Don’t know where to start for your home automation? The easiest path to home automation is to convert your existing lights and turn-on/off devices into smart devices by adding relatively inexpensive smart plugs. Simply plug in a smart plug into a socket and then plug in a lamp, fan, air humidifier, air purifier, or other device into the smart plug. For those of you with an iPhone, you can set up these devices with HomeKit by simply bringing up the Home app and scan in the code for the device.
There are many options in the market place. There are smart plugs that connect with Bluetooth or Thread as wells as WiFi. Of course, there are few that connect with a bridge.
For situations where you also would like to have a remote control, the iHome iSP8 with Remote Control will work perfectly. Want to control outdoor lights or xmas lights? There are even outdoor smart plugs.
If you are an iPhone user, then you should consider smart plugs that support HomeKit. Likewise, if you are an Android user, you should consider smart plugs that support Google Assistant. For Amazon Echo users, you need smart plugs that support Amazon Alexa.
Here are few smart plugs to get you started. These all support HomeKit.
When Apple first introduced the HomePod Mini during their keynote, they did not mention it was a Thread Border Router. This is possibly the future of smart home device connectivity. The HomePod Mini is the starting point of a Thread mesh network because it is a Thread Border Router and it is automatic and does not need any configuration or setup.
Thread is a new low energy mesh network protocol standard for smart home devices. Thread enabled smart home devices inter-connect to each other to form a mesh network so there are no central hub to relay data. A thread network starts with at least one or more border routers (sometimes called edge routers). The best border router to use for HomeKit home automation is the HomePod Mini which is very easy to set up because it automatically works when you connect to your wifi and login with your Apple ID. You can have as many HomePod Mini as desired such as having one in each room. They will all route and connect to Thread enabled devices. Each Thread device can connect to each other and extend the Thread mesh network.
Advantages of using Thread in your HomeKit automation:
*Network is decentralized and non-hierarchical.
*Self organizing and self configuring.
*Can add one or more border router (HomePod Mini).
*Full Enabled Thread devices can extend to the network by connecting to each other.
*No single point of failure (as long there are more than one border router (HomePod Mini)).
*The network is self-healing. Should one device fail, connected device will switch connection to another device so data can continue to routed.
*High level of security.
*Low energy so battery device (Minimal Thread Device) can connect without draining battery.
*Open industry standard.
Start by adding one or more HomePod Mini to your home WiFi. These HomePod Mini will act as border router for your Thread Network and other Thread enable devices can connect to the HomePod Mini. This happens automatically. You simply use the Home app on your iPhone or iPad to scan the HomeKit device to add to your HomeKit network. It will automatically connect to a HomePod Mini or another Thread device that is connected to the Thread network.
The Thread protocol is new so there are only a few Thread enable devices on the market so far but more are expected to be announced or some current devices may be Thread enabled with a firmware update.
The Eve Energy smart plug is a fully enabled Thread device because it is plug into a socket and is on all the time so it can connect to other Thread devices to extend the network. It is a good idea to add some these to build up the Thread mesh network. Plug in some lamps, fans, and other non-smart device into the Eve Energy to make them smart.
There are two type of Thread devices. There are Full Thread Devices and Minimal Thread Devices. Full Thread Devices allows other thread enabled devices to connect to them. Full Thread Devices act as router and extends the Thread mesh network. These devices are always on. The more of these device on the network, the more extended and robust the network becomes. Minimal Thread Devices are generally battery powered devices and can connect to Full Thread Devices or Thread Border Router (such as a HomePod Mini), but other Thread devices cannot connect to them thus Minimal Thread Devices do not extend the network. For example, Eve Weather is a Minimal Thread Device and is battery operated while the Eve Energy is a Full Thread Device and can route data from other Thread enabled devices connected to them.
Our weekly Cocktail Talk is to break up from our daily work routine and have a casual talk over cocktails about everything that interests us. Today’s talk is our Episode 14. In today’s episode, we talk about Cablegram, super green Chino Hills State Park, Easter table setting and home automating air purifiers. You can check out the cocktail receipe and smart home technologies we mentioned in this episode below. So please enjoy!
Cocktail: Cablegram 2oz whiskey 1oz of lemon juice Ginger Ale Stevia
For those of us who have iPhones and iPad, We can do home automation with Apple’s HomeKit. HomeKit is Apple’s framework for communication and control of smart home appliances and devices. This framework includes a Home app on iPhone, iPad and Macs allows users to easily discover and configure smart home devices. Once these devices are added to one’s home network, users can use the Home app to setup various actions, automation and using Siri commands to trigger various actions such as “turn on the bedroom lights” or set up time based ambience lighting to our circadian rhythm health. Last but not least, HomeKit allows users to add HomeKit enable devices from different vendors and mix devices from a variety of brands.
A home hub is a central device that controls, maintains the home automation, allows remote access (outside of the home) to allow user to control device when they are away from home, grant guests access privileges and setup automation.
Our weekly Cocktail Talk is to break up from our daily work routine and have a talk over cocktails about everything that interests us. Today’s talk is our Episode 7. In today’s episode, we talk about home trends, (specially focus on home office), Cape Cod cocktail (see below recipe), new smart home technologies . We list the resources below. So please enjoy!
Our weekly Cocktail Talk is to break up from our daily work routine and have a talk over cocktails about everthing that interests us. Today’s talk is our Episode 7. In today’s episode, we talk about home trends, (specially focus on home office), Cape Cod cocktail (see below receipe), new smart home technologies . We list the resources below. So please enjoy!
Cape Cod Cocktail Receipe: 2 oz vodka. Cranberry juice.
Our weekly Cocktail Talk is to break up from our daily work routine and have a talk over cocktails about everthing that interests us. Today’s talk is our Episod 5. In today’s episode, we talk about Jack & Cola cocktail–a traditional cocktail that is easy and fast to make. We also talk about how natural positively influences our life from outdoor activities like hiking to natural food and interior design. As usual, at the end of the episode, we talk about the new smart home technologies like remote-controlled diffusers that bring in aroma therapy to home and plugs that can remotely control lighting fixtures, your Christmas trees, fans and etc… We list the resources below. So please enjoy!
Hi, guys! Our annual holiday gift guide is here. From Christmas tree ornaments, candles, candle holders, tabletop, plants, home decor and dinnerware…etc.We are putting together something quite special for the year of 2020 and we are living blogging our gift ideas right here on our blog. Please check back constantly for updates. Happy Black Friday Shopping!