Renovation Project 2016: Part 17

Life is moving fast, and working on this home renovation with my family has been really rewarding. So many memories and very much a learning process. It has been great to teach Clayton III how to paint and more. As I have mentioned before, this extra work has been a little bit of a challenge as all of us have changed up daily routines of school, blogging, keeping up the house, etc. I am happy for this challenge, and we will all remember the fun that we’ve had doing it together.

I love using my Amazon Echo in my own home, and with that in mind, we chose to set up more smart services in our almost-renovated project. So many decisions, and this one has been fun! Alexa is always so helpful! Every now and then she will just start talking to us – so random and somewhat startling! She even picked up on the commercial with Alec Baldwin that aired during the Big Game in January. So funny! This item has been one of my favorite Christmas gifts from my husband! I love asking her to turn on my Playlists. I really enjoy listening to music while I cook, clean, do the laundry and during some of my blogging time too. I have her keep track of my shopping list, and she also lets us know what the weather is like, what time our favorite teams play and pretty much anything else we want to ask her.

Some of the items that we have purchased for the renovated house are related to security and protection and some will work in coordination with our Amazon Echo. The front door has a Schlage Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm on it. The key pad can be used to enter or lock it, you can use a key or it can be controlled with our phone. We now have some cameras and monitors (D-Link DCS-935L HD Wi-Fi Camera Connected Home Series and Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor)  in place too that will alert us of intruders, etc. When the new AC unit was put in, we bought a thermostat (ordered from Amazon: 2gig CT100 Z-Wave Programmable Thermostat) that can be accessed by talking to Alexa or using a smart phone. We are adding a feature that will contact the user if the smoke alarms go off. And, the hot water heater (see my article here on the installation of the Rheems Electric Water Heaters with the EcoNet Wi-Fi module) that we purchased has a feature on it too for checking on it via your phone. It is just a really neat thing to pick up your phone and check on your house, especially if you are away from home. So very COOL! I am told that the whole set-up is controlled by the Samsung SmartThings Hub that we found at I am not very tech-savvy like my two guys, but once they show me how to use something, I pretty much get it (except our TV watching system, but that is another story)!

Ok, so light bulbs that change color are a little bit of a splurge, but I am shocked at how excited I was to use these!! My son was over the moon at first sight of them, and I thought it was something that I wouldn’t use very often. I have found that they are AMAZING! They can be purchased at Amazon (Philips 426353 Hue White and Color, Starter Kit). They also work with Alexa and our smart phones. So fun to change the mood in the room by picking a color, especially when watching TV. And, you can determine if you want the light to be at 100% or lower. Clayton III is in the photo above. He was sitting in the light blue living room with the purple color from the bulb shining. Love it! So neat!

All in all I am so pleased with the new gadgets. Thanks for stopping by! Talk to you again soon! 🙂