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Alexa, Turn on the shower.

Do I need a computer in the sky to turn on my shower every morning ? No.

Is it really cool to ask Alexa to turn on the shower – hell yeah it is.


How I automated my window blinds:

Particle Photon + Servo + SmartThings = Happy

My pick of Smart Hubs

Wink, Homseer, Smart Things,  – just to name a few

They all have a lot in common, but here are a few notes on why I picked ( or didn’t pick ) them.

I was an early adopter of Wink, and it served me well. The response time for lighting took a leap when they enabled local control. ( in a nut shell you could give a lighting command and not have to wait for it to get to the cloud and back) I can control lights, temperature, door locks, and rules / schedules easily. Alexa eventually came along and now I can speak commands for most of those things. All great things. Why look for anything else ? Well, Im a tinkerer, and I like to build, wink isn’t really made for one that likes to play outside the box.

Enter SmartThings. Smartthings keeps things really open. If you like to tinker, write code, build hardware – you will find lots of community support here. Another cool thing about ST is I can easily use my phone as a location ‘device’ That means I can write rules and make decisions about my smart devices based on weather or not someone is home or away  – and in todays world, the presence or lack of a phone is a very solid indicator of if the house is occupied. I have not seen this feature in wink, but I think Homseer has it or something similar.


Its open, its flexible, maybe a little too much for me. I have seen many people complain about lock-up / reset / un intended results. I think much of it goes back to them trying to be open to anything /everything. Closed systems have there benefits of everything being tested and made 100% compatible. Homeseer is a good option for hard core DIY’ers, but My wife cant debug code when the sprinkler wont turn on, so its just not for me.