Order Placed: Unifi AP ac LR

I wanted a more robust wireless access point to supplement or replace my Linksys E4200. I had been experiencing spotty WiFi coverage at my home’s extremities, even after flashing DD-WRT and tweaking settings.

I’ve been spending a lot of time combing through Ubiquiti Networks’s product offerings as part of an ongoing engagement, and after reading Ars Technica Senior Technology Editor Lee Hutchinson’s review on their UniFi wireless access points, I decided that I was already too invested not to try one out for myself.

I chose the Unifi AP ac LR (MSRP $109, Amazon.com), the long-range version of their wireless access point. It’s rated for a 600-ft range, though we will see how well it fares in my living space.

Stay tuned: I intend to follow up with a review of the unit against my Linksys E4200.

Order Placed: Eyez-On Envisalink EVL-4 IP Security Interface Module

I wanted to leverage my home’s existing security system, making more of what I already had. Effectively, teaching an old dog new tricks.

The Eyez-On Envisalink 4 (MSRP $129.99, Amazon.com, EyezOn.com) wires up to a compatible security panel, taking on the role of a network-connected keypad.

It sounds like just the ticket for building out a solid foundation for any connected home. Upon reading that it integrated cleanly with home automation controllers, I immediately pulled the trigger.

The following comes, with minor modifications, from the Eyez-On website:

Without a monthly monitoring fee, the EnvisaLink 4 will allow you to receive text and email messages as well as control your Honeywell Vista and DSC security systems through the internet. The EnvisaLink 4 also provides access through a virtual keypad using an iPhone, Android or Blackberry.

Take Control

The best just got better. The new EnvisaLink 4 is a powerful TCP-IP based bus-level interface to DSC PowerSeries* panels and Honeywell Vista* panels. It allows you to view the status of and even control your alarm panel through a standard web-browser or smart-phone. VOIP Friendly.

Fully Upgradeable

As new software features become available the EnvisaLink 4 is easily upgraded over the network and automatically keeps itself up to date.

Plays Well With Others

Through the built in TPI (third party interface) the EnvisaLink 4 is already compatible with many major home automation systems and numerous 3rd party Android and iPhone apps.

EnvisAlerts Service

With the addition of the free EnvisAlerts service your control is enhanced and can be extended to anywhere in the world. EnvisAlerts also allows you to specify e-mail or SMS addresses to receive alarms, arms, disarms and more.

Module Features

  • **New** 100Base-T Ethernet Support
  • **New** Improved diagnostic LEDs to speed installation
  • Remotely upgradable to allow for new features and services
  • EnvisaLink TPI – programmer’s and integration interface.
  • EnvisaLink Expansion Header – add new hardware modules as they become available.
  • Simple to hook-up
  • Built-in basic web server and html user-interface
  • 128-bit encryption
  • Real-time zone status with “time-since-tripped ” feature
  • Local Arm/Disarm/Zone Bypass/PGM Control
  • Multi-Partition Support

With Free EnvisAlerts Service

  • Remote Arm (Away & Stay, Quick Arming)/Disarm/Zone Bypass/PGM Control (depending on panel model)
  • Event Logging
  • Receive Alerts by e-mail or SMS.
  • Network Supervision.
  • See at-a-glance system status on a map in EyezOn portal.
  • New “Smart Phone” optimized version of the portal. Works with iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

With EnvisAlarm™ Service (Optional)

You now have the option of full-ULC grade alarm monitoring over your EnvisaLink 4 with the addition of the EnvisAlarm™ service.

  • Full IP-Based monitoring.
  • 1 Year and 3 Year terms available.
  • Receive monitoring certificate and take advantage of Insurance company discounts.


  • Power Draw: 65 mA
  • Connectors: RJ45, 4-Terminal Screwdown
  • Dimensions: 10.5 cm (4-3/16″) x 4.2 cm (1-11/16″)

Included in the Box

Panel Compatibility

  • DSC PowerSeries (1555, 1555 MX, 1575, 5010 (832), 5020 (864), 1616, 1832, 1864)
  • Honeywell Vista Panels (Vista20P, 21iP, 15P, 10P, 128P, and 250P)

Read the EnvisaLink 4 Primer Manual

Order Placed: Honeywell RPLS740B 7-Day Solar Time Table Programmable Switch

I wanted a switch that could be programmed in reference to sunrise and sunset times.

The Honeywell RPLS740B (~$32, Amazon.com) emerged as the leader after considering similar switches. It stood out to me with its clean, modern design and positive reviews.

I made sure to check the listings at my local Home Depot before placing the order, and noted that they were offering a lesser model. I may include some notes on this particular switch after I’ve had the opportunity to play with it.

Order Placed: Philips Hue A19 Starter Kit

I first saw these in person at Andrew N’s home in Tulsa, OK, when I happened to pass through town on the way back from a road trip. He spoke quite highly of them, and had converted most of the lights in his home over to Philips Hue bulbs.

The kit that I ordered was the Philips 456210 Hue A19 Starter Kit (~$200, Amazon.com) – this is the updated kit, with the higher light output bulbs (800 lumens) and the Apple HomeKit-compatible bridge.