Philips Hue Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 vs. Gen 3

Philips Hue transforms lighting from ordinary to extraordinary. They’ve been in lighting forever and were one of the few companies which offered smart lighting solutions long ago. Hue’s color-changing bulbs were first introduced in October 2012; this 1st generation of Philips Hue gained a lot of success and was even called the Best Product of 2012.

Since then, Philips Hue has been updated twice: in both 2015 (2nd generation) and 2016 (3rd generation). All three Philips Hue generations are available on the market and are fully compatible with each other. So in this article, we’ll look at a few things: the differences between the Philips Hue bridge generations, Philips Hue light bulb generations 1 vs. 2 vs. 3, and we’ll also sidetrack a bit into Philips Hue Lux.

We’ve put together a ton of important info, however, if you just want the differences, feel free to jump to the differences section straightaway.

Best Z-Wave Smart Plugs

Smart Plugs are a great addition to any home as they have the power of turning your ordinary vintage table lamp, into a fully automated smart device!

Which you can then operate remotely, enjoy creating schedules and even use the voice control feature with some Smart Plug models.

The Smart Plugs we will be talking about today also feature Z-Wave, a form of wireless communication that’s developed in order to have control over home appliances such as lights, cameras, locks and more.

The way it differs from your own WiFi or Bluetooth connection is that it offers a more reliable and secure connection, easy installation, the advantage of both local or remote control and the useful ability to have your Z-Wave devices communicate with each other creating the ideal smart home ecosystem.

You can read more about Z-Wave here on our take on Z-Wave vs. Z-Wave Plus — What’s the Difference?

But now let’s get right to it and see which Z-Wave Plug fits best into your home!

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Best Smart Plugs For Google Home

Having a smart plug that integrates with your Google Home allows you to enjoy having a hands free control over all your plugged-in smart devices, for truly smart home experience.

If you’re wondering what a smart plug is, it’s a plug that is operated via an app that allows you to turn on and off any devices plugged into a standard wall socket.

You can easily use it with your lamp, TV, coffee machine and more!

Additionally, you also have the power to operate your plugged-in gadgets remotely, as well as create custom schedules and even monitor the energy usage.

Today we’ll be taking a look at some of the best smart plugs for Google Home, and hopefully, you’ll find the right one for you!

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Best Z-Wave Doorbell Camera

Z-Wave is one of the newer type of wireless technology that smart devices use to communicate with each other. It’s quite similar to WiFi and Bluetooth, but Z-Wave also possesses its own unique capabilities that many users like.

With Z-Wave, you can expect less interference, fewer disconnections, and a quicker communication speed that you would with other types of wireless communication, plus many other benefits which you can read more about here: Z-Wave vs. Z-Wave Plus — What’s the Difference?

While not all models such as Ring Video Doorbell Pro and SkyBell HD come with an in-built Z-Wave radio, you can still integrate them into the Z-Wave ecosystem by using a hub such as SmartThings or Wink, or even the FortrezZ Z-Wave MIMOlite Motor Control which can turn almost any smart device into a Z-Wave compatible gadget.

Let’s check out some of the smart doorbell cameras (with the exception of Aeotec, which doesn’t have a camera) that you can integrate into your Z-Wave ecosystem!

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SmartThings vs. Hubitat Elevation

Start your morning right with a smart hub!

A smart home consists of 3 major things, devices (lights, thermostats, cameras, etc.), a hub and an optional voice assistant such as Alexa and Google.

You need a hub in order to make your devices talk to each other and create efficient and fun routines all done through a single app.

For example, as soon as you wake up in the morning, the lights are on, the coffee maker is brewing and your favorite song is playing, what a way to start your day!

Different devices use different technologies in order to communicate, such as Z-Wave, ZigBee, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc., so in order to control them all together via a single app you’ll need a hub, and that’s where SmartThings and Hubitat come in.

SmartThings is an already fairly established smart hub that provides an easy and efficient way to have all your devices working together. However, more and more users are turning to Hubitat Elevation and we’re going to explain why!

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Best Deadbolt Smart Lock

Keep your doors secure with a deadbolt smart lock!

So, some smart locks are simply designed to replace the outer part of your existing lock and keep the deadbolt intact.

Whereas there are a few models out there that replace both the inside as well as outside.

Why does it matter? Well, if you have a low-grade lock it makes sense to upgrade your deadbolt as well when installing a new smart lock for an added layer of security.

