The Ultimate Guide: Protecting Your Kids Online - Modern Parents Messy Kids

Children using the internet is a modern parenting dilemma.

How can we let them enjoy and benefit from this world-changing, infinitely educational tool that can span the globe in seconds while also protecting them from its potential dangers? Setting aside the issue of how much “screen time” children should have, here we will look at how to make that screen time safe, fun and productive—whether you are thinking of letting your preschooler play with your iPad or considering buying a computer or smartphone for your pre-teen.

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How to Monitor and Control Indoor Air Quality in Your Home | care2.com

Indoor Air Quality

The air that we breathe is, quite literally, our life source. But it could also, quite possibly, be killing us. Air quality is becoming a modern crisis, with the World Health Organization (WHO) classifying air pollution as the world’s largest health risk, linking one in eight total global deaths to air pollution exposure, both indoor and out.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside our homes is commonly five times more polluted than that of the outdoors, and in some cases, up to 10 times. So, what can you do to protect your health, and that of your family, from this silent killer lurking in your home? Detect and correct. Find out what is causing air pollution in your home and then take whatever steps you can to help correct or mitigate those causes. Here we’ll look at how you can achieve this.

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HOW AMERICANS ARE EMBRACING THE POWER OF THEIR HOMES | Earth911.com

Smart Home

Just a few years ago, living off the grid conjured up images of tiny cabins in the middle of nowhere. Today, the dream of average American homeowners powering their homes with alternative energies is coming true. Solar panels on your neighbor’s roof are no longer an oddity, and electric cars are less of a curiosity and more of an everyday sight. It’s not hard to imagine a time when wind turbines in the backyard will be commonplace and geothermal heating an expected utility in all new homes.

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Smart Home DIY: 5 Reasons Your Family Is Going To Love Smart Door Locks | FunTimesGuide.com

Smart Home

The phrase “latchkey kid” was a popular one among my generation — the first where many families boasted two working parents. Coming home from school to an empty house was a pretty common occurrence for many of my school friends. However, thanks to smart door locks, today’s latchkey kids can dispense with the key entirely and parents can dispense with the worry over whether their children made it home safely!

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7 Ingenious Ways To Use LED Lighting | Homes.com

Lighting has come a long way from its origins as a way to extend the working day. Today, thanks to the versatility of technology, lighting has become a key component of interior design. It helps us accentuate and reveal the beauty of our homes, while also providing functionality.

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are tiny light sources that require less energy and are more durable than traditional incandescent light bulbs. They can also be fashioned into different shapes and emit far less heat than traditional bulbs, making them suitable to put in places you would never have thought to put a light bulb, such as under a couch, to create a stunning modern look in your living room. The versatility of LEDs has brought indirect lighting to the forefront of modern interior lighting design, creating a realm of fabulous possibilities.

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How smart home devices help monitor and mitigate indoor air quality | MultiBriefs.com

There are a significant number of connected, Internet of Things-powered devices that incorporate some sort of indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring that can help mitigate indoor air pollution. From standalone IAQ monitors and devices that do double duty as security systems to smart HVAC systems that filter the air when dangerous levels occur, consumers can now easily monitor the health of their homes and businesses. For more read the full post here.

The Best Smart Sprinkler Controller - Wirecutter | A New York Times Company

Smart Home

After spending two months with six smart irrigation controllers in a sunny South Carolina yard, we’re confident the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller (Generation 2) is the best choice for most people with an in-ground sprinkler system. Any smart controller will save you water and money compared with a simple timer, but the Rachio is the best of the ones we tested.

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How smart home technologies can help with senior living - McKnight Senior Living

Connected technology in the home is a fast-growing area, providing inhabitants with enhanced conveniences, improved security and increased comfort. Known as “smart home tech,” everyday devices such as door locks, smoke alarms and thermostats use a connection to the internet, software programs and machine learning to provide added functionality and remote control.

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Pros & Cons Of Living With Smart Lighting - The Green Living Guide

A few years ago, I moved into a new home and installed smart LED lighting throughout as part of an extensive remodel. In this post, I will share with you my personal experience living with smart lighting — including the benefits and the problems that I’ve encountered along the way.

