manufacturers market towards. If you are looking to combine technology and earth-friendly design in your kitchen, turn your existing kitchen into a Smart kitchen. A Smart kitchen is one made to be the most efficient in space, design, appliances, and cabinets.

Smart kitchen appliances

Smart technology has led to a big jump in the way many kitchen appliances are designed. New integrated smart controls and features can make it much easier to use some of our most common kitchen appliances:

1. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Bluetooth, Immersion Circulator, 800 Watts, Black

  • The Anova Precision Cooker makes it easy to achieve professional-level cooking results at home.
  • To use, simply attach the cooker to any water-filled pot, put your food in a sealable bag, and set the time and temperature.
  • The Precision Cooker heats and circulates the water to a precise temperature, cooking food to an exact temperature which creates maximum tenderness and moisture retention (without worry of overcooking).
  • The Anova Precision Cooker connects to your phone, so you can cook amazing meals by the touch of a button – spend less time tied to the kitchen by relying on the app to notify you when your food is ready to eat.
  • The Anova Precision Cooker brings sous vide to your home, so you can enjoy a cooking technique made famous by professional chefs for its incredible results

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Bluetooth, Immersion Circulator, 800 Watts, Black

2. Keurig K15 Single-Serve Compact K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker, Black Plum

  • A small and compact single-serve Coffee maker that brews K-Cup pods in multiple sizes, the Keurig K15 brews a rich, smooth, and delicious cup every time with the quality you expect from Keurig.
  • Simple touch buttons make your brewing experience stress free, and because fresh water is added for each individual brew, the K15 Coffee maker is portable and travel-friendly.
  • Whether you like your Coffee strong, mild, decaf, or flavored, you can brew all of your favorites with the Keurig K15. Discover hundreds of K-Cup pod varieties from all of the brands you love, including Green Mountain Coffee, Starbucks, and lipton, and enjoy Coffee, tea, hot cocoa and more.
  • Available in a variety of fun colors to complement any decor, and also compatible with the Keurig classic series My K-Cup reusable Coffee filter, so you can brew your own ground Coffee.
  • Keurig single serve Coffee makers are expertly engineered to deliver a consistently delicious beverage experience, giving you the same great taste, cup after cup.
  • You can create and customize your perfect beverage, at the touch of a button, and prepare Coffee, tea, cocoa and more just the way you like it. All Keurig brewers also dispense hot water, adding to their versatility.

Keurig K15 Single-Serve Compact K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker, Black Plum

3.  Kenmore Smart 41982 5.2 cu.ft. Front Load Washer with Accela Wash Technology in White – Compatible with Amazon Alexa, includes delivery and hookup

Make laundry time fit around your schedule instead of the other way around with the Kenmore Smart 41982 5.2 cu. ft. Front Load Washer. This washer is built with smart features accessed through the Kenmore Smart app that works around your busy schedule. You can download additional wash settings, receive maintenance alerts, monitor laundry status no matter where you are and more from the convenience of your tablet or mobile device. Always stay connected to your Kenmore Smart Front Load Washer with the Kenmore Smart app. Download 14 additional wash cycles to customize your wash to your laundry. These include cycles like Super Dry, Denim, Kids’ Clothes, Small Load, Ultra Delicate, Gym Clothes, Rainy Day, Deodorization, and Overnight Dry. Get rid of the guesswork with convenient wash status reminders. Smart technology also lets you set precise start and finish times or you can even remotely start the laundry while you’re away so it will be ready for you to dry when you get home.

