The best smart home products on the market for 2019 / 2020

ZIGBEE (PHILIPS HUE AND SAMSUNG SMARTTHINGS COMPATIBLE EQUIPMENT)

The cheapest Zigbee enabled bulbs you can get are from Ikea, they do work directly with Philips Hue and Smartthings and of course their own hub, so they’re totally open and as cheap as you’ll probably find.

  
Aside from the terrible software the hardware itself is amazing for the price.  They also do zigbee plug sockets which will work with Philips Hue and Smartthings hubs.  They do various sensors and remotes too, but I think they only work with Ikea’s own hub and bulbs.


Ikea bulb

Ikea bulb and remote 

Ikea hub (if you don’t already have Philips Hue or Smartthings)

CHEAP SMART HOME OPTIONS (Broadlink RM Pro)

I recommend a Broadlink RM pro with “GLS Touch” RF switches.  This video will walk you through how that works, though the switch in the review I’m using is a Zemismart switch.  The only reason I am recommending GLS touch instead of Zemismart is they do double switches and Zemismart don’t to my knowledge.  If you don’t need a double switch then the Zemismart is my current favourite.


The RM pro will also control cheap RF plug sockets too, but they’re a bit ugly as they stick out of the wall, you also have to be careful that you don’t get 2 packs of the same socket as a lot of them code the sockets up with the same frequencies meaning that you’ll get 2 sockets that both go on or off with each command, if that makes sense.  Best to buy packs of 4 or 5 from different manufacturers.


Broadlink’s advantages other than price is that all RF devices come with a remote so if all else fails you’ve still got the ability to switch stuff on and off manually.  RF devices are super cheap and you aren’t reliant on one provider.  It will also control Infrared devices like your TV and set top box, this video explains that… so there is a fairly good reason to buy one of these things anyway!

SLIGHTLY MORE EXPENSIVE SMART HOME OPTIONS:Energenie Mi-Home.

They do light switches which you can buy here and plug sockets which you can buy here.  You need their gateway to control them but that comes with the light switch I’ve linked you to.  They’re quite plain looking, but they’re fully smart which means you can do things like dim the light by percentage with Alexa (which the RM pro can’t do).  Their starter kit comes with a standard remote for controlling sockets and switches too.

 
Some people might prefer this option over the RM pro as they want the built in plug sockets and mains light switches that are made by a reputable firm.  Most RF switches that are controllable via Broadlink are cheap Chinese stuff, which in my opinion is perfectly secure, but I know some people are heavily concerned about the media’s coverage of privacy and security when dealing with servers abroad.  Energenie are a reasonably reliable option but do suffer the occasional outage.  You can see my review here

VERY EXPENSIVE SMART HOME OPTIONS:Lightwave RF. 

It’s sooooo expensive, but it’s utterly beautiful, you can buy it here, it’s only real advantage over Energenie is that their switches can be used as a trigger for IFTTT which for me is a big deal as it means I can switch my mains lights on and also have my TV power up via the Broadlink RM pro, or have the kettle boil, or get it to text my missus, or basically anything you can think of.

Check out my review and demo of all of that stuff happening here
Lightwave RF’s main advantage is its reliability, it’s look and it’s functionality.  It does a little more than the Energenie, and it’s an everything under one roof solution. 

Those guys will also come to your house and advise you before you purchase too!  The only thing it doesn’t do is send Infrared which is where the RM pro or Harmony hub would come into play.


For built in plug sockets, light wave RF do that too, but it will get real expensive depending how many sockets you wanted to replace!  You might be better off with some Wifi sockets like these which I’ve been really impressed with.

A WORD OF WARNING

Lightwave RF and Energenie both do Gen1 and Gen2 products, and both are still being sold!  If you buy a Gen1 hub you can’t control Gen2 products and vice versa so you need to be REALLY careful that you’re buying compatible equipment.


ALL IN ONE SOLUTIONS

These things never quite manage it all, but profess to be able to control Philips Hue products without a Hue hub, among other things.  


I have reviewed Homey recently and it is horribly expensive and due to a bunch of weird development decisions hasn’t successfully managed to replace any of my hubs.  It has helped unite them under one interface, but that’s about it.  It’s nice having just one piece of software to manage my smart home but there are other ways of achieving this for a lot less money.  Check out my review here


I have also reviewed the hubitat.  It’s claims are less lofty, and it only professes to control Zigbee and Zwave stuff natively (and it does a better job of it for the most part), but can also unite all the other hubs under one interface in just the same way as Homey does but for a lot less money.  It’s far more customisable but a lot more nerdy and awkward for beginners.  You can see that review here


IN SUMMARY

If I was starting over tomorrow and on a budget I would probably buy a hubitat for controlling Zigbee and Zwave stuff, and an Android set top box (probably the Nvidia shield as I like to do a bit of gaming) to act as a bridge to the RM pro which I would use to control RF and Infrared devices. 

