– So, we’re here – million views later. I’m sure that all of you guys have seen when we were invited around to Tom Syndicate’s house to overhaul his home’s network. If you didn’t manage to catch that one, we’ll leave the video linked right below that like button but for now, on to this video. What’s the crack and what’s it got to do with Syndicate? So, this is my house. Welcome. And inside, a fairly smart network of things going on. A smart home means a lot of things to a lot of different people but for me it’s lights, music and security mainly. You can add things like heating and so on and so forth. The reason that I mentioned Syndicate at the start is because I’m actually going to go in to his house and rip out his current home system because some company installed it and put Android tablets on the walls and it’s just all fallen to pieces and doesn’t work anymore. With my system, it’s modular, it can always be updated and it’s smart, very, very smart.
Oh, and here’s the best bit, everybody can do it at home. Let’s start with security. So, the Nest doorbell – the number one item you need for security or any sort of security doorbell. You need a doorbell that is smart, that can tell you when people are at the front door. Honestly, this is something that you need, need, need, need. The amount of parcels that haven’t gone back to the depot because of that thing is absolutely amazing. Push notifications right through to your phone as soon as somebody taps the doorbell. And also, you need cameras – lots and lots of cameras. As you guys can see, I’ve got one right there. So, I use the Nest doorbell. I like it because it recognises people’s faces.
It will actually tell you who is at the front door, so, for example; Alex is at the front door. Alex is my name – hello if this is the first time that I’m on your screen. Please click that subscribe button – welcome to the channel. This is a smart lock – it’s really, really cool for a few reasons. A perfect example of this is this morning. I actually took my car to the garage to get a service and I gave them my entire key set – I didn’t have to take off my front door key – and that’s because I actually don’t have a front door key. I can open this lock with my phone. Now, we do have a dedicated video on this lock, so check it out, right below that like button, but simply, I can tap to unlock on my phone and then tap the lock to wake it up and then when this lock finds my phone, and it knows it’s me, green light, and I’m straight in and then you lock the door by simply just lifting up the handle and walking off.
So essentially, all of this smart tech boils down to security and making things easier to use. It shouldn’t be a hassle, all of this. It shouldn’t be “more trouble than it’s worth” which are words that came out of Tom’s mouth the other week when I was with him. I’m currently looking at all of my cameras right now and I can see that everything is absolutely fine – there’s no one currently trying to break in. This is an awesome system from Ubiquiti (we’ve also done a dedicated video on this) and I can see all of my security cameras anywhere I am in the world on my phone too.
So guys, everything that we’ve looked at so far like the lock and the security system are super easy to install – DIY if you like, if you’re sort of a little bit competent with tech and DIY sort of things. But there’s one thing that everybody overlooks and that’s the home network. All of this stuff like the Ring doorbell, the security cameras and smart connected lights, all use a network of some type. So you need to make sure that you have a strong WiFi signal everywhere that you want to put smart devices and that you have a fast internet connection coming to your house or you will find, and trust me, that devices will fail – you’ll go and load your cameras and it won’t work because your network isn’t strong enough.
So, get yourself a nice router and a couple of access points around your house and you should be good to go. Now, you need something to base your smart system off. For me, Google Home. So, this is the Google Home display. Now, it’s the basis of my entire smart home. I can do everything on this display like view all of the cameras, have two way communication with my doorbell so that if somebody is there I can see them and speak to them and hear the response and I also use this Google display a lot differently to a lot of other Google products. A lot of people talk to them and use the catchphrase “Hey Google.” Sorry for setting off your Google assistants.
I use mine in a different way, called “routines.” You click on here and then I’ve set up all of these different routines that literally do whatever I want, like kitchen lights relaxed mode, kitchen lights on, kitchen lights off. I can turn on the cinema room lights – this is how I use my smart home. It’s like having a tablet on the wall but this actually works, like, 100% of the time. Oh, and here’s the kicker: If I do want to use my voice, I can activate any one of these scenes via my voice in any of the rooms because I’ve got Google Home minis in the cinema room and in my bedroom and there’s actually a Google Home Max on the floor in my office, so literally anywhere that I am, I can control my house. So every bulb in my house has been replaced with a smart one of some kind.
