How to make a smart home for $200

– Even just a few years ago,
smart homes were not a thing. Or, they were, but you had to be a total nerd or super rich to have one. Now everything’s different. If you have an Amazon Echo, you have the beginning of a smart home. If you have any appliance
you can turn on or off from your phone, you have
part of a smart home. It turns out that smart
homes are really easy to start building, now a days. And you can do some pretty
cool things with them, like control your lights,
your heating, your TV. You’re often more limited by what would be dumb and excessive, than
what you actually want to do. So, how do you get started? We’re gonna go to my
apartment and I’m going to show you what you can
do for under $200 dollars to make you’re home a little bit smarter. (snappy upbeat music) Alright, so the first place
to start is a voice assistant. I’ll admit, these can be kinda creepy, but once you start to get used to them, they actually turn into a
fun and pretty convenient way to control your stuff. I chose the Google Home Mini. It’s $49 but they’re on sale all the time, so don’t pay that much. Obviously, you can use
this to look stuff up, or play music or podcasts,
but I mostly use mine to turn my lights and air
conditioner on and off. I could just use a button
or do it in my phone, as I see a lot more
convenient a lot of the time, especially if I’m on my way out the door or going to bed. Now, we’re going to get
into the smart lights and how I turned a dumb air conditioner into a smart one, but before I do that, I want to talk about how all these devices are talking to each other.
‘Cause there’s a lot going on and it can get pretty confusing. (energetic music) You’re probably familiar
with Bluetooth and Wi-fi. Bluetooth is great for
things like fitness trackers, headphones, mice and keyboards. And Wi-fi is great for,
well, bringing internet to your laptop, smartphone,
smart tv, and so on. But they’re using different
gagets for a reason. They’re designed to do different things. Bluetooth is pretty slow
at transferring data and it can’t travel very far, but it doesn’t use a ton of power. Wi-fi is really fast
and can travel farther, but it does use a ton of power. There’s really only one distinction that you have to remember. Bluetooth gadgets usually aren’t
connected to the internet, so, unless you connect
them to some kind of hub, you can’t control them while
you’re out of the home. Where things get more complicated is when you get deeper
into smart home tech. Turns out, Bluetooth and Wi-fi just don’t fit the bill for everything. Neither are great for
things like lightbulbs that need to be reached at
the way far end of the house. For that, there are other
wireless technologies, like Zigbee and Z-wave. These use really tiny amounts of energy. So, you can have sensors sitting around on battery power for months. But that means they’re super
slow at transmitting data. They’re also built to travel much farther, because their messages can jump around. So, one lightbulb can
transmit an off command to the next one and the
next one, and so on. What this means is that,
if you’re buying something, you’ll have to make sure it
actually works with your stuff. One of the things that
you’re gonna need a hub for is smart lights. I think the best smart
lights are from Philips Hue and you’ll want to start
with their starter kit, because it comes with that
hub, which is gonna hook up to your router, so that
everything can talk together. The starter kit costs $64 dollars. It comes with a bunch of
bulbs and, while Philips has a bunch of, like,
color changing stuff, too. Don’t worry about that. It’s just more than you need. Smart lights are great for just a bunch of little conveniences. You can have them automatically
come on when you come home or when the sun goes down. I bet you have at least
one speaker in your house that isn’t smart or could be smarter. For $35 you can plug a
Chromecast Audio into it and it will be able to do a lot more. So, I have this two speaker system here. It’s old, it’s from 2004 or something, but if I hook the Chromecast Audio up by pluging into the AUX
port, I can now control it from my phone or do this, I can say “Hey Google, play Childish
Gambino on those speakers”. [Google Voice] – Alright,
Donald Glover from Spotify… – And there we go. – [Google Voice] –
Playing on both speakers. (“This is America”
playing on the speakers) – Alright, so the last
thing is a smart plug. It’s basically just an individual outlet that you can plug something
into and then turn on and off. I got TP-link’s Kasa, you can get a two pack of them for $45 bucks. So, these things are really
cool because they’re all at once really versitle, but also really limited, because they literally just
turn things on and off. So, I connected my two
air conditioners to them, so that I can control
them and turn them on when I’m coming home from work. Now, some caveats. They are literally just
killing power to these things and turning them back on. They can’t control anything at all. So, my air conditioner, it turns out, will automatically resume it’s prior state when it turns back on. So, because of that, this
works out really well, because, I can just flip
it on and it’s just gonna start making things cool again. You can use this for things
like fans and lamps, too, that are just gonna automatically
resume their same state. So, that’s it, that’s
just about $200 dollars. But there’s a lot more you can do with the stuff you already
have, if you want to get a little bit more complicated. Using apps in your phone,
you can hook things together to do even more. There’s a service called
IFTTT, If This Than That. That’s really good for this. So, for instance, I set
up a rule saying that if it’s over 80 degrees in
Brooklyn, my air conditioner will automatically turn
on and you can do that for all kinds of stuff, with your lights, with your speakers. Now, I really think the best way to get into your smart home is to do
it piece by piece, like this. Buy one thing, see how it works for you, and then get whatever
else makes sense next. Now, I went with the Google Home Mini, but it might make more sense for you to go with Alexa, or if you
use tons of Apple devices, to go with the HomeKit system. Just start with whatever works for you and then add on, bit by
bit, and before you know it, you’re gonna have a much smarter home. Hey, thanks for watching. If you like what we’re
doing, you might like what our friends at Life Noggin are doing. They make a bunch of animations,
explainging stuff like, who is winning the global tech race?

