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Going Solar Part 3 – I Traded in my Range Rover for a Nissan Leaf

So last month I traded in my Range Rover for a Nissan Leaf. No really. After my first 1,000 miles here are some rambling thoughts, early observations and opinions on living with an EV… Autumn Leaf I’ve been driving SUV’s for more than 7 years, but in 2013 I had my first test drive in an […]

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Review: Appkettle – The World’s Smartest Kettle Connects to the Cloud via Wi-Fi

These days the strangest things have WiFi. So when the AppKettle turned up at the Automated Home we wondered if we really needed a Kettle that connected to the Cloud? Setup The UK developed AppKettle is a handsome device with its brushed stainless steel body, a glass water window and an LED display. Setup is a simple process. […]

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Review: Elgato Eve Energy Brings UK Apple HomeKit Socket

At last there’s a UK HomeKit socket module available. But is it any good? We plug in an Elgato Eve Energy at the Automated Home to find out. Setting up the Eve is really simple, the iOS app even uses your camera to read the serial number and pair the device. Everything was up and running very […]

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Bargain: Mpow Mini LCD Portable Multimedia Projector (with Discount Code!)

Very few people consider setting up a projector for their house. We’ve had one on the ceiling of the AV Room in the Automated Home since 1999. Back then it was a 50 kilo CRT monster, these days its a much more svelte LCD affair. We’ve toyed with adding projectors in other rooms around the house […]

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Going Solar Part 2 – Costs, Incentives & Payback Time

Last month we Installed a 4kW Solar Array at the Automated Home. The first thing everyone asks is how much it cost and what the payback time is. While the finances may not be your only motivation for installing solar they are important and there are several figures that feed into the equation. While some are guesstimates others are more certain. Here […]

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Devolo Home Control Review Part 4 – Smart Home Heating

Welcome to the fourth part in our Devolo Home Control system. In this instalment we are going to review the heating control components, a TRV replacement actuator and a wall mounted thermostat. This area of application should be one of the easier ones to justify in a smart home. It can increase your comfort levels […]

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Going Solar Part 1 – Installing a 4kW PV Array at the Automated Home

Having watched the price of photovoltaic solar panels steadily fall over the last few years and seeing a drop in incentives looming on the horizon, we decided to pull the trigger on a system for the Automated Home. We had visits from 3 local companies to quote for a 4kW PV system. That’s the largest single […]

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Devolo Home Control Review Part 3 – Safety & Security

Welcome to the third instalment of our review of the Devolo Home Control range. So far we have the starter pack up running with some additional motion detection and switching capabilities. We have tested many aspects of the myDevolo app, adding devices, creating groups, rules and scenes. We will now look at the safety and security […]

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Husqvarna Automower Review Part 8 – A Tesla for Your Garden

After several months with the Automower it’s time to look back and take stock. But first here are a couple of things we’ve not covered yet. Running Costs & Battery Replacement The manual quotes the Husqvarna 430X Automower power consumption at 30 W during cutting and also quotes a ‘mean energy consumption at maximum use’ of 20 kWh/month in a […]

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Video: The Best Universal Remote You Can Buy

Last week Dan from The Verge proclaimed “a really good universal remote can really make your life a lot easier”, and who doesn’t want that right. Juggling a bunch of remotes when all you want to do is watch some TV is a pain in the neck. A good universal remote solves this problem for […]

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