Kenmore Smart 41982 5.2 cu.ft. Front Load Washer with Accela Wash Technology in White – Compatible with Amazon Alexa, includes delivery and hookup (Available in select cities only)

4.  Crock-Pot SCCPWM600-V2 Wemo Smart Wifi-Enabled Slow Cooker, 6-Quart, Stainless Steel

  • Adjust cooking time- temperature- shift to warm or turn off using the Free WeMo App from your smart device Free WeMo App available for Apple(iOS 7 and higher) and Android(4.0 and higher) devices Connect from anywhere with 3G / 4G / Wi-F 6-quart capacity- cool-touch handles and built-in cord storage Dishwasher-safe stoneware and glass lid
  • Adjust cook time & temperature using the WeMo Application
  • Can be controlled via the WeMo Application or directly on the unit
  • Connected product solution delivers enhanced control, convenience and a peace of mind
  • 3 Heat settings
  • Removable oval stoneware
  • Adjust cooking time, temperature, shift to warm or turn off using the Free WeMo App from your smart device
  • Free WeMo App available for Apple(iOS 7 and higher) and Android(4.0 and higher) devices
  • Connect from anywhere with 3G / 4G / Wi-Fi
  • 6-quart capacity, cool-touch handles and built-in cord storage
  • Dishwasher-safe stoneware and glass lid

Crock-Pot SCCPWM600-V2 Wemo Smart Wifi-Enabled Slow Cooker, 6-Quart, Stainless Steel

5. Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System

Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System

A connected cooking experience – Hestan Cue is a video-guided cooking system that automatically controls temperature and time, every step of every recipe. Our smart cookware, induction burner and recipe app all communicate with each other using Bluetooth technology and embedded sensors – automatically adjusting the cooking temperature and time as you proceed through each recipe. Hestan Cue is your coach in the kitchen, walking you through each recipe step with video guidance. Try new dishes. Learn new skills. Elevate your cooking without fear of overcooking or underwhelming. Cue doesn’t cook for you – It helps you cook better food, more often.
Set includes 11″ Smart Fry Pan, Smart Induction Burner, and full access to the Hestan Cue Recipe App
Learn how to cook better no matter what your skill level – in the comfort of your home, without any stress, and deliver remarkable results every time.
Hestan Cue automatically adjusts the cooking temperature as you’re guided through recipes with step-by-step videos, from prep to plating – by professional chefs

Last Words:

Finally, improving what you can actually do in the kitchen is a good reason to look into smart kitchen tech. Cooking technologies like sous vide machines bring a new level of consistency and accuracy to your cooking. It is easy to get over-excited when it comes to smart technology. With connected applications, you can make sure your food is cooking to exact temperatures and remaining at that temperature for the correct amount of time. What is particularly useful about smart kitchen appliances is that they can be synced with apps on your phone, and not just so that they can be turned on and off!

You can also pick up coffee makers that will brew at exact temperatures. With more accuracy in your cooking, your meals will be taken to a new level.

Smart Indoor Security Camera Netatmo Welcome : Review

The Netatmo Welcome camera is a golden cylindrical anodized device made of aluminum – the same form factor as the Netatmo Weather Station – and should be positioned in view of your front door. The Netatmo Welcome takes security cameras a step further so it can not only recognize movement but also recognize the people who are entering your home.

It adds another level of security to your home and peace of mind for parents who are notified when their kids are home again. It allows you to notifications can be seen on your iPhone, Android smartphone, iPad or Android tablet, on a web browser and also on your Apple Watch.

Like the Presence, the Welcome camera also records videos locally and will save them in your Dropbox account or personal FTP server.

Netatmo Welcome Video Storage

Welcome now offers four options for video storage.

1. Internal storage using a MicroSD card.
2. Free Cloud Storage.
3. Dropbox.
4. FTP.

The app presents the faces seen by the camera in the timeline so it’s easy to keep track of the people in your home. the app informs you that the Welcome camera can recognize your loved ones from each other and from strangers after training the camera to recognize all the different faces captured of each of the residents. In addition, there are no subscription fees because all the video is stored locally and copied to Dropbox or your personal FTP server (if you set these up).