Some smart locks feature Grade 2 and 3 deadbolts which are the highest grades when it comes to their performance.


Why Get A Deadbolt Smart Lock?

A deadbolt smart lock is a lot more reliable than a simple lock.

Its strong mechanism will ensure that your door can’t be easily opened by force, because it cannot be moved from its locked position without a key being inserted into the cylinder or by entering an access code.

By making it smart, you’ll also have the power to lock and unlock your door remotely, as well as the ability to monitor any activity and set schedules.

It’s simply an extra layer of security that is usually easy to set up and is definitely worth it when it comes to your home security.

So let’s get right to it and find the best smart lock deadbolt for you!

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Best Smart Lock for Airbnb

What is Smart Lock Airbnb?

A Smart Lock Airbnb refers to the type of lock that can be easily accessed by your guests without you having to be there, through a keypad or even an app, allowing your guest smooth access with minimal hassle necessary.

Additionally, you can also monitor your guest’s activity by accessing the app to see when the guest had used their assigned code in order to gain access to the property.


How Does Airbnb Smart Lock Work?

An Airbnb Smart Lock allows your guests to have a keyless entry by using a unique generated pin code that you provide, which they will then enter into the keypad.

This works for almost all types of smart locks.

However, with August Smart Locks you also have the additional option of simply downloading the app which then automatically grants your guest easy access, no codes or keys necessary.

Most smart locks also come with or can include a physical key too in case of emergencies or other issues that your guests may encounter. You can simply create a hard to find designated spot to store it in.


How Can A Smart Lock Make Hosting An Airbnb Easier?

As a host, there are numerous benefits to having a smart lock for your Airbnb.

Such as eliminating the need to hire an extra person to hand over the key, or just by having to deal with keys in general!

Additionally, you can also expect to improve your listing reviews by having such an efficient and quick entry process with no time-wasting.

All these advantages make it easy to host your guests while also giving you peace of mind too.

Here we will share with you four options that are a perfect fit for your Airbnb Unit!

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Best Smart Plugs That Work With Alexa

What is a smart plug?

Make your electronics smart, with a smart plug!

These handy devices may resemble an ordinary plug, but they are actually quite different.

They are usually controlled via an app, and allow you to turn on or off any electronic appliance that plugs into a standard wall socket remotely. Meaning you can use it with your TV, lights, coffee maker, AC and more.

There are also quite a few benefits to owning a smart plug, such as cutting down on energy costs. Because you are automatically turning off your devices when not needed, so you won’t be wasting any electricity in case you have forgotten to switch anything off. Also, many smart plugs come with the ability to monitor your energy usage too.

Additionally, smart plugs are a pretty convenient too with the scheduling feature, allowing you to set your coffee maker to turn on the morning before you even get out of bed, or have your bedside lamp turn off just as you drift off to sleep.

They are even good for security reasons, as you can have your lights turn on and off while you are traveling, to appear as if someone is home.

Today, we’ll be looking at the best smart plugs that work with Alexa.

Connecting your smart plug with Alexa allows you to use voice commands, making the whole experience even more efficient and fun.

All you need in order to take advantage of this feature is a smart device with the Alexa app installed, as well as a smart speaker such as Echo Dot or Echo Show.

The type of voice commands you could use are:

“Alexa, switch on the coffee maker”

“Alexa, switch off the lamp”

and

“Alexa, switch on the fan”.

Imagine how great it would be after a long night to just simply ask Alexa to turn off the light you forgot downstairs, or even ask Alexa to turn on the heating as you’re getting out of bed on a chilly morning. A simple pleasure such as having your morning coffee already brewing before you even get to the kitchen is enough to put a smile on your face.

So let’s get right to it and check out some of the smart plugs that you can include in your home.

Top 3 Sensibo Sky Alternatives Worth Checking

Did you know that you can turn your AC on or off from halfway around the world?

Well with using a smart AC controller, you can!

Not only that, but you can also do useful things like setting up your weekly schedules, use voice control, take advantage of geofencing, and more.

While Sensibo Sky offers some great features, like we just mentioned, there are other equally if not better Sensibo Sky alternatives on the market today. Take Ambi Climate 2, not only does it offer great smart home integration, but it automatically adjusts the temperature indoors, based on its gathered weather readings. While with Tado Smart Controller, you can use it’s handy touch panels to regulate the temperature as you want it to, not always having to rely on smart devices if you don’t wish to.

