Get Smart With Stacey: Geo-Fencing Your Garage Door

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The smart home is gaining ground, but it’s still a muddle of confusing standards, competing platforms, and gadgets that don’t do what you might expect. But the promise of products that can make your life a little easier is hard to resist, so I’m here to answer the inevitable questions that arise.

Whether it’s figuring out the best connected door lock to assembling the right recipe to wake you up with a faux sunrise at the optimal moment based on your fitness tracker’s data, I’ve got you covered. As the host of The Internet of Things Podcast, I install a lot of gear and spend hours testing hardware and software to see what works. Smart homes are still pretty dumb, but I want to help you feel smart.

If you have smart home questions you’d like me to answer, send an email to questions@iotpodcast.com. In this week’s column I’m answering questions I get often from everyone, so forgive the lack of names.

On your first question, the SmartThings compliance page includes these Z-wave toggle switches from GE that will work with the Wink hub. You can also put in Fibaro or Aeontec modules that should work if you want to keep using toggle switches. But the Wink Hub 2 may not support all of the features.

I have been looking for a candelabra base smart bulb for a while, and so far all I have found is a Bluetooth-compatible bulb. I’m not keen on Bluetooth for my smart lights, because if you’re too far away from the bulbs, you can’t control them with a smartphone. Currently, these bulbs do not support Wink, SmartThings, or the Amazon Echo.

I had to switch my candelabra-style lights to a smart dimmer because I couldn’t find a bulb. But if you just want to reduce energy consumption, these LED candelabra lights look promising. Another option is to install a smart lamp base, but for a candelabra, though it may look unattractive.