Today is all about Dad! Read on to discover several Smart Home products that your Dad is sure to appreciate on this coming Father’s Day! From convenience to cost savings to security, the products discussed below provide total peace of mind to Dad, to Mum, and to all who get to use them.
One of the most useful schemes in the home security game is creating the illusion that you’re home even when you’re not! An excellent tool for accomplishing this trick is the INSTEON Hub & Dimmer Switch Starter Kit. This kit is fairly basic, but it’s also easy to set up and configure. Included in the box is just the main hub itself and 2 dimmer switches, but the set is fully expandable, meaning that you (or Dad) can take the concept as far as you like. Imagine having a hallway light set to come on each evening and go off again at sunrise, or having various other lights and electronics in your home coming on and going off whenever you see fit. It would always appear as if someone was at home! But this set goes even further than that! It can also monitor and detect when doors or windows open and close and can even detect if water is leaking or smoke is present. Moreover, the INSTEON will send you a message to let you know what’s happening! How’s that for peace of mind? And it can all be controlled from anywhere in the world through a smart device. This all makes the INSTEON a truly invaluable Smart Home ally!
An alternative lighting system that your Dad might like is the Skylink Home Lighting Kit. This one does many of the same things that the INSTEON does and is exceptionally easy to install and use as well. It’s basically a plug and play system, so anyone can operate it. See the photo at right for an idea of its included components and visit the Best Buy product page to learn the full details of the set, such as its ability to control your lights, appliances, entertainment systems, and any other electronics that you (or your Dad) have at home. One other notable fact about this particular set is just how affordable it is. Everything in today’s list is within reason for most people, but this set in particular is especially affordable!
Imagine the convenience of closing your garage door well after leaving home when the realization sets in that you forgot to do so when leaving the property! That’s the benefit you receive from having the Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Controller. Whether you’re just around the block or miles away from home, it’s as easy as taking out your smart phone and sending the proper command. You will, of course, need access to a WI-FI connection to send the order, but this shouldn’t be an issue for most. What’s more, if you (or your Dad) forgot to close the garage door and failed to realize it at all, the Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Controller will remember for you and send you an alert message. It will also send alerts whenever your garage door is opened or closed if you like, meaning you’ll never again have to worry about the status of your garage door. The Chamberlain conveniently works with most garage door brands and doors manufactured after 1993, so most people’s homes will easily qualify.
Another great Smart Home idea for Dad is the Nest Learning Thermostat, which is a whole lot more than a typical, simple thermostat! This thing is so smart it’s scary! Not only does it learn your temperature patterns & preferences via its Auto-Schedule Feature and program itself accordingly within approximately one week, but it’s a thrifty spender too! That’s because it can do things like figuring out when you’re away at work and reducing your energy output during these periods. Moreover, once it learns your temperature preferences, it can set itself at a comfortable temperature and maintain the temperature so as to avoid the indoor spikes and drops that are often associated with manual temperature regulation. During warmer periods (and when humidity is relatively low) it can reduce your air conditioning output as well. All up, the Next Learning Thermostat can actually reduce your energy bills by as much as 20% (amounting to a significant amount of money in many parts of Canada!). Among the other great features of the Nest are the fact that it can be controlled from anywhere in the world using a smart phone (provided your Nest System is connected to your home WI-FI network).
There’s even a helpful Program (App) for checking your energy usage online and trying to determine ways to reduce your overall output. And I’ve barely gotten started on it’s many features! The Nest Learning Thermostat does so many cool things that a typical thermostat cannot do that I certainly recommend looking into it further. Be sure to consider compatibility as well though. While the Nest is compatible with numerous heating and cooling systems, it is not a universal device, so be sure to do your homework before you buy one!
If your Dad would appreciate a greater lever of control over the entry and exit points of his home, a very useful tool that he might appreciate having is the August Smart Lock – In Dark Grey. The August Smart Lock does not require the installation of a new deadbolt on your door (an advantage that not all smart lock systems have). The August works with your existing deadbolt and is compatible with most existing units. It is also easy to install right on the inside of your door. And with this system, no keys are ever necessary! Your Dad can easily control who has access to his home using his iOS or Android smart device, and he can set it to automatically unlock the door whenever he (or any authorized individual) approaches. It is also easy to set up e-keys for every member of the family, so only those that are authorized by Dad may come and go as they please. All of this makes the August Smart Lock one of the most convenient Smart Home products currently on the market. Any Dad is sure to love it!
In the same realm as the August Smart Lock is the Weiser Kevo Bluetooth Deadbolt Lock – In Satin Nickel. A few lower ratings from Best Buy customers have me questioning the efficacy of this lock a bit, but there’s one thing that I really like about it, and that’s the feature whereby one can send someone else (with a compatible smart device) an electronic key. This feature could come in very handy at times, such as when a family member is visiting from away and you just can’t be there to receive them. Simply send them an electronic key and they can let themselves in. To my way of thinking, this sure beats the old key under the mat trick! Who were we ever really fooling with that one anyway? And, as to any possible bugs, I certainly am confident that Weiser—one of the most respected brands in the world—is sure to sort them out very, very quickly! See all of the Weiser Kevo’s features by visiting its Best Buy page. Just click on the link above.
Finally, there’s the Ideal Security Pressure Mat Alert—a product that resides outdoors, under another (ideally waterproof) mat and alerts you to both visitors and trespassers alike! I really liked this one and as such decided to throw it in as a bonus item! It is very inexpensive and makes for a great early warning system if strategically placed (i.e., It gives you time to hide in the nearest closet if unwanted visitors are coming through the outer gate!). It has some other useful features as well, like a loud warning alarm that can scare away potential intruders when they unknowingly step upon it. It’s also suitable for most climatic conditions. For instance, it will continue to work if the outside temperature drops as low as -10C or goes as high as 50C. This thing will even announce your wanted guests with a chime—classy! All up I really like this mat. If you think that you might too, you can learn more about it on its Best Buy product page.
If you’d like to browse several more Smart Home (and related) products, simply visit Best Buy’s dedicated Smart Home Page HERE! Go ahead and take a look. There’s certainly a lot to see. And have a Happy Father’s Day too!
I gave my husband the Chamberlain MyQ garage door opener and it’s been our favourite smart home device ever since. We never have to look for garage door openers or change batteries, and I love how it tells me if my garage is open or closed via my phone. I’ve had a few times where I’ve been almost asleep and woke up wondering if I closed the garage, only to find I didn’t! I just tapped it the app from bed and went back to sleep. Truly one of the best Father’s day gifts you could give.
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