Ultimate Guide to Starting and Growing a Smart Home

hey what's up this is reed

today i'm going to show you 10 different

smart home categories to help you get


i'll show you what to watch out for and

some of my favorite devices

it's a lot to take in so let's start at

the beginning

in my mind there are three main ways

devices can work together

the first is cloud services like if this

and that

and all you have to do is download the

app on your phone it's really easy to


you can set things up like if your

garage door opens then turn on the

lights in your house

or if you plug in your android phone at

night turn everything off in the house

i wouldn't only use this solution

because it's very limiting

i try and only use ift as a last resort

to get things to work together

second are assistants like amazon and

google these have routines and allow you

to control

multiple devices with one action i get

asked all the time which assistant i


right now i lean towards amazon because

i can trigger their routines with other


for example if your doorbell is pressed

then the lights can flash

echo devices can announce someone's at

the door someone is at the front door

and this will only announce if it's not

during baby's nap time google is going

to update the routine soon

but currently you can only run a routine

with a voice command

or from a schedule however if you use

many google services like i do

youtube google keep and calendar

chromecast the list goes on

google is a great choice i also like

their displays better

they are much faster and easier to

control compared to echo displays

both amazon and google are always

updating their assistance to be better


it will really come down to your

preference the last way devices can work

together is with hubs

like smartthings and home assistant

these are able to control devices

locally without the cloud

allowing devices to turn on much faster

and be more reliable

they can also connect to way more

sensors and run advanced

automations i think home assistant is

the most powerful and secure hub that

you can use

but it has a very steep learning curve

smartthings has its quirks

just like any other hub however i prefer

it because i can still do advanced


and it's fairly simple to use you might

be wondering do i really need a hub

technically you don't have to have one

but it does help all the devices work


for example many sensors use z-wave and


and you need a hub to connect to those

as for routers make sure to get one with

decent specs

to handle all of the wi-fi devices i've

still been using the griffin router and

it hasn't had

any issues with all of my smart home

devices connected to it

smart lights are probably the most

popular thing in a smart home

i'd recommend getting more smart light

switches than bulbs though

the wife approval factor can be higher

than the smart light bulb

it's way more family friendly because

anyone can use it without needing an app

or voice assistant

you might be thinking okay all smart

light switches are pretty much the same

they can toggle and dim the lights right


and no there's more to it the less

expensive smart light switches do

just that most of them use wi-fi and

they work great at automating your

existing lights in the house

i've had the casa light switch for a

while and it's worked well it even works

with smart things

if you have an older house it may not

have neutral wires but you still have

options one is lutron caseta which is a

very reliable

smart switch c by ge also announced one


there's also innovate which is a z-wave

switch what's interesting about

innovelli and another company called


is that you can set it to control your

smart lights and not cut the physical


to the switch you can even set multiple

presses to trigger different lighting


which is pretty awesome then there are

other smart light switches that get

creative with the prime real estate on

your wall

they can have motion sensors amazon

assistance cameras and touch screens

there are a lot of really cool features

and it will really come down to how much

you want to spend

smart bulbs are still nice for changing

colors or if you don't want to wire a


but there are a few things i would look

out for warm and cool whites saturated

bright colors

reliability and a few extra features you

might not have thought about

if a smart light doesn't have good warm

and cool whites i

almost wouldn't get it having the lights

automatically changed to be a cool white

during the day

can be very energizing then a warm white

at night to help relax is one of my

favorite things

also look for saturated colors like lifx

and yeelight

the colors are fun for the kids and

myself okay

mostly for myself but the colors are

useful to use them as notifications

for example you can have the colors

changed to let you know what the weather

will be like for the day

reliability is another big factor smart

lights that connect directly to wi-fi

can occasionally disconnect which is


bulbs that connect to a hub using zigbee

and not wi-fi

almost have no connection problems what

about power outages

some smart bulbs will turn on after a

power outage even in the middle of the


i highly recommend getting one that

returns to its previous on off state

after a power outage

of course all of these features to look

out for also apply to smart light strips

as well

there are so many different automations

you can do with smart light strips and


and did a whole video on this that you

can go check out like lights slowly

turning on at sunset

or slowly turning off when there isn't

motion so you don't get left in the dark

if you're still in the room

if you want to take the automations up a

notch with your light strips

you could use them as a progress bar to

know when you need to leave for work

or my favorite when it's time for the

kids to go to bed

cameras and video doorbells can be a

great addition to your smart home

for doorbells there are three important

things that you'll want to consider

when you're deciding on what to get