Technical Specifications

  • SIZE: 45 x 45 x 155 mm / 1.8 x 1.8 x 6 inches
  • MECHANICS & DESIGN: Single-piece durable anodized aluminum shell
  • CAMERA:
    • Video sensor: 4MP
    • Resolution: Up to 1920×1080
    • 130° field of view
  • CONNECTIVITY SPECIFICATIONS:
    • Ethernet RJ-45 port: 10/100 Mbits
    • Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4G)
  • DATA STORAGE: MicroSD card up to 32GB (8GB class 10 MicroSD card included)
  • IPHONE AND IPAD COMPATIBILITY: iOS 9 minimum required
  • ANDROID COMPATIBILITY: Android 4.3 minimum required
  • BROWSER SUPPORT: Webapp available for the two latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer
  • No subscription fees

Design:

The Netatmo Welcome camera is actually a small camera measuring 6″ tall (15.3 cm) and 1.75″ in diameter (4.5 cm). It is encased in a very nice gold-colored aluminum cylinder housing and the camera, nighttime infrared LED, and motion sensor are contained behind black plastic. The back of the camera contains a micro-SD card slot (the camera comes with an 8 GB card), a micro-USB port, and an Ethernet port.

Indoor Security Siren

Netatmo has also announced an indoor siren compatible with Welcome and Tags. The siren, which can produce up to a 110dB sound, can alert you if Welcome or the Tags detect intrusion or alerts. And if an intruder tries to tamper with the siren, you will be alerted thanks to the device’s ability to detect vibration and impact.

Effortless setup in a few minutes

The Smart Indoor Camera’s setup is straightforward: place the camera indoors, facing your entrance, plug it in and download the App. Identify your loved ones with a simple click. That’s it

Netamo Welcome Security Camera Short Intro:

Welcome is a new-generation smart indoor security camera. Unlike the usual motion alerts which require you to waste time watching the footage, Welcome sends an immediate alert if an intruder has been detected in your home, complete with a picture of the person’s face and a video recording. The camera uses facial recognition technology to help you look after your children or elderly parents, sending their name to your smartphone to let you know they are well. You can also use the app to disable video recording and notifications for familiar faces. When Welcome hears an alarm, whether it be a smoke alarm, CO alarm, security alarm or the Siren, it will send a notification and record a video. Welcome’s setup is quick and easy: place the camera facing your entrance, plug it in and download the app to connect it to your home Wi-Fi network. Identify your loved ones with a simple click. That’s it. Your home is now protected against break-ins!

 

Smart Indoor Security Camera – Netatmo Welcome

 

  • PROTECT YOUR HOME: receive home intruder alerts direct to your smartphone
  • RECEIVE CUSTOM ALERTS: Welcome uses facial recognition to distinguish between intruders and your friends and family
  • ROUND-THE-CLOCK SECURITY: use the app to watch Full HD footage of what happens in your home, 24/7
  • PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY: disable video recording and notifications for familiar faces via the app
  • FREE VIDEO STORAGE: store your videos at no additional cost and stream them whenever you want
  • ALARM DETECTION: receive an alert when the system detects an alarm coming from the Siren or Smoke Detector
  • EFFORTLESS SETUP in a few minutes: place the camera indoors, facing your entrance, plug it in and download the app.

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch : Review

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch:

Control your lights, shades, and temperature from anywhere – whether you’re home or away. Caséta Wireless dimmers and switches install in minutes, work with numerous bulb types – including dimmable LEDs and CFLs, and bring the convenience of a connected home to your fingertips.

Enjoy hands-free control of the Caséta lights in your home with the Google Home voice-enabled speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Turn lights on, off or anywhere in between simply by asking Google. You can even ask if you’ve left any lights on around the house. Add even more automation to your home by controlling your lights and shades from the SmartThings app.

 

Caséta Wireless ELV+ dimmer

The ELV+ dimmer is ideal for ELV and LED loads, but is also compatible with incandescent, halogen, MLV, and LTE LED drivers. The dimmer also includes a favorite button, similar to the Pico remote, which recalls a favorite preset level on the dimmer.

Lutron’s smart starter kit comes with one in-wall switch, one wireless remote and one smartbridge (hub), which can also be used to control Lutron Caseta fans and shades.

The switch itself looks hi-tech, with several buttons laid out to control the numerous options Caseta offers. Lutron has gone for function over fashion for the most part with this dimmer, as the white and grey buttons are front and center, not hidden by touch-sensitive controls, as is the case with other dimmers in this category.

