C by GE's products are known to work well with Google Assistant — the company even sells a light bulb starter kit with a bundled Google Home Mini. This year at CES, C by GE is expanding its lineup with new switches, dimmers, and motion sensors that don't need a neutral wire nor an additional hub to work with the Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Read More
When I set up my smart home infrastructure, I went on an uncontrollable buying spree to make sure almost everything from the lights to the vacuum was connected. The Ecobee Switch+ is a neat all-in-one smart switch that comes with Alexa and a bunch of sensors, to avoid multiplying the number of smart things you buy. Given the number of things it can do, its initial $80 price was reasonable, but it's now dropped another $35, making quite an exciting deal. Read More
Smart light bulbs are great, but you have to give up the use of your wall switch — if the switch is powered off, the smart bulb stops functioning. One solution is an in-wall smart switch, but if you live in an apartment or other rented property, you might not be able to replace fixtures or change electrical systems. If so, smart home company Third Reality has the product for you — the RealitySwitch Plus. Read More
With a couple of months of use behind me, my feelings about the Belkin WeMo switches are just as conflicted now as they were when I unpacked these. On paper, the idea of a switch that you can plug anything in to make it smart is fantastic. In reality, I struggled to find many, if any honestly, devices I wanted to use the WeMo with. But that's not even the meat of my issue with WeMo's switches. Their connectivity has been iffy at best, the app is laughably old, and integration with other smart home devices is hit and miss, mostly because of the aforementioned connectivity issues. Read More
IFTTT is continuing its crusade to bridge your different online services and smart home gadgets and appliances together, with the latest addition being TP-Link's Kasa series of smart bulbs, switches, and plugs (which, I might add, are already Google Home-compatible).
The Kasa channel is still marked as "beta" on IFTTT, but there are already plenty of ideas for integrations with motion detectors, smart cams, your phone's location, and so on. For now, the IFTTT channel only offers actions for TP-Link, like turning a Kasa device on, off, toggling its state, changing the color or brightness or color temperature of a bulb, and setting a scene. Read More