Bluetooth has been around a long time in the smart home space and is integrated into hundreds of smart devices. It has some serious advantages because it uses very low energy as a communication protocol which means battery powered bluetooth devices can last a long time before the batteries need to be replaced or recharged. Bluetooth does not create a mesh network like Z-Wave or Zigbee home automation networks and there are fewer hubs that support full bluetooth device integration but bluetooth is good option for one off home automation devices.
Wifi is the most powerful home automation network but uses a lot of power for communication so it is not always the best choice for all smart home networking protocols.
Below we cover bluetooth smart home automation devices and how you can use them in your smart home.
There are thousands of Bluetooth speakers and were not going to go into everyone here because they only loosely relate to home automation but my personal favorite is the: Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Phantom Wireless Mobile Bluetooth Speaker (Waterproof and Shockproof). This speaker is great for a couple reasons, it's shockproof and waterproof. I love boating and the outdoors so this speaker is perfect for bringing on a boat if it doesn't have a stereo. The other great thing about this speaker is if you get more than one you can pair them up and provide surround sound with them. A buddy of mine had a speaker we paired them up and you get full immersive sound it was awesome. Since Alexa and sono's don't currently have a good outdoor speaker this is the best go everywhere speaker and something that I often use on the out on our patio.
Works with a free app on your phone to lock and unlock your door with the app when you are in close proximity to the door or you can send friends and family secure "Key" codes to unlock your door when you are away. You can use the app or the keypad on the front of the lock to unlock your door. With the addition of Schlage's wifi adapter you can control your lock remotely from anywhere.
The august smart lock comes in two different styles: August Smart Lock & August Smart Lock Pro. These locks use bluetooth to lock and unlock your door. You can also add a wifi adapter bridge that will allow you to control the lock from anywhere. At this time we don't personally recommend these locks for most applications because they don't have a backup integrated key pad on the front that allows you to get into the house if your phone were to die or the app were to malfunction. The nice feature of this lock is that it retrofits on the back side of your existing door, so if you live in a condo association that won't let you change the look of your front door this lock is the only option you might have for automating your door.
Smart locks that work with bluetooth using an app, you can give your guests their own secure " Bluetooth Keys' for access.
These locks are very similar to the Schlage locks and include a front keypad, and bluetooth functionality but they don't allow you to control the lock remotely. All of the three other locks listed you can control remotely if you invest in a smart lock hub/range extender. The Yale bluetooth lock still gives you app functionality and the ability to send secure "Bluetooth Keys" but you can't upgrade the lock to control it remotely.
The Flic buttons are a bluetooth button that can either connect to your phones bluetooth or a hub that Flic has created to connect large numbers of bluetooth buttons throughout your home. You can program the Flic button to work with your home automation devices to preform actions like turning off your lights, playing your favorite music on your sonos system or trigger shortcuts on your wink device.
These things are genius, the fit right over your existing light switches, with no tools required and allow you to control your light switches with your phone. It's a simple solution to automate your light switches that you can deploy in less than 5 minutes. I love these things and think they are great for if you want a smart home instantly and don't want to do any wiring.
The switches have super strong magnets that attach to your existing switch plate screws and them have a mechanical device inside them that turns your lights on or off with commands from your phone. These switches don't allow home control when you are outside the home as they connect directly to your phones bluetooth, but you can buy a bridge that will allow you to control the devices outside the home. I usually recommend hardwired switches when automating lights but these are great for a dorm room or an apartment where you can't make changes. When you move out just pull them off the old switch and take them with you to your next place.
Smart Home Hubs With Bluetooth:
Flic & Wink
The Flic hub allows you to control up to 100 flic buttons for multiple actions with other smart home devices. The flic hub receives bluetooth signals from the buttons and then converts them to control other home automation devices such as smart lighting, smart thermostats or music systems.
The Wink hub 2 is a more versatile hub that includes Wifi, Z-Wave, Zigbee and Bluetooth Radios. It can send and receive information to hundred's of different smart home devices. The wink hub can help unlock some additional controls and features from compatible bluetooth devices to enable remote functionality, you should always check the compatibility of a device on Wink's website first.