So let’s take at the 3 options below, to see what suits your home best.

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Top 5 Smart Lightstrips For Your Home

When choosing the right Smart Lighstrip for your home, you want to make sure that you have a lightstrip that offers a good brightness level, a wide spectrum of colors and maybe even voice control.

Each product that we have picked out, has its own unique features that might suit your needs. Such as the ability to sync the lights with your music, as you can with the Philips Hue Lighstrip Plus. Or if you are even if you’re just looking for a more simple and affordable option, such as the Yeelight Aurora Lightstrip Plus with its manual control feature. We have you covered.

With so many products on the market today, we’d like to help you narrow it down more.

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Ring Doorbell Pro vs. August Doorbell Cam Pro

Smart doorbells offer a great combination of security and convenience to your home. When comparing the Ring Doorbell Pro vs. August Doorbell Cam Pro, it’s clear that both doorbells have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. However, we feel that the is the better buy unless you’ve already invested in an August Smart Lock.

August and Ring both have a pretty impressive lineup of products, but Ring got their start in doorbell and it really shows. The brand has only continued to improve their offerings with the release of the Ring Doorbell Pro, and we feel it deserves that top spot when compared to the August model. However, August is a great brand for smart locks as well, and the interaction between the doorbell and camera might give it the edge it needs to be a superior option overall.

Below we’ll detail the similarities and differences between the two doorbells to help give you a better sense of what each brand has to offer. Read on for the full picture, or use our navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.

Fibaro vs. SmartThings

A smart button is an excellent addition to a connected home, as it adds easy control over a number of different devices in one convenient place. However, not all of these buttons are created equal. While the Fibaro may look like it’s worth the extra expense at first glance, we feel that the SmartThings’ easier integration earns it a solid spot on the top.

While these buttons both offer battery-powered, convenient control over your various smart devices, they’re actually quite different. Fibaro adds a lot of cool features, but it falls short in the lack of direct integration. All those features are for naught if they aren’t easily accessed, so the more straightforward SmartThings button takes the cake.

Below we break down the differences between Fibaro vs. SmartThings, but feel free to use the navigation bar below to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.

Moon by 1-ring • Hub & Levitating Camera Review

The Short Story — Great idea, poor execution. It’s been two years, and they’re far from even having a working prototype. Here’s a Facebook group for those who’re wishing to get a refund.


Smart home hubs have gotten more and more advanced as time has gone on, and over the past few years, we’ve started to see different combinations of technology implemented that serve to improve the abilities of your connected home. While the primary purpose is to allow smart home tech to communicate with one another, create different triggers, and customize setups, multiple companies have shown us that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to smart hubs.

Whether it’s the Echo Plus (a Zigbee hub with Amazon Alexa built in) or something as advanced as the Symbio by Toshiba (6-in-1 device with Z-Wave, Zigbee, and WiFi support), these hubs are smarter than ever before — and The Moon by 1-Ring is no exception.

Our comprehensive Moon by 1-Ring review is detailed below, so let’s dive into what makes this all-in-one smart home hub and camera so special.

Luma vs. Google WiFi

We spend more time online than ever before. From gaming on desktops and laptops to streaming Netflix and Hulu on our mobile devices, a large part of our entertainment in 2018 relies on the internet. Add to that the wealth of information available on pretty much any topic, and the convenience and utility offered by smart devices and it becomes clear that a fast connection is extremely important.

The speed of your internet package is important, but do you have the equipment to really take full advantage of the connection you’re getting from your ISP? Smart WiFi routers have a significant advantage over traditional wireless equipment, and below we take a look at the Luma vs. Google WiFi — two popular routers with some pretty significant differences.

When it comes to delivering reliable internet to your home, not all routers are created equal. Let’s break down the similarities and differences to help you figure out which router is right for you.

Wink vs. SmartThings Gen 3

Smart technology is more prevalent than ever before, and products that were once reserved for the wealthy techie have become accessible to pretty much any homeowner. Now more than ever before, it’s a real possibility to have a home that is connected, convenient, and that responds to your whims.

There are hundreds of smart products on the market that offer utility or entertainment to your home, but what really separates a smart home from a jumble of technology is the smart home hubs. These bases communicate with your different technology and allow them to work together seamlessly, providing a cohesive experience rather than forcing you to deal with a bunch of self-contained devices.

