The Lyons’ Go Smart

Don’t you just hate to see your electric and gas bill come through the mail? Especially during the winter months. I tend to run cold so the heat is usually cranked, but Terrence on the other hand likes it a little cooler and would rather layer up. We have a pretty nice fireplace downstairs that is gas, but that is a sure-fire way to jack up your bill if you run it regularly during cold season. We have been thinking on ways to bring our electric/gas bills down without breaking the bank or compromising our comfort. We finally agreed on something.

We decided to install a 3rd generation Nest thermostat system for our upstairs unit. We actually grabbed a deal on it because it was refurnished and spent $130.00 on it. It’s actually really neat, and I have to admit I’ve been too hot or too cold since we installed it. It has an app you install to your phone and set your preferences. You tell it what time to switch temperatures and it does it automatically. You can set it to an away temperature as well as adjust it while you’re away from home, all with a touch of a button.

The Nest provides a month read out of how much you’re saving on your electric/gas bill and the total time you’ve run your unit over the course of the month. Right now, we only have the Nest installed for the upstairs unit, but plan to buy one for downstairs soon. What we are doing is we set our downstairs unit to a little cooler than upstairs so we have cut back on that unit as well.

We even took this whole SMART thing a step further and purchased an Amazon Echo Dot. Alexa is linked up to our Nest as well and responds to commands such as, “Alexa, set thermostat to 70 degrees.” She responds with , “Ok” and the temperature is set. She’s such a great addition to the family. She can even play games with you when you’re bored.echo-dot

Besides the Nest and Amazon Echo Dot, we also purchased some Phillips Hues SMART lighting. We have 4 total bulbs but just ordered a few more (they aren’t cheap but we shop around for deals. Check out Groupon.) Alexa also controls the lighting with these bulbs. We also have a light strip being installed for under the cabinet lighting in the kitchen. I think these lights are my favorite! I love saying, “Alexa, turn bedroom lights to 100%.” She responds, “Ok.” and our lights cut on. There are several lighting choices you can pick depending on what mood you’re in. Terrence is terrible about leaving lights on heading out the door for work, and now this is ok. We can cut them off and on from our phones as well. If you’re looking to purchase Phillips HUE you have to purchase a starter kit which can run upwards of $200+. Groupon has a deal running where you can snag it for $94!! Here’s the link: Phillips Hue Starter Kit/Groupon Dealhue

We always look for functionality when we decide to invest in anything and these little gadgets have made life a little easier. We look forward to adding more SMART devices to out home in the future. Now to find one that can fold laundry for you….

Here is where you can purchase these SMART devices:

Amazon Echo Dot

Phillips HUE Lights

NEST (check Best Buy for Refurb devices as well)


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