I would buy RF plug sockets and light switches as they are the cheapest option and use the hubitat to tell the droid to tell the RM pro to switch those on and off, and buy some cheap zigbee sensors (door sensors, motion sensors, and buttons) from China to connect to the the hubitat to trigger scenes.  Zigbee LED strips can be bought cheaply from China too and be controlled via the Hubitat. 

I would be tempted to fit the Cheap Wifi plug sockets in places where they were on display
I would probably go for Alexa over Google Home as the Broadlink skill for changing TV channels works properly and doesn’t work so well on Google Home.  I’m a big fan of music and the echo dot has a nice sound for a kitchen speaker, for a living room though I would buy an echo dot but output it to a proper sound system.


All links to these products are in the descriptions for each video and if you you purchase through my links then I will get a cut of the money through Amazon’s affiliate platform at no additional cost to you. 🙂

The Nanoleaf Alternative That Will WRECK YOUR BRAIN


I’ve been staring at these things for about a month. I can’t get any work done, send help.

These Google Home / Alexa enabled LED Light Panels are absolutely mesmerising, and in the absence of a Nanoleaf Hexagon product or freestanding Nanoleaf desk lamp these are the closest you’re gonna get to some arty modular mood lighting!

The Cololight from Lifesmart aims to mimic the Nanoleaf Aurora Rhythm product by using your mobile phone as a microphone to react to your music, but at a comparatively smaller size are they a genuine alternative to the Nanoleaf or just a cheap knock off?

The Cololight works with Amazon Alexa, and also works with Google Home

BUY THE COLOLIGHT FEATURED IN THE VIDEO
UK: amzn.to/2YklOZi
US: amzn.to/32TSVXu (please note the US model has a different base)

BUY A NANOLEAF STARTER KIT
UK: amzn.to/2GxEmiC
US: amzn.to/2SDB428

Massive thanks to Josh for letting me use his Nanoleaf footage. The dude is awesome, go subscribe to his channel Tech Tesseract: www.youtube.com/TechTesseract

Check out Brian’s Automate Your Life Smart Home Forum here: community.automatelife.net/
=============================
FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Instagram a brother: www.instagram.com/hibberthometech
Twitter me up: www.twitter.com/hibberthometech
Facebook the heck out of me: www.facebook.com/hibberthometech
BUY ME A BEER
Donate to the channel: paypal.me/PaulHibbert
Become a monthly contributor on Patreon: www.patreon.com/paulhibbert

Bookmark my Amazon affiliate page and buy through me regularly at no cost to you:
UK: amzn.to/2Oqdgfg
US: amzn.to/2xkT1ID

Use my affiliate link to sign up for Ivacy VPN (who are awesome) here and I will get a kick back at no cost to you 🙂 : bit.ly/2vUnWet
==============================
OTHER SMART HOME PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND:
SMART BULBS (Tuya Wifi NO HUB REQUIRED)
UK – amzn.to/2F1cV01
US – amzn.to/2LsTZvj

AISIRER WIFI PLUG SOCKET (Tuya Wifi NO HUB REQUIRED)
UK: amzn.to/2MzlYWK
US: amzn.to/2xkWSWg

CONTROL CHEAP RF PLUG SOCKETS AND SWITCHES AND ALSO INFRARED DEVICES SUCH AS TV’s AND SET TOP BOXES
Broadlink RM pro UK: amzn.to/2fBFyrg
Broadlink RM pro US: amzn.to/2LZF1d1
RF Plug sockets UK: amzn.to/2QBWT3K
RF Plug sockets US: amzn.to/2PqU4xB

CONTROL YOUR TV AND INFRARED DEVICES CHEAP!
Broadlink RM Mini 3 UK: amzn.to/2nFelnq
Broadlink RM mini 3 US: amzn.to/2JOJAdx

ALEXA AND GOOGLE HOME ENABLED LED LIGHT STRIP (Tuya Wifi NO HUB REQUIRED)
UK: amzn.to/2qOQrYl
US: zemismart.com/led-strip_p0045.html
By buying through any of the links above you will help support my channel (Paul Hibbert) as I will earn commission at no extra cost to you 🙂



The New Sonoff Basic R3 Changes EVERYTHING


At Less than £4 the original Sonoff Basic has always been an amazing piece of kit for your Smart Home, but their latest Sonoff basic R3 changes the game entirely!

