The CNET Smart Home is our living lab for testing out connected home tech. Here's everything we've installed thus far.
For the past few months, we've been hard at work filling the CNET Smart Home with connected gadgets. Our goal is to test all of it under one roof, in a practical, real-world setting. Click through to see everything we've played with to date.
The Google-owned Nest Learning Thermostat is perhaps the the most popular smart-home gadget, and it's our thermostat of choice for the CNET Smart Home. We've got two of them -- one downstairs, and one on the second floor.
We've also been eager to test out voice controls in the smart home, so we made sure to pick up an Amazon Echo smart speaker. You operate Echo by talking to Alexa, the cloud-connected AI housed inside. She can already sync up with a few notable smart-home gadgets, and the list is growing.
We also wanted a smart-home platform capable of uniting multiple third-party devices within a single system. After weighing the options, we went with the second-gen SmartThings Hub.
With Amazon Echo and SmartThings in place, it made perfect sense to add in the Belkin WeMo Light Switch, which works with both. For this fixture, we combined four smart switches into a single plate.
We went with color-changing Philips Hue bulbs for the same reason -- they work with just about everything.
After installing those Hue bulbs, Philips released an updated version of the Hue Bridge that'll sync your lights up with Apple HomeKit. So, we made the upgrade.
Another Hue addition: this Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit, which brings a handy wall-mounted remote into play.
We also added a few of these Cree Connected LEDs to our setup -- they work with Philips Hue.
In the garage, you'll find the MyQ controller from Chamberlain. We can use it to open or close the door remotely, using a smartphone app.
For security, we chose the connected cam compatible with our SmartThings hub -- the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro.
When we moved to the kitchen, we started by adding some automated lights to the dark countertop where we wanted the coffee machine.
Then, we brought in Anova's Bluetooth-enabled sous vide cooker.
We wanted a nice coffee machine for that newly smartened coffee corner.
And we used the HomeKit enabled iDevices Switch to make the Technivorm coffee maker smart.
Finally, we finished the kitchen with a Bluetooth thermometer we could use with any cooking device.
Neurio helped us smarten up our energy usage.
We wanted to use the Smart Home to help us be better hosts as well -- and that meant connecting the bar. With Fizzics, we were able to pour a bubbly brew from a bottle.
Not content with just better beer, we used Perfect Drink to help us make better cocktails as well.
Smartening our drinking game was fun, but we were plenty serious when prepping the CNET Smart Home for disaster. The Fibaro Flood Sensor will help us watch for leaks.
For smoke and CO detection, we chose the second-generation Nest Protect.
We used BeOn's bulbs with battery backup to both simulate our usage when we weren't home and give us light if the power went out.
Finishing our disaster prep, we used the iBright Surge Protector to keep our electronics safe.
We also wanted the kids room upstairs to have friendly connected lighting. We used the Philips Hue Go for that.
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