TRÅDFRI Buttons, Bye Harmony Remotes, Ring Goes Loud, and More

Gerard's Smart Home Newsletter

Hi there,

Good morning! I hope everyone had a good weekend; all cool here in Ireland, literally temperatues have dropped and lots of rain! Relatively busy week, welcoming some new students into the Certified Next-Generation Smart Home Installer (NGSHI) Professional Program Training Program. If you want to join the latest cohort, click here and use the discount code NGSHI100. So lots to report this week in smart home land:

Smart Light Switches ☀️

I reported this one in a previous newsletter and it still excites me! Finding a solution to smartify switches in the O’Driscoll household has always been an issue for us. During my years of trials and tribulations installing various generations of smart devices, I did connect some modules from a company called Fibaro with the switches. That’s at least five if not ten years ago. Fast forward to today and Philips Hue may have released a gamechanger for those of you out there who want to retain existing light switches, but yet want to deploy various automations. So the gotcha is you do need to have some smart bulbs, of course from Hue. I haven’t purchased a test module yet but planning to do so. The backboxes in our house are pretty tiny, so hoping that space will not be an issue, will keep you reported when I get some time to organize. All the details about the in-wall installation can be found at the Hueblog

Smart Smoke Dangers 🚒

Over my circa 30 years ICT career, spent some time managing an emergency control centre here in Ireland, so always keeping an eye out for smart home devices that improve people’s safety levels. Top of that list are smart smoke and CO detectors. And the leader in that niche suite of smart devices is the Nest CO & Smoke Detector. To date, there has been limited competition, which is still true, however the number of smart smoke detectors that interoperate with Apple HomeKit has been abysmal! Thus, I wanted to highlight the availability of Mi Home Honeywell Smart Smoke Detector. Key points are that it comes in at a reasonable price, of course works with Apple HomeKit, and uses Zigbee (which bodes well for a possible Thread upgrade). The downside is that the unit does not support carbon monoxide detection. If interested in purchasing check out the Xiamoi web-site for more product info. 

New Blog Post

In recent times, smart homes have become increasingly popular among many people. This might be down to the fact that they provide an elevated sense of comfort, convenience, and safety for homeowners. Many tech heavyweights have joined the race to control the smart home industry. Among those companies include Google, Apple, Amazon, and Xiaomi. Xiaomi is a tech giant from China that is renowned for manufacturing some cost-effective technology products. The company launched Aqara, which is its smart home line that manufactures smart home products to fit homeowners’ needs. ……Read the complete article on the blog

This Week’s Words of Wisdom 😊

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Smart Home Infleuncer!

Cool to see my name in the top smart home infleuncers over on twitter!

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Ring Sirens 🛎️

Amongst the various alarm systems we operate at the O’Driscoll household, Ring gets used quite a bit. So delighted to hear they recently released an outdoor siren. As expected the new siren will interoperate well with the existing family of ring security products. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Already in the US but recently released in Europe and UK.
  • Act as a deterrent on the exterior of your house.
  • Receive instant smartphone notifications when alarm is triggered.
  • Loud siren and flashing red lights to notify your neighbors
  • Provides an element of light during darkness.

And finally, it goes without saying, the new siren integrates tightly with the Alexa platform. If you’re looking to dig in deeper, head over to this article on Forbes.

Bye Harmony, Maybe 📺

The most recent murmuring on the interwebs this past week is that Logitech may be discontinuing its excellent line of universal remote controls – Harmony. To be honest, it took me as a surprise and heard about it, whilst listening to Seth on the hometech podcast. So I did some more ‘investigative journalism’ and rumors have been circulating for a while over on some of the Internet forums. That’s about it for this story or non-story and will keep you updated if anything breaks.

I Can Buy IKEA TRÅDFRI Shortcut Buttons 🔘

We own a number of rental properties, and all are kitted out with IKEA items. Big fanboy of IKEA and was buzzed when they entered the smart home space some years back. Since, then the IKEA smart home brand continues to grow amongst consumers across the world. Furthermore, physical controls are a complementary control mechanism to voice and app smart home control. Which, brings me to the story, finally! That IKEA’s TRÅDFRI Shortcut Button can now be bought on the Internet! Here are a few notable points:

  • Runs on a tiny battery
  • Uses Zigbee
  • Supports single and double presses (assign to different HomeKit actions)

Thats the general gist of this story. Check out this article to delve deeper.

Before I forget, the cost of these cool smart devices is $7.99.

And if you want to know more about the IKEA smart home product family, check out this lengthy article over on the blog.

Weekly Smart Home Voice Command! 🎤

Hey Siri, Did I lock the front door?

Thanks for reading. If you have colleagues, friends, or neighbors that would benefit from knowing about smart home devices, please consider sharing them.

They can sign up for the newsletter by going here.

– Gerard

ICT professional, Author, Serial Internet Entrepreneur, Investor, Smart Home Enthusiast, and Creator!

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