This video review will tell you everything you need to know about the new Sonoff Basic R3 and also provide an instructional tutorial as to how to flash Tasmota to the Sonoff basic R3 OTA (Over The Air) by putting it into DIY mode without having to break out the soldering iron or buy other components. If you’re a fan of Home Assistant then life just got much cheaper and much easier!

As a Google Home or Amazon Alexa device this works straight out the box!

BUY THIS SWITCH:
Amazon UK: amzn.to/2JUeq1t
Amazon US: amzn.to/2LB1WiW
Sonoff Direct: sonoff.itead.cc/en/products/sonoff/sonoff-basicr3

BUY THE CAPTAIN KIRK SHIRT:
UK: amzn.to/2XRsFy1
US: amzn.to/2O7JEYD

Written instructions:
Download this stuff to a wireless Windows PC such as a laptop:
TOOL
github.com/itead/Sonoff_Devices_DIY_Tools
TASMOTA

Download Sonoff.bin 6.3.0 is the newest one I can get to work: github.com/arendst/Sonoff-Tasmota/releases/download/v6.3.0/sonoff.bin
Follow the usual practice to connect The Sonoff device to Ewelink to update to the correct firmware (v3.1.0 onwards)

Disconnect Power from the Sonoff device so you don’t kill yourself!.
Put jumper (tiny plastic thing in the bag) on the two pins that are sticking up on the circuit board. BE REALLY CAREFUL NOT TO SNAP THE TALL PLASTIC BUTTON, I SNAPPED IT TWICE AND HAD TO GLUE IT BACK TOGETHER

Connect your laptop and the Sonoff R3 to each other by using the following method:

Create a mobile hotspot on your phone with the folowing details:
AP name: sonoffDiy
Password: 20170618sn

Power the Sonoff R3 back on and it will automatically connect, you’ll know it’s connected your phone shows that there is a “device connected”

Connect to the same hotspot on your wireless laptop. This will enable the 2 devices to see and talk to each other

Extract the Sonoff tools on your laptop and launch the “DIY tool”, you will see your Sonoff R3 listed and you will be able to control it with the tool on your laptop

Use the Sonoff tool to upload the Tasmota bin file that you downloaded in step 1

This is no longer a Sonoff device, it is now a Tasmota device! BUT, it is not yet connected to your Wifi network and needs to be told your Wifi details.

You can access the Tasmota device to configure it by connecting to it’s Wifi network, in my case Sonoff-3012.

Program in your usual Wifi details for your router and Tasmota will join your local network

You can now access your Tasmota device from any computer on your network to make changes to it’s configuration. You’ll now need to find out what IP address your router has given to your Tasmota device, you can do this using fing or by looking in your routers config pages.

You can now configure Tasmota for MQTT or HTTP. The HTTP server is running by default and you can control it using the following commands:
Power on command: 192.168.71.74/cm?cmnd=Power%20On
Power off command: 192.168.71.74/cm?cmnd=Power%20Off
If you’re interested in MQTT (You big nerd) then check this out: github.com/arendst/Sonoff-Tasmota/wiki/MQTT-Overview

=============================
FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Instagram a brother: www.instagram.com/hibberthometech
Twitter me up: www.twitter.com/hibberthometech
Facebook the heck out of me: www.facebook.com/hibberthometech
BUY ME A BEER
Donate to the channel: paypal.me/PaulHibbert
Become a monthly contributor on Patreon: www.patreon.com/paulhibbert
Bookmark my Amazon affiliate page and buy through me regularly at no cost to you:
UK: amzn.to/2Oqdgfg
US: amzn.to/2xkT1ID

Use my affiliate link to sign up for Ivacy VPN (who are awesome) here and I will get a kick back at no cost to you 🙂 : bit.ly/2vUnWet

==============================
OTHER SMART HOME PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND:

SMART BULBS (Tuya Wifi NO HUB REQUIRED)
UK – amzn.to/2F1cV01
US – amzn.to/2LsTZvj

AISIRER WIFI PLUG SOCKET (Tuya Wifi NO HUB REQUIRED)
UK: amzn.to/2MzlYWK
US: amzn.to/2xkWSWg

