One of our technicians recently did some troubleshooting of a customer’s Nest Protect smoke/CO2 alarms and determined that, unfortunately, they’d all been ruined because they weren’t protected from the dust and debris of a remodeling project in the home. Dust buildup on the outside or inside of a Nest Protect can stop its sensors from working properly. (The Nest Protect has 6 different sensors: Split-spectrum, carbon monoxide, heat, humidity, occupancy, and ambient light.)
In addition, a Nest Protect's sensors can be damaged by common cleaning chemicals, paint, or too much water. So, be sure to take steps to protect your Nest Protects when needed and to clean them periodically as well.
Here are some tips:
To clean the outside of a Nest Protect: Wipe with a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth.
To clean the smoke chamber inside: Take the Nest Protect off the wall or ceiling and follow the steps detailed on Nest’s website that correspond to the model you have. (On Nest's website, click on Nest Protect, scroll down, and choose the model you have - 1st gen Nest Protect or 2nd gen Nest Protect.)
For installation or troubleshooting of Nest Protects, please contact AvidWorks Technology at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (800) 701-9021.
Every year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, manufacturers put their latest technologies on display. We attended in hopes of finding some cool smart home products we couldn’t live without.
An absolute necessity rather than a frivolity, Bitdefender BOX 2 is a smart home cybersecurity hub that protects an unlimited number of your internet-connected devices from malware, stolen passwords, identity theft, spying, etc. It helps manage all the devices in your home and includes parental controls to monitor your kids’ online activities and manage screen time. (We purchased Bitdefender for ourselves during the show!)
Netgear Add-on Orbi Outdoor Satellite
We liked the Orbi Outdoor Satellite (RBS50Y) add-on product because it enables users to extend their WiFi up to an extra 2,500 square feet in their backyards. Many of our customers need stronger WiFi signals in order to connect outdoor security cameras and this product can deliver. According to Netgear, the Orbi Outdoor Satellite is the only weather-resistant outdoor WiFi mesh system available. It requires Orbi Router (RBR50, RBR40, RBR20 or SRR60) or can be used with an existing Orbi WiFi System.
Lutron RA2 Select Lighting System
Light switches may not be as exciting as other smart home products, but the lighting “scenes” enabled by smart light switches are a wonderful convenience. We liked Lutron’s RA2 Select product line because it’s ideal for larger houses, allowing up to 100 devices (vs. just 50 devices with Lutron’s Caséta Wireless system) and RF coverage for up to 5,000 sq. ft. of space (vs. just 2,500 sq. ft. with Lutron’s Caséta Wireless system). For even more RF coverage, you can purchase repeaters for an additional 2,500 sq. ft. of coverage per repeater or graduate to Lutron’s RadioRA 2 product line. (Lutron's Pico Scene Keypads shown in photo.)
For anyone needing more garage storage space, this is one possible smart home solution. GarageSmart’s MyLifter is designed to lift bikes, a kayak or canoe, a storage platform, car roof rack, etc., enabling you to keep them off the garage floor. Additional products that can be attached to the GarageSmart track such as a spotlight, speaker, extension cord, fan, parking assist/camera laser, air hose, and battery backup are coming soon. Also, coming soon is a voice module so devices can be controlled with Amazon Alexa.
For installation assistance for these products (or any smart home products), contact AvidWorks Technology at email@example.com or by calling (800) 701-9021.
Daylight Saving Time ended on November 5th, but that doesn’t mean you now have to arrive home to a dark house. You can use smart home technology to create a “Coming Home” scene that will light up your house automatically as you approach.
There are 3 primary ways to achieve smart home lighting:
Smart light switches have an advantage over the other two options since a single switch can control multiple lights – and lights requiring special bulbs are not an issue. Also, smart lightbulbs require physical switches to remain in the “on” position, and switches inevitably get turned off.
There are many options for controlling your smart lighting, such as:
Creating a “scene” with your lighting is like setting up an automatic to-do list for the lights in your home. A “Coming Home” scene can include turning on outdoor and porch lights as well as interior lights in your entry way, kitchen, and living room.
You can create many other types of scenes as well, such as a Morning scene (turn lights on), Night scene (turn lights off), Party or Movie scene (lower the lights to create the right ambiance), or a Vacation scene (have indoor or outdoor lights turn on and off to mimic your daily lighting behaviors and discourage burglars).
If you’re interested in some assistance with adding smart lighting to your property, call AvidWorks Technology at (800) 701-9021 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our installation services.
Moving into a new home is a time-consuming, stressful endeavor. In addition to all the cleaning and unpacking, it seems like there are a million details to attend to before you feel settled in. We’ve put together a top 10 list of things to be sure and do – and included lots of home automation suggestions for you!
Contact AvidWorks Technology for details about the installation of smart home devices. Send email to email@example.com or call (800) 701-9021 to learn more.
You may have great Wi-Fi inside your home, but how strong is your Wi-Fi signal outside where you’re looking to have cameras installed? You can determine this by standing as close as possible to a proposed camera location and running a speed test on your smart phone. Make sure you’re connected to your Wi-Fi network, and then try a service such as www.speedtest.net or www.speedof.me to check your network’s upload and download speeds. If your upload speed is less than 1Mbps, you will likely experience problems streaming video.
Here are some tips for improving your Wi-Fi:
1. Move your wireless router
Moving your wireless router out from inside a closet or underneath a desk may be all that’s needed. Or, you may want to move it to a room that’s closer to the location of your proposed camera(s). Then, run the Wi-Fi speed test again and see if your results have improved.
2. Install a Wi-Fi extender
Another option is to purchase a Wi-Fi extender, which will provide a stronger signal to a location that has a weak signal or that was out of range of the router. Ideal placement is about halfway between your router and your proposed camera location. Try different locations and compare Wi-Fi speed test results to determine the best final placement.
The number of walls a Wi-Fi signal must travel through can significantly affect its performance.
3. Upgrade your internet service plan
Keep in mind that all of your connected devices are sharing the same Wi-Fi signal and this can affect their performance. If you have an internet service plan that’s on the slower side, you might want to upgrade.
4. Use your router's 2.4GHz band
If your router supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, try connecting to your 2.4GHz band to increase your network speed outside your home. 2.4GHz travels through walls more easily and can potentially enable a better signal at the proposed camera location(s).
Contact AvidWorks Technology for details about the installation of smart cameras and other smart home devices. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 701-9021 to learn more.
2017 is more than halfway over, but it's still not too late to make a great New Year's Resolution! 2017 can be the year you make your home safer by installing smart smoke alarms such as Nest Protects. Get alerts on your phone and rest easy because the Protect checks its batteries and sensors over 400 times a day. Plus, you can see the battery status on your phone.
Nest Protect works with other Nest products:
Which Nest Protect should you get?
Just check the smoke alarms you have now. If they connect to wires, you’ll want Nest Protect (Wired 120V). If they don’t, you should get the Nest Protect (Battery). After that, you just have to choose the color you prefer – black or white.
Contact AvidWorks Technology for installation assistance.
We’ll remove your existing smoke detectors, handle the programming of the new Nest Protects, and then put them all up for you. Click here to request an appointment, call (800) 701-9021, or send email to email@example.com for more information and to schedule an appointment.