Top 6 Home Gadgets for your Outdoor BBQ

Top 6 Home Gadgets for your Outdoor BBQ

Today I want to take some time to give a little love to outdoor gadgets.  We often talk about smart technology inside the home but if you’re like me, you spend a lot of time outdoors in the Summer.  Of course, you could drag pricey speakers out to the pool or prop up your favorite flat-screen TV in the garden. However, gadgets and gear made for indoor play should really stay indoors. Otherwise, those burgers won’t be the only thing to get burned. There are many smart home gadgets that can not only bring some life into your party but are also actually made for outdoor use. Lynx SmartGrill Use your app and have the grill turn on or off from your smart phone.  Then you pick a recipe from their database or enter your own recipe and the SmartGrill will turn on the heat and heat it to the perfect temperature based on the degree of cook that you choose.  Then the SmartGrill walks you through the entire cooking process, learning your preferences as it goes.  Available in 30-, 36- and 42-inch sizes.   The best part is you can have the grill shut off remotely if you are entertaining and not able to constantly watch the food.  I am personally very accomplished at burning barbeque.  Lynx MiPow PlayBulb Garden Outdoor Lighting Once the late afternoon hits on the 4th of July I leave the beach or trail and go sit on my deck in my back yard.  I am very lucky to live a 3-minute walk from Incline Beach, so I have all my friends come and have...

The “Smart” Device Market Rises 30% in 2018

The global sales of smart devices are on the rise. The market for these smart products is expected to grow 31% from last year. Wow! That’s a lot of units accounting for almost 100 million units and projected to be 230.5 million by 2022. The entire smart devise market is comprised of smart speakers, video entertainment products, connected lighting, smart thermostats, and home monitoring/security products. In the 2018 sales are we see a dramatic rise of smart speakers with built-in voice assistants such as Google Home or Amazon Echo. Though the 30% increase also consists of many new types of devises, made for both inside and outside of the home. Privacy and security for smart devices remains one of the key inhibitors to adoption. And frankly, if you have read many of my blogs you know that many of these devises are constantly data collecting on you and sending it to some corporation. It sometimes feels like tattling, when you consider that your Fitbit is probably selling your fitness level to your health and life insurance carriers. Some people don’t care if their devices are listening and selling information about them. If you are one of these people buying a smart devise and plugging it in and downloading the app may be your way to go. If security and privacy is a big concern to you, I encourage you to reach out to a smart home professional. I have many blogs on the difference, but I will review quickly here. Smart home professionals like Nexus Electric create an internal server to connect all your devises to. With an internal...

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...

Does Smart Thermostats Save Me Money?

Smart Thermostats are programmable and that saves you money, but how?   “Isn’t a normal thermostat programmable,” my neighbor asked.  Yes they are.  So how can Smart Thermostats save me money? First of all what is a “Smart” thermostat?  It’s considered “smart” because it is learning your behavior.  It allows you to control the temperature remotely and shows you energy consumption in real-time.  They can even adjust themselves based on ambient conditions like humidity, the door being left open for a long time or your oven heating the house while cooking. Smart Thermostats really take the hassle out of adjusting the temperature and climate in your home in a way that walks the line between comfort and energy efficiency. You can set it and forget it.  It will stop heating or cooling an empty home so that you don’t have to manually change it every single time.  The thermostat adjusts to make sure your as comfortable as possible when your home. Remember, they don’t save you money on their own—they can save you money when you take the time to program them to your lifestyle and actively keep an eye on your energy output.  My husband and I took the time up front when we bought our smart thermostat and it has paid off…we dropped our energy bill by a third! If you have kids like I do who love to mess with the heat, and hate the idea of having to turn the thermostat on and off manually every time you leave the home… including estimating running errand times, it is definitely worth the money you’ll spend to...

What Exactly is a Smart Thermostat?

Regular thermostats–  You can adjust the temperature of your home (basically a control panel for your heating and air conditioning).  A programmable thermostat lets you set the temperature and have the thermostat change the temperature depending on the time of day. Smart thermostats- This thermostat is considered “smart” because it is learning your behavior.  It allows you to control the temperature remotely and shows you energy consumption in real-time.  They can even adjust themselves based on ambient conditions like humidity. An example of a smart thermostat: You can tell the thermostat turn off when you leave for work or to take the kids to school, and then turn back on ten minutes before you get home keeping the home at the perfect temperature you want to come home to.  *Most smart thermostats show you how long it takes to make the change you’ve requested, so you can see how effective your climate control system really is, and it discourages people from turning a thermostat all the way down to try “cooling off the house faster” (which never works). Plus, you can manage many smart thermostats from your phone or a webapp. From the remote interface, you can always see how much you’re spending on heating or cooling costs, tweak the programming to you save money, and see the results immediately. *Information provide by Lifehacker.com “What a smart thermostat does that mine can’t...

Nest Thermostats just got a lot better!

Nest Partners with Control4 Home Automation At Nexus Electric and Smart Home, integrating thermostats with our custom home automation systems is one of the most requested functions from our clients.  Besides the obvious benefits of climate control, the convince of remotely accessing your heating systems with a phone app and conserving energy, integrating your HVAC system serves a much more important task behind the scenes. Our systems are programed to email the homeowner when something is wrong.  If your home becomes too “Cold” or “Hot” you will receive an email and a text that alerts you to the situation.  Here in the mountains, we have to worry about freezing pipes and the comfort and safety of elderly family members and pets.  Below I share a real world example of how our systems saved our clients from possible disaster. Now comes the “Nest” thermostats.  Their attractively designed, user friendly interface,  and great marketing made the a big hit fast.  We have begun getting several inquiries from our clients about using them in their homes.  While the Nest offered an app for remote access there were no other added benefits for our clients.  At the 2013 CEDIA event that all changed.  Nest announced they had opened there Software to home automation and had chose Control4 as a partner.  As a Control4 “Gold” dealer,  I couldn’t have been happier, I was now able to install the Nest thermostat our customers wanted and give them the added benefits they needed.  We are getting rave reviews from our clients that have the Nest Thermostats and they love the user interface we offer through Control4....