Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Products Designed to Run Your Home

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Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices can be used throughout the home to keep you both entertained and safe
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Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices can be used throughout the home to keep you both entertained and safe

Technology to connect and automate everything from heating systems to hi-fi is now widely available. Control things on the go or sit back and make your home work for you at the push of a button with this smart guide to wireless home automation and control.

Wireless speakers can be found in most homes now
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Wireless speakers can be found in most homes now

Stereo All Over

Being in the same room as the stereo system or radio is no longer a concern with such a huge array of wireless and Bluetooth controlled devices on the market. Mature wireless technologies such as NAS servers allow households to connect up hard drives to a Wi-Fi network and DLNA enabled smart TV, games consoles or mobile devices to stream digital music or video. Or make it simple with a connected speaker system. 
 

The Jawbone speaker not only looks great but offers great sound
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The Jawbone speaker not only looks great but offers great sound

Many of the big names in stereo (Bang and Olufsen, Sony, Bose) have Bluetooth and WiFi stand-alone speakers that only need a connected mobile device to pump out clear, precise and bass-boosted tunes from anywhere in the house. Newer players have also hit the market ( Jawbone, Beats) with excellent offerings.
 
If an older pair of passive stereo speakers needs some love and attention, try connecting a wireless digital amplifier, for internet radio, digital stations or the MP3 collection on tap.

Use one switch to replace every other device remote
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Use one switch to replace every other device remote

Media Centred

Smart media centres such as the Allone Wi-Fi indoor remote control switch are a great way to replace all those device remotes that clutter up the living room.

Controlled using a mobile device, it supports Wi-Fi and infrared technology to turn devices on and off and alter their settings, including DVD players, television, CD and stereo equipment, projectors and lighting.

Smart thermostats make controlling your energy simple
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Smart thermostats make controlling your energy simple

Heating Boost

Heating and thermostat control are usually not high on the hit list for most householders – turn it up or down, or put on a sweater – but the ability to control the temperature of the whole house or parts of a house on a freezing winter’s day could be a game changer.
 
Smart thermostats that connect wirelessly to the Wi-Fi network and via an app to a  smartphone, mean that a simple swipe can boost the heat from pretty much anywhere. Makers like Nest and Hive say their products can also save money on energy bills and generate schedules to suit individual lifestyles.

Use Bluetooth to control speaker LED bulbs
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Use Bluetooth to control speaker LED bulbs

Lighting The Way

All of the big lighting manufacturers have invested heavily in smart lighting products. Spend a little or a lot on connected lighting products and create a multicoloured array of LED lighting to reflect the mood or make a home more energy efficient.

Single bulbs incorporating Bluetooth control and multicolour LEDs are one of the more simple solutions. You can also pick up bulbs that feature speakers, controlled using Bluetooth, allowing you to double up on your user experience. 

Add some ambience to the room with colour changing LED lighting
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Add some ambience to the room with colour changing LED lighting

Or go with colour changing LED strips that use Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone control – XKGlow and other manufacturers also add zonal control to make each part of the house controllable. Yet others like Belkin have motion detectors that turn lights on and off when anyone enters or leaves a room and link up to websites like IFTTT.com, allowing users to create their own ‘recipes’ for automation.

Control your cooking while out of the kitchen
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Control your cooking while out of the kitchen

Cooking Controls

No home control guide would be complete without a foray into the kitchen. Try the smart Wi-Fi slow cooker for size. CrockPot’s WeMo enabled cooker connects via 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi to a free app that allows users to switch it on and off, or alter temperature and cooking time, so anyone can create the perfect casserole from the commute home or the office. 

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Smart Hubs and Plugs

Any object that can be plugged in to the mains can be controlled. Simple smart wireless plug devices allow householders to attach air conditioners, microwaves, kettles, humidifiers or water heaters for almost instant control, using their mobile and the Wi-Fi network.
 
Create timed events or switch things manually through a Wi-Fi smart hub that monitors several other devices around the house. Makers like SmartThings have also made the smart hub compatible with IFTTT for automation recipes that fit around individual lifestyles. Archos provides a tablet as part of its home control set up so even a smartphone is not essential.

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Security Cams

Create a wireless security centre with its own networked motion detectors and indoor cams, that can also send alerts and images to a mobile device. Inexpensive remote monitored systems are now available from traditional alarm manufacturers and newer companies that hook up to the home Wi-Fi network and allow users to monitor security via an app or a website. One device (the Rex10 barking dog alarm) has an outdoor motion detector that triggers the sound of a dog barking to deter burglars.

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Safety Monitoring

Keep family and friends safe with a Wi-Fi connected carbon monoxide and smoke detector. Nest’s Protect device hooks up through Wi-Fi to the internet router and lets out an audible message as well as sending a message to the phone when smoke or CO is detected.

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