5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Smart Lights

We’ve seen that many Wink users start out on their smart home journey by installing a few smart light bulbs. With that in mind, we wanted to share five things you can try to get even more out of your bulbs (and make your life easier along the way):

Turn them off when you’re not home:

We’ve all had that “did I turn off the lights?” moment after we’ve left the house. Smart lights eliminate the guesswork. You can quickly check their status within the Wink app and turn them on or off accordingly to save energy and money.

Automatically dim lights at night for better sleep:

We live in an age where bright lights, television, computers and phone screens keep us up late into the night. By scheduling your smart lights (check out OSRAM LIGHTIFY) to slowly dim at night, you can simulate the natural rhythm of the sun to help your body gradually adjust to sleeping. Just a few taps in the Wink app enables your lighting to move from a bright white during the day to a softer yellow at night.

Have your lighting match your mood:

With tunable bulbs, like those from Philips HUE, you can customize the color of your home's lighting to enhance your environment. A full spectrum of color ensures your light is in line with what you're doing at home, whether that's cool blue for morning coffee in the kitchen or a vibrant yellow while reading on the couch.

Save time by using widgets on your phone:

Turning your Wink-compatible lights on and off can be done even faster when you create a Shortcut - consider a Goodnight Shortcut that turns everything off when you’re ready for bed - and enable widgets on your phone. From there, simply swipe down the notification center on your iPhone, or go to the home screen on your Android phone.

Connect lights with your other smart products:

Smart homes can be most beneficial when all of your products are working together. If you have multiple devices, consider setting up a Robot so that one action automatically triggers a series of others. For example, you could have your bedroom lights turn on if smoke is detected to help you wake up and leave the house safely.

Back to School - How the Smart Home Removes Some of the Stress

Between buying new school supplies, sorting out carpool logistics and coping with first-day jitters, back-to-school can be a stressful time to say the least!

While the lives of parents will soon become a lot more hectic, there are a number of ways to easily cut out some of the stress. And you won’t find them in the flashy activity tracker or newest ‘phablet,' but rather in your smart home. 

Here are a few ways how:

  • Your child forgot their keys at home: Let’s face it, we’ve all done it once. This is where smart door locks - like the Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt - can really work their magic. You can give your child a unique code they can use in place of a key and receive an alert when that code is used. And if your child forgets their code, no matter. A quick tap within the Wink app can unlock the front door no matter where you are. 
  • You’re sick of returning to a tampered thermostat: Traditional thermostats with lots of buttons are an open invitation for children to make the temperature go haywire. Keep tabs on your home’s climate and schedule it to adjust right when school gets out with a smart thermostat like the Emerson Sensi. You can also get alerted if anyone tries to mess with it.
  • You want to make sure everyone got home safe: Smart cameras - like Nest Cam - are a great way to quickly see what’s going on at home. Set one up in your living room or kitchen and connect it with Wink for real time monitoring no matter where you are. It’s a great way to get peace of mind that the kids got home safe and the pets haven’t run off into the wild. 
  • Everyone is finally in bed, but is everything turned off?: Sure it’s dark in your bedroom, but what about the downstairs hallway? Was the TV turned off? Is the garage door still open? Create a ‘Good Night’ Shortcut in Wink to lock up the house and turn everything off with just one swipe.

A few simple steps with your smart home can go a long way in re-introducing some sanity to the start of the school year!

  

Wink Releases Apple Watch App

We’ve long strived to bring easy access and control of your smart home right to your fingertips, whether that’s through the Wink app on your mobile phone or the Wink Relay control panel. Today, we’re excited to add another touchpoint with the Wink Apple Watch app.

Bringing your Wink smart home to your wrist is simple. Just open the Apple Watch app on your phone, scroll and select Wink and switch the toggle to “Show on Apple Watch.” From there, Wink will pull in the top 10 Shortcuts from your account so you can easily control groups of products around the home.

As the Apple Watch platform evolves, so will we. We’re excited to work with Apple to create even more ways for people to easily interact with their smart home right from their wrist. In the meantime, enjoy!  P.S. We'll be adding "glances" soon!

 

New Products Now Compatible With Wink

Wink gives you choice and flexibility when selecting smart products for your home by working with the best smart products and leading brands.  Today, we're excited to introduce two new products that are now compatible with the Wink platform. To connect them with your Wink account, simply tap “Add new product” within the Wink app and follow the instructions!

Here’s a bit more about each:

OSRAM LIGHTIFY LED Tunable A19 White Bulb - Wink HUB required

This smart bulb lets you customize the color temperature of your home’s lighting to enhance your environment. How? It has an adjustable temperature range, so you can switch between warm and cool shades of white. You could have bright light for when you’re hard at work or a much softer light for a cozier feel when you’re watching TV. 

With Wink, you can also connect it with other smart devices in your home so that certain events (opening the front door, for example) will trigger it to turn on or off. 

