16 Nest Tips To Help You Take Control Of Your Smart Home

Here’s a listing of 41 actionable tips to aid you lot become started with your smart abode.

Equally you might judge, I included tips which I learned through my ain experiences and research. In add-on, I reached out to the blogosphere and included advice from several other smart home bloggers.


1. Use LAN when you lot can

Wireless technology has come a long fashion in recent years, but it’s still common to run into problems with signal interference or range. If you lot can, wire your home with CAT6 for wired LAN access in equally many rooms every bit possible. This becomes peculiarly important if y’all have multiple loftier bandwidth devices like streaming video or security cams.

2. Find expressionless spots


Many of your smart devices volition connect using WiFi. WiFi networks become more congested as more devices connect to them. Earlier you become crazy ownership new networking equipment, use your mobile telephone and a WiFi analysis app to find the expressionless spots.

3. Get used to vocalization control

Several years ago when I got my first Alexa device, I felt a piffling weird talking to it. Now, it’s a regular part of my life. In fact, it’due south part of the family. It’south also the nigh common way I interact with my connected devices.

4. Watch out for missing neutral wires in old domicile wiring

If you have an sometime home with former wiring, your lite switches may not have a neutral wire. This is a problem for most smart switches (detailed explanation of the problem and solution).

A circuit with a neutral wire can switch a light off while still delivering power to the light switch. With no neutral wire, the smart switch loses all power when the switch is turned off. Without power, a smart switch can’t communicate with your smart home, which is obviously a problem.

One smart switch that works without a neutral wire is the Lutron Caseta dimmer switch.

5. Use both Google Assistant and Alexa

You don’t have to cull betwixt the two voice assistant giants. You can connect all your smart home devices to both Google and Alexa at the aforementioned fourth dimension. And then, use whichever is most user-friendly to control your devices.

half dozen. Family acceptance

“You’re most likely the techie in the house, simply think most the not-techies in your family or friends that visit ofttimes.  Whatsoever hardware or automations that you build out should be piece of cake to utilize in means that people are used to.  Your family should never get frustrated or confused trying to plough on the family unit room lights.”


Matt Ferrell, Undecided with Matt Ferrell

For more tips from Matt keep reading, or accept a look at his Youtube channel.

7. Smart switches are unremarkably better than smart bulbs

Smart switches let you continue to use the wall switch equally an on/off switch. Conversely, a smart seedling loses its smartness if someone turns off the wall switch.

More info: Smart seedling vs Smart Switch

In the perfectly automatic habitation of the future, there will be no demand for manual switches. Just until it exists, at that place will inevitably be times when it’s most convenient to flip a switch.

If you take to choose betwixt the two, it’s ususally better to have the usability of a smart switch. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to spend a little extra yous tin can use both smart switches and smart bulbs simultaneously.

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eight. Learn to use geofencing


Yes, that is a 2001 Geo Metro in a fencing bout, but that’s not the kind of Geo fencing I’m talking about.

A smart home geofence is an imaginary circle around your dwelling location. The GPS on your phone can be used to trigger different deportment when yous cantankerous this “contend”.

If you’re like me, you take your phone with you lot nearly everywhere you get, so information technology’southward a pretty good indicator of whether you’re home or not. A good smart home setup takes advantage of this. I use it all the fourth dimension with my smart thermostat setup.

nine. Map it out from the start

Rose from the H.A. Report, one of our top smart home blogs, suggests that users “map it out”.

“When you start building your smart home, you generally have merely one or 2 devices but it can rapidly grow.

With growth comes creativity. You might have a rule connecting Nest and Hue but Hue might also be controlled by built-in rules, IFTTT, or even Stringify.

Before long, you lot have multiple devices controlled past multiple rules and information technology tin be hard to remember what you have set up where, unless you’ve mapped things out of class.”

