The Amber X: An Intuitive Leap into Personal Cloud Storage

The Amber X: An Intuitive Leap into Personal Cloud Storage

Oh man, I think Google Photos better watch out! 

In this digital age, we’re all searching for that ideal photo storage solution. Google Photos, for many, has been a trustworthy companion, yet its limitations often spark a quest for alternatives. So, let’s examine a potential challenger, the Amber X, priced at $249, and see if it ticks all the right boxes.

A Journey into Amber X

Setting up a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device can feel like wandering into a labyrinth. I personally run a Synology ( NAS with a crap load of drives for not just my photos, but all kinds of data storage and services (virtual machines, docker machines, basically a bunch of nerd stuff). But that setup cost me well over $2,000 for my 35TB of digital hoarding. (We’ll be looking at their Pro device in another post…I’m kind of giddy thinking about it).

But here’s the game-changer: Amber X. This device emphasizes user-friendliness and simplicity, shedding the complex layers that usually accompany such setups. Now I should specify that LatticeWorks did reach out to me and sent me these units for free. But if you all know me, you know I won’t pull any punches. My personal pet peeve is reading reviews that are afraid to just be upfront and honest about the product. So, here we go.  

Getting started with Amber X involves four straightforward elements: a power cord, a Bluetooth connection, a WiFi connection, and your mobile device. Now, get ready to be guided through the whole setup process by the super user-friendly Amber iX app. Whether you’re team iPhone, Android, Windows, or Mac, it’s got you covered. So sit back, relax, and let Amber iX lead the way, turning the installation journey into a piece of cake!

Amber X Product

Like all reviews, we have to cover what’s under the hood, strap in because we’re diving into the nuts and bolts of this bad boy. Trust me; these specs are impressive!

Ports? More like Porty Party!

Amber X comes loaded with multiple port options. You have an SD Card Reader for all your photo offloading needs. There’s also an HDMI 2.0 4K Output for when you want to showcase your media in high resolution. Your Amber X is also equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet Port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port for those of us who still love our USBs, and a 12V/2A DC Power port to keep the party going.

Amber X back view with ports
Amber X side view with SD card

Wireless Wonder

Amber X rocks the wireless world with 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth for System Setup. No more cable spaghetti and the 2×2 means that it has two antennas supporting two data streams.

Storage, Storage, and More Storage

With a whopping 512GB High-Speed SSD Internal storage, Amber X is like a digital treasure chest. And guess what? You can expand this with USB 3.1 drive! It supports (hang on to your hats, folks) 2TB via SSD and up to 12TB via an external hard drive (like this one here on Amazon That’s what I call generous!

Processor and Memory? Lightning Fast!

The Amber X comes armed with a 64-Bit 6-Core ARM® Cortex® Processor and 2 GB DDR4 RAM. Dumbed down, Amber X is a lean, mean, speed machine.

Size and Weight

At 4.9 in x 4.91 in x 1.5 in and weighing just 0.66 lbs, Amber X is compact and super portable. It’s like carrying a feather that holds half your digital life!

Software and Security

Amber X is powered by its very own Amber OS. Your data is locked tight with Encrypted Data Transfer / Transport using TLSv1.3 and OpenSSL 1.1. It also offers Configurable Disk Encryption with dm-crypt AES-XTS cipher. Basically, Amber X is a freakin Fort Knox for your data.

Media Output – The Power of Three

Here’s where it gets interesting. Amber X supports Chromecast Output, Chromecast Ultra Output, and DLNA Output. The video formats supported include .avi, .mkv, .mov, and .mp4. In terms of video codecs, it supports H.264, VP8, and even H.265, VP9 for Chromecast Ultra and DLNA Output.

You can view image formats like .bmp, .gif, .jpeg, .png, and .webp. For you audiophiles, it supports .aac, .mp3, .mp4, .wav, and .webm formats. And here’s the cherry on top: you get bit rates of 5Mb/s with 2.4Ghz WiFi and a whopping 30 Mb/s with 5Ghz WiFi. That’s a lot of horsepower under Amber X’s sleek hood!

So, that’s the lowdown on Amber X’s specs. It’s pretty clear that Amber X isn’t just a pretty face; it’s a power-packed performer that can take on anything you throw at it!

There are so many features that we’re going to have to do several articles in the future.

Setup: Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy

Let’s get your shiny new device up and running without breaking a sweat! Sidebar: I’ll be using an Android device for my screenshots.

To start the setup, you’ll need to first download the Amber iX app from your app store.

You’ll then be presented with a couple of feature screens to remind you how awesome this device is. 