CONTROL CHEAP RF PLUG SOCKETS AND SWITCHES AND ALSO INFRARED DEVICES SUCH AS TV’s AND SET TOP BOXES
Broadlink RM pro UK: amzn.to/2fBFyrg
Broadlink RM pro US: amzn.to/2LZF1d1
RF Plug sockets UK: amzn.to/2QBWT3K
RF Plug sockets US: amzn.to/2PqU4xB

CONTROL YOUR TV AND INFRARED DEVICES CHEAP!
Broadlink RM Mini 3 UK: amzn.to/2nFelnq
Broadlink RM mini 3 US: amzn.to/2JOJAdx

ALEXA AND GOOGLE HOME ENABLED LED LIGHT STRIP (Tuya Wifi NO HUB REQUIRED)
UK: amzn.to/2qOQrYl
US: zemismart.com/led-strip_p0045.html


By buying through any of the links above you will help support my channel (Paul Hibbert) as I will earn commission at no extra cost to you 🙂



Free VPN For Life


Ivacy VPN are one of the best VPN suppliers out there and have been my VPN supplier of choice for a while now due to their speed and feature rich application. You can check out my previous video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Er1PujmocQ

Ivacy VPN are easily the best VPN supplier in this price bracket, but imagine if it was entirely free! Free VPN suppliers tend to come with some nasty catches involving your privacy, but Ivacy have one of the best terms of service of any VPN supplier. Today’s video is a competition to win a lifetime’s subscription to Ivacy for free.

All you have to do is follow me on one (or more) of my social media accounts and I will pick someone at random to win a Free VPN for life!

Ivacy have also kindly given you guys 20% off a subscription so even if you don’t win you can still get one of the cheapest VPN suppliers for an even lower figure than usual The discount runs from now until the end of August, just enter the discount code: PH20

English Page:
bit.ly/2vUnWet
Chinese Page:
bit.ly/2JibjTk
Russian Page:
bit.ly/2HbvmR0
French Page:
bit.ly/2YmIU1L
German Page:
bit.ly/2w0vPPT
Spanish Page:
bit.ly/2LAX7H2
===========================

By purchasing through any of the above links you’ll be helping to support my Channel (Paul Hibbert)



Stop Wasting Money On PRIME DAY! 2019

I made this video to try to calm you the hell down and put your wallet away!… Sort of 😉 I’ve scoured the Smart Home deals and I’m warning you what not to buy and what I recommend you do splash out on. Links in Pinned Comment! Enjoy :

Check out the AutomeLife forum here when you get a chance : community.automatelife.net/forum/28-amazon-prime-day-2019/

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Instagram a brother: www.instagram.com/hibberthometech
Twitter me up: www.twitter.com/hibberthometech
Facebook the heck out of me: www.facebook.com/hibberthometech
BUY ME A BEER
Donate to the channel: paypal.me/PaulHibbert
Become a monthly contributor on Patreon: www.patreon.com/paulhibbert
Bookmark my Amazon affiliate page and buy through me regularly at no cost to you:
UK: amzn.to/2Oqdgfg
US: amzn.to/2xkT1ID

Use my affiliate link to sign up for Ivacy VPN (who are awesome) here and I will get a kick back at no cost to you 🙂 : bit.ly/2vUnWet



Hands On With The New Broadlink App: Behind The Scenes



If you’re an Alexa or Google Home owner you NEED a Broadlink product in your life, without it your Smart Home is rubbish, I assure you… But is the new Broadlink app gonna be worth the wait? This thing is broken! Like really broken. Let’s look at it anyway! hahaha

This video is a behind the scenes look at how the new Broadlink app is shaping up and to give you some info about whether or not I think you should wait for the new Broadlink RM4 or just delve straight in and buy the existing Broadlink RM pro and RM mini 3.

If you’re wanting to make sure you get the right Broadlink RM Pro then please use the below links:
BROADLINK RM Pro (And RF plugs)
Broadlink RM pro UK: amzn.to/2fBFyrg
Broadlink RM pro US: amzn.to/2LZF1d1
RF Plug sockets UK: amzn.to/2QBWT3K
RF Plug sockets US: amzn.to/2PqU4xB
CONTROL YOUR TV AND INFRARED DEVICES CHEAP!
Broadlink RM Mini 3 UK: amzn.to/2nFelnq
Broadlink RM mini 3 US: amzn.to/2JOJAdx

