This page is a list of website resources and product information that I highly recommend for building your smart home. You can click on the links to see recipes that use these products as well as links to purchase them.
The most popular Alexa devices are the $179 Echo and the $49 Dot. The main difference in these 2 devices are that the Echo has a larger built-in speaker. The Dot has a smaller speaker and can be connected to an external speaker if you want something more substantial. The $129 Amazon Tap is a portable version of the Echo. It has a large speaker like the Echo, but the main difference is that instead of always listening for a voice command like the completely hands-free Echo and Dot, you have to push a button for it to listen to your commands.Amazon’s streaming devices also have some of Alexa’s voice command technology. You just speak the commands into the remote.
The Google Home is Alexa’s new rival. It boasts many of the same features as Alexa devices. It integrates with many other Smart Home devices as well and works particularly well if you use Chromecast devices. Although third-party integrations haven’t caught up with the Alexa yet, it’s list of compatible devices is growing.
Siri is Apple’s voice assistant. It can be found on modern iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch and Macs. With Apple’s HomeKit integration, you can summon Siri to perform task on any compatible smart device. Siri can perform many built-in functions on your iOS and MacOS devices. Many times, you can extend this functionality to unsupported apps and services by using sites such as IFTTT.com.
Cortana is the Windows voice assistant that is integrated into Windows 10 devices. She can launch applications, change settings and answer a large list of commands. In an upcoming update (2017), Cortana users will be able to create “Actions” which give Cortana the power to control some home devices.
Smart bulbs allow you to control your lights through apps, voice and other triggers. Some bulbs require a certain type of hub and some work without one. The chart below outlines some of the more popular smart bulbs available.
Smart power outlets:
Smart gardens and plants:
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