Joining the AmberCloud Family

If you’re new around here, you’ll need to create an AmberCloud account. Already part of the family? Then just log into your existing AmberCloud account. For the newbies, a special code will be zipping its way to your email inbox. If it takes longer than a coffee break (about 5-10 minutes), it might be playing hide-and-seek in your Spam folder.

Which Amber?

Next, you’ll have to choose which Amber device you have. Here’s a hint, Look at the images on your screen and then look at the device on your table. See, I told you this was easy!

Amber vs Amber X

Now if you’re GPS settings are turned off, the setup will detect that, and you’ll see the following screen. Location access is required during setup so the app can find and identify the Amber device. You can turn it off after setup if you want.

Amber iX App Location Settings

Permissions, Permission, Permission

The app also needs some permissions on your device to make it’s features work correctly. Nothing tricky here, if you want to backup your photos…then you’ll have to allow Amber access to your photos, right?!

Amber X App Permissions

BOOM! Found You!

If all goes well, the app will find your Amber device and begin to configure it. This might be a good time to go get an energy drink or grab a bite to eat, cause it might take a few minutes to finish the setup, and yes, they aren’t joking about hearing a couple of beeps during the setup!

Configure your Amber X

WiFi Wonders

Now, let’s make some digital connections. Setting up WiFi is our next step. You’ll be presented with a configuration screen for your WiFi settings. Even if you’re an Ethernet enthusiast. Trust me, it’s worth it. Now one bug I discovered here is that the Amber X will pickup which WiFi network your phone is connected to and won’t let you change it until after the setup is complete. I’ve reported this bug to their support folks, and I bet they’ll patch that, but just be aware of this.

What’s in a Name?

Time for a little personalization! You can give your Amber X a name. If you’re drawing a blank, don’t worry. Accept the default name for now. You can always change it when inspiration strikes. 


After it finishes, you’ll see your dashboard. You’ll see your Amber X appear. Now the first thing I’d do is apply any updates since there’s a good chance things have changed since your Amber came off the factory line.

And just like that, you’re all set! But remember, your journey with Amber X is just starting.

The Real Magic of Amber X

Once the setup is complete, the wizard will walk you through backing up all your photos/videos off your phone/device. And when I say “all your photos”, I mean photos and videos you’ve taken with your phone, from Tik-Tok, Twitter, Slack, Instagram, WhatsApp, heck, even Google Maps! Basically, any app on your device that utilizes photos or videos can be tagged. Now I did a custom backup because I don’t care about photos from some of these services, but I still had over 4,000 photos/videos that the Amber device picked up. But it’s cool because the Amber iX app works in the background, and after about an hour, all my images were backed up. Here’s what’s really cool. The app has an option to “clean up” your phone…which means to delete the photos/videos that have backed up off of your phone. Now you don’t have to worry about running out of space on your phone when you’re taking photos. I can always open the Amber iX app and look at all my photos/videos, plus i can share them with folks too!

Oh and if you’re wondering, my 4,000+ photos and video only took up 70GB. That’s just over 14% of what I can store on this bad boy. Now if you want more space, you can (as I mentioned earlier) add an external drive, or you might want to think about looking at the Amber Pro, which I’ll be looking at in my next post.

Artificial Intelligence, Say WHAT!

Okay, everyone, brace yourselves for the real game-changer: Amber’s AI-powered photo organization feature! As if Amber wasn’t already impressive enough, they’ve managed to incorporate AI technology to make it an even more powerful tool in our digital lives.

This feature is nothing short of magic, folks. Imagine, you’ve got thousands of photos stored – a typical scenario for most of us. But you’re trying to find that one particular shot from your summer vacation three years ago, or the sweet picture of your niece at her first birthday party. Normally, you’d be scrolling endlessly, right? But here’s where Amber’s AI comes into play.

Their sophisticated AI system has face-detection capabilities. Yes, you heard it right! It can identify faces, making it super easy to find pictures of specific people. But wait, it gets better. This AI doesn’t just stop at recognizing faces, it can also identify objects and locations. So whether you’re searching for a sunset picture taken at the Grand Canyon or photos of your beloved pet, Amber’s AI has got you covered.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Isn’t that a bit creepy? Could this mean my personal data is at risk?’ Rest assured, your data privacy is a top priority for Amber. The amazing part of this all-in-one smart storage platform is that while it leverages advanced AI technology, it does so with the utmost respect for your privacy. Your data stays your data, not shared with anyone else. So you can enjoy the convenience of advanced AI photo organization, without the usual privacy concerns.

In a nutshell, Amber’s AI gives you the power of an advanced photo search engine, all while ensuring your precious memories remain safely under your control. It’s like having your very own, private Google Photos, WITHOUT the yearly fees!