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100 thoughts on “How to make a smart home for $200

  1. Please don’t SAY hey google in your videos. This video was helpful, but I had to keep pausing to turn off my a google Home device.

  2. not a good idea to cut the power to your air conditioner you're stopping the compressor mid cycle. the better idea for the air conditione is Broadlink RM Pro which will allow you to control it via infrared also has an app or you could integrate it into your hub. the broadlink RM pro also has a temperature sensor in it and the app has a way that you can make your air conditioner react to the environment making it much more smart and for about $30 a bargain for what you gets

  3. if you want more cheap alternatives to smart lights, replace the switches instead of the light bulbs. I have no freaking clue why all these tech channels recommend smart bulbs as a lighting solution when it is way less expensive to just replace the switches instead.

  4. If you shop smart you can get all this for next to nothing. I got a google home mini, chromecast, 3 smart plugs, and 3 smart lights for around $130 and I have my TV, desk, fan lights, and 2 christmas trees hooked up.

  5. This is absurd. So you bought a Chromecast audio simply to pipe your audio to a speaker when either an echo dot or a Google home mini can connect via Bluetooth or aux cord. Then you got ONE bulb… One. And one switch. Could stretch that $200 much further.

  6. My home is the smartest of all since i only use devices that don't need batteries or internet to operate and can't be hacked
    and never need rebooted or firmware upgrades.
    These "smart" devices are simply Rube Goldberg machines
    marketed to the gullible.

  7. Isnt it a bad idea to hook an airconditioner to the outlet? Wont turning the ac on and off multiples times during the day affect the longevity of the device?

  8. "how to make all your actions and conversations recorded and stored forever for the corporations and government to have on file for $200"
    Why do people buy this junk is beyond me. It's straight up a recording device of all your conversations. When we know everything is being recorded, we are less likely to speak freely and act individually. When we are constantly under the threat of judgment, criticism, and correction for our actions, we become fearful that either now or in the future date we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us. In response, we do nothing out of the ordinary. We lose our individuality and society stagnates. We don't question or challenge power. We become obedient and submissive. We're less free.

  9. I'd love to smarten my house and it's just that most of the gadgets aren't reliable enough. I read the customers' opinions and they turn you off!

    Is the technology too new?

  10. If you don't want to buy the smart bulbs, etc, what you can do is hook up your lighting system to a wall plug and then use a smart plug.

  11. Weird, for some reason the google home mini glitch and said “Donald Glover” instead of Childish Gambino when he told it to play This is America.

  12. Dude, that speaker setup is wrong on so many levels – literally. Speakers are not at your ear height – not even close to it and one speaker is laying in its side. That one wasn't a center speaker.

  13. A co-worker of my mom bought us the google home mini for Xmas, but we both mainly use Apple products. We’ve been having difficulty thinking about where to go next with google to make our home smarter, but still keeping any new tech compatible with our Apple products. Can anybody provide some info on this? What streaming service works best with google home (disappointing that iTunes is not compatible with google home)? Is the google home hub worth the investment?

  14. Hello, I just want to thank you so much!!! I am a grandmother, that has pretty much been baffled and frozen with fear when it comes to getting started with anything and everything related to beginning the conversion to smart home. The fear stems from the fact that there were so many different devices out there. I felt overwhelmed by the idea of beginning to research each of them to determine if it was what I needed, and then to try to figure out what else I would need to make a device work. I was convinced that I would end up buy a lot of things that sounded cool, but didn't work for me because I was missing some other thing. I knew I wanted to make my home a bit smarter… heck I even knew what I wanted the device/devices to be capable of. But, that was as far as the fear of it all let me go… Thus being "frozen with fear". However, watching your video a couple of times while taking some notes, has changed everything for me. You made it so clear and simple, yet you presented so many options, possibilities, and really practicle ways one could use the devices mentioned in the video. It all just clicked for me!! I am amazed at how simple it really can be, and I just wanted you to know that you may not even realize it, but by doing these videos, you are changing lives. I am now able to see my grandkids every single day, even though I live in Hawaii, and the kids are on the east coast. That is such an amazing and wonderful gift that you have given to my family and I. We are all so grateful. THANK YOU!!!

  15. Thank you for the explanatory video but the continuity is tripping me for real. In the illustration bits you have 2 sets of hands with sleeves, and then on the wider shot you have … no sleeves.

  16. There is a cheaper smart light bulb that only costs 18:95AUD and requires no hub at all and is called Yeelight comments to Bluetooth once and then though your phone connects to the WiFi and then is finished

  17. If I buy the Chromecast thingy for sound, do my speaker system has to be turned on All the time? Or will it turn on automatically when I ask Google assistant to play music?

  18. I can't find a solid reason(s) to really use this tech, since a phone can do a lot of the same (e.g. assistant already in android phones), and you can just manually do these things but not as fast. Have these assistant devices been a life changer for any of you? If so, how?

  19. Finally a video that gives a good overview for these complicated things. I wonder, can you make your monitor ”smart” with that chrome device that you put in your speakers?

  20. Learned NOTHING… Start with a $99 Honeywell WiFi Thermostat – activate the Blue wire and you have pretty damn SMART HOUSE.

  21. Hey censored "hey Google" cause you activated my Google Home lol..other videos do this to avoid our annoyance

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