Our top 5 smart home devices
For this post I’m going to give you a quick look over my top five smart devices in our home. These devices are used the most and made the life even a bit easier.
#1 Yale Doorman + Verisure module
One of the best purchases so far. Never you have to worry about the keys when leaving home anymore. Yale Doorman with Verisure module and hub installed you don’t even need to worry about the “did I leave door unlocked?” -thing.
Yale Doorman is designed to fit in one of the most common lock frame of Nordic countries (Abloy LC102) without any modifications. Very easy to install and can be done in just about 15 minutes. I installed two of these locks some years ago in both front and back doors. Front door had plenty of space and backdoor just fitted. No any extra room though since it is a door with a window.
Configuratio of the Yale doorman is not very user friendly, unless you have the wireless module installed on it. I did use the Doorman without Verisure module for some weeks and noticed that it’s just way too difficult to configure/monitor it through keypad. So decided to try Verisure smart lock box. It does not require subscription, but you need to buy the module and a hub for it (cloud based system).
One of the most useful feature of the lock is automatic locking at specified times. For the back door my lock is always locked. Front lock stays locked until first open at the morning and automatically locks at evening if left open. No need to remember to manually lock it anymore. And as a bonus, the automatic lock feature is actually set in the lock modules internal memory and not called from the cloud/hub. I’ve tested it by disconnecting the hub from power and verified that auto lock still worked! A Great feature!
#2 Roborock S5
As well one of the best purchases ever. I did already wrote a small article about roborock S5, but I just can’t stop recommending this stuff. The Roborock S5 is already quite old model, but still works great. Previously I had a old robot vacuum that bounced around and did not have mapping support, it was truly a bad device. By having a mapping feature the robot is very precise and cleans the whole area you’re telling it to clean.
I usually use the roborock to clean one or two rooms at a time. Before sending the command, I check the floors and move smaller stuff (if any) to correct places. So it also helps me to keep the floors clean from external stuff most of the times 🙂
#3 Sonos multiroom speakers
By having a wireless speakers you can hide them from plain sight since you don’t have to use any physical buttons to control it. However, it comes with a cost: who want’s to pick up a phone every time you just want to listen a radio? Luckily there’s a solution for that (see the next section #4).
Sonos does offer you a great audio with a great range of supported music sources (from TuneIn to Spotify). Sonos offers variety of smaller speakers, surround sets, mid-sized speakers and even own connect/amplifier systems so that you can attach speakers of your own choice.
I have Sonos speakers in a kitchen, home office, terrace and as a tv speakers (surround system). I do mostly listen radio in different locations and I can easily choose one or multiple locations where I want the music play simultaneously.
#4 Google Assistant
Google Assistant.. before I decided to try a voice assistant I though I would never use it naturally. But now I’m using it in daily basis mostly for playing music from Sonos speakers, commanding the Robot vacuum (S5 does not support it out of the box, but I can map voice commands through Home Assistant) and turning off/on the TV. Of course there are more of use cases, but those are the most used ones in our household 🙂
#5 Xiaomi Aqara (garage) door sensor
Last but not least (even though the smallest one of these): a garage door sensor. Xiaomi Aqara Door sensor installed in a garage door. Too many times we have forgot to close a garage door and it’s been left open for few hours. That’s not a good idea when there’s -25 degrees outside and garage is heated.
The door sensors of course does not work alone, but needs either hub or other Zigbee network in your automation system. I’m using Conbee II connected to the Home Assistant. I’ve configured an automation that will send me a push notification if garage door has been left open for more than 5 minutes, so no more open garage doors in here!