first is monthly fees

yuffie is popular because they don't

require a monthly subscription

the battery version of the uf doorbell

is what i'm using and it works pretty


the second thing to look out for is zone

and person detection

if you get notifications when you

shouldn't it can get annoying quickly

yuffie arlo ring pro and nest hello all

have these

but some only offer it with a

subscription last is automatically

showing the live view on a smart display

ring doorbells can do this on the echo

show and the nest hello can also do this

on the nest hub displays

the nest hello can even detect familiar

faces and announce their name which is


reed is at front door the displays are

useful when you're in the kitchen to

quickly see who's at the door without

getting out your phone

so if you're using amazon routines and

echo devices don't get the nest hello

because it's not compatible

and vice versa if you're using google

assistant don't get a ring doorbell

as for cameras most of this applies as

well and if security and reliability are

your top priority

like recording 24 7 you should consider

paying a little extra to have your

cameras wired

but wireless cameras work well for me

i've like using yoofy lately and i know

a lot of people like blink cameras

as well however right now yuffie cannot

trigger an amazon routine when it

detects motion

like arlo and blink cameras can this can

be nice for turning on an outdoor light

from motion

or announcing on an echo device someone

is outside i think someone is outside


really i would definitely be worried

right now

it was nice knowing you okay um yeah i

probably wouldn't set it up like that

for smart locks i prefer locks that have

a keypad built into the lock

it's convenient to give out temporary

codes to people like dog sitters

there are more and more smart locks with

fingerprint readers on them

which make opening up the door much

easier as you can imagine

and i'll be covering more of these locks

throughout the year i've really like

using the schleig locks

i have the connect which uses z-wave in

the front the battery lasts a solid 12

months on it but it's

not as user-friendly as the wi-fi

schlagen code the battery on the encode

only lasts about six months

but it's very quiet and user friendly

most smart locks can automatically lock

a few minutes after being opened that

way it doesn't get left unlocked

i also have it automatically lock right

before bedtime it's just one less thing

to worry about so someone doesn't sneak

into your house

for thermostats i've enjoyed using nest

honeywell and ecobee

and each one is made for a different

type of person though nest is perfect

for someone who wants it to be as

easy as possible you can set it up or it

can set itself up by learning your


it's very good at switching to away mode

to help you save money

and nest mainly works with other nest

and google products but that may change


it has wireless temperature sensors

however the sensors are a little too

limited in my opinion

the honeywell t9 also has sensors and

much more flexibility with them as well

it's very easy to use compatible with

other systems

and the home away features work well

ecobee is much more customizable than

the others but it could be confusing for


out of the box things didn't work as

expected like the other two thermostats

but if you're someone who wants to

customize the exact temperature swing

and change all the settings

ecobee could be for you and i've loved

using it for robot vacuums there is only

one main thing i would recommend

get one that maps the house using lidar

it won't miss spots and you can avoid

areas where it would get stuck

also lidar doesn't require the lights to

be on to work there are lots of other

features that are nice

mopping which works okay cameras to

avoid objects on the ground

and self-emptying bins i've really like

using the robo-rock s6 pure but there

are other good options out there

they can work with voice assistance but

i prefer to automate them to vacuum when

everyone is out of the house

for smart sprinklers i've been using

ratchet and it's working very well

it changes automatically with the

weather and seasons i just set it and

forget it

ratchet is compatible with smart things

and i thought i'd integrate it more into

my smart home

but i really haven't felt the need to so

keep that in mind if that's a factor in

buying one

for a smart garage door there are only a

couple of things it really needs to do

notify you if the door was left open and

be able to close it if you're away from

your house

i've been using my cue for a while and

it checks those boxes

it comes with a sensor to go on your

door and the controller which uses

rf it's compatible with many existing

garage doors and it works well

i've gotten the occasional faults alert

but i have a camera in my garage to

double check if my garage is

actually open or closed i never have to

wonder now if i left the garage door

open when on vacation

did you close the garage that's it i

forgot to close the garage that's it

now if you do want to buy smart home

devices and only connect them with ift

here are the devices i really like that

are compatible these are the devices i

like if you want to use

amazon routines to run your smart home

and only slightly different are the

devices for google assistant

for those of you who are using

smartthings here are some great options

homekit users i didn't forget about you

i like homekit for the clean ui and

everything works quickly it still has a

ways to go before i'd fully switch over


finally the home assistant folks it's

pretty much every device out there

i know this video is long and thank you

if you stuck around the whole time

there's still so much to go over and

i'll be doing more videos on how to

automate all these devices

so make sure to subscribe and turn on

notifications i'll do my best to answer

the questions down in the comments

thanks for watching we'll see you next


hey where'd you get that cookie we're

about to eat dinner grandma gave it to