So I’m currently in my bedroom and I’ve got GU10s in the roof, so I can say: Okay Google, set the lights to red. – Okay, changing six lights to red. – And as you guys can see, they’ve changed to red. It’s pretty simple. You can also have them to pretty much any colour you want and then you can also set up groups of lights, so by me saying “Okay Google,” turn on the bed side lights… – Okay, turning on two lights. -…Two lights come on. The bed side lights – exactly what I asked for when I want it. And then with these lights, or any smart lights, you can set up things called scenes which were available, like I showed you guys earlier, on the main Google Home downstairs and you can also control it with your voice.
Really, really simple and I do that in every single room. Right, smart home hack time. So, as well as inside, I wanted outside doing. I wanted all the lights in my garden to be on some sort of smart circuit so that I can turn them on and off from my phone. As well as it just being convenient, it’s also really good for security and peace of mind and to make sure that the lights don’t stay on all night and waste energy and there’s a really, really awesome hack that I and a friend sort of made up, that you can put entire lights on a smart circuit and control them from your phone or Google devices or your Alexas or whatever, and that’s this.
So, this is a standard smart plug right here. It’s one from TP Link, one of the more expensive ones on the market. You can get cheaper Chinese models. I have this one and some cheaper ones linked in the description. Essentially, in this is a plug which I can toggle on and off from my phone or from my assistants in the house. I have named this “back garden light” and as you can see, this yellow-orange cable goes in to what’s called a fused spur. Now, to legally do this the proper way, you need a fused spur to convert lights to a plug socket.
So now we have this fused spur – if anything goes wrong, it can then fuse here and not up here. That way, when this is toggled, my outside lights come on and off. Very, very simple smart home trick. And you may have noticed, below that fused spur, on a shelf is a Sonos connect amplifier. That moves us from light to music. So, we are currently outside in my garden listening to a bit of Disarm by Allta, one of my favourite songs, and I’m playing it off of my phone to that Sonos player which is then piping it out to these speakers. I’ve got multiple rooms on my Sonos app like “Garden”, which is this zone, and then I’ve got “In There”, which uses my Kef speakers, and I can literally join all of these rooms together and play music in all rooms at the same time, like, sort of party mode, or you can have a different song in each room.
Sonos is absolutely huge. It’s big for a reason – because it works and it works well. You can control it with things like Alexas and Google Homes. I really recommend Sonos – that’s what I mainly use for music. So, there’s a couple of last things that I need to cover and a couple more things that I need to show you. Okay Google, blinds down please.
Whilst that’s happening, let’s sit here and have a chat. So, the one thing that I don’t do in this house is smart, sort of multi-room, TV. To do multi-room TV and have sort of a HDMI going to every single room, and you can have, let’s say whatever you want on in every single room, TV, a games console, in any room, the bedroom, the kitchen, you need something called an HDMI matrix. Number one, these things are really, really expensive and number two, if you’re like a quality freak like me and you like 4K, and 1080p just doesn’t cut it for you, then a 4K HDMI matrix system is even more expensive than a 1080p one and essentially, the HDMI matrix takes an input, so let’s say an Xbox, and then it can throw it out on any TV or all of the TV’s at the same time around the house.
It can be implemented with Google Home and Alexas and different things like that, so you could say: Show me the Xbox on the kitchen TV; the HDMI matrix will switch to that input and put it on that TV. But I just don’t mess around with that – it’s expensive and it’s hassle and apparently, they break quite a lot. Well, Tom’s do, so I’m going to be taking his out. But that is my smart home.
Everything seems to work really, really well and I hope you guys have enjoyed this video. If you’ve got any questions, put them down there in the comments. A like rating would be awesome and I’ll see you guys in the next one. .
As found on Youtube