If I had to describe my dream home in one word, it would be “peace”. I want our haven to be a place of peace for all who enter it. Peace looks different to everyone, so for me, I would describe it as simple, easy, organized and caffeinated.
As first time home owners, my husband and I are learning a lot about how to make our home peace-filled, by incorporating technology in our home. We get asked all the time about different products and apps we use to streamline our lives – so I wanted to share with you some of our top choices. Along with these below, we also have chosen to incorporate Alexa into our home, using smart wall plugs and even purchasing smart locks like August and wifi garage door openers to make life easy.
Harmony Remote by Logitech
ADVANCED CONTROL FOR THE WHOLE HOME
Another remote? Say it isn’t so. Whenever we got married, I went from a one-remote single-lady life, to a one-drawerful married life pretty fast. Everything my husband loves comes with a remote it seems like… oy! Well, friends, if you are like me and hate having to keep up with which remote goes to what, I have good news for you! This remote is universal and replaces the various ones you’ve collected over the years – and one of the best parts – it’s not just for your TV. This remote can control all of your smart home devices and is even compatible by speech using your Alexa home device.
- Streamline your life with intuitive, integrated control of connected smart home devices.
- Change channels, adjust volume, fast-forward, or rewind using gestures on the bright 2.4” touchscreen.
- Finding the correct buttons is easy, even in the dark, with motion-activated, backlit controls.
- Keep your eyes on your entertainment, not your remote, with vibration feedback.
- Customize the dedicated media playback, cable/satellite, and DVR controls to your preferences.
- The convenient charging station keeps Ultimate Home powered and ready.
- Lift Master
This is a huge lifesaver for us. We have actually spread the word about this one item so much, that pretty much all of our extended family members are now on the ecobee train.
ecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor
- Comes with built-in Alexa Voice Service, so you can ask your ecobee to set a timer, read you the news, adjust the temperature, and more. With Far-field voice technology your ecobee4 can hear you from across the room.
- Room sensors help manage hot or cold spots in your home, delivering comfort to the rooms that matter most.
- Easily adjust temperature and comfort settings from anywhere using your Android and iOS devices. Also works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings & more
- Save up to 23%* on heating and cooling costs each year. *Compared to a hold of 72F
- Fast, easy installation you can do yourself. Use our handy step-by-step guide right on your phone.
So what’s the difference between Ecobee and Nest? Well, both require power in order to keep their battery charged. The Ecobee uses a “C” wire to draw power constantly from your electricity in the wall. Most homes already have the “C” wire run to their thermostat and it is an easy install. The nest does not pull electricity from your wall and requires the AC unit to be running in order to keep the battery charged. This means on a nice day whenever the house is nice and AC is not needed, nest will turn on the unit in timely increments to keep it’s charge, and therefore, run your unit when it’s not necessarily needed. There are other differences between the machines as well, and we would recommend doing your homework before purchasing one or the other.
This beauty can be yours at pretty much any big box retailer including amazon, target and even Costco!
Zmodo Home Security Cameras
- Easy Installation & Setup: No need to run cables all over your house to connect the NVR and cameras. Simply mount the cameras, plug in the adapters and go. Connection between the NVR and cameras is through your internet.
- Clip Alerts on Phones: Receive a clip alert on your Zmodo app whenever motion is detected, and customize which areas on the cameras’ live view will trigger an motion alert, to prevent false alerts and get notified by alerts that really matters.
- Remote & Local Playback: Cameras are built with excellent quality for 24/7 HD monitoring jobs, and video feed is saved to the included 500GB hard disk. Watch the playback either locally on your monitors, or remotely on your phones through Zmodo app.
- Intelligent Recording: Optimize the storage capacity with Zmodo’s Intelligent Recording. The NVR records at lower fps when no motion is detected, and at maximum during motion. The 500GB hdd is capable of saving up to 45 days of recording.
- Professional Customer Support: Lifetime US-Based Tech Support, 3-Year Limited Warranty, and 60-Day Money Back Guarantee.
My husband and I purchased these security cameras for our joint Christmas gift this year and could not be happier with the product. I love that I can be anywhere in the world and pull up what’s going on in my home on my phone.
TapPainter is an app (for iPhone or iPad) that lets you take a picture of the room you want to paint and preview what your new color would look like. Um, hello! We built our home about a year and a half ago and still have not painted the white walls (I like white, so I am not in a hurry, but starting to get the itch for a change). There are three different ways to preview the new color:
- Play with color using our color wheel. Select from the outer Hue ring to pick the base color, change the Saturation middle ring and adjust the inner Lightness ring. Ready to paint? Convert to the closest matching paint color swatch.
- Pick a color from a fan deck of an available paint brand just like in the paint store. Don’t see your favorite paint brand yet? Now featuring Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore.
- Already have swatches from your favorite paint brand? Enter them one at a time by selecting the paint brand, enter swatch color code, tap on the paint roller. Flick right/left to see, compare and choose the preferred room color.
What’s not to love?
Need a painter, roofer, or even a house cleaner? The Hoomkeepr app is great for organizing your contractors and having all of your home maintenance in one spot. There are options to set up notifications for when it’s time to change out your air filters and smoke alarm batteries, as well as schedule pest inspections and roof inspections. Quick tip about home maintenance: pick holidays to make your maintenance changes (i.e. change the filters on Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day, etc.) to help you remember when you last changed them! Click here to download the Homekeepr app with Catalyst Home Team’s recommended list of vendors… they are the best of the best!
My hope is that you read through this and choose one to start with. We did not purchase all of these electronics in one swipe and have built up our digital portfolio throughout the months and years.