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Old 03-28-2019, 02:47 PM
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Default Smart Home

Hey guys. Help me design a smart home (condo).

I've got 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. 1100sqft. Living/kitchen has recessed lighting and will mount a TV over fireplace. There are singluar light fixtures in the bedrooms and multiple-bulb fixtures in the baths. Small (70ft) outdoor patio.

I am a google snob FYI. I do not own any Amazon gear.

Here's what I have so far:
3 google home mini's
Google home hub display
Google wifi router

Looking for:
A general audio solution (both TV and whole-home). I may just pick up a nice sound bar for the living room but I'd like to stream whole home.
Door lock
Make every bulb a smartbulb
Other decorative lighting for bedroom

Other ideas:
Kitchen TV dedicated to media control
Bathroom TV or display
Automatic curtain control
Some sort of hub solution for all these things

Anything else?
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:25 PM
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I have amazon products, but I think most of the mainstream stuff is compatible with both. Even though a lot of my things are voice controlled, I find myself using my phone more often than not (with the exception of my lights).
  • I have a Samsung smart hub, but only use it for my locks. Most of my stuff is compatible with it. This was actually a huge pain to set up, but ironically I think the reason was because I use a Samsung phone.
  • Philips hue has a wide variety of lighting solutions (bulbs, strips, lamps). You can also connect most of them to a separate switch, which is nice if you're using lamps instead of ceiling lights. There are cheaper solutions, but I haven't looked too closely to them.
  • I have a schlage (sp?) lock, but it requires a separate hub (I think it needs to be z-wave compatible, Samsung smarthub for example) to be "smart".
  • Sonos is what I have for audio, but it's not connected to a tv. Right now it's only compatible with Alexa, but they have promised Google compatibility (I've seen complaints that they've delayed, but haven't followed any of it). Depending on the music service you use, you might need a premium service (I use pandora, and you need the paid version to work with sonos). Most Sonos things are fairly spendy, but they have stand alone speakers, soundbars, and subs. I think these can all be grouped for a whole home experience (I only have a couple of One's).
  • My tv is "smart" because it can connect to the internet, but it's not voice controlled. It's an LG that's a few years old. I'm guessing there are better options by now.

You could probably build your dedicated displays with a raspberry pi, but I haven't done that. Probably worth googling.

You're missing the thermostat and security cameras.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:37 PM
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Definitely get smart meters for gas/electricity, whuch allows you to control the heating via the internet.

They are great.
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:11 PM
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I love the voice activated Phillip Hues lights. I definitely use the voice control them more than I expected I would. I do still have a couple switch controlled lights though, and I think there is something nice to still having that option. They also have many options for decorative lighting to integrate into the home.

I'm not completely savvy when it comes to this stuff but I've had a pretty good time with the above.
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:34 AM
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A lot of this depends on your budget and ability/desire to DIY and troubleshoot, so I'll present a few options.

Baller-level: Talk to a custom installer like Control4. They will have solutions for pretty much everything, but you'll pay upfront and over time for the privilege. Closed system that you will have limited ability to change. (Next step down might be something like Vivint, which I've read some good things about.)

More DIY, but high-end:Phillips Hue for lights, Nest for lock, doorbell, alarm, thermostat (Google integrated), Sonos for whole-home audio (They'll have full Google smart-home support soon enough). Curtain control, you'll probably have to find a separate solution (try a company called Curtain Call).

DIY, best value: Samsung Smartthings Hub as the brains, then Zwave light switches instead of smartbulbs anywhere a switch controls more than two bulbs at a time. Any cheap zigbee smartbulb for the other places. A ton more lock options. Still probably want Sonos for whole home audio, but you could leverage Google's multi-room audio and get more Google smart speakers. You may tear your hair out on occasion, but this hub can integrate with most anything.
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:11 PM
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Update. Here's what I bought:
Google Home WiFi
2x Lenovo 10" home hub (master bathroom, kitchen)
Nest Thermostat (via utility company)
August (?) Smart Lock
Hue starter pack (A-bulbs, color)

Already use:
Google home hub display (bedroom)
PS4 and AppleTV 4k will be my streaming devices (living room, bedroom)

Will buy:
More bulbs
Some sort of soundbar or other front-only home theatre audio
Whole home audio

Haven't thought about Sonos. Definitely need google assistant support. The hubs should provide decent enough audio, however.
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