Musings

Making our Home a Little Smarter: Google Home, Nest, Phillips Hue, Chromecast…

Overall, I’m pretty crap with technology.

When my husband first came at me rambling on about a Google home, I was pretty unenthusiastic if I’m honest. I had heard of the Alexa and yeah its cool when you see it on the advert but did we really need one? I mean, Ok so it can play music and you can ask it what the weather is like outside but how on earth is that more convenient than playing the music on my phone or on the tv, or just using my eyes to look out of the window.

Nevertheless we compromised.

The Black Friday sales saw the prices of the smart devices like Google Home and Alexa drop quite drastically as they both tried to out-sell each other and so we headed out and invested in a Google Home Mini.

Making our Home a Little Smarter

Bear with me here but I need to tell you that this post is NOT in anyway sponsored or paid for or anything like that – it may seem like it because I am about to get a little gushy but this is all reflective of my true feelings of love. Pure, sweet love.

So we had the Google Home Mini in the bedroom and it became a little bit life changing. So we then went back the following weekend and bought the big Google Home for the kitchen. This was just the beginning.

We then got another mini device for the lounge and a Chromecast for the living room TV.

And then Phillips Hue Lightbulbs and two Nest thermostats (not because we have crazy love for thermostats but simply because our house has two heating zones for some bizarre reason).

It’s got a little out of hand.

I think it is safe to say we are converted to the life of a Smart Home now and we are actively looking for other products that we can invest in. At the moment we have the Nest Home Protection System on our radar.

It’s a bit more than a standard alarm system and offers so many perks and clever little features that we can’t wait for it to become available. Also they have a snazzy doorbell too which is tickling my pickle.

I think my favourite thing at the moment is the thermostat.

Making our Home a Little Smarter

I feel like a sad old lady saying it, but I bloody love my thermostat. Look at it! It’s copper!

It lights up as you walk past it and will display whatever you want. So, I have the one in the lounge display the time and the one in the hall display the temperature/weather outside.

It knows when you are home or not by your app. So if you go out, it turns your heating off for you to save energy.

It builds a schedule of what you like so eventually you barely ever have to touch it. If for a few days you turn the heating up at 6am and off again when you go to bed at 10pm. It learns this and does it for you. It shows a little leaf on the display when you are in an ‘eco friendly’ zone of temperature so you can easily see when you’re working towards saving energy etc. I just love it.

I mean, being able to lie in bed and turn the heating on with an app on your phone?

Or better yet, being out and about and turning it on so the house is nice and toasty when you get home? It’s a game changer. Don’t forget, they all link to your Google Home device too so if you’re too lazy to even pick your phone up a simple ‘Hey Google, turn the heating up to 21’ will suffice.

The same goes for the Hue lights, it’s all done via an app or your voice. I’m just loving it. We only have a couple of bulbs at the moment as they are quite pricey to do all in one go, but we are slowly but surely replacing them throughout the house.

Everything is just so convenient.

We have a really plush cream carpet in the lounge which is my pride and joy and as such I don’t allow shoes on it and the amount of times I have got boots and coats on and I’m ready to go, then I hear that the TV is still on. It drives me mad. Nowadays, I just shout ‘Hey Google, turn off the TV!’ and BOOM – job done.

Or on a Sunday morning when I just want that extra ten minutes in bed but Isabelle is hassling me to watch TV downstairs ‘Hey Google, play Max and Ruby on Netflix’. 

It’s just amazing for busy parents who always have their hands full and five different things on the go at any one time.

There are loads of cool features that I doubt we have even discovered yet.

It recognises different voices too, so if I speak to it, it knows to use my personal Spotify account and if my husband does it uses his – for example. So I could be listening to a bit of Beiber downstairs while Joe listens to whatever men in their late 20s listen to nowadays.

You can play quizzes on it, it can tell you what’s in your calendar for that day and obviously ask it a question and it Googles the answer for you.

Making our Home a Little Smarter

Do you have a Smart Home? What devices do you have? What’s your favourite?

 

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