It’s Not Just about Photos/Videos!

Digging deeper, the true magic of Amber X reveals itself in the Backup feature. This feature vigilantly tracks changes in specific folders (and the files inside), automatically initiating a backup with each modification. It’s a lifesaver for those of us who forget to backup our files regularly – an effortless alternative to running a full drive backup each time a new file appears. It’s basically like your own Dropbox!

Securing Your Data with Amber X

When it comes to security, Amber X stands its ground. The device leverages two distinct layers of encryption: TLSv1.3 and the dm-crypt AES-XTS cipher, adding robust protection against unauthorized access.  So whether it’s photos & videos or important documents, Amber X has your back. With its powerful combination of automation and security, it’s easy to see why tech-savvy users are looking closely at this solution.

Something You Can’t Put a Dollar Figure On

Oh, and folks, we can’t wrap up without talking about Amber’s exceptional customer service. It’s like a cherry on top of their already impressive product. Let me share my personal experience with you.

Like many of us, I’ve had my fair share of less-than-stellar customer service experiences. We’ve all been there, right? But when I faced a small hiccup with my Amber device, I decided to give their customer service a try. I initiated a chat session, fully prepared to be tossed from one representative to another. But to my pleasant surprise, the exact opposite happened!

Not only did the representative – shoutout to the fantastic Michael – stay with me throughout the session, he helped me resolve the issue without any hint of rushing. His patience was truly commendable, and his level of dedication to ensuring my issue was fully resolved blew me away.

And guess what the best part was? This top-tier service didn’t cost me a penny. It’s truly refreshing to see a company standing by its product without hidden fees for customer support. Far too often, we purchase a product, only to be slammed with support charges when we need help. But with Amber, it’s a whole different story – a story of commitment, quality service, and customer satisfaction.

So kudos to Michael and the entire Amber customer service team. Your dedication is appreciated and certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. They’ve set the bar high, folks, and it’s about time other companies take a leaf out of their book!

The Verdict: Is Amber X Worth It?

If you’ve been pondering, “Is Google Photos really the best photo storage option?” then the arrival of Amber X might tip the scales. With its streamlined setup, abundant storage capacity, and interface that champions user-friendliness, no monthly/yearly fees and no compression of your photos, Amber X redefines personal cloud storage.

The device shines whether you’re transitioning to a new phone or decluttering your hard drive. While there are minor differences in the user experience between the desktop and mobile apps, the Amber X is largely an efficient and versatile device.

So, should you invest in an Amber X? If you appreciate the ease of use, and storage flexibility, and you’re in the market for a reliable Google Photos alternative, then Amber X is certainly worth exploring. While no solution is flawless, the Amber X presents a compelling case as a comprehensive and user-friendly alternative to mainstream cloud storage options. I’ll be recommending this device to my family and friends.

Unlock Your Home’s Potential With Amazon Alexa-Compatible Smart Devices

Unlock Your Home’s Potential With Amazon Alexa-Compatible Smart Devices

In recent years, the smart home revolution has taken the world by storm. From thermostats to security systems to lights, there are countless ways to make your home smarter and more efficient. One of the most popular methods is using devices that are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant.

What Is Amazon Alexa?

Amazon Alexa is a digital assistant developed by Amazon for use on compatible devices. With Alexa, you can control many aspects of your home through voice commands. This includes adjusting the thermostat, managing the lights, playing music from streaming services, and more. It even has integration with popular third-party services like Uber and Dominos Pizza. All you have to do is say “Alexa,” followed by your command or question, and she’ll respond accordingly.

Best Smart Home Devices for Amazon Alexa

1. Philips Hue Lighting

Philips Hue lighting is an excellent way to bring some automation into your home lighting system. The bulbs connect directly to your Wi-Fi network and can be controlled via voice commands with Alexa or through the accompanying app. You can even set up routines so that your lights will turn on at a certain time each day or when you come home from work.

Why I Love Philips Hue Smart Lighting? I have had a smart home setup for a few years now and my favorite addition to it has been the Philips Hue smart lighting system. With custom timers, color-changing LEDs, remote access, away-from-home dimming and so much more, smart lighting makes my house feel luxurious and modern every time I switch it on. What I love most about this smart lighting system is how easily programmable it is. Whether I want the lights to turn off after a certain time or if I’m feeling creative with my lighting moods, I can customize all that quickly and easily through the app.

2. Ecobee Thermostat

The Ecobee thermostat is one of the best available smart thermostats on the market today. It connects directly to your Wi-Fi network and allows you to adjust temperatures in your home via voice commands with Alexa or through the accompanying app. It also features motion sensors that detect when someone is in a room and adjusts temperatures accordingly for maximum energy efficiency. 