==================
FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Instagram a brother: www.instagram.com/hibberthometech
Twitter me up: www.twitter.com/hibberthometech
Facebook the heck out of me: www.facebook.com/hibberthometech
BUY ME A BEER
Donate to the channel: paypal.me/PaulHibbert
Become a monthly contributor on Patreon: www.patreon.com/paulhibbert
Bookmark my Amazon affiliate page and buy through me regularly at no cost to you:
UK: amzn.to/2Oqdgfg
US: amzn.to/2xkT1ID

Use my affiliate link to sign up for Ivacy VPN (who are awesome) here and I will get a kick back at no cost to you 🙂 : bit.ly/2vUnWet
==================

BUY A RELATED SMART HOME PRODUCT:
SMART BULBS (Tuya Wifi NO HUB REQUIRED)
UK – amzn.to/2F1cV01
US – amzn.to/2LsTZvj
Germany – amzn.to/2DyuiEz
France – amzn.to/2XFPy2Q
Italy: www.amazon.it/dp/B07P5QCCSZ
Spain: www.amazon.es/dp/B07P5QCCSZ

AISIRER WIFI PLUG SOCKET (Tuya Wifi NO HUB REQUIRED)
UK: amzn.to/2MzlYWK
US: amzn.to/2xkWSWg

ALEXA AND GOOGLE HOME ENABLED LED LIGHT STRIP (Tuya Wifi NO HUB REQUIRED)
UK: amzn.to/2qOQrYl
US: zemismart.com/led-strip_p0045.html

AMAZON
Echo dot
UK: amzn.to/2PSyNSE
US: amzn.to/2BuN3YQ
Echo:
UK: amzn.to/2PSyNSE
US: amzn.to/2BuN3YQ
Soma Smarthome Blind motor: www.somasmarthome.com

ROBOVAC VACUUM CLEANER AND MOP
Proscenic Robovac:
UK: amzn.to/2OJkfjU
US: amzn.to/2MgGEUk
ECHO DOT DESK STAND:
UK: amzn.to/2HJMpKV
US: amzn.to/2ObCjDH

ECHO DOT WALL MOUNT
UK: amzn.to/2CB55Jt
US: amzn.to/2OglB6c

By buying through any of the links above you will help support my channel (Paul Hibbert) as I will earn commission at no extra cost to you 🙂



Philips Hue vs Lifx vs Novostella: Proof Hue sucks (AGAIN!)



I can finally PROVE Philips Hue is the worst bulb out there with solid video evidence and a side by side comparison of every conceivable category.

This is the only complete side by side comparison of the worlds best RGB Smart Bulbs and ALL their features. This video compares Philips Hue vs LIFX, but also compares the two top dogs with the lesser known Novostella Smart Bulb. Both Lifx and Novostella are Smart Bulbs without a hub, but is there an advantage to Philips Hue’s reliance on a hub?

All of these Smart Bulbs work With Alexa and Google Home, they also work with IFTTT, but not all of them are equal for Smart Home compatibility. Which bulb will be crowned the ultimate winner? Who is the Smart Bulb King? Spoiler alert, it isn’t Philips Hue 😉

LIFX RGB BULBS FEATURED IN THE VIDEO:
UK: amzn.to/2LAu1FY
US: amzn.to/2LD8X1z
Lifx Mini:
UK: amzn.to/2Je3FYJ
US: amzn.to/2JfFj0I

NOVOSTELLA RGB BULBS FEATURED IN THE VIDEO:
UK – amzn.to/2F1cV01 : 10% off Code: BULBSOFF
US – Sold out!! BUT, Teckin are another brand I’ve worked with before who also use the Tuya Smartlife platform, these will be equally as good: amzn.to/2LsTZvj

PHILIPS RGB BULBS FEATURED IN THE VIDEO:
UK: amzn.to/2JvvJ99
US: amzn.to/2XMZH1w

VINTAGE DESK LAMPS USED IN THIS VIDEO:
UK: amzn.to/2JwcEUj
US: amzn.to/2L3XhFO

==================
FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Instagram a brother: www.instagram.com/hibberthometech
Twitter me up: www.twitter.com/hibberthometech
Facebook the heck out of me: www.facebook.com/hibberthometech
BUY ME A BEER
Donate to the channel: paypal.me/PaulHibbert
Become a monthly contributor on Patreon: www.patreon.com/paulhibbert
Bookmark my Amazon affiliate page and buy through me regularly at no cost to you:
UK: amzn.to/2Oqdgfg
US: amzn.to/2xkT1ID

Use my affiliate link to sign up for Ivacy VPN (who are awesome) here and I will get a kick back at no cost to you 🙂 : bit.ly/2vUnWet


By buying through any of the links above you will help support my channel (Paul Hibbert) as I will earn commission at no extra cost to you 🙂



£150 Smart Curtain Track: Zigbee, Zwave and Wifi! (Smartthings / Alexa / Google Home)


Really easy to install and starting at £150 Zemismart’s Smart Home Curtain Track now comes in 3 flavours: Zigbee, Zwave and Wifi.

