All over the internet there are four issues that keep arising with regards to false information about the Apple Watch. I’m a REAL Apple Watch user and I would like to dispel them below.
1. You can’t use the Apple Watch without being near Bluetooth range of your phone
False. The Apple Watch uses WiFi when not connected directly to your device. Yes, you need to first pair your device with the phone and then you can walk all over as long as you are connected to a previously setup WiFi network (on the phone).
Apple Watch uses Bluetooth® wireless technology to connect to its paired iPhone and uses the iPhone for many wireless functions. Apple Watch can’t configure new Wi-Fi networks on its own, but it can connect to Wi-Fi networks you’ve set up on the paired iPhone.
2. The battery will not last a day
False. I have had an Apple Watch for three weeks and not once has it gone into reserve mode. I usually end up with 30-50% of my battery left over. I also use the watch a lot using Siri, ‘Workout mode’ for 30 minutes a day (it uses the heart rate monitor to calculate calories), get a ton of emails and texts etc. I’m not quite sure why this is still talked about.
3. The Apple Watch doesn’t do much
This is quite hilarious to me as I literally can almost do everything on my watch that I can do on my phone. Right now, my phone stays in my pocket unless the Apple Watch Siri doesn’t quite translate what I’m asking it to do so well. In conjunction with this Siri hack, I can make it do anything. Things that people don’t realize that it does are as follows:
- Check the LIVE view on an IP camera
- Control iTunes on your PC through the native Remote app
- Check my current nutrient levels through MyFitnessPal
- Pay with Apple Pay
- Make calls on the watch
- Messaging is definitely the best part. Using a button for Siri and then texting messages makes communication extremely easy
- Reminding yourself becomes extremely easy with the Reminders Nano app (with the Glance enabled).
- Take it for runs and use it as my Music Controller (it holds music) and can Bluetooth to it’s own devices.
- Home Automation is awesome with the Home Remote app. I have been in direct contact with the developer and he is extremely responsive and is in the middle of making some awesome changes to the app to enable smart iBeacons (the ability to click notification actions based on hyper-location)
While Apple said that it’s not officially waterproof, there are countless people out there that are making swimming apps and hoping that Apple approves them.
We hope that clears up some confusion about the Apple Watch. Most of the major concerns people have with regards to the above issues aren’t issues. The biggest issue I have with it is going to be fixed with WatchOS 2.
Z-Wave Dimmer Modules
Z-wave technology can control your lights through a specific radio frequency to a base hub or stick. You can purchase Z-Wave dimmers switches which control the lights locally and then update the system with the specific level the light is at. Advantages over WiFi
- No router needed
- Arguably more secure
- Allows for mesh networking
- Faster real world response (from my own observations)
- Can buy in bulk for cheap
- Z-Wave Technology
- Works well with halogen and incandescent
- Does not work well with LEDs
- Large housing for installation
- Minimum wattage amount required
- Works great with LED’s
- No buzzing when dimming
- Works with most Z-wave hubs well
- No Buzzing
- Max 500W
- Great reviews
- Great product
- Good brand
- Good reviews
- Downside: Higher price
- Works great with LED’s
- Best brand name
- Doesn’t work well with LED (needs minimum wattage:40w)
- Not completely silent
- No neutral wire required
The Z-Wave Dimmer Switch Winner
Based on my experience, rumors and reviews from online the Linear is the one I would pick as the dimmer of choice for a retrofit design of a house. At $35 a pop it’s very easy to use your existing LED’s/Halogens or Incandescents to become smart and controlled. Second place goes to the Evolve dimmers but at $12 more per dimmer you could get some LED lighting strips.
WiFi lights aren’t preferred unless you can change all your ‘switches’ to be able to control the lights. Changing out all the switches is an expensive solution. There are some solutions for this (LIFX Remotes) but for the most part the easiest transition to use Z-Wave Dimmers instead.
- Created WiFi Lights Sector
- Philips is a high quality product
- Great reviews
- Great support
- Great API
- Great integration
- BR30 Base Option
- $95 is for 4 bulbs, gateway, wall remote (below)
- Cheapest option
- Full API
- RGBW Color LED Light Bulbs (AKA: 60W)
- Can replace your entire local switches on the wall as they are pretty cheap.
[/plan][plan title=”GE Link” color=”grey-lite” price=”80″ target=”_self”]
- $80 Includes 4 links and the Wink Hub
- Zigbee (so will not improve your z-wave mesh network)
- 60w equivelent
- GE brand (big name)
- See below for sample checkout
- $380 for 4 bulbs
- No hub required
- 75w equivalent
- WAY too expensive compared to LimitlessLED
- Stick out a lot and wont be good for 80% of lamps or fixtures
- What about wall switches?! Once you cut the power to the bulb it wont get any power.
The Best WiFi Smart Lighting Is…
1. IF PRICE NOT A CONCERN
If price is not an option than we personally like the Philips Hue as it is the most professional looking lights of the bunch (also the most expensive) and there is the best integration with all the other smart products out in the market. There is also plugins for Smartwatches for the hue (Pebble), a great API and is one of the biggest names in lighting.
2. IF PRICE IS A CONCERN
We LOVE the idea of replacing our existing wall switches with those remotes from limitlessled.com. They aren’t the best looking but give you far more control over the mood and color of every light in the area at the touch of a button. They are super cheap and are always on sale (don’t be fooled). We went through the pricing up the same package as the philips (4 bulbs and a gateway) and it’s about half price.
For 100 bucks you could use this as a test to see what your whole house will respond like.
3. IF YOU WANT ON AND OFF AND CHEAP
The GE Link is a decent option and comes in at 80 dollars. It’s an ok solution and works with Zigbee hubs (Wink). Below is a sample checkout of 4 bulbs with the hub at HomeDepot.com:
Bluetooth Smart Lights
Bluetooth lights from my perspective are a fail from the start. There is no mesh network, the range is only 20-30 feet, you need a bluetooth controller that is on and I just don’t see the point VS the other options mentioned above.
- Poor range
- Need a bluetooth controller
- Just a bad idea overall
There are a lot of options coming out with smart lighting products. The ones that will succeed will be the ones that just let us keep our current solution and then add to it.
BEST OPTION FOR A NEW BUILD
The LimitlessLED option to me seems like the best option for the money. It provides full color LEDs, remotes with wall plate options at a good price, a good API and other bases. I would choose that option if you could build a custom ‘wall plate’ for the remotes to make it as seemless as a regular wall switch.
BEST OPTION FOR A RETROFIT
The Linear dimmer switches with a z-wave hub will make your significant other happy as from their eyes nothing will change. You can program and automate all you want. They will just have a different button to push.