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For decades, appliances have made our lives easier. From refrigerators to washing machines, the tools in most of our homes today would have been considered incredibly smart by previous generations, but no longer. In recent years, companies such as General Electric (GE) and Samsung have released smart appliances Clever IFTTT Smart Home Integrations For Your Life Clever IFTTT Smart Home Integrations For Your Life The future of the smart home is now. And thanks to online websites like IFTTT, creating a smart home is easy and more impressive than ever. Read More . These machines still keep our leftovers cold and our clothes clean, but they also provide options that our forefathers would never have considered.

Each smart appliance comes with a set of instructions. However, thanks to IFTTT, one can streamline many of these processes so that they all become connected to one another.

What is IFTTT?

Before getting started, it’s important to summarize what IFTTT, or “If This Then That” can do. The free service allows everyday users to create chains of statements, called “recipes,” which are triggered based on changes to other Web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

ifttt-event2

Available on the web and through apps, IFTTT works with lots of smart home products, many which we’ve already covered at MakeUseOf, including Philips Hue 4 Ways Philips Hue Can Push Your Lighting to the Next Level 4 Ways Philips Hue Can Push Your Lighting to the Next Level Without Philips Hue, however, the smart home concept might never have gotten off the ground. Here are some cool ways to make use of them. Read More , Logitech Harmony How to Set up Your New Logitech Harmony How to Set up Your New Logitech Harmony Logitech's Harmony controllers are among the most popular in the marketplace. Unfortunately, they've been known to have complicated setups. Read More , and Amazon Alexa 7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa 7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa You’ve seen the ads starring Alec Baldwin, but you're still not sure what Amazon Echo does or whether you need one in your home. We’re about to find out. Read More .

One of the reasons IFTTT is so popular is its simplicity. To develop new recipes, all you need to do is create an If/Then statement via the IFTTT website or app.

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How to Do It

The ideal way to add or create an IFTTT recipe is by using the IF app. Most likely, the recipe you’re looking for has already been added. To find a recipe, go into the IF app and select the recipe icon at the top right of the screen. Then next to My Recipes select the button.

The Suggested Services screen offers popular “channels,” or you can look for others using the search tool. Once you select a channel, choose one of the recipes and then follow the onscreen directions. You can also create new recipes using the IF app. We’ve highlighted this step 4 Ways Philips Hue Can Push Your Lighting to the Next Level 4 Ways Philips Hue Can Push Your Lighting to the Next Level Without Philips Hue, however, the smart home concept might never have gotten off the ground. Here are some cool ways to make use of them. Read More  in another post.

Samsung and GE appliances

The maker of Galaxy smartphones is also a player in the smart appliances market. Refrigerators, robot vacuum cleaners, washer/dryers, and air conditioning units are a few examples. Each of these has a separate channel in IFTTT.

samsung-ifttt

For example, with a Samsung smart refrigerator, you can track every time the door is left open for too long or receive a message when the machine’s water filter must be replaced.

One Samsung Washer channel recipe starts the appliance whenever you leave home. With another recipe, you can preset the time a cycle should begin. Do you want your robot vacuum to clean your kitchen at a particular time each day? Thanks to IFTTT, this is possible.

GE also offers a growing line of smart appliances, including ovens, dishwashers, and water heaters. These also have separate IFTTT channels.

ifttt-ge

The GE Appliances Cooking channel, for example, features a recipe that gives you the ability to turn off your oven remotely. Better yet, you can program the appliance to turn itself off when you leave your home. The GE Appliances Dishwasher channel includes recipes that alert you when the filter is dirty, or the number of cleaning pods goes below a certain level.

Samsung and GE aren’t the only companies offering smart appliances that interact with IFTTT. LG and Honeywell offer similar solutions.

So which appliances are smart? At the minimum, smart devices require a Wi-Fi connection. Visit your favorite appliance store or company website for additional information.

Home automation for less

Do you want a smart home without having to replace all of your appliances How Much Does a Smart Home Really Cost? How Much Does a Smart Home Really Cost? A smart home could change your life – freeing up time in your day and regulating your routine so you don't have to remember what needs to be done. But how expensive is it, really? Read More ? In most cases, this is possible with smart switches, which are available through a growing list of home automation providers. WeMo, Wink, and SmartThings are just a few of the many examples.

WeMo

WeMo is a series of smart products from Belkin International, which enables users to control home electronics from anywhere and keep track of energy usage. WeMo products include switches, motion sensors, and cameras. When an appliance or electronic device is connected to a WeMo switch, for example, it can be controlled from an iOS or Android smartphone running the WeMo app. In turn, you can use an IFTTT recipe to take these tasks to new levels.

WeMo Insight Switch Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, Energy Monitoring, Works with Amazon Alexa WeMo Insight Switch Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, Energy Monitoring, Works with Amazon Alexa Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately) Buy Now At Amazon $55.95

Sample recipes include:

Wink

Wink hardware allows users to control lights, power, and security systems with a single app. Best of all, Wink is compatible with popular brands including GE, Nest, Philips, and Schlage.

Wink Connected Home Hub Wink Connected Home Hub All of your favorite smart products seamlessly connected by 1 simple app Buy Now At Amazon $49.95

Among the Wink recipes on IFTTT:

SmartThings

SmartThings is an open platform for smart homes and the consumer Internet of Things. Samsung purchased SmartThings in 2014.

Featuring an app and hub, SmartThings is compatible with various communication protocols, including ZigBee, Z-Wave, and IP-accessible devices. Products include motion sensors, locks, electrical outlets, thermostats, and more.

Sample SmartThings IFTTT recipes include:

Samsung SmartThings Hub- White Samsung SmartThings Hub- White Your smart home needs a brain, so get started with a SmartThings Hub. It connects wirelessly with a wide range of smart devices and makes them work together. Buy Now At Amazon $87.96

Unique things to try

IFTTT offers many solutions to make your living space a smart home. Here are two additional tools worth considering.

Parrot Flower Power is an intelligent wireless sensor for your plants. When used with an app, it monitors and analyzes the four parameters essential to your plant’s health: sunlight, temperature, fertilizer, and moisture. 

Some of the IFTTT recipes to try include:

Parrot Flower Power - Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Bluetooth Smart Plant Sensor with Free dedicated App - Blue Parrot Flower Power - Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Bluetooth Smart Plant Sensor with Free dedicated App - Blue Measures the health parameters of your plant in real time Buy Now At Amazon $90.52

Still don’t know what smart thing to try? Use one of Best Buy’s IFTTT recipes. Yes, Best Buy, one of the largest U.S. sellers of smart home appliances.

Thanks to the Best Buy channel, you can Receive a daily digest of the most popular products on Best BuyGet emails for new Home Automation & Control products added on Best Buy, or Get an IF notification when the price changes on a Best Buy product, among many others. 

How have you set up a smart home? Share your own ideas in the comments section below!

  1. Lina
    April 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    We live in the age of innovations that simplify our lives. Can imagine what we will get in 5 years!!
    Btw, can add one more cool app that I discovered for myself lately - ArkMC. It allows to locate, control and stream media files and photos wirelessly on iPad, iPod or iPhone of a local or home network. Being an active Apple user I can claim that it is really useful cause you just have to choose a channel and then can enjoy watching a video on a big screen.

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