Updated Dec 2021 · RSS

I use the Amazon Alexa functionality built into my Sonos Beam along with some Insteon devices to control lighting in my house. It's a wonderfully convenient solution and I have found Alexa to be handy for other basic things like setting alarms, telling me about the news that day, weather and searching for basic info. Insteon has a bunch of other devices to control other aspects of your home but I'm just starting with these.

Sonos One speaker: The Smart Speaker for Music Lovers with Amazon Alexa built for Wireless Music Streaming and Voice Control in a Compact Size with Incredible Sound for Any Room

Sonos One

speaker + voice assistant

Insteon Central Controller Hub

Insteon Hub

Connects to router

Insteon plug-in lamp dimmer module

Insteon dimmer

for plug-in lamps

Insteon wall switch

Insteon wall switch

dimmer for ceiling lights

Amazon Smart Plug for Alexa

Amazon Smart Plug

Cheap, easy Alexa integration

And while not exactly home automation related, I added the very affordable Blink home security camera to this list. Blink, an Amazon-owned company, makes small, simple battery powered home security cameras. While they can also be plugged in, the beauty is that they can be placed anywhere and still wake up when motion is detected.

I've also grown quite fond of lights from Pablo Designs. I replaced my kitchen pendant lights with ones from Pablo Designs and then purchased this tall Vella floor light to go in the corner. It has two independently swiveling aluminum louvers so you can control how the light casts itself as well has adjustable LED levels.

Home goods

When I moved to New York in early 2019 I downsized a good deal and didn't bring much furniture with me. I outfitted my bedroom with a Casper mattress and platform bed frame. When it came time to add nightstands I went with some simple ones from Floyd and added my Sonos One and Casper Glow to them.

I have become quite fond of the little Casper Glow as my bedside light. It's a rechargeable and wireless smart light. You flip it over to turn it on, twist it to adjust brightness and use the app to have it automatically turn on slowly in the morning at a time you set to naturally wake you up. It also slowly turns off in the evening as you get ready for bed.

I ended up getting a second Casper Glow after liking it so much. It's so convenient to use and the fact that you can pick it up and use it anywhere ends up being really handy.

But my Dyson handheld vacuum has to be my favorite household appliance. Extremely powerful and versatile, I find myself using it a few times per week.

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson V10 Absolute

the best handheld vac

Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Air Purifier, Heater + Fan - HEPA Air Filter, Space Heater and Certified Asthma + Allergy Friendly, WiFi-Enabled – HP04

Dyson HP04

Wifi-enabled air purifier, heater, fan

Eames Molded Plastic Side Chair Wire Base

Eames molded plastic side chair

Charcoal, chrome base

Pablo Designs Elise floor lamp

Elise floor lamp

Both 32" and 48" models

Floyd Detroit - The Side Table

Floyd side table

15", birch/white

Sonos One Smart Speaker

Sonos One

Smart speaker with Alexa

Casper Glow light

Casper Glow

wireless smart light

WYZE Smart Scale, Body Fat Scale, Wireless Digital Bathroom Scale for Body Weight, BMI, Body Fat Percentage Tracker, Heart Rate Monitor, Body Composition Analyzer, App, Bluetooth, 400 lb Black

Wyze Smart Scale

An affordable ($35) and high-tech wireless scale with mobile app.

Case Study Ceramics planter with walnut stand

Case Study planter

Small for my Snake plant

And finally, I love having plants around the house. I have a few large window sills for succulents that can deal with direct sunlight, then a few others elsewhere in the house: neon pothos, monstera deliciosa, fiddle leaf fig, snake plant, pilea peperomioides, rubber tree plant.