Plug and Play vs. The Smart Home

Plug and Play vs. Smart Home I get a lot of questions about Smart Homes.  If you’re like me you think of the home of the Jetson’s where robots do everything for you.  Well sorry George, software has become king and while robots still exist the savvy home owner wants a digital army helping not a big clunky maid robot maid.  Most of the time the conversations I have break down into an understanding of what a smart home is verses what plug and play means.   Many products offer “Smart” services. So, is a Smart Home a home with many “Smart” devices? NO! The bulk of these “Smart” devices such as smart coffee pots, smart refrigerators’, thermostats, cameras, ect. are handy but they are considered plug and play devices.   What Is a Plug and Play Device? These Smart devices are independent from each other and do not work together.  These types of devices all have separate aps typically by different companies to be controlled on your smart phone or device and do not work with each other or communicate with each other.  These apps are all proprietary and work differently, look different and have different things to learn about each.  I am personally not a fan of having to learn seven different apps and how to maneuver them. The Plug and Play Devices do what they are designed to do.  If you read the instructions of a plug and play device, they will tell you exactly what they do.  You can expect them to do that, and not expect to change any aspect of this, they simply...

The Next Smart Frontier…Smart Irrigation

SKYDROP SMART IRRIGATION   As spring approaches what does every smart home need?  A Smart Lawn!  I love how intelligent water saving apps are getting and today I want to highlight a product that impressed me.  The product is Skydrop Smart Irrigation.    With the watering season just around the corner, the Skydrop Halo Smart Irrigation Controller uses hyper-local weather data to learn how much water a yard needs.  This amount is based on real-time precipitation, humidity, temperature, wind, solar radiation, slope, and soil condition and like a smart thermostat it intelligently adjusts itself. Nexus Electric and Smart Home can add Skydrop’s web interface to any Touch Screen or Smart remote control. This could revolutionize the water consumption not just from a residential perspective but commercial as well.  How many times have you passed by a commercial building and seen a sprinkler broken and flooding the sidewalk.  We have a client who put in a similar system and the system informed us that his water consumption went way up.  The system was broken and was leaking near the house.  Because we were aware of the water usage difference, we were able to find the leak before it caused any damage to the home.  Many of our clients are second home owners and do not live in Lake Tahoe full time, they do their best to remotely watch their home from other states.  I find this exciting not just from a water consumption point of view, but as water becomes more restricted it becomes more expensive.  This system makes dollars and sense! Smart Irrigation systems may be a smart solution to...

Nexus Electric Awarded Best of Houzz 2018

Nexus Electric and Smart Home of Incline Village Awarded Best Of Houzz 2018  Over 40 Million Houzz Monthly Unique Users Nominated us the Best in Design!    Incline Village, NV, January 17, 2018 – Nexus Electric and Smart Home of Incline Village has won “Best Of Design and Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. For two decades Nexus Electric has been the leader in Electrical and home Automation Installation for the Truckee Lake Tahoe area.  Nexus Electric was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.   The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2018” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.   “Our vision is to provide our clients electrical and home automation that offers convenience, piece of mind and brings added enjoyment.  Unmatched value followed up by extraordinary customer service and support is our goal,” -Jeremy Brown, President   “The Houzz community selected a phenomenal group of Best of Houzz...
Voice Control- My review on the Amazon Echo Dot

Voice Control- My review on the Amazon Echo Dot

Voice control used to be a novelty in the smart home arena, more of an aid or those with disabilities than the next hot thing. Well times are a changing. In 2016 Echo and Amazon Alexa speech engine have made voice control not only acceptable for the average home but an important part of everyday life. As owners of a smart home business; my husband and I try out new technology before a client wants to buy it and put it in their home. This allows us to live with it and understand the technology’s strengths and weaknesses to give our clients all the information to make an intelligent choice for their home. After using Siri for the last several years I was skeptic about using voice control.  Have you ever asked Siri somethign and she just didn’t understand and finally you realize you’ve wasted way too much time trying to get her to understand you and it’s faster to do it on your own?  Well I have and this is a few times a week situation for me.  I knew that voice control technology would either be a godsend or a nightmare.  So when my husband brought home the Echo dot (AKA Alexa) for us to try out I was not very excited. Now I’ve been living with voice control for the last several months and here are a few of my thoughts. Alexa seems to understand me quite well, in fact I believe that it should tutor Siri on voice recognition. I can connect Alexa to my amazon account and have it order things for me. I...

Voice Control Smart Home Systems

In the past, controlling your smart home boiled down to apps and automation.  You can program a lamp to turn on at sunset with a scene or using your phone, touch screen or remote to turn it off after you’ve climbed into bed. But the newest of technology you can tell your smart home to turn it off with a voice control smart home system. This always makes me think of “Star Trek” where they tell the computer what they want it to do.  But today speech recognition technology is a part of our every day lives, just ask Siri.  There are many new products now available that claim to make that “Star Trek” daydream a reality.  While some are still in the beta startup phase, some are from some pretty familiar companies we all know.  Here is a rundown on some of the newest products that CNET has reviewed.   Voice Control Product Reviews: The Amazon Echo “It started as a smart speaker capable of streaming whatever music you asked it to play, but it quickly became clear that Amazon Echo was capable of a whole lot more. Sync it up with your Belkin WeMo Switches , your Philips Hue Smart LEDs , or your Wink Hub-connected gadgets, and “Alexa,” the cloud-connected AI that powers Amazon Echo, will help you turn things on and off with simple voice commands. There’s also an Amazon Echo channel on IFTTT, the popular online automation service that’ll allow you to connect Alexa with Twitter, Facebook, or a whole host of compatible smart gadgets. Deeper smart home integrations are sure to follow, since...