Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nest Thermostat, Philips Hue Lights, and a Peacock!

I got some new upgrades to the condo recently and I wanted to share! The first is my new peacock pillow, which I picked up from H&M home recently. I haven't gotten a new throw pillow in ages, but I just can't resist a peacock, especially one in my favourite colours of turquoise and purple! I couldn't find this particular pillow cover online, but I found it in the Eaton Centre location. I really liked the collections in their Home department there- super cute stuff!

And if you look at the above picture you will notice something else new- a new thermostat! I won a Nest Generation 3 Thermostat and some Philips Hue light bulbs from Jennifer at Rambling Renovators. I couldn't believe it when she said I had won her giveaway for these items!! They came a couple of weeks ago so Cam and I have been playing with them ever since.

The install of the thermostat was fairly straightforward. I removed the old one, taking care to take a photo of the current wire set up. Then I went to the Nest website and entered in what wires I had and it told me how to wire the new one!

However, I did run into an issue where the thermostat would not power on! I called tech support and we worked through a bunch of things and eventually it seems we found the problem. The thermostat was trying to pull it's energy source from the A/C wire...but my building turns off A/C in the winter (as do all condos as far as I know). When I pulled the A/C wire out everything worked great! So I am going to have to figure this one out, but for now it works and when the building turns on the A/C I will just plug it back in. I'm sure somewhere there is a solution to this, but I haven't put any effort into finding one. :)

I REALLY love this thermostat. It learns as it goes and now it automatically turns the heat up or down exactly when Cam and I would like it to. And I can adjust it from my phone so if I am too hot at night I don't need to get up! And it knows when I am home vs away so it conserves energy when I am gone.

Here is the kicker- my old thermostat never worked on "auto". If I turned it to "auto" it just stayed off! I thought it was an issue with the actual HVAC system and that I would eventually need to get a technician in. But with the new thermostat, "auto" works 100% fine! So even though I don't pay for hydro here, it is still great news for my building's hydro bill and the environment in general to go from having the system ON 24/7, to this:

I also received in the giveaway a Philips Hue light starter kit! These are actually some pretty cool light bulbs that connect to your wifi so you can control the lights from your phone. AND you can change the lights to any colour imaginable. The kit came with 3 and I decided to put them in the track lighting in the kitchen (which meant I took down one of my lights, since originally I had 4). I actually really prefer these lights to the LEDs I had in before because the LEDs took a long time to get bright, which annoyed me.

You can also set the lights on a timer, which is nice if you live in a home and want to program your lights to come on while you are on vacation. And you can connect the lights to your Nest system. Not so interesting with just the thermostat, but if you had a Nest Protect you can have the lights turn on when motion is detected or turn red if smoke/carbon monoxide is detected. Plus the lights can connect to other systems- for example you can connect them to your universal remote and the lights will dim if you want to put a movie on. How futuristic is that?

Plus there are other things like having the lights come on when you get home. Which is cool, but it is currently light out when I get home and with a 40 foot window in my living room, there is not much use for that right now! Also, Kirsten at Storefront Life told me they have these light bulbs in the bedroom and therefore they can turn off the lights without getting out of bed!

As I said as well, you can change the colours of the bulbs to anything you want- and dim them! For some reason Cam has decided the blue is the colour we need in the kitchen/livingroom so that is what we have been rocking lately. The Hue system comes with a bunch of colour recipes too- like ones designed to help you relax or concentrate...or to remind you of being under the sea. Whatever floats your boat.

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