• Melanie Loves Tampa Bay

Smart Home Technology That's Easy to Use

I have a love / hate relationship with smart home technology. Although I love the convenience and functions of some of the products, I also get very frustrated when they don't work or they're hard to understand.

Having lived in a home with lots of complicated technology, I can tell you that the one thing I wanted when I moved into my next house was technology that was easy and worked when I needed it to. Sometimes more technology does not always make your life easier.

I was more recently introduced to a few products that I hadn't used before and installed a few more. It is important to note that I do not use a central home system like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. I prefer to manage all of my technologies individually through apps on my phone. Some of the products highlighted here do work with Alexa, Google, or Nest.

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LIFTMASTER GARAGE DOOR OPENER WITH MYQ - I was excited to learn that my new garage door opener came equipped with Wi-FI capabilities and that I could use my phone to open and close it. It has been very helpful if I need to let anyone in to my garage and I don't want them accessing the house. Also, if you have ever been away from home and wondered whether you remembered to close your garage door - with this technology, the app tells you whether it's open or closed. I still prefer the old school remote in my car and the button on the garage wall, but I have found it to be useful at times and it provides peace of mind.

WEMO LIGHT SWITCH - Found out about this product when I couldn't access a light switch in my office due to a piece of furniture in front of it. For a few weeks, I actually used a hockey stick to turn the light on and off. I called an electrician to move the switch, and they recommended the Wemo light switch. Now I use my phone to turn the light on and off, far better than that hockey stick. An added benefit is that you can turn lights on when you aren't home, and set up rules to operate the switch according to settings like a high-tech timer. My next purchase will be for my exterior lights so I don't have to remember to turn them on and off.

RING DOORBELL - This is something most of you are already familiar with, but I love mine for the security that it provides and the notifications. It is very hard to hear my doorbell depending on where I am in my house. I get a push notification on my iPhone and Apple Watch when someone rings the doorbell. I also appreciate the fact that I can communicate with the person at my door without having to open it. It did take some time to get the settings right in regards to the notifications of people / cars being close to the house.

KWIKSET SMARTCODE ENTRY KEY PADS - To me, there is no better home technology that makes life easier than a key pad for door entry. It takes away the need to carry keys and give out keys to multiple people. It also takes away the fear of locking yourself out. You can reprogram the key pads regularly to ensure your safety. They also come in varying technology levels from just a basic key pad that locks to locks that can be controlled via phone apps.

I hope this information helps any of you who want to have some easy to use smart home technology. Thanks for joining me on this episode of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay!



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Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. She can be reached at 813-368-6084 or matkinson@smithandassociates.com

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