– Ben Martens


Home automation is a never ending rabbit hole. I love gadgets and it intrigues me, but I also try to make sure that anything I do is transparent to Tyla. I used to make use of a Samsung Smart Things hub. It was a nice way to bridge all the various home automation technologies like Zigbee, Z-wave and WiFi. It unceremoniously died a few months ago and I had never been thrilled enough with it to want to buy a new one. Most of my devices were WiFi anyway so I decided to go all in on that.

You need something to execute all the programs (e.g. When I get home, turn the thermostat back up and turn on the Christmas tree) and there are plenty of gadgets that live in your house, but I decided to try using IFTTT for everything. The acronym stands for “If This Than That.” It’s a really simple way to set up triggers and actions across hundreds of different services, the vast majority of which have nothing to do with home automation. I’ve used it a bit for years but I’ve never fully relied on it.

After a month of transferring my home automation actions to IFTTT I have to say I’m very impressed. It works really well and it’s super easy to adjust/tweak/configure as needed. So for now I say goodbye to custom in-house solutions and hello to more generic cloud offerings. Let’s see if I still feel the same way in a year.