Top 5 Smart Home Tech of 2017

– I’m gonna show you how to make your home smart, all of the gadgets that work with the Amazon Echo and Alexa enabled products so you can control your TV with your voice for under $40 bucks, make coffee using your voice, control all of your lights, your thermostat, your doors home security and convenience, plus a big giveaway coming right up. I know, that’s a lot to get to.

This is my Ecobee thermostat and I have to apologize that this is in Celsius, I live in Toronto for most of my week. The controls on here are great because they are touched but you can also use your voice to control the thermostat and you can also use Alexa. It’s also a very smart thermostat, you get weather reports on it, it can sync your thermostat based on conditions, also you can set different modes to control. This is more Eco friendly and more Eco efficient than a lot of the other thermostats on the market because it adapts, it adjusts. It also has a sensor in a different part of your house.


We have the sensor up here. The temperature right up here is a little bit warmer than what’s downstairs. The sensor takes an average temperature between the two and adjusts, keeping your house a little bit more cooled or heated based on the temperature that’s actually on the thermostat. It comes out of its panel very easily, very simple to install. Another reason I like this is compared to the Nest thermostats, this company just seems to have better customer service. I also like the fact that the prices start at about $170 dollars. This is the most simple thermostat I have ever used that’s also very smart.

I wanna now move to the door behind me and also show you how I can control the basement door from anywhere in the world.

Why would you want a smart lock? Couple of things. I use mine to automate who comes in and out of my house because I use part of it as a business but also, coming back late at night, you don’t wanna fidget with a door lock, you wanna control it from your car if there’s an important delivery, an emergency, or someone needs to get into your home, that’s a great reason. Another good reason, you never have to carry keys again. If your door gets locked and you don’t have a key, you can open it.

If there’s a kid coming home early from school or a babysitter or someone that needs access, this is great. Also, in the event of a flood or an emergency, you could let someone into your home that needs to be there. You can program at least 60 codes that you can give out to different people so they can enter their codes but, more importantly, you can control the door from anywhere in the world. If my wife’s coming home after her shift in the middle of the night, she can lock or unlock the door from a car.

If you have someone that needs to get into your house very quickly, if there’s a flood, an emergency responder, you can do this. And yes you can yell at your Alexa to do it but for me it’s the smart phone control which is absolutely phenomenal. You can also see if your doors are locked or unlocked. How many times have you left your house and thought, honey, did we remember to lock the door? Well, I can see whether or not the door is locked on here and then obviously control my alarm as well. This is absolutely awesome. Controlling the lights around your home with your smartphone or your Echo or your voice is really easy. Weemo makes a lot of products and I used a couple for years but I had to constantly reset them, they weren’t responsive half of the time, I got very frustrated. I did shift, recently, to TP-Link and their smart Wi-Fi controls just seem to work a little bit better. Easy to plug this into any outlet and then control that or, if you see on the lamp behind me, if you wanna control an individual bulb, which is also an option, these are under $25 bucks.

This bulb is smart so you can control the bulb without having to plug a hub in or anything to an outlet, this communicates directly with your Amazon Echo, Alexa, and your voice. I find it absolutely awesome that you can control virtually any device in your home by just plugging in an outlet that’s under $35 bucks. This plugs in and whatever you plug into here, you can control. The key to this is just naming the device whatever you want to call it when you talk to her and this is an Echo Show but you could use this with an Echo Dot, various other smart home devices. This plugs into any standard outlet and then whatever you plug into here, you can then control without issue. So, for example, this would be the coffee maker, you name this outlet coffee maker and then you don’t need to just be beside it. I can control it from bed, I can wake up and say, Alexa, turn my coffee maker on. – [Alexa] Okay. – And now you guys can hear the coffee maker’s on, I could’ve done this from anywhere in the world.

