My Home Automation Setup

August 30, 2016 - Get free updates of new posts here

I just moved into a new place in Austin and have spent the past 2 months avoiding furniture. All I have is an optimized bed, pillows and a Eames chair.

In the meantime, I’ve been optimizing my place for maximum automation.

This makes my life so much more convenient and fun. No more running over to turn off the lights and turning on music once you walk in the door.

Notice my roomba in the corner. Hello Alfred!
Notice my roomba in the corner. Hello Alfred!

Why care about automation, shmautomation, bah hum bug?

Time!

10 min vacuum from Roomba x 52 weeks a year = 520 minutes.
5 minutes getting up and turning off lights every day * 365 = 1,825 minutes etc etc

It saves you tremendous amounts of time. Over 1 year alone just those 2 things is nearly 40 hours, which makes it a full-time job for an entire week to do what could be automated in seconds.

Any who, here’s what I use in my home setup:

8776aef519ec4245808b1c1f385e85ca1- Roomba

This is the ultimate vacuum machine. Never complains, cleans everything and always goes back home.

2- Amazon Echo

This is the best way to play music, control lights in your place and find out about local news (“Alexa what’s the status…”). One of those devices you didn’t know you needed until you have one.

3- Amazon Dot

I have this in my bedroom to control my lights, fan and to play light music at night.

4- Samsung 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

The quality of this TV is almost too high that it feels like the actors are in my living room. It also connects very well with the Samsung speakers.

818c057539ec4fa19b7e2ae1fda0ca7411- Samsung Smart speakers and Sound bar (way cheaper than Sonos!)

I wanted connected speakers without the Sonos price. You can also do this with a Dot (which didn’t work the way I wanted) or Google Chromecast Audio (but I didn’t want a Google house). So this is the best option to easily stream music from your phone to all rooms.

9- Samsung Tablet (with this wall mount)

I use this as a photo album that rotates through pictures using Google Picasa. You can also use this as a master controller of all the apps you’ll have going on in your home.

5- Philips Hue strip lights and Hub

This makes your bed look amazing (think of laying in the clouds of heaven). I also have a strip behind my tv which can pulse with music and make my living room pop a bit more. You can also control the colors depending on time of day or the mood you’d like.

6- Philips smart bulb

See above but in bulb form.

7- Smart switches

Some of my light bulbs can’t be changed so you can make the switches be smart. #solution

8- Wink Hub

This is the main thing I connect all devices too and then connect this with Amazon Echo. Then you can voice command everything or set it up based on as many rules as you want.

9- Motion sensors

I am not always home so having timed automation doesn’t make sense. This solution helps turn on my lights when I come home depending on the day, as well as turn them off.

10- NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit WiFi Router

This looks like a drone but makes your internet experience significantly faster. Creates a more consistent way of a connected home.

11- Nest thermostat

Y’all already probably know this one. It works best when it’s connected to Alexa so you can just say out loud “set temperature to 70 degrees” without having to move from your bark-a-lounger.

12- Smart water bottle (thanks Marti!)

This is helpful in tracking how much water I drink. Not sure I want everything tracked but it’s cool to see.

13- Wall USB switch and Retractable USB 2-in-1 cables (keeps counters super clean and works on all devices)

These two things go so well together. I don’t want more cables or power plugs in my place. These are clutch in keeping your counters minimal.

14- Haiku home fan

These fans come with an app, have motion detection, multiple colors and have many other features you probably won’t need. I thought it looked good and connected well with the rest of the items in my house.

Things I’ve considered

1- Toilet seat light switch

Not sure why adults would need a toilet night light but my friend Robert swears by it.

2- Nest cam

I don’t use this since everyone always gets creeped out when I previously had cameras at my house. I like having sex tapes, what can I say? #kidding

——

LOVE to hear any suggestions on what else I can do to make my home a Space Pod =) Hit reply and let me know.

Geeking out,
Noah “tacos” Kagan

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8 responses to “My Home Automation Setup

  1. Daniel Trevino Reply

    Noah, that is a cool setup you’ve accomplished. Interestingly you did not mention IFTTT… I think it’s an awesome service, you should check it out.

    Also, you should REALLY check this product I’m currently developing, it might not save that much time but it does save money… I’d be interested to know what a home automation geek like you thinks about it. (www.smartfenestra.com)

    Keep on geeking out!

  2. Ashley Narcisse Reply

    The Amazon Echo is amazing! I’m highly interested in the smart water bottle. A toilet seat light switch?! Okay, that’s just weird, but I’m kind of interested in seeing how it works lol. Otherwise, as a mom of 3 and a business owner, automation is definitely a must! Great post!