I love the smart thermostats are the perfect way to smarten up your home! If you program it right, you’ll never have to come home to a cold house again, since you can operate and manage it right from your smart device. And with its sophisticated smart sensors, Ecobee can automatically adjust the temperature so you always stay comfortable without wasting energy. What’s more, is adding an Ecobee smart thermostat is easier than ever before!

3. Wyze Security System

The Wyze security system is an affordable yet powerful way to protect your home from intruders or other threats. The system comes equipped with motion detectors, window/door sensors, and much more which can all be monitored remotely via voice commands with Alexa or through the app on your smartphone device. You can also receive notifications whenever motion is detected in any part of your home for added peace of mind. 

If you are looking for a reliable, economic, and easy-to-install home security system, then Wyze fits all of these needs. Not only is Wyze dependable, but it has a wide range of features that make it stand out from others in its category. It gives users the peace of mind that their homes and family are protected. Wyze also provides excellent customer service, responding quickly to any inquiries. With Wyze Security System, you can now sleep without as much worry knowing your home is safer and more secure.

4. Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat is another great option if you’re looking for a smart thermostat that works with Alexa-compatible devices. This thermostat learns from your behaviors over time so it can automatically adjust temperatures based on when people are in different parts of the house or away from home altogether. Plus, it offers remote access so you can adjust temperatures even when you’re away from home using just your phone or tablet device. 

Nest Learning Thermostat has been a game changer for the heating and cooling industry. Not only has it made life so much easier (and smarter), but we don’t have to worry about manual adjustments to heating and cooling. Don’t like the family messing with the temperature? You can lock the thermostat! What I love most about Nest (and smart thermostats in general) is that Nest makes it incredibly effortless to save energy and save money. Nest also brings extra style to my home, with its sleek tech design taking center stage against our living room wall. In short, the Nest Thermostat is an absolute must-have for anyone looking to add some tech convenience and style to their living space!

Your Smart Home With Alexa Awaits

Smart technology has completely revolutionized how we interact with our homes today and Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant is no exception! By connecting compatible devices like Philips Hue lighting or Nest learning thermostats directly to your Wi-Fi network, you can use voice commands to control various aspects of your living space from anywhere in the world! Regardless of what type of smart device you choose for use with Amazon’s digital assistant platform, there are endless possibilities waiting for you just around the corner!

Your Guide To Google Casting and Chromecast

Your Guide To Google Casting and Chromecast

Nowadays, streaming content on the go has become a standard norm, and because of this, TVs and speakers that allow users to do this are rapidly growing in popularity. One of the similarities among devices that support on-the-go content consumption is that they allow casting with Chromecast. I’ll admit, one of the things I find myself doing regularly is sharing video or content with family and friends via my phone. Having that ability to cast it to my TV is an awesome feature.

Using Google’s Chromecast, you can stream music and videos to compatible devices. In addition to this, you can use many mobile apps for accessing your favorite TV shows and playlists without any additional login requirements. 

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What Is Chromecast Built-in?

To keep it simple, Chromecast uses Wifi to allow you to cast media from your smartphone, tablet, or computer to other compatible devices. The Google casting technology is a built-in feature for certain selected television sets and allows you to cast your favorite seasons, sports, games, and much more onto a big screen. Additionally, you can use Chromecast to stream podcasts, music, and even the radio to compatible speakers. 

One thing that stands out about Chromecast is that it allows you to cast content without any disruption. Using its multi-task features, you can send texts and accept calls without interrupting what’s being streamed to the big screen. 

LEARN MORE: The Best Google Routines

How Does Chromecast Work? (H2)

Chromecast uses Wi-Fi to connect to compatible devices and allows you to stream content from anywhere in your house. You can also connect a Chromecast dongle to your TV’s HDMI port and stream your favorite content. It allows you to use your smartphone or tablet as the cast controller for browsing, queueing, and controlling the content.

Chromecast works by using over 1000 Chromecast-enabled apps and allows you to stream over 200,000 tv shows and more than 30 million songs. Simply open a supported app, find something to watch or listen to, and simply tap on the cast button.

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In addition to this, you can also use a Google Assistant device or app to control the cast with voice commands. It works wonders with Chromecast built-in devices, but some older models may not function as you’d expect them to. 

Devices For Chromecast Built-in

Although many television sets support built-in Chromecast, Google’s own Chromecast dongle is a great entry point for those looking to start with Google’s smart home tech.

