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Registered ‎12-02-2013 09:11 AM
Last Visited ‎06-07-2017 10:06 AM
Total Messages Posted 14
Total Kudos Received 17
MaryE's Reviews
Belkin Wemo Switch
Belkin Wemo Switch
I have a couple of the Wemo sockets that plug into the wall, and have been eagerly awaiting the in-wall switch. I got two, one for the front door lights and one for a bedroom. Installation is easy, with no other tools required other than a screwdri... See more...

I have a couple of the Wemo sockets that plug into the wall, and have been eagerly awaiting the in-wall switch. I got two, one for the front door lights and one for a bedroom. Installation is easy, with no other tools required other than a screwdriver and access to your circuit breaker. Note that you need a neutral (white) wire for the unit to work. Once it's in the wall, you can use the iOS or Android app to configure the switch to use your wifi network. The first thing it will do is download a firmware update (easy) and restart, then you're ready to program it. The app has a nice step-by-step workflow for adding rules. The app is location aware so you can set it to turn on/off with the sun if you want. There's also a fully-featured set of IFTTT (If This, Then That) triggers if you want to get creative, turning on the lights and tweeting about it when certain events happen. You could set a trigger to anything: new pope, new royal baby, someone walking by a motion sensor, texts from a certain number, and so on.

Belkin deserves a lot of credit for sticking with their software, updating it to allow multiple triggers and greatly enhancing ease of use and reliability from the original release. The Light Switch hardware is simple and attractive. The switch itself is standard sized, so you can use any faceplate you want. No need to worry that you're stuck with the big white faceplate from the photographs.

I hope the Wemo equipment becomes a standard and sticks around for a long time.

Haven Thermostat
Haven Thermostat
I've had my Haven for about 45 days now. Its one of the first things I installed in my new home. I wanted to be able to keep an eye on the temperature from anywhere, and be able to turn the heat down during the day and anytime we're out of the hous... See more...

I've had my Haven for about 45 days now. Its one of the first things I installed in my new home. I wanted to be able to keep an eye on the temperature from anywhere, and be able to turn the heat down during the day and anytime we're out of the house for a bit, but still be able to return to a warm home. As a thermostat, I have no issues with the Haven. It's intuitive, its kept the house quite comfortable, being able to cycle the fan is nice, and programming was a breeze. Installation was also quite simple. However, the wireless connection is a big issue. The nest looses connection several times a day.

I am not running a cookie cutter home network (untangle for a router, and ubiquity APs) but even on the ISP router that i had in place temporally i also was experiencing connectivity issues. I could have easily run Ethernet to the nest, or if they had a reasonably priced 802.15.4 to Ethernet bridge i would definitely consider purchasing it.

Overall though, again, i'm happy, and with the wireless caveat would recommend it to a friend.

Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide
Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide
When I first heard of this thing, I couldn't believe it. Who needs a $200 thermostat? Turns out I did - I'd constantly forget to turn the heat/AC off when I left the house, and since I work a 12 hour shift, that's a lot of money down the drain. I k... See more...

When I first heard of this thing, I couldn't believe it. Who needs a $200 thermostat? Turns out I did - I'd constantly forget to turn the heat/AC off when I left the house, and since I work a 12 hour shift, that's a lot of money down the drain. I knew you could get programmable ones for much, much cheaper than this, but the smartphone app/website to control the NEST made this more appealing. Turn the A/C on remotely so the house will be comfy by the time I get home? Turn the heat on from bed using my phone? Receive a detailed breakdown of usage stats? All this just sealed the deal. When I saw this thing on sale I couldn't resist.

PROS: First, setup is a snap. I'm terrible when it comes to assembling/installing things, but this was quick and easy. Took me less than 10 minutes, it should take most people around 5. Connecting to wifi was painless, the app for Android is clean, functional, and reliable. The NEST looks great too - people are always oohing and aahing about it when they come over.

 

But most importantly, this thing saves me money, period. I spent $97 on electricity last May, and $49 this May after I installed the NEST. Sure, there could have been other factors like weather involved, but over the summer, I spent $69 in June whereas last June I spent $119. And $95 in July where I spent $159 last July. Bottom line is I'll make my money back in just a few months - you can't really argue with these numbers.

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