Smart Home Basics Archives - The Smart Cave
Category Archives for "Smart Home Basics"

5 Smart Switches for heavy duty loads

There is no shortage of smart switches and plugs available for your typical in-home application. There’s probably 100 different brands, and if you look, you should be able to find just about any feature you could want.

However, your average smart switch can only handle somewhere between 10 and 15 amps of electrical current. That’s fine for switching a few lamps or even a coffee maker. But if you want to do some heavy duty switching (for example, an electric garage heater or a pool pump), you’ll need something more.

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How to use smart switches with your smart bulbs

Lots of experts recommend smart switches over smart bulbs because they are easier to use. However, without smart bulbs, you won’t get the awesome benefit of color changing or white-shifting lights.

You can debate the pros and cons of each (which I’ve done here), but I don’t want to choose one or the other. I want the best of both. I want to be able to combine the cool, color changing effects of smart bulbs with the convenience and usability of smart switches.

Can it be done? Of course! Here’s how.

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Should you use a Powerline Adapter to extend your home network?

In order to create an awesome smart home that is reliable and easy to use, you have to have a robust home network. If your WiFi router is leaving you with spotty, unreliable coverage, a powerline adapter may be able provide the extra coverage you need.

Ideally, a home would have ethernet cable drops in every room. However, that’s not the case for most people. What we do have in every room is electrical outlets. A powerline adapter let’s you use your home’s electrical wires to transfer network data.

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Is a Smart Smoke Alarm worth it?

Regular smoke alarms are dirt cheap. The cheapest models can be bought for about $5. The city I live in actually gives them away for free.

So why would anybody pay $100 or more for a single smoke detector? Well, because it’s a smart smoke detector.

I love connected devices. Heck, I created an entire website dedicated to them. However, I’m not entirely convinced that spending this kind of money is worth it.

There are low cost alternatives called smart listeners. In addition, there is one smart smoke alarm that’s fairly affordable.

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