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch (2 count) Starter Kit, P-BDG-PKG2W-A, Works with Amazon Alexa

  • The Caseta wireless Deluxe dimmer kit with smart bridge provides simple and personalized control of your lights, shades and temperature. Control your lights from anywhere within your home with the included Pico remote controls or from anywhere in the world using the free Lutron app.
  • Set lights to automatically adjust with spring and fall time changes, create personalized schedules to turn on, off, or dim lights at set times to best fit your everyday routines or control lights with your voice via Alexa and siri.
  • The smart bridge also connects with other leading brands like Nest, Honeywell, ecobee, sonos, Serena shades and more. The included in
  • wall dimmers install easily with no neutral wire required, provide the best dimming performance for over 500 different dimmable LED bulbs, and can be controlled from anywhere within the home with the included Pico remotes.
  • To use dimmers in a multi-location application, replace the existing switch with a Pico remote control and wall plate Adapter (pico-wbx-adapt, sold separately).
  • Easy to set up and schedule lights so your family will always come back to a well-lit home
  • Lights can automatically adjust with changing seasons and Daylight Savings time
  • Smart Away feature turns lights on and off randomly when you are traveling
  • Use with voice assistant, Pico remote (included), or smartphone via the FREE Lutron iOS and Android
  • Dimmer switches install in 3 steps in about 15 minutes and are an ideal solution, even for older homes, as they do not require a neutral wire
  • Each dimmer switch controls up to 17 bulbs per circuit (based on 8.5W LED bulb, 60W incandescent bulb)

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch (2 count) Starter Kit, P-BDG-PKG2W-A, Works with Amazon Alexa

You have to try really hard to find fault with Lutron’s easy-to-install smart lighting kit. It works with pretty much every major smart home platform, it has a well-designed, intuitive app, and there’s a very good chance it’s compatible with the lights you already own. If color doesn’t factor into your smart lighting needs, do yourself a favor and look into one of Lutron’s Caseta wireless kits.

Arlo Pro by NETGEAR Security System with Siren : Review

The Arlo Pro is Netgear’s high-end, weather-proof and fully wireless camera. The Arlo Pro has a definite advantage over both the Canary Flex and the Logi Circle in terms of features. Its rechargeable battery is supposed to last longer, it offers free 7-day event-based cloud storage and it works with IFTTT and SmartThings.

Its rechargeable battery is simpler to deal with than the original Netgear Arlo’s expensive and hard-to-find CR123s. The Arlo Pro also adds in two-way audio so you can tell any unwelcome guests to get off your lawn, as well as receive audio alerts.

The benefits of a base station

The Arlo Pro 2 isn’t the only security system to take the base station approach. There are two major advantages of a dedicated base station. The base station requires a wired ethernet connection, which is a bit of a pain. However, the dedicated 2.4GHz low-power WiFi signal for your cameras ensures they sip power. The base station also supports removable storage, so you can save every single clip on a thumb drive or USB hard drive. The Arlo Pro 2 base station connects to your router directly via Ethernet, then broadcasts its own Wi-Fi signal to any connected camera. Regardless of traffic on your home network, it ensures the cameras receive the bandwidth they need. It has the additional benefit of significantly increasing battery life: Depending on the level activity, a camera can last as long as six months.

Design

The Arlo Pro 2 looks almost identical to the old version. In fact, it connects to the same base station, which can save you some money if you’re just looking to add some new cameras to an existing setup. Adding Arlo devices is simple and usually works the first time. Press the sync button on your base station, press the button on the camera, and hold them close together for a few seconds. And just like that, your camera is paired.