Below we take a look at the Wink vs. SmartThings Gen 3 to help you get a sense of which smart home controller might be best for your home. Each brand offers their own take on the connected home, but is one better than the other? The answer might not be so simple.

Read on below for a detailed breakdown of what each device has to offer.

eero vs. Google WiFi

When it comes to having a capable home network, you shouldn’t have to make compromises. A large part of your speed depends on the package you pay for from your ISP, but many people don’t realize that outdated router technology could be slowing down their network or keeping it from reaching its full potential.

The WiFi scene has seen a huge jump in technology over the past few years, and traditional routers are quickly being replaced by “smart” routers that offer better reliability, convenient features, and the speeds you need for a high-tech home.

Below we take a look at the eero vs. Google WiFi — two routers that have been pioneers in the intelligent networking industry. Do these older brands still offer stiff competition for newcomers? Or are these smart routers not quite as smart as they seem?

Both routers have their benefits and drawbacks, and this article should help you get a sense of which device is right for your home.

SmartThings v2 vs. v3

Most people, when they think of smart homes, think of smart bulbs and smart thermostats. But it’s services like Samsung SmartThings that take all your smart products and mesh them together into a truly connected home.

Let’s take a look at the SmartThings v2 vs. v3 and figure out which smart home controller will give you the most bang for your buck.

Nest Yale vs. Schlage Connect

Your front door is the main entryway to your home, and it’s important that it’s adequately secured to keep you and your family protected. The surge of smart locks onto the market give you a convenient way to protect your home while adding a wide variety of convenient features, but how do you know that they’re secure enough to replace a traditional deadbolt?

In this comparison, we look at the Nest Yale vs. Schlage Connect — two brands with a significant history in creating valuable products. Nest approaches smart locks from a technology and convenience angle, creating a deadbolt that integrates seamlessly with the rest of their ecosystem. Schlage, on the other hand, is a lock company first and foremost — taking advantage of nearly a century of experience and adding in some modern tech on top of their premium locks.

So who does it better? The tech company turned locksmith? Or a reputable lock company dabbling in smart technology?

Both brands have their benefits and drawbacks, and it’s an incredibly close battle. Read on below to get a sense of their similarities and differences to figure out which one is right for your home.

GreenIQ vs. Rachio

Sprinklers take a lot of the hassle out of watering your grass or garden, but you still need to keep an eye on them to ensure that you aren’t overwatering and wasting resources. Conserving water is important for the environment and for your wallet, and fortunately, keeping your lawn healthy and green has been never been easier. Smart sprinkler controllers offer an easy, hands-off way to keep your landscape happily growing by intelligently adjusting their watering schedules to match the current weather conditions.

Below we take a look at the GreenIQ vs. Rachio — two major names in the smart sprinkler scene — and break down the details to help you decide which system is the better buy. Not all systems are created equal, so read on below to get a sense of where these controllers succeed and where they fall short!

Rachio vs. Rain Bird

With the advent of smart sprinkler technology, the dream of an environmentally-conscious and green lawn with a low energy bill has finally become a reality. There are a number of different brands vying for the top spot of this exciting new industry, but which models are really worth your time?

There are many options to choose from when it comes to keeping your lawn watered conveniently and efficiently, and our Rachio vs. Rain Bird comparison goes deep into the details on some of the best.

Are you looking for a premium experience at all costs? Or will a smart system that is easy on the wallet be your top choice?

Let’s go into what sets these brands apart from one another to help make your shopping decision just a little bit easier.

Spruce vs. Rachio

Keeping your lawn healthy and happy has never been easier than ever before. The past couple years have seen a huge surge in smart sprinkler control systems that take the guesswork out of watering.

Comparing the Spruce vs. Rachio is a tall order since they’re both so excellent, but it really comes down to how much you value smart home integration. Either system offers a significant amount of control over your watering while simultaneously making your life more convenient and stress free, and both cover pretty much all the bases when it comes to your lawn’s health. Combine your sprinkler system with a smart mower like the Husqvarna 315, and you’ll have a yard that essentially takes are of itself.

Let’s cover what these controllers do right and where they fall short so you can make the decision that’s right for you and your home.

Rachio vs. Blossom

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a surge in smart products that make it easier than ever before to add convenience to your home operation — and in some cases there can be some significant savings as well. While most people might think of smart lighting or smart speakers when it comes to home automation, smart sprinkler controllers have exploded onto the market and offer an excellent combination of easy-operation and water savings that is more than worth the initial investment.