 

Emerson Sensi™ Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat - Wink HUB not required

This smart thermostat gives you the ability to control your home’s temperature anytime, anywhere through the Wink app. You can set schedules, monitor the temperature, and even turn on your air conditioner when you leave work so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. 

Or, if you want your thermostat to kick into gear along with other smart products, you can integrate it into a Wink Shortcut. A “Bedtime” Shortcut, for example, could dim your lights, lower the blinds and adjust your thermostat with just one tap.

 

Interested in picking these up? Both products, in addition to a variety of other Wink-compatible devices, can be found on the new Wink endcap in The Home Depot stores nationwide this summer!

 

Wink+Amazon Echo: Just ask to control smart products around your home

UPDATE 8/14/15: We've added more Wink-compatible lighting products to the Amazon Echo certified product list so you can chose the light that's right for you.  You can now control CreeOSRAM LIGHTIFY, and TCP LEDs with Echo+Wink.  More products and features coming soon!

Amazon lovers, you’re really going to like this one... Wink is now compatible with Amazon Echo!  If you’re not familiar, Echo is a product completely designed around your voice. It’s always ready; as you say the wake word—“Alexa” or “Amazon” (most people select “Alexa”)—it springs to life. Alexa is the cloud-based voice service that powers Echo--you can ask for information, play music, get the weather, and much more.

Starting today, Echo can also control a number of Wink-compatible lighting products from GE, Leviton, and Lutron. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Connect compatible products in your Wink app and set individual names for each lighting product (bedroom lamp, kitchen light, etc.). 
  2. Then, link your Wink account to Echo within the Echo mobile app (Settings > Connected Home > Device Links > Wink).
  3. From there, say “Alexa, discover new devices.” This can take up to 20 seconds.

After that, you’re all set up. You can then turn your smart products on or off in the blink of an eye with a simple voice command to Alexa. For example, you could say “Alexa, turn on the living room lamp ” or “Alexa, turn off the kitchen light.” 

This integration gives Wink users like you yet another touchpoint through which you can easily control your smart home. And we’re just getting started! We’re excited to work with Amazon to add additional functionalities and many more Wink-compatible products down the road.

Want to learn more about Amazon Echo? Click here for more info and to purchase one today!

 

Wink + Pro.com: smart home installation made easy

Some exciting news! Wink and Pro.com—the company simplifying home installation—are partnering to bring you an extra set of hands when setting up your smart home. 

We’re always looking for ways to make building your smart home as easy as possible. This partnership gives you the option to seamlessly utilize Pro.com’s expert professionals; they’ll install your Wink compatible devices to get them up and running in a snap. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Shop Wink.com for hundreds of smart products from leading brands
  2. Tell Pro.com which products you would like professionally installed
  3. Schedule the installation and a job manager from Pro.com will contact you within the hour
  4. 100% satisfaction guaranteed - you pay only when the job is complete and you’re happy with the installation.

The service is available beginning today for residents in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Seattle. Additional locations will be supported as the partnership rolls out nationally. Find out when it will be available in your area here.

Get started today by visiting wink.pro.com!

Wink now compatible with IFTTT, Google Now and the Google app

We’re always looking for ways to make it easier for people to interact with their smart home and control their favorite devices. Here are three of our most recent partnerships that will help you do just that: IFTTT, Google Now, and the Google app. Here’s how they work:

IFTTT

IFTTT or “If This Then That” is a web service that aggregates lots of web apps—from Instagram to Dropbox to Gmail—into one place and then performs actions given a certain set of criteria. How? Once you’re signed up, you can create “Recipes” that automatically prompt something to happen as soon as something else does.

The Wink Shortcuts channel on IFTTT enables you to activate Wink Shortcuts through IFTTT triggers.
Use a Jawbone UP to monitor your sleep activity? Set up a recipe in IFTTT that tells the lights to turn off and the thermostat to adjust automatically when your UP goes into Sleep mode.

Google Now

Google Now is an intelligent personal assistant available for Android users that serves information at the right time. If Google and Wink detect you aren't home and your door is unlocked, an alert will now automatically prompt you to take action through the Wink app. Google enables Wink Android users to know what's going on in their home, no matter where they are.

 

 

 

Google App

Lastly, the Google app integration allows Wink users on Android phones to trigger eight different Wink Shortcuts by saying "Ok Google, activate [shortcut] on Wink."

Users can customize each Shortcut within the Wink app so that multiple smart products can be controlled simultaneously with a simple voice prompt.

For example, saying "Ok Google, activate Away Mode on Wink" can now lock the doors, lower the thermostat, and turn off the lights.

A QUICK Q&A WITH A LONG TIME WINK USER

Kevin Hiser is a very busy guy. He has to balance launching technology startups and raising his two-year old son with wife Allison in Columbus, Ohio. A a longtime user of Wink, we recently caught up with him to learn more about how his smart home is making everyday life just a little bit easier:

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE YOUR HOME "SMART"?

We have a pretty sprawling single family home and wanted to be able to easily control lighting throughout the house and manage security.

