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Control Your Sonos System with Android Wear Watches

Posted by Wes Hopkin on November 3, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Users on Sono's official forums are reporting that they can control the playback features for their Sonos speakers with Android Wear watches. The play, pause, next and previous song controls can be managed from your Moto 360 for example. Unfortunately it doesn't appear that volume control is currently available, so capabilities are limited.

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Home Automation: The Many Terms it's Marketed Under

Posted by Wes Hopkin on October 31, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Anyone who is now or in the past has researched home automation knows that it can be an intimidating subject. There's a lot to learn about and an overwhelming number of options from which to choose. The learning curve is made to seem even steeper thanks to the variety of terms it is marketed under by the companies offering it. Whether a brand pitches their products as a Connected home, intelligent home, digital home, or the Internet of things we want to help you understand that they all are just another name for home automation.

There's no doubting the great potential for controlling devices with the myriad of available options. But, it's still a new concept to most people. Any new product carries a steep learning curve until people have had enough time to familiarize themselves with it. Seemingly the companies offering the new product each have their own take on how best to market the product to customers. They coin their own unique terms and phrases to entice potential buyers interest.

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Topics: Home Automation, Connected Home, Internet of Things, digital home, intelligent home

Why a LED Light Bulb is the Least Expensive Bulb You Can Buy

Posted by Wes Hopkin on October 29, 2014 at 5:28 PM

The lighting isle at your local home improvement stores used to be very easy to navigate. All you had to decide was did you want a 40-watt bulb or a 60-watt one and did you want soft white or standard. Now those same isles are filled with light bulbs of all shapes, sizes, colors, and types. Incandescent, compact florescent (CFL), Halogen, LED, dimmable, non-dimmable, outdoor, indoor, make the madness stop! When presented with so many options it's easy to become overwhelmed. And when people become overwhelmed they rely upon what they know, or what they're most familiar with. More often than not, the factors of price and light color are what the average consumer bases their purchase decision upon. While that may have been fine in the past it's not today. Why? You're costing yourself 1000's of dollars!


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Topics: LED blubs, CFL bulbs, lighting, energy efficiency

Sonos Boost extends the range of your music system

Posted by Wes Hopkin on October 17, 2014 at 5:20 PM

If you live in a larger home and have difficulty getting your Sonos whole-home audio system to reach some areas, we have good news for you. A new product was released today aims to solve your problems. The Sonos Boost is a new add-on to their system which enables Sonos devices to expand their reach to 90 feet. Until now their wireless speakers were limited to a 60 foot range. That's a full 50% further than previously possible. Utilizing three wireless antennae it transmits a signal in all 360-degrees for uniform coverage, even through walls and ceilings. And in the case that you have a palatially big house, you can connect multiple Boosts to one another for adding even greater range for your wireless audio.

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Topics: Sonos, Whole-Home Audio, Wireless Audio, Sonos Bridge

10 Low-cost ways to make your office more energy efficient

Posted by Wes Hopkin on October 16, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Often the term energy efficiency is associated with lighting or equipment upgrades and building automation systems that require a business to invest significant capital expenditures. And while those are all accurate correlations, it isn't always the case. Whether you own or lease your business' office space, there are plenty of ways you can implement low-cost changes to reduce the energy it consumes. Read on to discover 10 ways you can start saving now.
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Topics: HVAC, LED lighting, LED blubs, lighting, energy efficiency, programmable thermostats

What is home automation? Here's an infographic giving you the basics

Posted by Wes Hopkin on October 15, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Home Automation, it's a term most of us have heard. But, do you really know what it means and how it can benefit you? Even if you're confident you know the answers, you may be surprised by how much there is to grasp on the topic. That's why we want to share with you an excellent infographic which the folks over at My Alarm Center have created for an introduction to the smart home. Check out the full article to see it.

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Topics: Home Automation, home automation system, smart home

Stack's Alba light bulb combines the power of Smart with responsive

Posted by Wes Hopkin on October 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM

There are plenty of light bulbs on the market today which bill themselves as being smart. They connect wirelessly to your network via WiFi or Z-wave empowering you to control your lighting with a smartphone and to schedule the time of day when they should turn on or off. But there's a new bulb on the horizon that may make all other smart lights look dumb by comparison. Stack Lighting is upping the ante with their  Alba LED light bulb. Check out the video and more details by clicking read more for the full article.

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Topics: LED blubs, Home Automation, Alba, Stack, smart lighting, automated lighting

5 Must-know things before buying a home automation system

Posted by Wes Hopkin on October 10, 2014 at 2:46 PM

There are many home automation options available to you today. Some are rather limited in their capabilities offering a single task solution (think a thermostat or door lock), while others allow you to take command of nearly everything in your home or even multiple homes. With so many choices and variations available many people find themselves overwhelmed and confused.

The best way of simplifying your search is understanding what you want to get out of a home control system and focusing on the options which best match your needs. Here are 5 questions to which you need to know the answers. Knowing them will help guide you to the right home automation system.

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Topics: Home Automation, Connected Home, Internet of Things, home automation system, Tips, smart home

Roku adds screen mirroring, brings your small screen to the TV screen

Posted by Wes Hopkin on October 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

While projecting your smartphone or tablet's screen onto your television via this technology isn't a new concept, Roku's media streaming devices were not among the list of products offering it until now. They recently announced on their blog that screen mirroring is now available, albeit in a beta release. It's currently available for the Roku 3 and Roku Streaming Stick. If you have an older device, stay tuned as the company plans to extend the feature to older devices soon.

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Topics: Multimedia, Video, Screen Mirroring, Media Streamers, Media Streaming, Whole-Home Audio/Video, Roku

Bose challenges Sonos with latest SoundTouch speakers

Posted by Wes Hopkin on October 3, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Never one to shy away from competition in the premium home audio market, Bose took the occasion of it's 50th birthday to reveal the latest lineup of their SoundTouch products. Like equipment from competitor Sonos these wireless speakers can be synced across your WiFi network to create a whole-home audio system with multiple zones in your home or business. You can stream music from a variety of sources including Internet Radio, popular services like Pandora, as well as your own music library.. Bose also announced the addition of Deezer, Spotify, and iHeartRadio providing more sources for your music listening desires.

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Topics: Sonos, Whole-Home Audio, Wireless Audio, Home Audio, Bose

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