LED strips have become a popular option for decorating a room as they can be used to create a vastly different ambience with the press of a button. While strips are awesome, they aren't always the most practical thing as they can be difficult to mount in the right way for your application. To make things easier, some companies sell light panels which are easy to mount directly on the wall. They can change color and offer tons of effects to keep things interesting. The most common product in this space is perhaps the "Nanoleaf light panel" which does the job perfectly, albeit a bit expensively. To save some money and get additional personalization I built my own light panels in a project I call ColorWall.
Home automation is a great technology that keeps getting better as the various ecosystems achieve widespread adoption and broader compatibility. Many people rent their living space for a variety of reasons which can make home automation difficult. That's because a common downside is that renters are usually not allowed to make changes to the building in any useful way which often discourages them from venturing into the world of smart homes. The reality is that there are plenty of ways you can make your rented space smarter! Here are 9 awesome ways to make your rental smart!
Let's say you are building a smart home and the time has come to purchase smart plugs. As smart plugs can be used to control virtually anything ranging from toasters to air conditioners, they are a must in any smart home. A quick look at what's available will quickly highlight the compromise most of the market is making: using cloud devices to reduce cost. Regardless of who actually runs the servers, anyone who cares about privacy will want an alternative. Here are the 4 best smart plugs that don't need any cloud connection.
Many smart devices take advantage of your existing WiFi network to reduce cost and allow them to operate standalone from any sort of hub. Unfortunately, they don't just use WiFi as most products will then connect to a cloud service using the internet to allow you to control them. There are many problems with cloud smart devices ranging from privacy to reliability and even the fear of it being discontinued in the future, which often put people off. Not all products are like this though, and here is my list of the 4 best smart bulbs that don't use the cloud.
Manufacturers are shipping more and more products with smart features due to the ubiquity of systems such as Alexa or Google Home. While they are certainly becoming more common, many still haven't heard about why you would even want to build a smart home in the first place. I can assure you there is no shortage of awesome technologies to be used in your home. Here is a list of the 11 most awesome smart home features.