Other options, in addition to the Chromecast dongle, are also available. Casting with Chromecast is a built-in feature that comes with the Google Nest Hub Max and the Google Nest Hub. These smart display devices will appear as Chromecasts on your network and allow you to cast video and audio content to them from anywhere in the house. Although many video apps recognize Nest Hubs as a display option, it’s possible that some of the apps may not be compatible. In this regard, it’s an app-by-app basis on compatibility. 

RELATED: Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Nest Mini

As for audio, Google Home speakers are a reliable option because they seamlessly integrate with Chromecast and allow you to enjoy the audio content without any interruptions. You can have your friends and family connect to these speakers as well. 

Best Chromecast Built-in Speakers

Google’s own kit is the best go-to option for Chromecast built-in speakers, but other more premium options are also available. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind spending some money, consider the Naim Audio Mu-so Qb. It has the great audio quality and gives control over style and substance. 

However, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice can also be a great option if you’re on a budget. It’s compatible with wireless streaming and allows you to cast audio from your smartphone or tablet. Along with these, there’s a wide array of Chromecast built-in speakers, each one with unique functionalities, that you can choose from.  

Best Chromecast Built-in TVs

Generally, any television set that comes with Android TV supports Chromecast standard built-in, and you don’t need to buy any additional devices to cast your content.

BOOKMARK THIS: What Does Google Assistant Know About You? 

Sony has been committed to launching Android TVs that support Chromecast capabilities. Some of these TV sets include the Bravia XR Z9K, Bravia XR A95K, and the Bravia XR A90K. In addition to Sony, other manufacturers that provide Chromecast built-in TVs and displays include Philips, Skyworth, and Vizio. You can also connect the Nvidia TV Shield or the Nvidia TV Shield Pro to your existing TV’s HDMI port to enable Chromecast capabilities. 

Setting Up Google Chromecast

You’ll have to set up Chromecast with your TV or speakers to cast your media. You must plug a Chromecast device into your TV and download the Google Home App. 

Then simply search and select the devices you want to connect, and enjoy casting your favorite movies, shows, or music to any TV or speaker in your house. 

Chromecast: A Solid Casting Option For Families

Google Chromecast is the best option for those who want to consume content on the go. Numerous devices support Chromecast built-in, and additional devices can be connected to an existing TV’s HDMI port for casting as well. Once connected, casting with Chromecast will allow you to cast your favorite movies or tv seasons to the big screen or listen to music or podcasts from anywhere in the house.

How to Add Devices to Google Assistant

How to Add Devices to Google Assistant

Google Assistant is a powerful tool that can help you with everything from setting alarms to checking the score of your favorite team. But what if you want Google Assistant to help you out with more than just regular tasks? Google Assistant can do a lot of incredible things when it comes to smart home automation. We wanted to show you how to add devices like smart lights, thermostats, and even microwaves to Google Assistant so that you can control them with your voice and really leverage the power of smart home automation. Google Assistant is useful in our daily tasks, and it really can make your life easier. Adding devices to Google Assistant is actually quite easy. Getting your devices connected with your assistant will allow you to control your own home from basically anywhere.

Why Add a Device to Google Assistant

If you haven’t already, you should definitely add any and all compatible smart devices to your Google Assistant. Here are a few reasons why. First of all, it’s really about convenience. You can use your voice to do things like set timers, add items to your shopping list, or play music. And since Google Assistant is always getting smarter, new features and capabilities are always added. There are a TON of cool things you can do with your Google Assistant. Secondly, it’s a great way to stay connected with your family and friends. With Google Assistant, you can make hands-free calls or send messages without ever having to pick up your phone. 

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Another reason, it’s just plain fun! With Google Assistant, you can ask it anything you want and get a response. Finally, adding a device to your Google Assistant making it part of your smart home ecosystem will unlock your smart device’s true potential. I love being able to tell my smart home to shut down at night. This triggers smart locks to lock, Wifi to shut down on my kids’ devices, shut my garage door, and a list of other clever smart home features. Whether you’re curious about the weather forecast or just want to hear a joke, Google Assistant is a great assistant for your smart devices.

LEARN MORE: The Best Google Routines

How To Add Devices To Your Google Assistant

One thing you need to know before buying a smart device (if you want to connect it through Google Assistant) is to make sure it is compatible with Google Assistant. Most newer smart devices are compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so it shouldn’t be an issue for more. But you’re going to want to double-check. Adding a device to your Google Assistant is rather easy. 

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Getting The Google Home App Situated

First, download the Google Home App and sign up for a new Google Account or Sign In to a preexisting account. And then, “Get Started”. To get started, you’ll need a Google assistant-enabled speaker (Google Nest Speaker, for example) and a secure Wi-Fi network. If you’re using an iPhone, turn your Bluetooth on. Now, open the app and tap setup. If you don’t see the setup, tap the device icon in the right corner of the app’s home screen to add your new device, and also you can choose multiple devices. 