The Zigbee curtain motor comes with a Zigbee switch and the Zwave curtain motor comes with a Zwave dongle and can be installed with or without a switch. Both Zigbee and Zwave motors can connect to smartthings, Amazon Echo plus and any other Zigbee or Zwave enabled hub, you can use whichever protocol you prefer and if you need help deciding then this video will help explain “What is Zigbee” and how it relates to Zwave and Wifi.

The Wifi curtain motor works without the need for a hub as it uses the Tuya Smart life service so if you don’t have a smart home hub then you will still have an option without having to spend extra on a smart hub. The Tuya SmartLife service will allow you to control the Wifi curtains with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT and Siri! The Zigbee and Zwave options will allow you to connect to these services via your chosen Smart Home hub.

The electric track is top quality and I’ve had mine in place now for 8 months. This track is perfect for people in assisted living, or even just for smart home enthusiasts. I can’t recommend them enough.

=================
BUY THE WIFI MOTOR
Official store
bit.ly/2M5wnNn
Aliexpress
bit.ly/2Z5rc3z
Amazon
FR:www.amazon.fr/dp/B07R4S3694
DE:www.amazon.de/dp/B07R39S3TB
IT:www.amazon.it/dp/B07R39S3TB
USA:www.amazon.com/dp/B07SWWFYDX
CA:www.amazon.ca/dp/B07SWWFYDX

BUY THE ZWAVE MOTOR
Official store
bit.ly/2GsKysq
Aliexpress
bit.ly/2XZVvfJ
Amazon
www.amazon.it/dp/B07QJ91XCR
www.amazon.fr/dp/B07QJ91XCR
www.amazon.de/dp/B07QJ91XCR

BUY THE ZIGBEE MOTOR
Official store
bit.ly/32JWkrQ
Aliexpress
bit.ly/2ObiMGZ
==================

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Instagram a brother: www.instagram.com/hibberthometech
Twitter me up: www.twitter.com/hibberthometech
Facebook the heck out of me: www.facebook.com/hibberthometech
BUY ME A BEER
Donate to the channel: paypal.me/PaulHibbert
Become a monthly contributor on Patreon: www.patreon.com/paulhibbert
Bookmark my Amazon affiliate page and buy through me regularly at no cost to you:
UK: amzn.to/2Oqdgfg
US: amzn.to/2xkT1ID

Use my affiliate link to sign up for Ivacy VPN (who are awesome) here and I will get a kick back at no cost to you 🙂 : bit.ly/2vUnWet
==================

BUY A RELATED SMART HOME PRODUCT:
SMART BULBS (Tuya Wifi)
UK – amzn.to/2F1cV01
US – amzn.to/2LsTZvj
Germany – amzn.to/2DyuiEz
France – amzn.to/2XFPy2Q
Italy: www.amazon.it/dp/B07P5QCCSZ
Spain: www.amazon.es/dp/B07P5QCCSZ

AISIRER WIFI PLUG SOCKET (Tuya Wifi)
UK: amzn.to/2MzlYWK
US: amzn.to/2xkWSWg

ALEXA AND GOOGLE HOME ENABLED LED LIGHT STRIP (Tuya Wifi)
UK: amzn.to/2qOQrYl
US: zemismart.com/led-strip_p0045.html

AMAZON
Echo dot
UK: amzn.to/2PSyNSE
US: amzn.to/2BuN3YQ
Echo:
UK: amzn.to/2PSyNSE
US: amzn.to/2BuN3YQ

BROADLINK RM Pro (And RF plugs)
Broadlink RM pro UK: amzn.to/2fBFyrg
Broadlink RM pro US: amzn.to/2LZF1d1
RF Plug sockets UK: amzn.to/2QBWT3K
RF Plug sockets US: amzn.to/2PqU4xB

CONTROL YOUR TV AND INFRARED DEVICES CHEAP!
Broadlink RM Mini 3 UK: amzn.to/2nFelnq
Broadlink RM mini 3 US: amzn.to/2JOJAdx
Soma Smarthome Blind motor: www.somasmarthome.com

ROBOVAC VACUUM CLEANER AND MOP
Proscenic Robovac:
UK: amzn.to/2OJkfjU
US: amzn.to/2MgGEUk

ECHO DOT DESK STAND:
UK: amzn.to/2HJMpKV
US: amzn.to/2ObCjDH

ECHO DOT WALL MOUNT
UK: amzn.to/2CB55Jt
US: amzn.to/2OglB6c


By buying through any of the links above you will help support my channel (Paul Hibbert) as I will earn commission at no extra cost to you 🙂



Why It’s FINALLY Worth Having Alexa On Your PC : TOTAL CONTROL!