 

Arlo Pro by NETGEAR Security System with Siren – 3 Rechargeable Wire-Free HD Cameras with Audio, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision, extra outdoor mount (VMS4330), Works with Alexa

  • Arlo Pro is a 100% wire-free indoor/outdoor security camera with rechargeable batteries and audio and can be added to any Arlo base station system. Arlo Pro includes rechargeable batteries, motion, and sound-activated alerts, 2-way audio, a 100+ decibel siren, and 7 days of free cloud HD video recordings. Arlo covers every angle to help keep you safe and protected.
  • Note: Place the camera within the WiFi’s range for the device to work effectively.
  • Works with Amazon Alexa/Echo Show/Fire TV/Google Assistant – View your live video with a simple voice command. Works with IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, and more
  • Operating temperature:-4° to 113° F (-20° C to 45° C).100% Wire-free – Free of power cords and wiring hassles
  • Weather-resistant – Arlo Pro cameras are weather-resistant so you can place them anywhere-indoors and out
  • Rechargeable Batteries – Arlo Pro cameras include rechargeable batteries that support fast charging
  • 2-Way Audio – Built-in mic and speaker enable push-to-talk capability, so you can listen in and talk back
  • 7 Days of Free Cloud Recordings – Arlo Pro comes with recurring 7-day free cloud recordings Live stream or view recorded video and audio for up to 7 days
  • Included – 3x Wire-free HD cameras with audio 4x Rechargeable batteries 1x Camera power adapter 1x Camera power cable 1x Base station with a built in siren 1x Ethernet cable 1x Outdoor Mount 3x Wall mounts 2 Wall mount screw sets 1x Quick start guide 2x Window Decals
  • Arlo Smart adds powerful intelligence to your Arlo cameras.

Arlo Pro by NETGEAR Security System with Siren – 3 Rechargeable Wire-Free HD Cameras with Audio, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision, extra outdoor mount (VMS4330), Works with Alexa

It works alongside all other Arlo products, and while it’s certainly expensive, if you have a large property and want to keep an eye on animals outdoors, or want a camera that can be moved around frequently, it’s brilliant.

The Best Smart Home Thermostat Ecobee4 : Review

Ecobee’s been in the thermostat biz for a long time, but its first few smart models weren’t quite able to match the appeal of Nest’s stylish Learning Thermostat. When the time comes for you to buy a smart thermostat, don’t overlook the Ecobee4. With an interesting array of features — including a built-in speaker and mic that embeds Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant into your HVAC controller — as well as great temperature control capabilities, this product is literally bringing the heat.

Flash forward six years and Nest still sells the same old’ thermostat for the same $249 price.

Installation:

Ecobee’s software and support make the experience as painless as possible, but even in an ideal scenario there’s still drilling, rewiring, and configuring settings and services just the way you like them.
The Ecobee4 is easy to install. Screw on the mounting plate, thread through the wires and attach the thermostat in place of your old one. Unlike many thermostats, smart or not, the Ecobee4 comes with one remote sensor.

Once the hardware is in place you’ll have to use the Ecobee app to sign up for an account and link the accessory to HomeKit and/or your Amazon account. You can’t just use the iOS Home app, as the HomeKit pairing code must be triggered on-screen.

Design

The Ecobee4 is an Android and iOS-compatible thermostat with an integrated color LCD touch display. It has a refined, modern look, but it wouldn’t be out of place in more traditional homes. The apps and the thermostat’s slick touchscreen interface work identically, which is nice, and there’s a web dashboard for taking deeper dives on settings and system monitoring.

The Ecobee4 is a thermostat with a speaker stamped into its backside, but temper your expectations on cranking out high-quality-sounding music. For listening to podcasts, news updates, controlling smart home gear, or asking random questions.

ecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor, Works with Amazon Alexa

  • With built-in Alexa voice service, Ecobee4 can listen to your voice commands and responses. Have it set a timer, read you the news, adjust the temperature, and more.
  • It also comes with a room sensor that helps manage hot and cold spots in your home, delivering comfort in the rooms that matter. And because they can detect occupancy, they can automatically enable the right mode on your Ecobee4 for energy savings when it senses no one is home.
  • Comes with built-in Alexa Voice Service, so you can ask your ecobee to set a timer, read you the news, adjust the temperature, and more. With Far-field voice technology, your ecobee4 can hear you from across the room.
  • Room sensors help manage hot and cold spots in your home, delivering comfort to the rooms that matter most.
  • Easily adjust temperature and comfort settings from anywhere using your Android and iOS devices. Also works with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT and more.
  • Save an average 23% on heating and cooling costs each year. Learn more at ecobee.com/savings.

ecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor, Works with Amazon Alexa

 

Smart Hive active Light for your smart home: Review

Smart lighting is great because of the options you have at your disposal: You can control them with just your phone or your voice. You can change the tone, brightness, and even color. There are so many options with smart lights, you may wonder what took you so long to make the switch.

Hive has now introduced additional accessories to add to your Hive Active Heating smart home environment, including smart sensors and active plugs. As with the majority of smart lighting systems, the intelligence in the Hive Active Light is integrated into the light bulb itself. This makes the bulbs a fraction heavier than a traditional ‘dumb’ LED light bulb, but not to the point where you need any special fittings. Externally, the Active Light looks just like any other LED bulb.

Installation:

Installing the Hive Active Light bulb was simple. basically, you just screw the bulb into the lamp, switch it on – the bulb won’t light up – then launch the Hive App on your mobile, tablet or laptop, and select the option to install a new device. This worked without any issues and we were up and running within seconds.

Apart from color options, we found one more major configuration that might be very useful: that is the bulb schedule option. You have a weekly calendar where you can set up when the light comes on and when it switches off.

Hive active Light

Hive LED Light Bulb for Smart Home, Dimmable, Works with Alexa & Google Home, Requires Hive Hub

  • Hive Smart Home devices enable worry-free home automation to fit all your household needs. Heat and cool your home with the Smart Thermostat or the Heating & Cooling Pack.
  • Perfectly fit the mood with a variety of smart bulbs, ranging from any color imaginable to dimmable white. Never worry about your home while away with a Wi-Fi Home Security Camera to watch your pet or a Smart Home Plug to remotely control your appliances.
  • The Hive eco-system only grows stronger the more digital devices you have, as hub-enabled devices act as signal repeaters to form a mesh network to enable a single hub to support an even larger area.
  • Lighting the way: Pair your Hive active lighting with motion sensors ensure you’re never lost in the dark
  • Save energy: turn your smart lights on or off from anywhere with your phone for easy automation
  • Set schedules: turn your smart bulbs on or change their brightness automatically

Each system comes with its own pros and cons, so here we’ll talk you through the brands you should be aware of, plus which smart lighting solution will be the best fit for you and your home.

 

The best 5 smart lights to make your home smart

Smart lighting is lighting that you can control from an app, usually on your Apple or Android phone. Smart light allows lighting to be customized, scheduled and controlled remotely. Smart bulbs are among the most immediately successful offerings in the growing category of smart home and Internet of Things (IoT) products.

With the integration of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee or a proprietary connection for smart home systems, smart bulbs can be controlled through a mobile app or a home/building automation hub and individual bulbs can be programmed to change output in a specific manner.

Imagine your house has 50 lights, and each light is normally controlled by the flick of a switch. Smart lighting eliminates the need for you to get up and flick that switch.

Now, as consumers increasingly turn to these energy-efficient bulbs, lighting companies are trying to lock shoppers into their ecosystem by putting out smart, smartphone-controlled bulbs. These Wi-Fi connected LEDs can be programmed to turn on and off at the tap of a touchscreen.

The app enables you to change the brightness of the bulbs, and if the bulbs have colored LEDs you can change their colors too. That opens up a whole world of possibilities, which you might call light recipes: you might have one light recipe for watching movies, another for dinnertime, and yet another for reading.

Types

Smart lighting networks vary drastically, but generally, their lights can either work independently or together when connected. Keep in mind there are two main types of smart lights: sensor-integrated and non-sensor integrated.

Why?

  • It can save you money on a utility bill. That’s because a smart lighting network is very energy efficient; it allows you to calibrate when exactly a light should be on.
  • Smart lights can also simplify your life. When preparing to travel, you won’t have to physically alter the settings of each smart light or check to see if it is off before you leave. You can do all this remotely, from afar.