Rose, homealarmreport.com

10. Smart switches don’t need to exist wired together to work together.

Smart switches can supercede any switch and can be linked to whatsoever other smart device.

For example, my kitchen has ii sets of lights that aren’t wired together. Normally it requires me to flip two switches to turn all the lights on. With smart switches, I can set it up and then that flipping either switch turns on all lights.

11. Minimize battery utilise


Whenever possible, put in the extra try to connect your smart home devices to a abiding power source. When you get-go offset building a smart habitation, you may be inclined to use the cheapest and easiest option for powering your devices. That usually means batteries. Merely, as you become more devices, battery maintenance can become a existent pain.

12. Endeavour a wall mount for your Echo Dot

There are several vendors that sell depression-cost fix-fabricated mounts.


I brand use of several Repeat Dots throughout my home. The sound quality of the Dot is limited, simply one of these mounts makes a notable improvement.
Additionally, it tin be a real space saver for infinite limited locations similar a countertop or bath.

xiii. Smart thermostats are usually the biggest money saver


A typical home spends close to one-half the free energy bill on heating and cooling. Smart thermostats are designed to take a large clamper out of that. How much y’all can relieve depends on your current habits, but a smart thermostat is ane smart product that has the potential to pay for itself.

fourteen. Cheque for rebates with your ability company

In many states, power companies offer rebates when you buy a new smart thermostat. I’ve seen rebates that range from $25-$100. The boosted rebate tin make buying a smart thermostat a no-brainer.

You may also be able to score a discount from your homeowner’south insurance for security related products.

xv. Leverage communities for help

If yous accept questions about a smart product, Facebook groups are a wonderful resource. Popular products like SmartThings, Philips Hue, and ecobee take their own dedicated fan groups. Join the group and you lot will find more than than just casual fans. Yous’ll observe fanatics and gurus and probably get 10 answers to any question.

xvi. Protect your privacy

“Buy products from brands you trust.  And always consider self hosted options kickoff to ensure yous’re in control of your information.  A good example would be security cameras that tape locally and don’t require a paid cloud service.”


Matt Ferrell, Undecided with Matt Ferrell

17. Smart thermostats work best with a c-wire

Smart thermostats that have a big screen and a WiFi connectedness require lots of ability. A c-wire allows the thermostat to get that ability from the wires without disrupting the HVAC performance. If yous don’t take a c-wire, you’re asking for a headache. Don’t worry though, information technology’south not a large problem to solve. Here’south what I recommend.

xviii. Name your smart devices

“When it comes to controlling all your smart devices, yous desire to brand certain those devices are named correctly in each room so you lot don’t get confused which room y’all are operating.”

Rodney Diamond, www.automateyourcrib.com

For more tips from Rodney, check out his big list of habitation automation tips and tricks.

19. Participate in demand response programs

Some smart thermostats piece of work with certain power companies to help manage height electricity loads. During periods of high usage, the thermostat will automatically set your temperature back a couple degrees. This makes it easier for the power company to provide consequent power and they reward yous with a lower rate.



20. Colored bulbs are actually cool

If you lot’ve never experienced colored light bulbs, I recommend you lot try Philips Hue.

I was skeptical at beginning. The idea of color changing low-cal bulbs seemed childish and gimmicky. All the same, later using them, I was amazed at how effective they tin can be at influencing my mood.

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I am an especially big fan of using Hue colour bulbs in light fixtures with multiple bulbs. There are preset scenes available (with names like Savanna sunset and Chill aurora) that fix each bulb to it’s own colour. The combination of colors together creates a spectacular outcome.

21. Cheap bulbs with Philips Hue

The Philips Hue system uses the Zigbee protocol. If you desire to purchase more smart bulbs to add to your Philips Hue ecosystem, merely don’t need the premium cost and quality of the Philips Hue bulbs, here are some cheaper options that will piece of work with the Philips Hue hub: cheap Hue uniform lights.

