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Smart Home

Control locks, bulbs and more with a new extender for Logitech's Harmony Home Hub

Slip this $100 extender beneath your hub, and you'll be able to take control of bulbs, door locks and more right from your remote control.

harmony-home-hub-extender.jpg
Logitech

Logitech's clever crop of universal remote controls already dominates our "Best of" list for the category, thanks in part to the nifty smart-home controls that come into play via the Logitech Harmony Hub . Now, a new $100 accessory for that hub wants to put even more connected home devices under your remote's control.

The new extender is designed to sit underneath your existing Logitech Harmony Hub. Logitech

Called the Logitech Harmony Home Hub Extender, the device is essentially a hub for your hub. Plug it in and stack the old hub on top of it, and you'll be able to add devices that speak Z-Wave and Zigbee to your smart-control setup. That includes a wide array of sensors, switches, door locks and light bulbs.

At first glance, that might not seem like a huge jump for the system. Without the extender, the Harmony Hub could already control Lifx and Philips Hue's color-changing LEDs and August Smart Locks enhanced with the Bluetooth-to-Wi-Fi August Connect bridge, along with smart thermostats from Ecobee and Nest .

A few of the notable devices that the Hub Extender can bring under your remote's command. Logitech

However, there's a wealth of more generic, less expensive smart devices that don't have their own platforms or apps, and instead, rely on third party control platforms like SmartThings or Wink .

Before, you'd need one of those platforms to translate those devices' Z-Wave or Zigbee signals into something your Logitech gear could understand. With the extender, you'll be able to connect with them directly, no third-party middle man platform required.

That brings products like the Yale Real Living and Schlage Camelot deadbolts into play, as well as low-cost smart bulbs like the GE Link LED and the Editors' Choice-winning Cree Connected LED . Essentially, that makes Logitech Harmony more of a smart home platform in and of itself -- albeit one that's centered around your home's entertainment needs.

It's a fair question as to whether or not existing users will want to buy in on what's basically a second hub for their system, Still, if you've already started automating your home (or if you've been thinking about getting started), the extender might be a legitimate temptation.

Logitech Harmony has proven to be an attractive means of cutting through the chaos of audio/video connections and entertainment peripherals -- if it can do the same for the smart home, it's worth watching.

Available in the US and Canada only, the Logitech Harmony Home Hub Extender is up for sale now at Logitech's website. For a full breakdown of supported devices -- with and without the extender -- click here.

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