Considerations Before Buying Smart Light 

There are a couple of considerations when deciding how best to use your smart light bulbs.

If you opt to control your smart lighting using Bluetooth, know it limits you to only being able to adjust lighting and turn lights on or off when you are at home. If you leave home and forget to turn a light off, you won’t be able to remotely turn it off from another location because you’ll be out of the Bluetooth communication range of the bulb.

The best 5 smart lights

1. Philips Hue White A19 4-Pack 60W Equivalent Dimmable LED Smart Bulb (Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant)

Automate your lighting experience with Philips Hue and control your lights from home or away. Create light schedules from the Philips Hue App and never come home to a dark house. Requiring the Hue Bridge (sold separately) for the full Hue experience, these bulbs fit standard-size table lamps. Install the LED lights as you would install ordinary bulbs and pair them with the Hue Bridge, which allows you to control smart-bulb-equipped lamps and overhead lights via the Philips Hue App.

Philips Hue White A19 4-Pack 60W Equivalent Dimmable LED Smart Bulb (Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant)

2.  TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb, Wi-Fi, Dimmable White, No Hub Required, 50W Equivalent, Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (LB100)

  • Control your lighting from anywhere with the LB100. The smart bulb installs as easily as a standard light bulb, and connects to your home Wi-Fi in no time through the free Kasa app.
  • Kasa also lets you manage your lights with your smartphone or tablet, including adjusting brightness and setting schedules and scenes.
  • For added convenience, you can use your voice to control the LB100 when paired with Amazon Alexa.
  • No hub required; works with your Wi-Fi router.
  • The LB100 has 600 lumens brightness and dimmable white light.

TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb, Wi-Fi, Dimmable White, No Hub Required, 50W Equivalent, Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (LB100)

3.  LIFX (A19) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb, Adjustable, Multicolor, Dimmable, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and the Google Assistant

  • LIFX (A19) Wi-Fi smart LED light bulb, adjustable, multicolor, dimmable, no hub required, works with Alexa. With LIFX, how your bulb connects is important, so all of our WiFi technology is built right into each individual bulb – no hub required.
  • Works with Nest.
  • Works with Amazon Alexa to support dimming, shades of white, and color settings through voice control (Alexa device sold separately)
    16 million colors and warm to cool whites
  • Easy to set up, built in wifi – no hub required
  • Bright – equivalent to a 75W bulb. Beam Angle: 135 degrees
  • Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant

LIFX (A19) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb, Adjustable, Multicolor, Dimmable, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and the Google Assistant

4. SYLVANIA SMART+ On/Off/Dim LED Light Bulb, 60W Equivalent A19, 10 Year, Works with Amazon Alexa, SmartThings and Wink, 74283 (Formerly LIGHTIFY)

This light bulb is the future of lighting for your home and business. The bulb has the familiar shape of a traditional light bulb, and the comfortable light you enjoy but offers so much more in energy efficiency and control.

It is aThis connected LED bulb that delivers over 800 lumens of light with a soft white 2700K color temperature. You can now experience intelligent, connected lighting solutions that easily adapt to your lifestyle and preferences. With a compatible smart hub such as SmartThings or Wink, take control of your lighting experience from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet. With on, off, and dimming capabilities, create schedules and automation that fit into your daily routine.

With voice integration using a compatible hub, use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control your lights. No additional hub is needed to control your SYLVANIA Smart lights. Simply connect your SYLVANIA Smart lights to your compatible hub, and start creating your own personalized lighting experience.