WHEN DOES A SMART HOME COME IN HANDY?

Multiple times I’ve found myself deciding that I want to turn off my thermostat when it wasn’t scheduled to do so, from as far away as Dallas. It’s also great for when you want to turn multiple lights on/off or open the garage door remotely to let someone inside the house.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO WITH WINK OVER OTHER SMART HOME PLATFORMS?

I liked how easy Wink is to use. Our family has found the interface is nice easy to understand and visually brilliant. I appreciate the ability of the Wink HUB to manage devices that run on a variety of communication protocols (Zigbee, Z-Wave, WiFi, etc). As more smart devices become available, I won’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll connect with what I already have set up.

DO YOU CONNECT YOUR SMART PRODUCTS SO THEY WORK TOGETHER?

Yes! The Robots feature in Wink is great for this. For security purposes, I have one set up that automatically turns on the hall light outside my bedroom if someone triggers my GoControl motion sensor after midnight so I can see what's going on.

For "peace of mind" I have another Robot that turns on a lamp in my foyer if my wife and son are coming home after sunset. They never have to enter a dark house! I also use a Robot to help me keep the temperature of my home within a certain range and send me alerts on my phone when it’s nearing the minimum or maximum.

DOES YOUR FAMILY LIKE IT?

My two-year-old actually loves turning the lights on/off on my phone!

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF HAVING A SMART HOME?

It takes the thinking out of doing everyday tasks in my life.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING THE SMART HOME?

Start out by selecting a connected device that doesn’t require a ton of technical know-how in order to operate. Keep it simple and don’t lock yourself into a closed system.

5 TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED ON YOUR NEW SMART HOME.

Ready to take the smart home for a spin but not sure where to start? Many have the misconception that the smart home is complicated, inaccessible, or unaffordable. But that’s not the case! Anyone with a smartphone and access to the Internet can have a comprehensive smart home for very little money and effort. While it still may seem a little daunting, we’re here to make the journey as streamlined and smooth as possible. If you’re just starting out, here are five helpful tips to consider:

1. Understand why you want to have a smart home

Is it to save money on energy? To manage home security when you’re away? To keep tabs on your family from afar? Taking the time to answer this question for yourself will go a long way in helping you select which products to purchase.

2. Don’t buy into a closed platform

Before diving in, check to make sure the platform you’re looking at works with a wide variety of products (locks, lights, garage door openers, etc.) from leading, trusted brands. This will enable you to more easily determine what works best for you and your lifestyle, while giving you far more opportunities to add to your smart home ecosystem over the years. Wink connects with hundreds of devices from scores of leading brands including Cree, Nest and Chamberlain.

3. Start small

People think you have to invest thousands of dollars and purchase tons of devices to have a comprehensive smart home. We strongly believe that you should start out with a few connected devices (or even just one), and add more over time. For example, a few smart light bulbs can be turned on from your phone for added security if you’re having a late night at work, or be programmed to turn off automatically when you’re ready for bed.

4. Select products from the brands you trust

You’d be surprised by the number of recognizable brands that are making smart home devices. From GE to Schlage to Philips, leaders in product categories are working together to make the smart home a reality. When building your own smart home, stick with the companies you know. It’s always best to have a trusted partner in crime in case you ever need to troubleshoot or ask questions!

5. Utilize triggers and automation

Most smart home platforms let you group multiple products together so they perform at once with a tap on your phone. Use it! Automation is one of the best perks of having a smart home. For example, if you’re going to bed, you could trigger your lights to go off, blinds to lower, and thermostat to adjust—all from your smartphone. How’s that for convenience?

Introducing the Wink blog

Wink’s mission is to make the smart home accessible. Whether it’s improving how users interact with our app or partnering with trusted brands to bring their products onto the Wink platform, that mission is the underlying driver behind everything we do.

Where it all started.

Where it all started.

Since our launch last July, we’ve experienced some amazing highs: We tripled the number of partner devices compatible with Wink, brought the Wink HUB to nearly 3,000 retail stores, and began adding a new Wink home every 60-90 seconds.

But, we’ve also seen some lows: The service disruption we experienced in April was proof positive that any company can make an error that impacts the people who rely on it.

No matter how high the highs or low the lows, we pride ourselves on our transparency and honesty when communicating with our customers, partners, and the industry.

With that in mind, we realize there is a growing need for an outlet to share what’s going on at Wink while helping people navigate the smart home.

And so today, we’re thrilled to introduce the Wink blog! We’re just getting started, but here’s what you can expect to see from us here:

  • The latest Wink product news and partnership announcements
  • Our take on topics currently bubbling up in the industry
  • Content that demystifies some of the common misconceptions or confusion surrounding the smart home
  • Tips and tricks to maximize the value of your smart home
  • Spotlights on the real people using Wink each and every day

We hope this will be a valuable resource for you, and we are excited to see it grow and evolve. Please check it out and let us know what you think!