Intelligent homes are nothing new. Manufacturers like Crestron, AMX, Control4, Elan, Savant, and others have been playing the home automation game for years, decades even. These OG home automation systems require a custom integrator to install, usually have some hard-wired element, and are intuitive, sophisticated, feature-rich, and highly functional.
It used to be that the hardest label to read was the nutrition label on food; now it’s light bulbs. The Lighting Facts label is the informational table required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that outlines a light bulb’s brightness and annual energy cost, just to name a few of the numbers and stats you’ll now find on a light bulb package.
Lighting is kind of like the salt of home decor. You can design a fab living room with all the right pieces, but without the proper lighting, it can all end up rather bland–just imagine your carefully considered decor awash in the florescent lighting at the dentist’s office. That’s one reason why we are digging all the nifty smart LED lighting kits currently on the market that allow you to wirelessly control your lights, dim them to your heart’s content, and virtually never have to change a bulb.
We are in the process of reviewing TCP’s Connected by TCP smart LED lighting starter kit (loving it so far), just finished our review of the Philips Hue multicolored LED lighting kit, and our bros over at AppleTell just published their review of the Lumen TL800 Smart LED Bulb (shown, right). So far, the one thing that’s missing in the market for smart LED light bulbs are models that fit smaller sockets. For example, when I go to try to replace a bulb in any of my fans, the bulbs are too big. The guys at Tabu Products in Hong Kong are feeling our collective pain, and have decided to put an end to it courtesy of the LuMini.
Savant, a major player in the home automation that prides itself on being the first iOS-based control system on the market, just announced the addition of William Lynch, the former Barnes and Noble CEO, to be its new CEO. Lynch was the executive behind the Nook, and was chosen to shepherd a new initiative that will help Savant reach out of the luxury market and into the common home.
LED lighting is hot right now. Actually, it’s more cool than hot because LED bulbs are way, way cooler than their incandescent counterparts, remaining cool to the touch after hours of use. Those of you who have unscrewed an incandescent lightbulb and burned your fingers in the process can appreciate that. Not to mention that LEDs are more energy efficient.
As my sister once described it, being a mom is a ‘total ass-whoop’, and you need every shred of help you can get. But if have endless supplies of energy, you really don’t have anything to complain about, do you? Permanent LED smiles don’t hurt, either.
Many unlucky stiffs might as well call the office ‘home’, while others can do their work in their pajamas. But for some, socializing plays a huge part in career success, causing the lines between home and office to blur. For this self-made music manager located in Brooklyn, entertaining at home is simply part of the job. It’s more »
Today Proofpoint, a security service provider, put out a press release that reveals a cyberattack coming from smart appliances–the first such documented Internet of Things (IoT) attack. More than 750,000 malicious emails were sent from 100,000+ compromised connected home appliances and gadgets, including routers, TVs, and a connected fridge. Considering that the market is flooded with such devices, it brings up some important security questions.
A flat-panel TV and a bowl of popcorn do not a home theater make. Whether you are taking your media-room system up a notch or creating a room dedicated to home theater, there is always room for improvement. Here are some easy ways to instantly make your system, and experience, better. 1) Upgrade Your more »
With all the recent buzz about the smart home, and home-technology innovation running rampant, it begs the question: Where the bejesus is Apple? On the heels of the recent announcement that Google purchased Nest for a jaw-dropping $3.2 billion, Apple’s silence on the smart-home front is puzzling in the quest for smart-home world domination. Sure, there are higher-end Apple-based solutions like those from Savant, but as far as user-installed smart home technology, it’s been crickets so far.
While it may look like a compact bookshelf speaker, Blacksumac’s Piper is actually a panoramic security camera with siren, Z-Wave home automation, and environmental sensors (like temperature) all built in to one little package. You can set up rules for Piper for various “If…Then” scenarios. For example, “If motion is detected while I’m on more »