SYLVANIA SMART+ On/Off/Dim LED Light Bulb, 60W Equivalent A19, 10 Year, Works with Amazon Alexa, SmartThings and Wink, 74283 (Formerly LIGHTIFY)

5.  Sengled Element Classic A19 Smart Home LED Bulb, Compatible with SmartThings, Wink and Echo Plus, Requires Hub for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Sengled Element Classic Hub-Controlled Dimmable LED Bulb – White
  • SMART HOME INTEGRATION: connect the bulb Amazon Echo Plus, as well as Samsung SmartThings and Wink hubs. The bulb can also be added to any Sengled Element Starter Kit. (Classic or Plus, hub sold separately. A hub is required for bulb use.)
  • VOICE CONTROL INTEGRATION: connect the bulb to your favorite hub to use with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (hub required for use)
  • CONTROL YOUR LIGHTS, AT HOME OR AWAY: use the iOS or Android app to set lighting schedules, dim or turn your lights on and off. Control your lights remotely and have the lights on before you get home at night.
  • MONITOR ENERGY USE: monitor electricity use (kWh) from anywhere from the iOS or Android app. See if you forgot to turn off the lights, then remotely turn off for added savings.
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT: LED bulbs to use 80% less energy than incandescent lighting. Sengled bulbs last for over 20 years and are ENERGY STAR certified. Kits and bulbs come with a three-year warranty.

Sengled Element Classic A19 Smart Home LED Bulb, Compatible with SmartThings, Wink and Echo Plus, Requires Hub for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (1 Pack)

The Best smart speaker Amazon Echo 2 : Review

The new Echo isn’t hugely different from the first model. It still performs all of the same tasks, can still hear its wake word from across the room, and still doesn’t have great audio quality for listening to music. If you already have a first-generation model, it doesn’t make much sense to replace it with the new Echo — you don’t gain much with it and in some instances, you give up some.

The Echo’s new swappable decorative shells are also designed to make the device blend in with your home better.

Design:

The new Amazon Echo is just under 9cm shorter, standing 14.8cm tall and is covered in your choice of fabric, wood or metallic finish, standing in stark contrast to the monolithic black or white towering cylinder of the previous generation. It looks more friendly, blending into the fabric-covered surrounds of the home a little easier, but in some way looks a little less unique and impressive.

How does it work?

An array of seven microphones in the top listens out for a wake word, which is “Alexa” by default, and then starts listening to your commands, be they questions, smart home demands or entertainment requests. The new Echo will do everything the old one does: play music via the internet (Spotify, Amazon Music, TuneIn or Radioplayer), tell you the weather, the news or what’s on your calendar, give you information about your commute, answer general knowledge questions, set timers and alarms, control the lights or other smart home devices and generally act as a voice-controlled helper.

Amazon Echo 2

1.

All-new Echo (2nd Generation) with improved sound, powered by Dolby, and a new design – Charcoal Fabric

2.

All-new Echo (2nd Generation) with improved sound, powered by Dolby, and a new design – Heather Gray Fabric

3.

All-new Echo (2nd Generation) with improved sound, powered by Dolby, and a new design – Oak Finish

4.

All-new Echo (2nd Generation) with improved sound, powered by Dolby, and a new design – Sandstone Fabric

5.

All-new Echo (2nd Generation) with improved sound, powered by Dolby, and a new design – Silver Finish

6.

All-new Echo (2nd Generation) with improved sound, powered by Dolby, and a new design – Walnut Finish

  • Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, ask questions, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask.
  • The 2nd generation Echo has a 2.5” downward-firing woofer and 0.6” tweeter to deliver crisp vocals and dynamic bass throughout the room.
  • Want to play music on an Echo in another room? Now with multi-room music, you can tell Alexa to play across your compatible Echo devices.
  • Use Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the coffee maker on your way to the kitchen, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger. Ask Alexa to turn on the TV, turn up the volume, change the channel, or play your favorite movie. Echo can control your Fire TV, and select devices from Sony, Dish, and Logitech.
  • Let your household know when dinner is ready, ask someone for help with a chore, or remind the kids to go to sleep — without having to raise your voice.
  • Echo uses tens of thousands of skills and counting. Skills add even more capabilities like ordering a pizza from Domino’s, requesting a ride from Uber, tracking your fitness with Fitbit, controlling your TV with Dish, and more.
  • Customize your Echo for any room with Echo Shell, available in a range of fabrics and finishes