The Official Alexa app on Windows WAS rubbish, this video will show you how to setup Alexa on Windows 10 and a beta skill that extends the functionality to fully control your PC with Alexa as well as the usual Smart Home control and Amazon Music support.

This video will also show you how to use your echo dot to control your PC instead of a computer mic if you prefer. The Alexa PC setup is remarkably easy, and the software that makes complete control of your PC possible is just as easy to install and use. I’ll even show you how to control Spotify on Windows 10 with Alexa, at least for basic functionality.

Finally I will show you how to do home assistant voice control locally and privately!

This video moves at typical Paul Hibbert speed, you can use the pause button, I won’t judge you 😉

I just want to thank Dylan again for his hard work, this truly is an awesome bit of software. Don’t forget to check out Vox Commando too at voxcommando.com/home/ , and if you’re interested in Dylan’s beta skill then see below!…

Dylan’s Beta skill (Connect)
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(hopefully the next couple days but if you’re desperate then drop Dylan an email at alexaconnectskill@gmail.com
Fifine microphone used in the video (seriously it’s incredible):
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CURTAIN TRACK MOTOR (Tuya Wifi)
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CONTROL YOUR TV AND INFRARED DEVICES CHEAP!
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A Beginners Guide To The Smart Home

Zigbee versus Zwave Versus Wif Versus RF versus Infrared (IR)
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to which protocol to go for.  Zigbee, Zwave, Wifi or RF.  It really depends on what you consider to be most important, and inevitably you’ll find yourself buying more than one hub to fill a gap left by the other:  

‘Protocols’ are all just wireless communication methods to allow two or more devices to talk to each other.  It’s kind of like how you can tune a radio to different frequencies to listen to different radio stations, and just like a radio has AM and FM there are wireless protocols on different frequency bands.  The main protocols are as follows:


1. Wifi: This protocol is the same one that your mobile phone uses to talk to your router.  It’s great for home automation as devices can communicate with each other fully e.g. a switch can turn a bulb on, and the bulb can tell the switch it was successful, you could query the bulb to ask what brightness level it is at, or ask your Wifi camera if it is recording.


Advantages: No hub required as your router does all the work, easiest solution to implement, and is a good all rounder for cheapness and reliability


Disadvantages: Too many devices will eventually cause a standard Wifi router to struggle to cope with the amount of traffic and you may need to upgrade your router if you buy A LOT of devices.  Because there’s no hub it is reliant on a working Internet connection and a server on the Internet (usually in China) to operate.  People worry about their Internet going down, or the Chinese company going bust rendering all their Smart Home equipment useless.  Some people worry about privacy and security, but their concerns are largely theoretical and mostly unfounded.

Wifi devices don’t require a hub, but rely on a server on the Internet


2. RF:  Operates on 433Mhz or 315Mhz depending on what country you are in and communication is one way (The switch can turn the bulb off but the bulb isn’t intelligent enough to reply to say it was successful)  The Broadlink RM pro is probably the best hub in this category as it supports almost any RF device, whereas much of it’s competition will only control certain RF devices.

Advantages: RF devices tend to be one of the cheapest options because of the 1 way communication and it is fairly reliable as long as your devices aren’t too far away from the hub.  

Disadvantages:  1 way communication only; This can cause issues if you want  for example a touch screen panel that will tell you what is and isn’t turned on as there’s no way to ask the devices.  Similarly if you turn a light off in another room but the frequency didn’t reach then there is no way to know if it worked without going to the room to check.  Similar to Wifi most of these solutions (but not all) will rely on an Internet connection and a server in China; for example Broadlink requires a server in China, but LightwaveRF works locally without an Internet connection.  That said the Broadlink RM Pro can be controlled without an Internet connection if you have a permanently powered Android device to act as a bridge.

