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June 22, 2015

Control your home with your Lumia

Save time and energy and take control of your lights, alarm systems, security cameras, and more on your Windows Phone.

First, why would you want to do the things mentioned above? The best way to answer that is to look back in time.

For example, before the invention of the TV remote control, people had to get up from their chairs or sofas, walk to their TV, turn it on, and sit back down again.

As tiresome as that task was, it was made even more so when you wanted to change the channel. Admittedly, there were fewer channels back then, but still.

It wasn’t until someone invented the TV remote control that we realized how much easier it made our lives, and now we’re all channel-hopping remotely.

Empowering people to do that from the comfort of their own living rooms was a wonderful moment–one that’s continuing today with the “Connected Home.”

Of course, to connect your Windows Phone to some of the appliances in your home, you need additional hardware and software.

All-in-one packages



INSTEON provides a variety of kits for “Starters” and “Businesses” containing everything you need to view live video, detect motion and control room temperature right from your Lumia.

Kit prices range from $199.99 to $379.99. You can further reduce the cost if you want to choose individual items.

Download this app on your Windows Phone: INSTEON for Hub to control the thermostat, view live camera feeds, detect water leaks, and turn on or off lights as well as dim them.

The INSTEON for Hub app also includes Cortana support. That means that you can give her commands such as “INSTEON, turn off the lights.”



For $199.99, the SmartThings Smart Home Starter Kit includes a Hub, a motion sensor, an open/close sensor, and a presence sensor.

The Presence Sensor can be worn by a pet, a person, or even be attached to a car. So when the sensor is within range of the SmartThings Hub, you can receive updates or have other connected products perform actions such as turning on lights and locking or unlocking doors.

For additional sensors, try the SmartThings Smarter Home Starter Kit ($299.99), or purchase each item individually to create your own combination.

Download this app on your Windows Phone: SmartThings Mobile.

Receive instant updates when doors, windows, or even drawers are opened. You’ll also be notified when people come and go, including the cat.

If you receive a notification that someone has opened a window or door late at night while you’re out, you can trigger the lights to help ward off any unwelcome visitors.



The Oplink TripleShield Wireless Security System provides you with two IP cameras with auto-night vision, two door/windows sensors, two key fob remotes, one motion detector, one siren, and one 16GB video storage device for $299.99.

While that should be enough for most home setups, adding extra sensors is simple.

Download this app on your Windows Phone: Connected.

The sensors will keep a watchful eye on your home while you’re away and alert you when there’s movement when there shouldn’t be. When that happens, flick to the cameras page to see what’s going on.

Lighten the mood


If you’re not looking for security, but just want to control your lighting, try Philips Hue – personal wireless lighting, priced at $174.99.

When the LED bulbs are plugged in and you’ve connected the Hue bridge to your Wi-Fi router, you can change the lighting in your home from red to blue, green, yellow, or white—or anywhere in between.

Download this app on your Windows Phone: Oni: Light Control.

By using different lighting levels and colors to create “Moods,”, it’s easy to adjust a room’s ambience with just a tap on your Windows Phone. You can also schedule moods to come on at certain times of the day.

Do you have a connected home, or are you about to set one up? Let us know how you’re doing it below.