Fall is the time change most of welcome, a chance to reclaim that lost hour we traded for summer warmth and sunlight evenings. With the colder weather now on its way, and the sun setting even before we arrive home from work, it's easy to let schedules slip a bit. Smart devices, however, have a few tricks that can help you stay on track.
Having the house lit, with people appearing to be home may event help prevent robberies, which researchers note can increase when Daylight Savings Time ends in the fall. During the summer, when we gain an hour of sunlight, robberies drop by 7 percent, according to a joint 2015 study from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Don't let the darker hours get to you. Here are some ways to use existing smart gadgets you may already have to keep your smart home running like clockwork even when the nights seem longer.
Smart assistants can remind you
Ask Amazon's smart assistant Alexa to tell you when it's time to set the clocks back an hour. Just tell her, "Alexa, remind me that daylight savings time is November 4." She'll alert you so you don't wake up too early the next day, or miss an appointment.
Siri can do the same — asking her will add the note to your reminders feature. Google Assistant is also capable by just asking the A.I., "Hey Google, remind me to set my clock back an hour on November 4."
Light up the house
Make use of your smart lights like Philips Hue Smart Bulbs, and also those from Lifx, Sengled and C by GE among other brands. You can make sure lights appear at 5:30 at night — when the sun is setting low.
Some home security cameras also have floodlights built in, like the Maximus Camera Floodlight which has a 1080p HD camera and a 155-degree field of view, which you can control from a Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa device.
Warm and cozy
Tap into connected thermostats, like one from Nest, Honeywell or Ecobee, to get your home toasty just you walk in the door. Using a smart thermostat allows you to control when you want the heat on — and when you don't — so you're not wasting energy keeping the house warm while you're not there. That's both good for the environment — and your wallet.
Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Home Kit can also turn off everything in your smart home, just in case you're feeling a little extra sleepy towards the end of the day. All you have to say is set up routines and then ask the smart assistants to close up the house. Alexa can also let you know if it thinks you forgot something with the new Hunches feature, where she might say, "By the way, your kitchen lights are still on. Do you want me to turn it off?"
Please. Don't forget the coffee
The plugs connect to a smartphone app so you can often set devices — like your beloved coffee maker — to certain times, or just remotely tap the pot to start brewing while you're catching those last few moments snuggled in bed.
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