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How to Start a Smart Home in 2019

if you’ve been curious about turning
your home into a smart home but have felt overwhelmed with the amount of
solutions out there or don’t even know where to begin this is the video for you
I’m Josh Teder for 6 Months Later and in this video I’m going to take you
through how to kick off and expand your smart home in 2019 let’s dive in when
looking to turn your home into a smart home
you’re just inundated with choice maybe too much choice but in general there are
actually basically two routes you can go when trying to go about creating a smart
home the first one being that you can buy a bunch of devices from different
manufacturers and connect them all to a common platform like the Google
Assistant Alexa or Siri/HomeKit or there are other companies out there
that make home automation platforms and have regional installers that will come
out and install an integrated solution for you so which one do you go with well
that largely depends on one how much automation you’re planning to do in your
home second how much you’re willing to spend on that automation and then
finally how comfortable are you at setting up your smart home by yourself
now companies like Control4, Savant and Crestron will come and install
everything in your home or use an integrator to do it their solutions can
often vary widely in how their user interfaces are designed and the third
party platforms they can work with now thankfully things have been getting
better with them recently but there’s still a lot of competition coming at
these companies from the larger tech companies like Google and Amazon if you
look at Google’s newly rebranded Google Nest page it’s obvious that Google Nest
is making a play to customers who want the type of whole home solution that the
traditional smart home automation companies provide and today it’s not
just the luxury home automation companies offering in-home consultation
and installation services for smart home devices more mainstream companies are
getting into this space like Best Buy Best Buy
we’ll actually come out to your home and do a consultation for free and then they
also offer paid installation services as well for the rest of this video I’m
mainly going to focus on the consumer tech oriented companies and their smart
home products because I think these are the products that most people are going
to choose for their smart homes in 2019 and beyond the first part is setting up
one of these systems in 2019 is choosing which core platform to go with that all
of your smart devices will talk to and this platform will be the central point
of control for all of your smart devices the major mainstream platforms you can
choose from out there are Amazon’s Alexa devices Google’s Google assistant
devices or Apple’s homekit enabled devices my advice right now would be to
either go with Amazon or Google more devices work with their platforms though
apple’s Homekit is slowly starting to catch up with more devices supporting
homekit now that the company has dropped a hardware chip requirement for devices
to be eligible on the homekit platform now personally I use the Google
Assistant as well as Alexa for my own smart home though I typically use the
Google assistant as my predominant platform just because I use Google
services more than I do Amazon once you decide on which core
platform is right for you to run your smart home now it’s time to talk about
the devices that actually make your home a smart home typically you can put these
types of devices into several main categories including music media
lighting climate security and appliances / accessories first let’s look at music
with whole home audio this functionality allows you to play different music in
different parts of your home now typically through a voice assistant you
have various options here Amazon, Google and Apple all make their own speakers
that natively play music from various streaming services however do note that
currently Apple’s home pod can only stream music from Apple Music or
your iTunes library there are also third-party speakers and systems you can
buy from companies like Sonos and bose that can work with all three companies
platforms some bows and Sona speakers will even allow you to have Alexa and
the Google Assistant directly on their speakers we’ve done quite a few reviews
on smart speakers including the Google Home
Google Home Mini, Google Home Max, Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo. Now the Nest
Hub and Amazon Echo Show have the added benefit of having a screen on them which
makes controlling your media as well as other smart home devices even easier if
you’re interested in learning more about any of these devices I’ll make sure to
throw the links to their reviews below in the video description next let’s take
a look at controlling your media rooms with your smart home typically this
involves controlling your TV and associated speakers as well as the
lighting in your media rooms we’ll get to lighting in just a second right now
the best integration with your TV from consumer companies would either come
from Amazon or Google they both sell devices that can control your TV turn it
on and off with an assistant as well as deliver content from all the major
streaming services you’d expect and they’re relatively affordable only
costing between 30 to 70 US dollars Google’s Chromecast in particular is
pretty powerful thanks to its casting feature you can cast media from your
Android iPhone or any Chrome browser over Wi-Fi to your chromecast enabled
devices which makes it easy to cast media from your phone to your TV pause
and then cast that media to your bedroom TV Google’s newer version of the
chromecast devices can also turn on and off your TV and receiver and other
devices connected to your receiver through a technology called hdmi cec
amazon also has this feature as well both companies allow you to use your
voice to control your media hardware as well as tell Alexa or the Google
Assistant what media you want to play on which
screen in your home now the Apple TV unfortunately can’t be used to turn on
and off your TV using Siri although it does use hdmi cec so when you turn it on
it will turn on the other devices connected to it it has a dedicated
remote which the Google Chromecast does not have and it has something similar to
Casting called Airplay which you can use to stream
media from pretty much any Apple device with a screen over to your TV now our
next category is lighting the main players in smart lighting right now are
Philips Hue, GE, Lifx, IKEA, and Eufy i these smart light makers
make LED bulbs that are typically in three categories plain white bulbs that
go from daylight to warm white hues or multi colored bulbs smart bulbs
typically connect either through bluetooth or through Wi-Fi now smart