22. Utilize Alexa routines

The Alexa app is slowly becoming a more powerful force for automation. Routines are a huge part of that. You tin can utilize routines to set up off a chain of actions with but ane voice command.

A recent addition to Alexa routines allows routines to likewise exist triggered by a motion sensor.

23. Go cross platform

“Wait for devices that offer integrations into major services like Amazon, Google, HomeKit, Smartthings, etc.  They’ll give you the flexibility to jump betwixt platforms equally your smart home evolves.  Basically, stay flexible and try to avoid getting stuck with hardware that just works on one specific platform.”

Matt Ferrell, Undecided with Matt Ferrell

24. Go along a list of passwords

If you lot buy a bunch of smart home products, you’ll end up with a agglomeration of passwords. Follow expert security practice and utilize unique passwords for each device. Once connected to your network, you lot shouldn’t need to utilize the countersign very ofttimes. Brand a list of the passwords and save it somewhere. I shop mine in a password protected file.

At present, if only I could think the password to the countersign file…


25. Utilise LED strips

LED strips have the ability to take your mood lighting to the next level.

Whether its downlighting under cabinets or beds or uplighting on crown molding, indirect lighting can have an crawly effect. If you can afford the actress expense and add some color, you won’t be disappointed.

You can buy ready made Philips Hue LED strips, simply they’re expensive. For big rooms with long strips, it might be amend to try to the DIY route.

26. Beware of crowdfunded startups with big promises

The ascension of the crowdfunded startup has coincided with the rise of the smart home. There is no shortage of new companies with big ambitions and cool ideas. However, information technology’s fairly common to encounter those ambitions fall short of a finished product.

If you cull to invest in i, exist aware that deadlines are ofttimes missed and sometimes products are never delivered. Your money could be tied up for awhile.

27. Buy from a place with a good return policy

Don’t get stuck with a “half-product” that doesn’t piece of work with the rest of your smart stuff. I try to research earlier I buy but sometimes, a production just doesn’t deliver on its promises.

I’ve constitute that sometimes I tin become a meliorate price on a product through the manufacturer, but it’s virtually always easier to do a render if I buy through a major retailer similar Amazon.

28. Larn to apply IFTTT, Stringify, and Tasker


You’ve probably heard of IFTTT, but what about the other two? The world of smart home devices is nonetheless young, and interoperability is still a challenge. Learn to use these tertiary party scripting apps to make more complex automations and connect devices that are otherwise incompatible.

29. Ceiling fans require special smart switches

It could be tempting to install a standard dimmer switch to control your ceiling fan speed, but it’south not a good thought. In that location are specially fabricated fan speed controllers that will become the task washed right.

xxx. Consider a second router to secure your home network

“Brand sure you have your smart dwelling network secured, preferably on a 2nd router and wireless network if at all possible.

Early on on my smart home network got hacked and I actually had my Television set turn on and thermostat crank upward to 85 degrees while we were having a political party. That’s 1 way to brand sure your smart home party gets wrecked fast!”

Kevin Noyes, diysmarthomeguide.com

For even more smart dwelling tips, bank check out Kevin’s list of home automation tips.

31. Don’t overcomplicate


Remember, the end goal is to brand things easier. Complicated automations get out more room for something to get incorrect.

For case, when I first started edifice my smart dwelling house, I thought it would be cool to have a motion sensor in a closet trigger the closet light. That’due south totally unnecessary and complicated.

The simple solution is to just buy a motion activated bulb. The bulbs are cheaper than a typical motion sensor and the but setup required is to spiral information technology in.

32. Continue firmware updated

When you lot open the app and that nagging message to update keeps popping up, its tempting to merely skip it. Don’t.

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Firmware updates are important for security, issues fixes, and new features. At the very to the lowest degree, brand a note to yourself to update at a more convenient fourth dimension.

33. Cull a hub based on your skill level

Amazon’s Alexa platform is easy to learn and easy to apply. However, you’ll quickly find it’s limited to adequately simple automation.

