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New Video – Philips Hue & Alexa: Full Setup (Step by Step) + Why I Chose Hue

Philips Hue & Alexa YouTube video thumbnail

I had always been a bit unsure about smart lighting due to their cost, but I realized of a perfect smart light usecase around my home (turning on and off four side lamps in the evenings). So I went out and purchased four E14 candle Hue bulbs (White Ambiance), along with a B22 starter kit … 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 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

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

Controlling Smart Homes With Your Brain: Sci-fi or Reality?

Marketing image of NeuroSky's Brainwave Starter Kit, including the headset and details about the mobile and computer control apps.

Various sci-fi and futuristic TV shows and movies cover people controlling technology with their minds. This might be via brain waves being captured by a funny looking hat, or by putting a small implant (chip) near/into the person’s brain. Whilst this sounds like pure fiction, senior Intel researches predicted in 2009 that we would soon … Read more

The Complete List Of All Smart Home Devices (From 2008 Onwards)

A Google Home Mini device placed on a wooden shelving unit

Smart home tech has exploded in popularity over the past decade, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of every new product which is available – especially when ‘Google Home’ rebranded to ‘Nest’, or when Amazon Echo are up to their 4th generation of certain devices! So that’s where we come in! We have spent … Read more

Changing WiFi Info On All Devices (Echo, Home etc) At Once?

A screenshot of the BT Smart Hub 2 (internet router) wireless configuration page, showing which details to change.

When thinking about the disadvantages of smart homes, I remembered a time when my internet router broke. I changed this, and so I had to manually re-configure 5 smart home devices… along with a couple of TVs, my printer, two tablets, two Kindles, three mobile phones and two laptops. Ugh – changing 17 devices manually … Read more