The Broadlink RM pro is still the king of RF control


3. Zigbee: Is just like RF but on a different frequency band but has the advantage that just like Wifi the communication is 2 way, so the bulbs and other devices can reply to say “I’m on” or “I’m off”, or even “I am at 50% brightness”.  Ikea is a really good option for Zigbee because it’s insanely cheap (at least as cheap as Zigbee gets), once you get past the poor setup process it’s a great product and easy to use.

Advantages: Reliable and works without Internet, it is renowned as being secure and private and so it tends to be the protocol of choice for enthusiasts.  My personal opinion is that it’s great, but overrated.  

Disadvantages: It’s far more expensive to buy the bulbs and other devices than Wifi or RF, and it always requires a hub such as Philip’s Hue or Samsung Smartthings.  Probably it’s worst failing in my opinion though is that you have to move the devices very close to the hub to pair them which can be a pain if the hub is in the living room and you’re trying to pair a curtain rail in the bedroom. I once had to put my Philips Hue hub on an extension reel, and a VERY long Ethernet cable and dangle it out of my upstairs window in order to pair it with my outside LED strip!!

Zigbee is a growing market and focuses on Privacy and security, but comes at a price

4. Z-Wave: Basically identical to Zigbee; they are rivals similar to Betamax and VHS.  There are less Zwave hubs around compared to Zigbee so the choices are more limited, but smartthings does both Zigbee and Zwave which makes it a really good choice if you’re thinking of going down the enthusiast route.  There are also more complicated enthusiast products that do both in the form of Hubitat’s elevation product and Athom’s Homey product.

Advantages: Same as Zigbee

Disadvantages: Same as Zigbee

Hubitat and Homey aim to control both Zwave and Zigbee protocols under one roof


5. Infrared: This is the protocol your old school TV remote uses to talk to your TV. 

Advantages: Very cheap and has been used in most TV’s and set top boxes for years.  Having an Infrared sending device in your home automation setup allows you to control TV’s and Set top boxes, and old LED strips.  The Broadlink RM pro will actually give you BOTH Infrared and RF control, so well worth considering even if you chose Zigbee as your main hub.

Disadvantages: It is only ‘one way’ the same as RF is and relies on line of sight (if you cover your TV’s infrared receiver your remote can no longer control the TV)  Infrared smart home devices are the same and are therefore the very cheapest option.

Broadlink’s Blackbean and RM pro can both control Infrared devices such as your TV and Set top boxes and for very little money!

Which Smart Home Hub should I get?:
Most devices and hubs come with an antenna capable of only 1 or 2 of the above lines of communication, though device manufacturers are starting to capitalise on this gap in the market by producing hubs with both Zigbee and Zwave antennas in them, and some really expensive hubs are finally being released that contain 3 or 4 different antennas to control almost any product.  Homey is one such product that does Zigbee, Zwave, RF, and Infrared to varying degrees of success.

The problem with buying from different suppliers:
The problem is if you buy a few wifi devices, a zigbee hub and a Broadlink RM pro to control RF then you will have 3 separate apps to control it all.  Smartthings does a very good job of controlling a lot of 3rd party equipment via their app so some of that can be worked around, but sadly not Tuya Wifi (The most popular Wifi Smart Home device manufacturer), and I think it’s also really awkward to get Broadlink to work via Smartthings app too.

  
IFTTT will help with both Broadlink and Tuya as all three companies have IFTTT support which will tie them together over the Internet.  IFTTT is a 3rd party company that allows manufacturers to connect their products to it to allow different suppliers products to talk to one another.  It is an awesome way to plug gaps in your smart home, but does of course rely on the Internet connection to work.  Ultimately there’s no perfect solution, but I did come up with one idea to get all smart home solutions on one touch screen and that is this

Conclusion
It is inevitable that you will buy from more than one company, because there isn’t one company that will solve all of your problems.  As nice as it is to have everything in one place it also means you have all your eggs in one basket.  I personally have Zigbee solutions, Wifi solutions, RF solutions and more than one Infrared controller and all from various companies.  They’re tied together for Voice by Alexa and Google Home, and for a touch panel I recommend either the above linked method, or a Homey hub for beginners or a Hubitat for more seasoned automaters.


If you want to have lights come on when doors are opened or motion is detected, or have your fish tank regulate itself then Smartthings, Homey and Hubitat will all listen to a number of Zigbee sensors and act accordingly.  If you’re looking for a cheaper less complex way to achieve things then Tuya based Wifi devices and sensors are the way forwards, you just have to remember they are reliant on a constant Internet connection and a server in China.