lights save you a lot of time and steps throughout your house you can turn on
all of your lights at night with just using your voice you can make sure
you’ve turned them off while you’re away from home using a smart phone app or a
smart assistant through your phone typically you can create routines with
them so you can wake up with your lights dimming up with sunset colors and you
can even set geofencing with your smart lights so they automatically turn on
when you arrive home and turn off when you leave now some smart lights do need
a hub that connects to your router like with the Philips Hue bulbs friends that
do this typically offer starter packs that come with the hub and then a couple
of smart light bulbs so if you’re just starting off with smart lights in your
residence I highly recommend picking up one of these starter packs other brands
like GE smart bulbs directly connect to Wi-Fi and do not need a hub so you can
start off by just buying a single bulb that will connect to your smart home
platform there are also other accessories you can get with your smart
lights like wireless dimmer switches that you can assign to control a variety
of lights in your residence or switches powered by kinetic energy like the one
from Philips Hue, Philips Hue probably has the most accessories and just
variety of smart lightbulbs out there compared to any other brand and their
the brand I actually use in my own residence we did do a six months later
review of the philips u lighting system so if you’re interested in philips you
i’ll make sure to leave a link to that review in the video description below or
you can just pause this video now and click the card in the video to go watch
it next up let’s talk climate control and mainly we’re talking about smart
thermostats here there are thermostats that are Wi-Fi connected that can be
controlled with your smart assistants some popular ones include the Nest
Learning Thermostat which is now made by Google the Ecobee 4, which Amazon has a
pretty large stake in and then various smart thermostats made by Honeywell
which is at least here in the US if not worldwide the largest maker of
thermostats by far some you can program like the more traditional thermostats
with a weekly schedule while others like the Nest Learning Thermostat learn your
pattern and use AI to predict what the temperatures should be set to based on
the history of your patterns and a variety of environmental factors now
most also allow you to stick sensors in different rooms around your house to
aggregate the temperature data in your home to give you a true home residence
temperature most smart thermostats will work with each of the big three smart
platforms and their installation usually is pretty straightforward next let’s
talk smart home security systems now home security has been around for years
with companies like ADT Brinks and CPI Security but there are more recent
companies now out on the market with solutions that offer customers a
different experience this experience is basically customers can mix and match
the type of equipment they need for their home based on their own needs and
then the customers can actually do the installation themselves and buy all of
these products either on a shelf or online the three new main players in
this space are Nest Ring and of course Simply Safe each of
these companies products do come with a monitoring service
they’re optional nests monitoring service is through Brinks home security
we’re simply safe and ring have their own in-house monitoring services and
those are typically cheaper than what you find with the Brinks service which
is a bit more pricey with nest products with all three services the types of
devices offered are somewhat similar there’s usually a home base sensors for
your doors and windows motion sensors cameras smart locks smart doorbells and
a key fob and usually a keypad that helps you disarm the system and one of
the best parts is none of these services ask you to sign a long-term contract
besides the monitoring services and the consumer tech focus the other main
benefit of these systems are that they allow for integrations with the main
platform assistance so you can ask Alexa to arm your alarm or ask Google to see
the downstairs living room camera etc some of these services also offer smoke
detectors carbon monoxide detectors and smart water leak detection devices so
they’re not just keeping your home safe from burglars but also other issues that
can affect homeowners and their safety the last and final category of smart
home devices is a catch-all category that I call appliances and accessories
there are so many devices that fit into this category and the list just keeps
growing every year the basic concept is that these are devices like your typical
home appliances such as your stove refrigerator washing machine but also
home accessories that can connect to your smart home platform like smart
blinds robotic vacuum cleaners smart scales smart switches etc my go-to smart
home accessory over the past few years has been smart switches they turn any
appliance into one that can simply be turned on or off by any of the major
smart home assistant platforms they’re especially handy when it comes to
holiday decorating for example during the holiday season I use five to eight
smart switches from various companies to help link all of my holiday lights to the Google Assistant. I group them all into a room called
Christmas lights and then I can ask Google to turn on or off all of my
Christmas lights at once once you’ve chosen your smart home platform and have
started buying devices for your smart home you’re going to be amazed at how
easy it is to automate some of the most mundane parts of your life like turning
off lights in every room of your house with just your voice or doing things you
could have only dreamed of years ago like a thermostat that you never need to
adjust because it’s learned how you like your temperature given a variety of
factors or moving through your house and playing music that is synced in every
room smart home devices really have the power to change people’s lives for the
better and they’re an important part of what we do here at the six months later
reviews channel so if you’re interested in a particular smart home device or
product definitely make sure that you subscribe to our channel to see reviews
and videos like this one that you’re watching now and make sure to hit that
bell icon so you get notified any time we upload a brand new video well that
wraps up our video on how to start a smart home in 2019 if you liked this
video and found it useful make sure to hit that thumbs up button below and if
you have any questions at all about smart homes or smart home devices make
sure to leave us a comment well thanks so much for watching for 6 Months Later, I’m Josh Teder.

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