BOOKMARK THIS: What Does Google Assistant Know About You?

After the app connects to your Google Home, you will hear a chime. Then select “Yes”. If will not hear any chime then tap “Try Again”. It really is too easy to mess up. I love Google’s installation and device integration processes. Your Google Home is now ready to use. Just follow the steps on your screen and you’ll be ready to go. Now, you’ll be able to control the added devices to Google Assistant with your voice commands. If you want to connect multiple devices then go to device settings and tap “Multipoint” and now you’ll be able to connect more devices.

You can rename devices in the Google home app. Doing so gives a much clearer overview of your smart home as it’s easier to control devices by conversational voice commands rather than irritating names. You can proceed with setting up Google Assistant once you are connected to Wi-fi. The activation of voice match is the first option. If multiple people are using this Google Home and you want personalized results, this might be helpful. Additionally, you can set Google Home to only respond to your voice. So, with Google Assistant just utilize your favorite smart home devices and add devices to Google Home to create useful routines with how your daily life works.

RELATED: Basic Home Automation How To

Adding Your Devices To Google Assistant

Adding devices to your Google Assistant is easy and can be done in just a few simple steps. Here’s how:

1. First, open the Google Assistant app on your mobile device.

2. Tap the menu icon in the top left corner of the screen.

3. Select “Add Devices.”

4. You’ll be prompted to choose what kind of device you’d like to add. Choose from options like “Smart Displays,” “Speakers,” and “Chromecast.”

5. Follow the instructions for each type of device to complete the process.

That’s it! As a side note, not every device will communicate as seamlessly as what is described above. If you run into that, one of the most helpful tricks (and I know this will sound cliche) is to perform a search in Google. Simply query, “connect (your device name) to Google Assistant”. I’ve had to do this with a few devices and every time I’ve found a forum thread through Google Support to help.

The Perfect Smart Lights Setup: Philips Hue Lights

The Perfect Smart Lights Setup: Philips Hue Lights

Smart lighting is one of the most important aspects of smart home and a definite favorite among smart home lovers. In fact, market forecasts show that global revenue for smart lighting is expected to surpass $22 billion by 2025 and nearly double by 2030. 

Smart lighting solutions allow homeowners to control their lights using an app remotely. In addition to just turning them on and off, you can also set timers and schedules for your lights. We’ve talked quite a bit about smart home automation and having smart lighting as one of the most vital components of basic automation. Among many others, Philip Hue offers some of the best smart lighting solutions currently available on the market, and you don’t have to break the bank to buy them. 

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What Is Philip Hue?

Philip Hue is a smart lighting provider with a wide range of options for smart home lovers and newbies. They work similarly to any other smart light setup and can connect using WiFi or other Zigbee signals. They allow you to use an app or a physical remote to control these lights’ brightness, color, and timings.

You can even integrate these lights with other smart techs in your house. Along with being controlled by an app, these lights can be with Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa, allowing you to control them with nothing other than your voice. 

LEARN MORE: Home Automation FAQs

Philips Hue Starter Kit

The Philip Hue Starter Kit is all you need to set up the smart lighting system for your house. It comes with a hue bridge, smart LED bulbs, and other smart accessories that are quite easy to install. You’ll need to consider factors such as which room you will get the kit for and how many lights you need to figure out to choose the best starter kit for you.

Currently, Philip Hue has 3 Starter kits that provide either a white ambiance or a white and color ambiance. The number of smart LED bulbs you get with each light varies, and prices start from just $69.99.

>>Get Your Philips Hue Starter Kit Here <<

Philip Hue Smart Lights

Philip Hue has a wide range of smart lights you can choose from depending on your needs and requirements. Your choice will depend on where you want to install the lights in your house. Let’s take a quick look at some of the Philip Hue lighting options:

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Smart Light Bulbs

These smart light bulbs come in different shapes and bases and can fit into almost any light socket. This makes adding smart lights to your house quite a simple and easy thing to do. 

>>Get Your Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs Here <<

Smart LED Lightstrips

Philip Hue offers different colored and gradient smart LED strips for you to choose from. They are suitable for both indoors and outdoors and create a smooth ambiance where required. 

>>Get Your Philips Hue Smart LED Lightstrips Here <<

RELATED: Is This The Best Smart Light Bulb Camera?

Table Lamps and Floor Lamps

These smart lamps are a great option for your house and can function as a reading light or just as decor. Although smart floor lamps provide gradient lighting, smart table lamps offer color and gradient lights.

