The Best Home Automation Systems for Your Home

’Tis the season to buy gifts! With the holiday season in full force, home automation systems have been a hot buy. 

These devices can do anything, from telling you the weather to controlling your thermostat. If you’re looking into purchasing a home automation product, it’s good to know the basic features and purposes of each type as well as how they compare to each other.

The two most popular voice-activated speakers are Amazon Echo and Google Home. Although Google Home is a new device, it has created some serious competition with the original home audio computer, the Amazon Echo. Both of these cylinder-shaped speakers listen to and respond to your commands with ease.

Google Home is powered by Google Assistant, which will listen and respond to any command starting with, “OK, Google.” On the other hand, Amazon Echo is powered by Amazon Alexa, which responds to any phrase starting with, “Alexa.” These functions are made possible through the devices’ ability to connect to their respective cloud services via Wi-Fi.[1]

While both of these devices serve similar functions and offer many of the same features, there are some key differences. Some advantages of Amazon Echo are that it plugs into your Amazon account for easy shopping, it has better-sounding and more powerful speakers, and it can connect to and control a wider range of home devices. Google Home has advantages such as a touch-sensitive panel, ability to showcase more of a “personality” while responding to your commands, and a lower cost. Additionally, it has a larger knowledge base with a search engine giant powering it, meaning it responds more accurately to a wide range of requests,[2] and it comes in seven different base colors.

When you compare the individual features of Amazon Echo and Google Home, Google Home tends to grasp on to victory. But Amazon Echo’s superior ability to connect to and control more of your home devices may matter the most. One of the biggest advantages of Amazon Echo is its ability to pair with Iris home management system by Lowe’s. While both Google Home and Amazon Echo can pair with many of the same smart devices in order to turn off lights and adjust the thermostat, only Amazon Echo can connect with Iris home automation, which increases your home’s security and energy control.[3]

All Iris-compatible devices, including the Amazon Echo, are connected to the Iris Smart Hub. This system’s main appeal is the wide range of things it’s able to do while you are away. Although Iris Smart Hub is not a voice-activated speaker, it can be commanded through the Iris app, which makes requesting something a breeze even when you aren’t at home. Plus, if you pair your Iris system with your Amazon Echo, you can control all of Iris’ features with voice control.

Depending on what Iris products and features you purchase, you can use Iris to do anything from the simple adjustment of the thermostat to the complex surveillance of your home. Iris home security system products have a wide range of advanced features. From using Iris’ door lock system to lock and unlock your home and garage doors to using it to notify you when your kids make it home from school, Iris ensures security whether you are home or away.[4]

Something we at Think Energy love is that Iris’ home automation control can help you monitor energy. With the ability to remotely control lights and thermostat temperature, saving energy is as easy as ever, even when you’re away. In addition to these features, Iris’ ceiling fan control allows you to turn fans off and on, and Iris’ smart plug allows you to activate and deactivate the power of whatever device may be plugged in.  If used appropriately, these features can save your household a significant amount of energy.

Whether you’re looking to buy a home automation system for yourself or as a gift this holiday season, remember to consider all of your options by researching features lists, compatibility options and home automation reviews. Systems that can accommodate all of your needs as well as save energy are always a great option!


[1] http://www.zdnet.com/article/which-smart-speaker-should-you-buy-the-amazon-echo-or-google-home/

[2] http://newatlas.com/amazon-echo-vs-google-home/46423/

[3] https://www.irisbylowes.com/blog/iris-at-home/alexa/

[4] https://www.irisbylowes.com/solutions/#!/

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