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5 Ways to Help Your Smart Home Heat and Cool More Efficiently - MOTHER EARTH NEWS

smart fans

I recently wrote about how smart home technology can help your home save energy. Chief among these energy-saving tips was installing a smart thermostat. A Wi-Fi-connected programmable thermostat can save you as much as 30 percent on your HVAC’s energy use. However, the potential to save money on your heating and cooling doesn’t end there. One of the biggest benefits of smart devices and the Internet of Things is the potential for integration. When these devices work together, you can create a smart home that actively and intelligently works to help you save energy.

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How Smart-Home Technology Can Help During a Natural Disaster | The Wirecutter

Smart Home

When I talk to nontechie friends about my smart home, the reaction is usually a polite, bewildered smile. Occasionally, however, something catches their attention, because it relates to a personal need. Whether that’s getting a Wi-Fi camera for checking in on elderly parents, or painlessly dismissing an annoying false smoke alarm with a swipe of a finger, the appeal of the smart home for most people lies in individual situations. While smart things make life more convenient every day, I recently learned the hard way that coping with a natural disaster can be one of the most effective uses of smart-home technology.

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The Best Smart Smoke Alarm | The Wirecutter

smart smoke alarms

It’s hard to overstate the importance of having functioning, reliable smoke detectors in your home. From 2007 through 2011, almost a quarter of all home fire-related deaths in the US occurred in homes with nonworking smoke alarms. While any functioning smoke alarm will alert you to problems if you’re at home, a smart alarm can alert you anywhere your smartphone has an Internet connection. For our tests, a former firefighter installed every currently available smart smoke alarm in her own home, both hardwired versions and battery-powered models, to find the best one for keeping you informed about your house’s status, whether you’re home or away. After mounting them to ceilings and walls, blowing smoke at them, fiddling with their batteries and accompanying apps, and generally pushing their buttons, we found that the second-generation Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is the best smart smoke alarm.

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Round-Up: 9 Best Educational Apps for Your Kids - Modern Parents Messy Kids

Smart Phone Smart Kid

Image Credit: © Stephanie | Smart Kid and the Smart Phone | CC by 2.0

Screen time is a hot-button issue for today’s parents, but one thing we can all agree on is that however long our kids are glued to a screen for, we’d rather that time be spent learning something.

My son is eight, just a year younger than the iPhone, and my daughter is five, a year younger than the iPad. As a tech journalist, I’m an early adopter, so both my children have been exposed to these shiny, addictive devices from a young age.

Over the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time and effort investigating and playing with dozens of “educational” apps to find the ones that best strike that precarious balance between educational and fun. Here is a round-up of my favorite kid-tested and kid approved apps/websites for children under 10.

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The Smart Kitchen: The Next Big Hope for the Internet of Things - TriplePundit.com

Solar Lighting
The Internet of Things is a boon for businesses striving to be more sustainable, but at-home IOT is exhibiting worrying signs of stalling. Industry analyst Jan Dawson summed up many people’s concerns when he said the smart home market seems perennially stuck in the early-adopter phase.

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American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use - for PSFK.com

The American consumer is leading the march toward energy efficiency in this country. They’re embracing government-sponsored programs such as Energy Star and technological advances like the Internet of Things (IoT) and solar panels to reduce their annual energy usage and put money back into their pockets.

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The Best Smart Garage-Door Controller | The Wirecutter

Solar Lighting

After spending over 20 hours wiring and rewiring garage-door openers, opening and closing the doors with our smartphones and our voices, and controlling them through smartphone apps and home-automation routines, we found that the Chamberlain MyQ Garage (MYQ-G0201) is the best smart garage-door controller for most people. It was the easiest and quickest to install of all the controllers we tested, it’s among the simplest to set up and use, and it’s compatible with the most garage doors out there, thanks to the huge popularity of Chamberlain and LiftMaster products in homes across the country. It also integrates with the popular Nest Cam if you want a remote view of your garage.

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