In this episode, Teri welcomes Jesus Gallardo, an electronics engineer specializing in industrial automation, to discuss the basics of smart home automation using Alexa and Echo devices as the main controllers of his home.
Welcome Jesus Gallardo!
Jesus is an engineer and works in industrial automation. He also a technology enthusiast and he has taken this passion into his home to create an automated, smart home. He joins us to discuss how he started with automation and gives some recommendations for the beginner!
How did Jesus get started with his Smart Home?
Jesus has always been interested in technology, a self proclaimed “tech-geek”. It all started with palm devices “back in the day.” Then he turned to smart phones. Next, he explored light timers. This was quickly followed by controlling these light timers by his smart phone. The next step for him was to add some Philips Hue Smart lights, and before he new it he had 30 smart lights bulbs in his home! You can see the way this is going…
Slowly, he added component after component and now he has a smart home that is entirely controlled by Alexa!
What does Jesus’ home look like now?
- Smart Lights that can be controlled in many different ways, using Philips Hue Bulbs
- Smart Entertainment System to control his media centre, using the Logitech Harmony Hub
- Smart Thermostat to control his heating, using the Nest Thermostat
- Smart outlets to activate his fans, heaters, and lamps
- Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Wall switches to control some lamps, using WeMo Switches
- Amazon Echos (he got his first Echo in 2015 in the States!) – 1 Echo; 3 Echo Dots; 1 Echo Show (currently only available in the US)
- Eventually this all became voice controlled by Alexa
What’s the downside?
It’s not cheap! Jesus suggests to start slowly and gradually add components, and build your smart home over time. Create a budget, and add 1-2 components per month.
What to start with?
Jesus suggests the easiest way to start with smart home automation is to begin with smart lighting. There are 3 main options:
- Smart light bulbs – this option involves replacing the actual light bulbs. This is the most easy to “install”. The lights can be white or multiple colours. Jesus recommends Philips Hue bulbs.
- Smart outlets – this option involves plugging in a smart outlet into an existing outlet and then you plug your lamp (or heater, fan, etc.) into the smart outlet. This can then be controlled by Alexa. Some recommended brands are WeMo and TP-Link.
- Smart wall switches – this option involved replacing the existing wall switches with smart switches. This is the most technically difficult as it requires knowing how to do wiring. Some recommended switches are WeMo switches.
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