In Praise of the Philips Hue Tap Switch

Controlling your smart home is so much easier when it all fades into the background and 'just works'.  Having the ability to use a smart light switch such as the Philips Hue Tap switch makes so much more sense than opening the app every time.  Here, I discuss how this works, and why you should get one too.

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Ring Video Doorbell Motion Detection

Having a video doorbell means not just seeing what's going on when someone rings.  It means you've got a camera at the front of your house that you can use to alert you to activity, and see what's happening.  Here, I run through how we're getting on with our Ring Video Doorbell Pro's Motion Detection feature.

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Tado Multi Zone Control

Having smart control over the heating for your home is good. Having control over each individual room is better!  Here, I explore how that works inside the Tado system we're using, and take a look at the control it gives you through the Tado app.

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Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat Installation & Setup

Following on from my unboxing post, here, I want to show the process of installing and setting up a Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat.  It's a simple process, and gives you more fine-grain control over the heating in your home.

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Philips Hue Entertainment Integration News

So far, only one partner has been announced - Razer, who make the line of Pro-Gamer products.  However in a statement on their website, Philips describe Razer as just the first - implying there will hopefully be more to come.

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Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat Unboxing

Having a single, smart thermostat in your home is great - but it can only figure out what to do by reading the temperature in that one location where you've installed it.  What about room by room control? Thankfully, many smart heating systems offer a way to do this, and Tado is no exception.

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Tado Smart Heating First Impressions & Tour

Now that we've had our Tado Smart Heating system installed for a little while, it's time to take a view on how the system works, and also have a bit of a tour round the user interface.  Here, I'll explore how we're getting on.

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Tado Installation and Setup

We've now completed the installation of our Tado Smart Thermostat, and Tado Extension kit.  The process was relatively trouble-free, and whilst it required some DIY skills, we got it done!  Here, I outline how we got on, and the setup process both with the kit itself, and in the software

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Christmas Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Even though New Home Tricks is not a review site, I wanted to put together a gift guide.  The reason for this is that whilst buying Smart Home technology as a gift might seem a great thing to do, there can be a few pit-falls to look out for.  Read on for my guide on what to look out for when buying Smart Home tech as a gift!

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Smart Heating - Choosing a System

Smart heating is probably one of the more practical areas of smart home technology. It has the potential to save you money by lowering your heating bills. It doesn't hurt that using less energy is kinder to the environment too.  Which system to choose though? With so many on the market now, it's worth taking some time to decide. Now that I'm embarking on a project to install a smart heating product, I thought I'd share my own thoughts, and what I've learned during my research.

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Discovering Alexa Skills

Skills are to voice assistants what apps are to smartphones.  They extend the capabilities of your smart voice assistant speaker so that it can do more.  Skills might let you control smart home tech, they might let you order takeaway, check the status of your car, or even simply guard your home!  In this post I explore a little about how it works.

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Philips Hue App Update

One of the good things about smart home technology, is that it improves over time.  Through software and firmware updates, new features and functionality is delivered to make your smart technologies even more useful.  This year, Philips have added new features to the Hue system, and here I take a look at what's changed.

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The Kitchen: Expanding our Philips Hue Lightstrips

We've pushed on with extending our Philips Hue Smart Lighting in the kitchen.  This was an easy enough job - but there was one slight challenge to overcome.  Thankfully we found a good solution!

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IFTTT Integration Overview

Smart Home technology gets a lot more interesting when you can integrate it all together.  Some smart home kit can link up with other gear you have directly. For when it can't, you'll need to find a way to make that happen. That could be a home controller or hub, or it could be using an online service like IFTTT.  Here, I'll go through a brief overview of what it is, and how it works.

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Ring Video Doorbell Pro Update

Not so much a review, but more of an update, on how we've been getting on with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.  In this update I want to let you know how those 'quirks' we spotted during installation have panned out, and our experiences so far now that it's been installed for a few weeks.

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Controlling Sonos with Alexa

Though you may have missed it given it clashed with Google's announcements, Sonos also had some news to share last week. You can now control your Sonos wireless speakers using Amazon Alexa.  It's still in Beta, but I've been trying it out.

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Controlling Philips Hue with Alexa

After my previous attempts at using voice controls to boss my smart lighting around with Siri & Cortana gave mixed results, I was keen to see if Alexa on our Amazon Echo Dot faired any better.  Thankfully, Alexa seems much more capable.  Read on to learn more.

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