Technology and the House: Home Automation


Technology. Cell phones. Apps. So many people view these as things that are only for work or for play but not for real life. Well, that is so 1980’s (cheesy, I know but I couldn’t resist;). But seriously, technology is so much more than information management and game playing. There are so many companies that are taking technology into home management. And I don’t just mean todo lists or how they manufacture your keys. I mean actually being able to manage household appliances and devices with your technology on smart phones and tablets.

There are so many companies that are going into home automation (and I hope to write more about it in the future) but today I wanted to look at 4 different devices that are currently on the market (and would make great gifts;).


1. Belkin has out the Belkin WeMo Switch. This can be plugged into any outlet and all you do is plug in a variety of things! It is a great option for an outlet in an inconvenient place or for something that you want to turn on remotely. You can control the switch with a free app on Android or Apple phones and tablets! I can’t be the only one who wishes a fan or light could be turned on before I get home or walk down the stairs?




Next up is Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation T200577! This is a thermostat that replaces your existing thermostat and it learns your patterns and temperature preferences. Once you install it the Nest system it takes less than 2 weeks to learn your patterns. Then if you then change it occasionally that won’t change the programming.

There are also features like the Leaf feature that tells you when you are saving energy.  And if you are changing your schedule or are travelling and forgot to set your thermostat you can do it from an app!

Very convenient and very high tech. But at $250, it is tech you can afford!


Light switches are a given for a tech upgrade! Belkin WeMo Light Switch is an easily doable upgrade! Just switch out you existing light switch (they promise it is easy) and you are ready to go! This works with all forms/bulb types because there is no wattage issues that can exist with certain switches (especially ones with dimmers).  You can manage it with the same Belkin app so if you want to turn the lights on while you are driving home you can. But you can also program it. You can also set it to react to sunset/sunrise!




Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide is about to be released! It is both a fire alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm. It can be powered by either batteries or hard wired. One of the things I absolutely love is the fact it has a “heads up” feature. Every year I do the 2 hour turkey and frantically way underneath my smoke alarm as to prevent it from going off;). With this alarm it will start with a gentle noise and you can disable it then.

It can also be controlled by the Belkin App. You can add Emergency contacts so if the alarms go off it can contact someone (like your cell phone). If you have a Nest thermostat and a gas furnace if the alarm goes off it can turn off your furnace too.

Ahh, so it has finally happened. We are on our way to “The House of Future”! Other than maids and food replicators, what are you most excited about?

(Disclosure: This post was done for Verizon but all thoughts and opinions are mine!)


  1. What great products that used techie to help make our homes safer. Love the idea behind them. Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm. Thanks for sharing

  2. Do you know Almadomus? It’s a new home automation product, simple to install and cheap. Take a look at its crowdfunding campaign:

    I’m one of the founder, so if you need more information please ask.


  1. […] I also love that home automation is now plug and play so we can bring it into any home. To read more about some great home automation tools make sure to check out Technology and the House! […]

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