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Using Amazon Echo As A Baby Monitor (But Is It Worth It?)

Two Echo devices (a full size Echo and an Echo Dot), along with a 'Love You' baby bear.

So you’ve just found out that you’re expecting a little one? Congratulations, that’s awesome! Speaking as a fairly new dad myself, I’m sure that clearly the first question you’ll be asking yourself is “How can I hook-up two Echos to function as a DIY baby monitor“? Since this is obviously an important topic, I thought … Read more

What Is The Difference Between Amazon’s Alexa and Echo?

Alexa app screenshot showing both 'Alexa' and 'Echo' listed.

When reading about smart homes, you’ll probably have seen ‘Amazon Alexa’ and ‘Amazon Echo’ used almost interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different. It’s almost like the difference between a guitar player and the guitar… one (the player) uses a tool (the guitar) to do something (play music). An Amazon Echo is a voice activated, internet … Read more

Can You Record Ring Doorbell Footage Locally (No Cloud)?

A Ring Doorbell Pro in-front of a D-Link ShareCenter NAS, and an SD-card adapter and Ethernet cable on the sides.

The Ring Doorbell is a useful smart device: it replaces your existing doorbell, giving you the ability to speak to visitors when you’re out (which is handy when it’s a delivery driver). They also act as a security device, because they are constantly checking for motion and they start recording when motion is detected. However … Read more

Can We Add Nest Protect To The Google Home App Yet?

The Nest app on the left, and the Google Home app on the right.

If you search for “Nest Protect” – the smart smoke and CO alarm – you’ll be greeted with Google’s logo and the words “Google Nest”. It’s clearly a Google smart home product: So logic would dictate that you can manage Nest Protect in your Google Home app, right? Well, for over half a decade, this … Read more

SmartThings, Sengled, Wink, Home Assistant.. Still Needed?

Screenshot taken of the desktop view of Home Assistant's demo.

When it comes to controlling your new smart home device, you’ll probably see that most devices nowadays “support Alexa”. Some support Google Home, too. However you may also have seen people talk about their ‘SmartThings Home Hub’, or perhaps their ‘Home Assistant hub’ running from a Raspberry Pi. So what gives? Do you need a … Read more

New Video – Ring Video Doorbell Pro: 4 Colored Faceplates

YouTube thumbnail for the Ring Doorbell Pro Faceplate video

I just published a new YouTube video. It’s a quick 4 minute video covering the four different faceplates that come with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro: silver, cream, dark bronze and black. I also show how to change these faceplates (it’s really easy): Video Transcript Hey YouTube, it’s Tristan from Smart Home Point here. I … Read more

Using Smart Light Bulbs In Ceiling Fans

A traditional ceiling fan

Ceiling fans are a great invention: they make a room’s temperature feel around 5-8 degrees cooler than it otherwise might. The light is often adjustable too, allowing for the light to be dimmed to provide ‘mood lighting’ as required. But sometimes you’ll want more control over the lighting than the current fixture provides – which … Read more