On the other hand, something like Home Assistant has a much steeper learning curve, just allows for circuitous custom programming.

Typically finding the correct hub is finding a balance betwixt
ease of use
and
ability to create complex automations.

Something like the Samsung SmartThings hub is good mix of both. Information technology has an easy to utilise If/So style app. Plus, if yous want to become more geeky, there’due south addons that permit you to create custom code.

34. Don’t compromise on smart speaker sound quality

Cam Secore at powermoves.blog values sound quality over all else in his smart speakers.

“When ownership a smart speaker, don’t compromise on sound quality. Audio quality is the only thing that matters.

Studies are showing that smart speakers are primarily existence used for music, with easy tasks like reminders or timers existence at the top of the list as well.

That’due south terrible news when y’all consider Echo Dot and Google Home Mini are the two highest selling smart speakers and have can can audio quality. You may think you’re in the minority and NEED the all-time personal assistant to perform nerdy tasks, but you’re probably not.

When y’all demand to do a task that’s more than advanced, why non utilise the devices that are already in your pocket or on your wrist? A screen interface from your phone or watch is more than helpful anyway.”

Cam Secore, allpowermoves.com

35. Smart isn’t always smarter

In that location’due south lots of totally unnecessary and downright ridiculous smart products that have hit the shelves over the past couple years. A couple of my favorites take been the Quirky Egg Minder smart egg tray and the HapiFork smart fork (no longer available…hmm, I wonder why?). Here’s a list of a few more crazy smart products I’ve found.

36. Mesh networks get stronger with more nodes


Mesh networks like Zigbee and Z Wave get more robust with more than devices. Betoken to signal networks like WiFi get more than congested. If you programme on having many devices in your smart home, a mesh network protocol will scale much improve than WiFi.

37. Software can exist improved, hardware cannot

If you insist on being an early adopter, at least make sure the device has solid hardware. Software updates tin can exist added over time, but hardware limitations volition stick with a product for as long as you utilise it (usually).

38. Inexpensive doesn’t always hateful it’s junk

Maybe it’south priced just correct…and their competitors are only way overpriced? Mind blown, right?

Most of the fourth dimension, “cheap equals junk” is a pretty good rule. Simply if you do your enquiry, there are some exceptions.

The Wyze Cam is a versatile IP cam. Information technology’s priced at a fraction the cost of its competitors and is a tremendous value. Other examples of great value smart products are Sengled smart bulbs and Sonoff smart switches (corking for DIY projects).

39. Corollary: Expensive doesn’t always mean it’s better

I’ve seen many products hit the market with sky high price tags. Manufacturers will effort to price their product in line with what they consider their competitors.

People go excited about new product releases and will often pay a premium price to be early adopters. Unfortunately, many of the new smart home products are still a work in progress.

40. There’s always something amend coming shortly

New products and new versions of erstwhile smart habitation products are constantly being released. Sometimes I find myself worried that the product I buy today will be obsolete tomorrow. If a smart dwelling product solves your trouble and the price is right, go for it. A expert company will go along its products updated so they motility with yous into the future.

For example, the latest version of the Nest Thermostat was released in 2015 and it’s even so ane of, if non the best smart thermostat available.

41. Someone else has probably made a blog postal service about it

Inevitably, you will effort to automate something and go stumped. Earlier you lot bollix around the app or spend hours trying to hack your ain solution, do a Google search. You lot’re likely to find someone else who wanted to do the same affair as you lot, and posted about it on a forum or a web log.

Smart Gadgets for Every Dwelling house Q & A: Tips and Advice from the Experts


Do you take a great tip or I missed? Or peradventure y’all have your ain listing I can link to? Get out me a bulletin below and I’ll add it to the listing!





16 Nest Tips To Help You Take Control Of Your Smart Home

Source: https://thesmartcave.com/smart-home-tips/