Home Automation

It is said that Home Automation started in the Home Theater!  No wonder we’re big fans of Home Automation here at Projector Reviews.  A number of reviews of the latest in home automation equipment have appeared on our site.

You wouldn’t know it by our name, though, so in June of 2015 we launched a companion website:  www.SmarterHomeAutomation.com.  Click here, to visit that site which will focus on the latest in “smart” home automation including products using Z-wave, Wifi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and other technologies, even some old school gear.  The focus of SmarterHomeAutomation.com is on reviewing smart lighting, security, appliances, controllers, thermostats and more.  And we will have many information articles and videos.

Belkin Wemo Insight Smart Outlet with Energy Monitoring – Review

The Wemo Insight is an external outlet that you plug into an existing wall outlet.  Then plug your device (lamp, coffee maker, etc.) that you want to and monitor the energy usage of, or to power it on and off.


Ecobee3 – The Smart Thermostat for Everyone – A Review

The Ecobee3 thermostat is smart, it integrates with your home automation, including SmartThings, Lutron, Amazon Echo/Alexa, and Apple HomeKit/Siri voice control


Lightify GardenSpot Mini RGB Outdoor Lighting – A Smart Home Review

The coolest outdoor RGB lighting yet: The Lightify GardenSpot Mini RGB is controlled by Wifi, works with Belkin WeMo, Amazon Echo, SmartThings…


SureCall EZ 4G Cell Signal Booster Antenna Review

The EZ 4G indoor cell signal booster works with all carriers, five bands, great for smaller condos, apartments and houses


Zipato RGBW Smart Color Light Bulb Review – Z-Wave Compatible

A Next Gen smart bulb – RGBW – red, green blue, and white LEDs – for better whites, brighter light


Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Review

Our Hue review takes a close look at the industry’s best known smart RGB bulbs including brightness, quality of white light…


MagicLight Smart RGBW Bluetooth Light Bulb Review

The MagicLight RGBW Light is an impressive Bluetooth and bright color smart bulb able to do good bright whites, and vivid colors. There’s a very capable app.


Nexia Bridge – A Z-Wave Home Automation Controller Review

A Nexia Bridge controller replaced the HomeSeer controller I had been using, we found the Bridge to be capable…


Kwikset SmartCode 916 Z-Wave Front Door Lock Review

With this review of the Kwikset SmartCode 916, we have entered the world of networkable smart door locks.


SengLED Pulse – Smart Flood LED Light with JBL Speaker – Review

The Pulse puts smart Dimmable LED lighting and JBL sound in your ceiling! Other places too!

Pretty Darn Cool Award


SengLED Pulse – Smart Flood LED Light with JBL Speaker – Sound

Pulse offers room filling sound, easy operation, but,  as expected, no serious bass.  Use one Pulse for mono, or two for stereo sound


Kwikset Kevo Deadbolt Lock Review – Bluetooth, FOB, and Key – Summary

KEVO BY KWIKSET – PAGE 2:  Installing and Configuring the Kevo lock, FOB and Keys, Cosmetics, the Kevo Experience and Summary (The Bottom Line)


Kwikset Kevo Deadbolt Lock Review – Bluetooth – No Front Door Key Needed

Meet Kevo! Kevo by Kwikset is a unique security focused home automation product. It's a Bluetooth enabled dead bolt that also can use keys and FOBs. Need a "smart" deadbolt for your front door, or any door of your choosing? Kwikset's Kevo is something very different from the rest of the smart locks I've seen out there, as I'll explain.


Honeywell WiFi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control – Operation and Conclusions

Honeywell 9000 WiFi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control:  Menus, Software, Conclusions


Honeywell WiFi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control – Installation

Honeywell 9000 WiFi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control:  Installation

First we’ll look at one came in the box, then it’s time to transition from the old thermostat to our new Honeywell Smart Thermostat with Voice Control.


Honeywell WiFi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control – Home Automation Review


Home Automation Review: Belkin WeMo Switch + Motion with Wifi

Like the WeMo Light Switch (you have to love Belkin’s simple product naming) this smart gear uses your home wifi to communicate.  The list price of the Switch + Motion is $79.99.  Controlling lights or other devices that might other be left on a lot more hours a day, may give you a reasonable payback of a year or few, but it’s the convenience, and to some extent the cool aspects, that make it a nice piece in the home automation puzzle.   Walking…


Belkin WeMo Light Switch – Smart and Simple


WeMo Light Switch – Easy to use, Wifi based

Belkin’s WeMo Light Switch, smart by way of Wifi, is the first piece of home automation to be installed in our Dream Home “Smarter Home Automation” Project.  That means we started it this past weekend.  March 8th to be precise.  I’m calling it a two year project.  We’ll see how that plays out.  But, back to the this cleverly named WeMo “Light Switch.”

I am going to write up a full review with images of the installing the WeMo, and more, in review format, but here’s a taste to get you all excited.

The WeMo Light Switch as Belkin calls it, communicates with your iPhone or other iOS device, or the android equivalents.  It accomplishes this by talking to your Wifi.

Several of Belkin’s WeMo devices arrived last week while we were on vacation, waiting for my return.  I got back Friday night.  Saturday I woke up ambitious and decided to install some.

Belkin sent me three different WeMo devices, the Light Switch which replaces the usual flat toggle light switches, The second item is an external outlet that plugs into a wall outlet to give control of whatever’s plugged into it.  It comes with a companion piece that also plugs into a wall outlet. That piece has a motion sensor attached.  No doubt with great resolve, Belkin risked it all to come up with a mind blowing name for this device.  Not to be outdone by the brilliance of Light Switch, Belkin came through with:  Switch + Motion.  Simple, says it all.


Smarter LED Lighting such as Philips’ Hue, Saves Money, Creates Scenes, Changes the way we use Lighting!

LED lighting is great.  RGB LED lighting is even better, and making them Smart, allows one to completely rethink how one uses  lighting in both home (and commercial) environments.  Good implementation of smart LED lighting  drastically reduces electric bills compared to old style incandescent, but even offers big savings compared o those CFLs  (Compact Fluorescent lights).  And it does so without the multiple problems/issues…


Home Theater: Projector, sources power up, lights dim, screen lowers…

For those of us who are home theater enthusiasts, it’s the home theater itself that is most likely to be the first part of a home to get some home automation.  Solutions for motorized screens coming down when you turn on the projector, and powering up other devices is almost ancient.  For those with motorized shades over windows, integrating them in makes sense to.  You know:  one button dims the lights, lowers the screen, lowers the window shades…