>>Get Your Philips Hue Smart Lamps Here << 

Smart Ceiling Lights

These ceiling lights offer warm to cool and colored lights and come in different sizes and styles. All the lights are Bluetooth enabled, and options are available for almost every room in the house. 

>>Get Your Philips Hue Smart Ceiling Lights Here <<

Smart Outdoor Lights

Smart outdoor lights offer soft-warm lighting and colored lighting. Similar to all other lights, they are also Bluetooth enabled and are a suitable option for the front lawn and the backyard.  In addition to these smart lights, Philip Hue also provides a bathroom-specific range called the Philip Hue Adore, which comes with innovative smart lights and the Adore white-lighted mirror. Along with these smart lights, Philip Hue also offers a wide range of smart accessories, including the Hue Bridge, smart buttons, smart plugs, dimmers, and much more. 

>>Get Your Philips Hue Smart Outdoor Lights Here <<

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Setting Up Philip Hue Lights

Philip Hue lights come equipped with a Hue Bridge, which is the first thing you’ll have to set up. When setting up the Hue Bridge, you must plug it into the power socket and connect it to the internet. Then, open the Philip Hue app and add the new bridge. 

After installing the smart lights in your desired location, simply connect them to the bridge using the app. As opposed to using the bridge, you can also use Bluetooth to connect to the smart lights, limiting your control over them. 

Philip Hue Lights and Smart Assistants

In addition to using the Philip Hue App, you can also use Google Assistant, Apple Home Kit, and Amazon Alexa to control the smart lights as well. Along with allowing you to control the smart lights with voice commands, you’ll be able to take extra security measures such as having the lights turn on if motion is detected as well. 

Final Thoughts

Philip Hue offers smart lighting options for every room in the house and for the front yard and backyard as well. They provide many options, including smart LED bulbs, lighting strips, smart accessories, and more. I’m a huge fan of Philips’ smart lighting technology. Not only is it a brand I trust, but the technology also integrates seamlessly with most smart home assistants. In addition to being set up and controlled from the app, the Philip Hue lights can be connected to various smart assistants allowing you to control them using voice commands as well. 

Our Top Picks For Family-Safe Tech Gadgets For Kids

Our Top Picks For Family-Safe Tech Gadgets For Kids

Are you looking for a great gift that you can give to your tech-savvy friends and family members but are still safe when it comes to Internet access? There are so many options out there, it can be hard to choose. We’re here to help you find the best gift ideas for the tech lovers in your life. Here are my top picks for family-safe tech gadgets that anyone would love!

MM Guardian

As the world becomes increasingly digitized, it’s more important than ever to teach kids how to stay safe online. MM Guardian is the perfect tech gift for families who want to keep their children safe as they explore the internet. MM Guardian is a cutting-edge app that helps parents monitor and control their child’s internet usage. It also provides educational resources to help kids learn about responsible online behavior. What’s really cool is MM Guardian just released their own Samsung based smartphone with their app preinstalled!

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With MM Guardian, parents can rest assured that their kids are browsing the internet safely. And it’s not just the Internet either, it’s how they are interacting with their peers who have devices as well.

>> Learn More About MM Guardian Here <<

Gabb Watch 2

The Gabb Watch is the perfect tech gift for kids. It’s a smartwatch that has all the features kids want, without all the bells and whistles that parents don’t want their kids to have. The Gabb Watch is durable, has a long battery life, and is rugged enough to withstand drops and bumps. But what makes the Gabb Watch truly unique is its Gabb OS, which is designed specifically for kids. Gabb OS puts parents in control of what apps and features their kids have access to. And because Gabb watches are affordable, parents can get their kids the latest and greatest technology without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for the perfect tech gift for your kid, look no further than the Gabb Watch.

>> Learn More About The Gabb Watch Here <<

Gabb Phone

Just like the Gabb Watch, the Gabb Phone Plus is another solid tech gift for kids! Its sturdy design can withstand drops and bumps, making it perfect for little hands. And its small size is perfect for little pockets! The Gabb Phone Plus comes loaded with fun games and educational apps, keeping kids entertained but in a safe manner. But best of all, the Gabb Phone comes with a parent-approved filter that blocks out harmful content and protects kids from online predators. 

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At the root of the phone’s technology is Samsung, so you know you’re getting a quality phone. What I really love about the Gabb Phone is parents can have a sense of peace that their kids are safe when using the Gabb Phone Plus. In my opinion, I wouldn’t get this phone until my child is 14 years old. But this device is a solid and safe tech gadget for kids

>> Learn More About The Gabb Phone Here <<

Amazon Echo Dot For Kids

The Amazon Echo Dot is one of the most popular home automation devices on the market. It has Alexa built-in, so you can ask her questions and control your smart home devices with just your voice. Plus, with its compact size, it fits nicely into any room of your house.