The Rachio and Blossom are two popular smart sprinkler control systems that use intelligent scheduling to save you hassle and money. Are the two devices on equal footing? Or is one the clear winner?

Below we go into the similarities and differences of the Rachio vs Blossom to give you a sense of which product is a winner and which one might be worth a pass.

Rachio vs. RainMachine

When it comes to keeping your lawn green, smart sprinkler control systems are the way of the future. Pollution, water wastage, drought, and climate change have become serious problems, and systems like the Rachio and RainMachine offer an intelligent solution to these issues.

By purchasing a system with access to detailed weather information and the ability to turn sprinklers on and off only as needed, you’ll see a significant difference in your water bill and majorly help out the environment. Let’s face it: keeping your lawn green throughout the summer uses a significant amount of resources, and whichever you choose between the Rachio vs. RainMachine, you’ll be just as “green” as your grass.

Let’s go into detail on the similarities and differences between these two smart sprinkler systems, so you can figure out which is best for you and your home.

Rachio Gen 2 vs. Gen 3

When it comes to keeping your lawn green, it’s easier than ever before to let a smart sprinkler system shoulder the brunt of the work.

The Rachio Gen 2 and Gen 3 represent the two latest models from this top sprinkler system seller, but what exactly sets one apart from the other. Do you need to spend extra on the Gen 3? Or will the Gen 2 get the job done just fine?

Both models are excellent systems, but let’s dive into the differences of the Rachio Gen 2 vs. Gen 3 to really help you decide which sprinkler is the best choice for your home.

Rachio Gen 1 vs. Gen 2

When it comes to watering your lawn, there are more options than ever before that can save you time and money. Smart sprinkler systems have become more and more advanced over the past few years, and two excellent options come from Rachio.

If we take a look at the Rachio vs. Gen 2, is the newer model really worth the extra cost? What sort of features does each model have that can help you save on your water bill and make keeping your lawn green as easy and convenient as possible?

We get into these details and more in our comprehensive comparison. Read on below!

ilumi vs. LIFX A19

The field of smart lighting has never been more exciting, and now more than ever before it’s possible to get your home outfitted with intelligent, colorful lighting for cheap.

When comparing between the ilumi vs. LIFX A19, the main question you’ll want to consider is whether you’re truly looking for a “smart” home, or if you’d just like to add an easy splash of color to your lighting setup.

The ilumi and LIFX A19 are designed to appeal to different crowds with slightly different needs, so let’s get into the details and help you figure out which group you’re a part of!

LIFX Mini vs. Philips Hue Gen 3

The LIFX Mini and Philips Hue represent two different smart lighting solutions that can add a splash of color to your home. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options, and each are part of a larger ecosystem that can collectively add something unique and special to your home.

Is it worth splurging for the more expensive Philips Hue Gen 3? Or will the LIFX Mini take the cake with more affordable pricing and easier setup? Let’s dig into the details by comparing the LIFX Mini vs. Philips Hue Gen 3 so you can get a better idea of which bulbs will be the better fit for you and your home.

Philips Hue Bloom vs. Iris

Are you looking for perfect ambiance that blends into the background, or a bold lamp that makes a statement? This is the main question you’ll have to consider when comparing the Philips Hue Bloom vs. Iris. Whether you’re looking for a low-profile light or a lamp that is a focal point in and of itself, one of these two lamps is sure to add color and convenience to your home.

Let’s break down the differences between the two lamps so you can get a better sense of which lighting solution will work best for your home.

Philips Hue Go vs. Bloom

There are some key differences between the Philips Hue Go vs. Philips Bloom. They’re made from different materials, have totally different use-cases, and even their on-product controls offer different options. So let’s compare Philips Hue Go and Bloom and see which product comes out on top.

Sonos PLAY:1 vs. Bose SoundTouch 10

When comparing the Sonos PLAY:1 vs. Bose SoundTouch 10, it can be difficult to wade through all of the technical specifications and various features that each product family has to offer.

The integration with smart home systems and support for an impressive amount of streaming services make the PLAY:1 one of the hottest devices on the market, but the Bose SoundTouch 10 has its own charm with more flexible control options that extend beyond what Sonos has to offer.

We’ve compiled the key points you should consider when shopping for a smart speaker so you can buy a smart speaker that is the perfect fit.