Not-Too-Smart Smart Home
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Not-Too-Smart Smart Home


– The term smart home
gets thrown around a lot because companies love marketing to you, but what smart home basically
means is a connected house. That the gadgets in your house
can kinda talk to each other using wireless communications
like WiFi or Bluetooth. Your thermostat can talk to a plug, can talk to your lights, that’s pretty much it. There’s a whole range
of smart homes though. Everything from being
able to utter a command and have the entire
house change around that to just being able to turn your heat on when you’re on your way
home from your phone. We’re gonna talk about that one, the not-so-smart smart home, but just like a modern update
to where you already live. My house has DSL, so it comes
in through the phone line. I wish there was cable modem, there isn’t, so my router’s gotta be here. This is what the phone company
gives you for a router. The problem is that the wireless signal gets weaker as it gets away
from your base station. Don’t settle for that. These things are okay, but especially if you’re
gonna have a smart home, you need a really really
robust WiFi setup. This is something from a
company called eero, E-E-R-O, and it’s a router system that’s actually using something
called a mesh network, which means its got a
bunch of little nodes scattered throughout my house that pick up and amplify
the wireless signal. This is important because a
lot of your smart home gadgets are gonna be talking to each other via the wireless network, just helps the communication between them. (upbeat drum music) You gotta control your
smart home from somewhere. Used to be that you could have
a bunch of connected gadgets and everyone would have a different app, or website, or whatever
you had to play with. But now there are a couple
of really good options for just controlling something
from one specific place. We’re gonna use Google Home, because Google Home is a
really easy streamlined app, it’s free, and it works with most of
the good smart home products. This is how I can turn on
the lights from a vacation, like flick ’em on and off so robbers think that I’m
here playing with my lights. Or I can turn the heat up a little bit if I know it’s gonna get really cold out. We’re gonna keep it pretty simple today and we’re just gonna add
stuff like a thermostat. Set up new devices. JMF house, that’s my house. Oh, see, this is where it all goes wrong. It’s looking for devices and
we haven’t set up any devices. So, let’s go set up some devices. Hunter Set n’ Save 1, 1993 vintage, obviously a legendary thermostat. And when its got this
broken-ass LCD in it, even more sought after. But just for the purposes of this video, we’re gonna replace it with
something from this century, with a 2018 vintage Nest. The idea here is create
this main zones thermostat for the center of the house. Nest is a motion-sensing thermostat, it lets you program things
in through a smartphone app, it’s really super streamlined. What we’re gonna do though,
when we take this off, there’s a little bit of a
roulette wheel situation, which is do we have a C
wire or a common wire? Common wire pulls power from the furnace in order to keep your thermostat on. These old ones, they use a battery. Oh shit, I just turned off my thermostat. If it gets cold, I’m sorry. Well, modern thermostats are on WiFi, they’re motion-sensing, they’re running all sorts of programs, so they need a constant stream of power. I’m done. Ah, I’m just kidding. – [Tom] Looks beautiful. – Thank you, thanks, Tom. I think we’re gonna need a
Phillips head screwdriver. Honestly, you can use a needle
nose pliers for everything so you might as well
have one of those on you and then I have a wire stripper here and a flathead screwdriver
for prying stuff. And I brought a volt meter also, because we’re working with electrical, it’s always nice to know
if something has power before you shock yourself. Alright, since we’re being responsible, I’m gonna read the instructions. And also because furnace makes fire. Switch off power, we did that. Some covers pop off, others
need to be unscrewed. I’m looking in the back of this thing and if you look at the
thermostat up close, you can see that there’s like a red wire and a white wire
coming out of the wall. Good news is that there looks
like there is a blue wire tucked behind the wall here that may be our common
wire, I really hope it is because that would be cool. I love this when you
take something off a wall and you see that somebody has
done just like a stupid job of making a hole in wall. How much work is it really
to make a nice hole? Anyway, we have a common wire. We have a common wire, I’m so happy. Yes. Which I’m very excited about, ’cause it means that my Nest
is not just gonna be like (snaps) pinging my furnace for power anytime it wants to connect
to WiFi or whatever. I’m just gonna strip this common wire now. Woo-hoo. And now I’m gonna get
ready to install the Nest. And then this thing snaps
into there pretty handily. Common wire, get in there. Hey hey, look at that. Maybe now we were just being impatient. – [Tom] Oh yeah! – Woo, hey, we have green light! Yes! You have to use a little
rotary to get it onto your Wifi to select the password, and then it calls to the Nest servers. So, once you put it on your home network, it’s gonna update its software as most little computer things do. Once it’s charged up, we’re gonna set it up
with the Google Home app. One of the most common things
people like to smart homeify are their lights. You can change colors
sometimes for mood light, you can set up actions that dim everything for a home theater experience, you can freak out your Airbnb guests. This is a bulb from a company called LIFX and it’s an LED light bulb, but it also has a WiFi receiver in it. And these things, you can
screw ’em into your light and then just control
’em with one of your apps like Google Home or Amazon or anything. It’s super easy. So now I’m just trying to get
everything into Google Home. Right, the whole idea here
is to control everything from this one app. So I’m now adding Nest to Google Home, which is a little harder
than it should be. I’m sure they’re unifying this stuff but in order to add your
Nest to your Google Home, currently you’ve got to
go to Google Assistant, go into services, go into home control, find Nest, link it with Google. So, it’s telling me my
accounts are linked now, which is great. Alright, so now I’ve got a
pretty good smart home base. Nothing fancy, just be
able to set the temperature from anywhere and have the
energy efficiency benefits with a newer thermostat, and then the beginning
of a smart light system. I think I’m gonna get some
more of these LIFX bulbs. And that’s really enough
for people like me who just want a connected
house that’s modern, but not necessarily something
super duper wiz bang fancy. Because after all, who
wants to just like bark at their house all the time? Not me. Google, turn off the cardboard lamp. – [Google] Sure, turning
the cardboard lamp off. – Alright, that’s kinda fun. (upbeat drum music)

7 thoughts on “Not-Too-Smart Smart Home

  1. did you say DSL !!!?? drop you phone company as soon as residential 5G is available (I assume there are no other offers for faster uplink)

  2. next you should get a roomba, and consider phillips hue for your lights, I found they are more reliable as you add more lights than just wifi bulbs, hue uses a dock instead of just filling up your open wifi slots.

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