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I think Amazon’s Echo Dot is the perfect tech gift for kids for a number of reasons. First, the Echo Dot is an Amazon product, which means it integrates perfectly with Amazon’s many kid-friendly services, such as FreeTime and Amazon Kids+. Second, the Echo Dot is extremely affordable, making it a great option for parents who want to give their kids the gift of technology without breaking the bank. Third, the Echo Dot is very user-friendly, so even young children will be able to use it without any problems. And finally, the Echo Dot comes in a variety of fun and trendy colors, so kids can choose the one that best suits their personality.

Amazon Echo Glow

The Amazon Echo Glow is one of the most engaging tech gifts for kids. It’s a fun, interactive way for them to control their devices and play music. And a major bonus: it’s a great night light. The Amazon Echo Glow has millions of color options, so kids can choose their favorite color or mix and match to create their own custom light show. 

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The Amazon Echo Glow also features an LED timer, so kids can see how much time they have left to play before bedtime. And if they need a little help falling asleep, they can ask the Amazon Echo Glow to play soothing sounds or tell them a bedtime story. The Amazon Echo Glow is the perfect tech gift for kids because it’s both fun and functional. Based on the reviews, parents love this device mostly because of its brightness, ease of use, sleep modes, Alexa integration, and timers.

Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad

Crayola’s Light-Up Tracing Pad is a simple yet entertaining tech gift for kids! The built-in light makes it easy to see the paper and the included stencils help kids create their own masterpieces. The tracing pad is also great for drawing, sketching, and shading. With its compact design, the Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad is perfect for travel. When it’s time to clean up, the tracing pad easily erases with the push of a button. Crayola’s Light-Up Tracing Pad is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages! One reason I love this as a great gadget gift is its simplicity. Tech gifts don’t have to be complex with operating systems and impeccable displays. The Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad is a gift you should definitely have on your radar.

Wonder Workshop Dash (Coding Robot for Kids 6+)

The Wonder Workshop Dash is a great tech gift for kids because it’s so much fun. It’s an interactive robot that responds to voice commands and can be programmed to do all sorts of tricks. The Dash can teach kids how to code, so there’s a massive upside in edutainment (education + entertainment). Kids will love watching it zip around the room and change direction when it hits an obstacle. And they’ll be fascinated by the different sounds it makes when it’s doing different things. 

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The Wonder Workshop Dash is a great way to get kids interested in technology and engineering. But most importantly, it’s just a lot of fun. The ability to create a toy that teaches you a STEM skill is awesome. That’s why it makes such a great gift.

Miko 3: AI-Powered Smart Robot For Kids

Miko is one of the world’s first smart robots designed just for kids. Miko speaks and understands English and can carry on a conversation using natural language processing. Miko also has a range of emotions, so it can react in different ways to different situations. Miko is powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which allows it to learn and grow over time. The Miko 3 is the latest version of Miko and comes with a number of impressive features:

  • A ramp-up of educational STEM content
  • Improvement in microphones and responses
  • Robust safety features. kidSAFE+ COPPA certified
  • Stronger rubberized wheels for better movement across multiple surfaces
  • An expansive touchscreen that makes it even easier to interact with the robot
  • High-performance speakers and wide-angle high-resolution IPS display

Miko 3 is also now sleeker and more stylish than ever before. It’s also more expressive with a wider range of facial expressions and body language. Miko 3 is also equipped with an updated processor and improved sensors making it even more responsive to its surroundings. With all these new features, Miko 3 will surely be a hit with kids of all ages. If you’re looking for a tech gift for kids that is both fun and educational, Miko 3 is a perfect choice.

The internet (any web-based activity) has become an essential part of daily life for people of all ages and it provides a wealth of opportunities for connection and education. However, the internet can also be a dangerous place and we’ve outlined why that is exhaustively on DaleDumbsITDown. It is important for families to be aware of the risks. Internet safety is about more than just avoiding online predators. It also includes protecting personal information, maintaining healthy online habits, being a good digital citizen, and being thoughtful about the content that we consume and share. By teaching internet safety to our children and having devices that augment that experience, we can help them to stay safe online and to develop responsible digital citizenship. 

Furthermore, by modeling good internet safety habits ourselves and exposing our kids to age-appropriate devices and content, we can set a positive example for our kids. When it comes to internet safety, knowledge is power as well as having the right technology (both good and bad). By increasing our own understanding of the risks and the ways to avoid them, we can keep our families safe while still enjoying all the wonderful benefits that the internet has to offer.

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