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Where to start with Smart Home

Smart Home planning: Where to Start

This post was written in partnership with Nest. Thanks for supporting our sponsors! Smart Home is a buzzy term these days, and I get asked about it wherever I go. The affordable prices and even-you-can-do-it installation many new products offer make it easier than ever to keep an eye on your home while you’re on vacation, and be greeted with the lights on and a cozy temperature when you return. However, all this ease and affordability doesn’t mean it’s always…

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We Quizzed Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Who’s Smarter?

Originally seen on Apartment Therapy  Amazon’s Echo, a Bluetooth speaker powered by voice assistant Alexa, burst on to the scene a couple years ago and instantly captured the hearts and minds of consumers. You could hear the collective cry: voice control is finally here! Of course, there was lots of voice control on the market already (including Apple’s O.G. Siri), but Alexa was the first out of the gate that promised—and delivered—on making voice commands useful in the home. With…

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Home Security + Safety

If Your Wireless Router Doesn’t Do This, It’s Time to Get a New One

Google Wifi: wireless routers

These days, a weak Wifi signal is more than annoying ­– it can totally disrupt your workday or, worse, put a much-needed Netflix binge watch on pause (the horror!). Depending on your type and frequency of use, a momentary lag every once in a while is understandable, but if you find yourself constantly re-booting your wireless router to get a strong signal, it may be time to get a new one. A new generation of wireless routers does more than give…

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International Housewares Show Diaries

I’ve left Chicago, met up with my kids in Florida, and we’re all now enjoying a little fun in NYC with the kids before school starts again. While I’m bouncing around, I couldn’t wait to share the highlights of my trip to the International Housewares Show. It’s a massive exposition for brands to show off their wares to thousands of worldwide retailers roaming the floor. I saw Amazon, Crate and Barrel and Williams-Sonoma reps creeping around, looking for the next…

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The Intelligent Home

smart home devices: Nickey Kehoe

When talking about your home in the past, “smart” likely referred to something you operated remotely from your phone. You probably had to download an app, regularly monitor the device, and basically help it function. So, really, you were the smart one, and your smart home devices just followed orders. But now, “smart” can mean something completely different: actual intelligence. Certain tech products can now take care of the house without you having to be home. Others learn your behavior, making…

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Bright Idea: GE’s High Definition LED Lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs

If you’re looking for energy efficiency and a longer bulb lifespan, LED lightbulbs are the way to go. However, if you’re sensitive to light color quality, the blue-ish tint of early LEDs may have been enough to turn you off for good. Incandescents weren’t particularly energy efficient, but we all have come to love that soft, warm light that they throw. It’s exciting, then, that LED lightbulbs have been evolving. And as we learn more about how different colors on the…

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