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I am a self proclaimed techie; I just love new technology and gadgets and all that fun kind of stuff. Something that has always intrigued me is "Connected Home" tech products, such as smart thermostats, wireless lightning or smart security systems. Up until now I've never had a chance to play with anything like that, but I recently got my hands on some Philip Hue Personal Wireless Lighting products and now I am in love.
|Note: This is not my house.|
When you are looking to add smart products into your home, the first thin you need to make sure you have is a wireless router capable of handling it all plus whatever devices you have. In our house we have a lot, and I do mean a lot, of devices that are running at any given time and we were probably pushing it with our old Netgear router. To say the Netgear Nighthawk DST Wireless Router (exclusive to Best Buy) is a monster is not an exaggeration. It is literally enormous but that just goes to show how powerful it is. But do not let the size intimidate you, the installation was very easy for this moderately tech savvy lady. Start to finish it took me just under and hour, and that was with a call to my internet service provider to find out what my PIN number was. Without that call, I would have been done in 45 minutes or less. But if this kind of stuff is a challenge for you, not to worry, the Nighthawk includes Geek Squad installation and one year of support (via phone or web)!
|Netgear Nighthawk DST Features|
• AC1900 high-performance WiFi router with Dead Spot Terminator eliminates your WiFi dead zones
• 1GHz dual core processor
• Supports 10+ connected devices
• Advanced features for lag-free gaming
• Prioritized bandwidth for streaming videos or music
• DST Adapter sets up in minutes - no need to configure or install software
• DST Adapter indicates the connection strength at any electrical outlet
• High-powered amplifiers - Three (3) external antennas
• FastLane™ technology improves performance using both WiFi bands
• Implicit and Explicit Beamforming
• Downstream and Upstream QoS
• ReadySHARE® USB — Share your USB hard drive and printer
• ReadyCLOUD® USB Access — Enjoy personal and secure cloud access to USB storage anytime, anywhere
• NETGEAR genie® with remote access SET UP and SUPPORT VIA PHONE and WEB NIGHTHAWK®
Once I had my new router set up, I was ready to move on to the really cool stuff: the wireless lighting! I was sent both the Philips hue White and Ambiance Starter Kit and the Philips hue Go from Best Buy to try out.
Philips hue White and Ambiance Starter Kit
This kit includes 3 wireless LED A19 bulbs, a wireless bridge, AC power adapter and ethernet network cable to get you started. Once again setup and installation is easy and only took a few moments. You will also need to download the FREE Philips hue app to your mobile device to b able to control your lighting settings. (Download on iTunes.) There are so many features I love about this but the most important functionality wise is the ability to program your lights. This means you can set up a schedule that will have your lights turning on and off when you want so that it looks like your home when you are not. There is also an alarm function so you can have yourself wake up to soft light instead of a blaring alarm clock. I've been using that a lot and it has been wonderful.
Then there is just the cool aspect of being able to change the color of the lights to pretty much anything. The app comes with a few "scenes" already loaded into to use and you can also create countless scenes of your own. I placed two of the bulbs in our bedroom and one in the home office with the hue Go and I already can't wait to get the rest of the house connected! The reading scene I use a ton when working at my desk or reading in bed.
• Choose from 16 million colors
• Create and save your favorite lighting scenes. Dimming and brightening features at your fingertips
• Easily adjust the light output. White and color light that fits your needs
• The 2700K temperature offers soft illumination.
• Designed to provide longer, more energy-efficient illumination.
• Mobile control from your smartphone or tablet
• Download apps that let you control settings from your device. Works with the whole Philips hue and Friends of hue family
• Installs easily into your existing A19 light fittings
• Works with Apple HomeKit (iOS users) so you can control your lights with Siri voice control on your iPhone.
• hue is OpenHome certified and PEQ-compatible, so you can create your own ecosystem of automated devices.
Philips hue Go
This little portable light has quickly become my new best friend. I am a big time reader and my Kindle comes with me wherever I go. Now when I'm home, you can pretty much find me reading anywhere: living room couch, kitchen table, in bed or on my reading chair in the office. I love having this light available to bring in any room with me and I can soften the color and brightness to suit me. The hue Go is also controlled by the mobile app and can be set up to coincide with the other lights or on its own.
|hue Go Key Features|
• Portable, completely wire free smart light that offers a lot of versatility for any lighting need.
• Take it or put it anywhere: plug it in or carry it with you with up to 3 hours of rechargeable battery life.
• Control your way - with the on/off switch on the light, or via the hue app (hue bridge required).
• hue Go helps you to wake up fresh and energized in the morning with deep dimming. The gradually increasing light intensity gives you the feeling you are waking up from sunrise - gently and naturally.
• Offers 5 patented “natural dynamic effects”: Cozy Candle, Sunday Coffee, Meditation, Enchanted Forest, and Night Adventure. Each dynamic effect has its own mix of colors to set the right mood.
So overall I am more than pleased with all this new techie stuff that I've added to our home. Not only did I have a lot of fun setting it all up, but they provide great functionality as well. I'm hoping I can expand my hue lighting into more rooms over time.
These and other Philips hue lighting products as well as the Netgear Nighthawk Router are available to purchase at Best Buy, both online and in your local store.