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Smart Home Products that Help Your Life

Smart Home Technology isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! What should you buy for your home that can be automated from an iPhone app.

ing Door Bell_Porch Daydreamer

Do you feel that safety is important? Me too! That’s why I want to share with you some technology that I’ve added to my home that not only makes me feel safer, but also makes my life better.

Life throws so many demands at us, so anything that I can add to automate a task and runs from an iPhone app, I love and recommend!

Door Technology: Ring Doorbell

Ring Doorbell

This one is a must!  It’s a bit of an investment, but totally worth it.  It features a video camera, live view, and two-way talk, which all runs from a simple app you download from the iTunes store.

You can be in another state and get notification someone is moving past your door and if they ring the door bell.

Then you can open the app to see the full video and even talk to the person standing there, which to me is amazing! Plus for a low annual fee you can keep the recordings to go back and see any video.

That’s important if “God forbid” something happened like a package gets delivered and then disappears or you have a break-in.

The camera even works at night!  Here are a few screen shots from my actual Ring Doorbell:

Ring Doorbell Camera Day and Night
Ring Doorbell Camera Day and Night

How Ring Doorbell has helped:

  1. See my son and his friends coming and going from my house
  2. Stopped delivery men from leaving my patio furniture on my front porch and instead my driveway (true story!)
  3. Know when a package has been delivered at left at door
  4. Talk to landscapers – don’t put pine needles over my new mulch!
  5. Find out when your bug man, cleaning people, dog walker are in and out of your house
  6. Check on things while you are out-of-town at anytime (Live View)
  7. Two-way talk to a random dude (who’s clearly drunk) when he rings your doorbell at 2am and is at the wrong house (another true story!)

My Ring Doorbell is first generation and below is a video to see it in action.

Ring Doorbell Camera Quality

Garage Technology: Genie Garage Door Keyless Entry

Genie Wireless Garage Door Key Pad

The garage door works in the same way with a wireless remote, but also there is a key pad mounted outside next to the door.

Being able to easily get into the garage has helped in many ways:

  1. This was always a great way for my son to get in and out of our house  (Yes I am a single mom and am sad to admit my son was a latch key kid for a few years)
  2. My friends use this as the primary entry when they are helping me walk the dog, bring in mail or water the house plants
  3. Being locked out and with a simple code I can get myself back into the house
  4. When working in the yard it’s great to be able to get into the garage from outside and not track in dirt

HVAC Technology: Honeywell Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat

Honeywell Programmable Thermostat

Another investment item. This was a Christmas gift because I needed two and that got a little pricey – thanks mom and dad!

These thermostats are the best thing ever especially living in the south in the summertime.  Again this comes with a downloadable app, so you can make adjustments right from your phone.

The great features of a having programmable wi-fi thermostat:

  1. Running a 7-day schedule with 4 time breaks.  Program it to adjust the temperature before you go to bed, when you leave, and when you come home
  2. Permanent hold or vacation schedule.  I’ll set my AC and heat higher or lower when gone from the house
  3. From the airport adjust the temperature, so it’s nice and cool or warm when you return (or if you forgot to change it before you left the house!)
  4. In a lazy moment, adjust the temperature from the couch or bathroom
  5. Wake up to a warm house in the winter months, since it will automatically heat up at a certain time

Lighting Technology: Dusk to Dawn Exterior Light

Dusk to Dawn Light

Not probably something you have thought of before because I sure hadn’t!  My builder installed the light and it’s great.

Instead of a motion sensor, which can get annoying, it turns on and off as the sun sets and rises.  It’s a great safety feature that saves electricity!

The only “bad” thing is it blows through light bulbs fairly often and changing them at my house involves getting up on a ladder.



Entertainment Technology: Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Luckily, I recieved this as a gift during an Amazon Vendor Summit and have been forever grateful!

At the time I had an appleTV and thought it was the best thing ever.  Now I think it’s a black brick sitting by my TV.

If you have Amazon Prime, this is the must have device for your TV!

  1. Easy set-up! Plug in and hook to your wi-fi network.  Log into Amazon account for access to tons of free content!
  2. Amazon original shows and movies are worth a prime membership
  3. Stream music and video from your smart phone, which I love to stream Pandora and Spotify
  4. Can eliminate cable with the live streaming options – I just added HBONow for Game of Thrones season 7!
  5. Easy to move for travel or to another room

A couple of things I’d like to add to my life

Door Technology: Schlage Touch Screen Dead Bolt

Schlage Keyless Lock

Building on my love for my Ring Doorbell, I’d want to add keyless entry to my front door dead bolt.  The Schlage lock is really cool (I stared at it in the Apple store for 20 minutes trying to justify the expense!).

  1. Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control (hub required, Alexa device and hub sold separately)
  2. Touch Screen keypad
  3. Stores up to 30 personalized user codes at a time to let in your dog walker, friend, cleaning people
  4. Lock or unlock your door remotely via smart phone
  5. Battery operated and fits standard door dead bolt hole

Electricity Technology: Smart Plug, Homics Wi-Fi Electrical Socket Outlet

Smart Plug

This has the huge benefit of turning on/off your lights that are plugged into it remotely.  I like that as a safety feature. Turn your lights on with your iPhone from the garage or plug your crock pot into it and turn off, if you are running late – cool!

  1. Works with Amazon Alexa
  2. Use the app to control from anywhere
  3. AWAY MODE – It can be set to turn your lights on and off randomly to give the appearance that someone is at home

Just Because Technology: Echo Dot

Amazon Echo Dot

This seems like a cool thing to have that uses Alexa.  I’m a big fan of asking Siri questions on my iPhone and this seems like it would fit into my life. Plus it runs a TON of smart devices and based on my history I’ll be adding more to my life!

  1. Hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, read the news, set alarms, read audiobooks from Audible, and more
  2. Controls lights, fans, TVs, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, and more
  3. Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, etc

That’s my technology round-up! I hope you learned about something you didn’t know could be a benefit in your life.

Ring Doorbell | Fire TV Stick | Smart Plug | Keyless Dead Bolt | Echo Dot | Garage Keypad | Wi-Fi Thermostat | Dawn-to-Dusk Exterior Light

Helpful Technology from Porch Daydreamer

I’d love to hear from you in the comments about what items you recommend and how they’ve helped you!

Porch Daydreamer


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