One thing that I love about having a smart home is being able to turn lights off and on without fumbling for the switch. Believe it or not, after being in our home for 2 years, every now and then, I instinctively reach for the switch where it was in my old house! Sigh… But, thanks to my friends at Lowe’s Home Improvement, I just added a few more items to my smart home arsenal.
On a recent shopping trip to Lowe’s I picked up a Google Home Mini, and a 2-pack of GE C-Life Smart Bulbs. I also receive a couple of extra packs of bulbs direct from GE.
The Google Home Mini
Google is taking over my home… in a good way. So far, I have told you about the Google Home Max, and Google Home Hub. I also have an original Google Home that sits in my family room. The Google Home Mini is a smaller, but full-featured smart home speaker that allows you to do everything that the bigger versions can do, but in smaller form.
The Google Home Mini is available in chalk, charcoal or aqua on Lowes.com. It has built-in WiFi and will easily connect to your home WiFi using the Google Home app. It also includes Bluetooth which means you can use it as a speaker.
I knew exactly where the Google Home Mini was going: my master bathroom. I’m a bath lover. I soak in the tub multiple times a week, and I figured that it would be awesome to listen to music on the Google Home Mini instead of my phone. I picked up a reasonable Google Home Mini mount, which allows me to mount it directly on the outlet. This means no cords hanging, and it is not taking up any counter space.
Now I can soak in the tub and say, “Hey Google, play Pandora on master bathroom speaker.” I can also ask about the weather, ask her to play MSNBC or my favorite local radio station on Tunein, or even say, “Hey Google, tell Whirlpool to heat up the oven”, so that it will be ready when I get out of the tub.
And you know what? The sound is really good. I am very impressed. I also added the new Mini to my whole house audio group, so when it’s party time, or when I need music to clean by, I can blast it all over the house as I run from room to room.
The Google Home Mini is available from Lowe’s for only $29.00.
The GE C-Life Dimmable Smart Bulb
We have smart bulbs just about everywhere in our home now. I love the convenience and security. I added one of my new GE C-Life smart bulbs to the lamp near my front door.
The other replaced the clear bulb in our hallway by the garage door. I don’t always need a lot of light in either spot, so to set a calmer mood and save on energy, I turn on these lamps instead of the ceiling fixtures. Now I can say, “Hey Google, turn on front door light” and that lamp will come on. I can also dim the brightness, which I love.
Unlike some smart bulbs, the GE C-Life does not require its own hub or app to function, which makes it very cost effective. It does not use Z-Wave, or Zigbee technology, but uses Bluetooth instead. So, it interfaces directly with your Google Home products using only the free Home app.
The GE C-Life is one of the most reasonable smart bulbs that I have seen so far. For only $24.98, you get a 2-pack from Lowes.com.
Benefits of Google Home Mini + GE C-Life Smart Bulbs
Other than being able to talk to your Google Home and tell it to turn your lights off and on, there are a couple of other huge benefits to having smart lighting that can make your home a safer place.
Using the Home app, you can create Routines. Routines automate processes and allow you to say one key phrase to make various things happen around your home. During Christmas, I had a routine to turn all of the Christmas lights around the home off and on. I was able to say this to any of my Google devices, but even more useful… I was able to create a timer to turn the tree and other lights off and on at certain times of the day.
Using this same feature, you can create a routine to turn your lights off and on at certain times of the day while you are on vacation to make your home look lived in.
Or, how about having Google turn off all lights at bedtime? No worries about roaming all over the house to make sure that you turned off all of the lights. Even if you fall asleep, the lights will go off. Couple this with smart features of your security system, and thermostat, and your “Time to go to bed” or “Time to wake up” routine can get your home ready with just a few words.
Smart home technology has come a long way and continues to improve. And you can start building your smart home slowly. The Google Home Mini and GE C-Life smart bulb is a great place to start. And right now, you can get a Google Home Mini + one GE C-Life smart bulb for both for only $35 on Lowes.com.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lowes. All opinions are my own.