The CNET Smart Home is getting smarter every day. On September 16, 2015, we officially launched our living lab for all things connected, but on that day, it was just an empty house. It was big and beautiful from the start, but there was nothing about it that was smart.
That’s certainly not true anymore. We’ve installed 33 different devices over the course of 14 projects, all with the goal of introducing connected tech to the CNET Smart Home one step at a time. Below you’ll find each project we’ve undertaken, and the products we’ve chosen along the way to help the CNET Smart Home live up to its name.
We made sure we have good Wi-Fi coverage. We went with the Asus RT-AC87UWe picked a hub. SmartThings Hub (Second Generation)We smartened up the lighting, starting with the first floor and the exterior. We used the Philips Hue Bridge 2.05 Philips Hue color changing bulbs — four in the kitchen, one in the master bedroom1 Philips Dimmer Switch in the living room4 Belkin WeMo Light Switches in a single four-gang plate by the entryway5 Cree Connected LEDs in the track lights over the family roomWe installed smart thermostats. 2 Nest Learning Thermostats (Third Generation)We made the garage smart. 2 Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door OpenersWe took a closer look at voice control. 2 Amazon Echoes — one in the Kitchen, one in the master bedroom2 Voice Remotes for Amazon Echo — one in the entryway, one in the basementApple TV 2015We outfitted the whole house with a DIY security system. 3 Samsung SmartCam HD Pros with built-in motion sensors6 SmartThings door/window multipurpose sensors4 SmartThings motion sensorsWe connected the kitchen. 1 Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus by the coffeemaker1 Kuled Motion Sensor LED in the Kitchen CabinetThe Anova Precision CookerThe Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741The iDevices Switch to smarten up the MoccamasterThe iDevices Kitchen Thermometer MiniWe added smart energy monitoring. Neurio Home IntelligenceWe smartened up our drinking game in time for the holidays. FizzicsPerfect Drink1 SmartThings door/window multipurpose sensor in the liquor cabinetWe tried to make it simpler for multiple users to interact with the CNET Smart Home.We prepped the CNET Smart Home for disaster. Fibaro Flood SensorNest Protect Second GenerationThe BeOn Bulb Starter PackThe iBright Surge ProtectorWe used IFTTT to tie together as many of our smart systems as possible.We smartened up the kids’ room, and connected up our upstairs lighting in the process. 1 Philips Hue Go in the kids’ room2 Philips Hue BR30s in the upstairs hallway1 Sylvania Ultra IQ BR30 in the upstairs hallway2 Lifx Color 1000 BR30s
We have more to do, and we will likely revisit some of the above as new products come out. Right now, we can command almost every electronic in our home with our voices, or even from the wall switches by the door. We’ve found that the desire to make it all work seamlessly can be a lofty one, but that’s part of why we’re doing this.
We’re also using the CNET Smart Home for lots of reviews, installing and uninstalling smart devices frequently to use the place as a lab. This list doesn’t include those devices, since they come and go quickly and aren’t meant to be permanent fixtures. You can keep up with everything we’re doing in the CNET Smart Home here.