Very convenient. Smart home control isn’t just about convenience. For me, it’s also about security. This faces an exterior window of my home. So, I can, for security issues, if my wife comes in the back door, I turn this on for her when I know her shift ends or I can program it but I can also randomly turn the lights on and off in this area, making it look like we’re home or the house is occupied when we’re not even here and I can do that from anywhere in the world or I can, of course, do that with my voice.

Alexa, turn the couch light off. – [Alexa] Okay. – Alexa, turn the couch light on. – [Alexa] Okay. – And then if I’m sitting in a hotel somewhere and I’m thinking to myself, you know what? We’ve been away for a few days, I really wanna turn this light on, all I need to do is reach for the app and then the same control I have here without even using my voice. Even on bed lamp control, this is something where the echo, which is right behind me, actually comes in very handy. Alexa, turn the bed lamps off. – [Alexa] Okay. – [Matt] Perfect. Alexa, turn the bed lamps on. – [Alexa] Okay. – In addition to being able to set, Alexa, set an alarm for four a.m.

Tomorrow. – [Alexa] Alarm set for four a.m. tomorrow. – One of the conveniences of having both lights controlled simultaneously is, in the event that I’m sleeping alone at an odd time, I don’t need to reach over to both bed lamps and I don’t know about you guys but for me, I’ve knocked, these are glass lamps, I’ve knocked them over in the middle of the night, trying to reach for that little piece that I need to turn, I’ve broken a lot of lamps in my day, this is just a way to avoid that and it’s really convenient.

One of my favorite ways to automate your television, where if you wanna go completely remote control free is the Fire TV stick. All you have to do, sorry, she’s gonna say hi. – [Alexa] Hello. – Hello. Sorry, in the middle of a demonstration, she didn’t know that but this is great because this corresponds with your Echo for under $40 bucks. You plug this into the back of your television and then with a very quick easy 10 to 15 second setup, you can control your entire television using your voice. This is the Fire TV stick with the Alexa voice remote for under $40 bucks and I have a link to this located right under the video screen. This is HDMI plug and play at its finest. You get Dolby audio, works with your Wi-Fi within your household. This is the voice remote so you can speak directly into it or use the conventional controls and this is the Fire TV stick, it’s really, really small. Look at this, not much larger than my finger. It requires external power so you can plug this into a USB port if you’re fortunate enough to have one on the back of your TV, most modern TV’s do, if you don’t, you can obviously plug this into a wall, it comes with an adapter.


The Fire TV stick itself plugs into an available HDMI port, it’s very small. Most modern television will have at least one to three of these, this just plugs right in. It comes paired with the remote, so there’s very little you need to do. It’s set up and working in seconds. Alexa, play The Grand Tour. – [Alexa] Getting The Grand Tour from Fire TV. – And as you can see, The Grand Tour immediately ready to play on my TV, all thanks to the power of my voice. One of my other favorite things about the Fire TV stick and Fire TV is you get a voice remote, so in the event that you don’t wanna pair it with an Amazon Echo, you can just speak directly into the remote. It’s actually very useful and I wanna show you what happens when I try and trip it up. I’m gonna ask for a program by the wrong name. Play The Man in the High Tower. – [Alexa] Here’s The Man in the High Castle. – So, sorry, I hit the remote, but you get the idea. It can even search other collections, so you can search through millions of titles using your voice.

Let’s try one of my wife’s favorite shows. Play Fuller House. – [Alexa] Here’s Fuller House. – And it pulls it directly from Netflix which is impressive and then one of the other things that I like, whether you’re controlling with an Echo or something else, is you can just, in a matter of moments, control music with your voice as well. Play music by Kenny Chesney. – [Alexa] Shuffling songs by Kenny Chesney. – And then obviously you would get the music. We don’t have the rights to that but there you go, you get the idea. So, this is voice control at its finest.

I wanted to ask all the great people reading this article, what do you control in your home? Or, if you don’t have a smart home yet, what would you like to control? I’m sure there’s something that I haven’t done or shown you that you’re already using and I wanna learn from you guys as well, so, leave me a comment, I will read it.

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