Photo: Don’t buy smart home gadgets just because it’s trendy, choose the products that will work for you and your lifestyle needs. Shutterstock.
This year, we’ve spent much time in our homes; it has given us a chance to re-evaluate how we are living in these spaces. Things that usually go unnoticed are now there with us every day at home, and it’s time to make some changes. While some people are spending more time in their gardens and making that incredible space, others want to make their homes work more for them, and what better way to do that than by making your home smarter? Keep reading to check out easy and affordable techniques to upgrade your house with high-tech products and smart home gadgets.
Increasing Your Home Value
Smart homes are the real trend now, not just because of how easy they make our lives, but also because of the value this technology adds to your home. It’s remarkable how this can impact the overall cost of your house.
Some smart products are just a gimmick, so what are the technology items we need in our homes this year? We’ll take you from the kitchen to the lounge and everywhere in between to add value to your life and home.
Firstly, you might be wondering what is considered a smart home? This term is when a home is equipped with appliances that can be connected to your smartphone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth so you can easily control them.
It’s great to be able to control and monitor your home even when you aren’t there. Upgrading your home to smart level status is definitely worth the investment. Imagine being able to boil the kettle without getting off the couch?
The ultimate benefit of having a smart home is, of course, the convenience factor. Smart homes are great for both homebodies and those unable to be home as often as they would like to be.
If you are not at home, you can even monitor your home heating and stop it from going on, which could save you a lot on your electricity bill at the end of the month. You could also get the oven ready for your return so your dinner can be prepared sooner.
We’ve also all had that moment when we aren’t sure if we turned a light off or our hair straighteners and have that feeling we will come home to a raging fire, or a burnt-out lightbulb needs replacing.
Not only that, but it is excellent for security purposes too. You can install outdoor cameras that will sense people in the area and give you peace of mind knowing what is going on at your home when you are there or when you aren’t.
Where do you even start when starting to convert your home into a smart one? Well, you should always consider how the devices are all going to work together. You will need a smart speaker to make this the easiest.
It has a built-in voice assistant and helps to communicate what you want from your home. The best thing is to make sure that all your devices are compatible with the smart speaker. Here is a great place to start to set yourself up for success.
Smart speakers are an excellent addition to any home as they allow you to listen to great music from streaming services, and they have the built-in voice control assistant to control all the fun, smart gadgets you own.
You no longer have to speak to Siri on your phone, rather chat with Alexa or Siri on your speakers, and control your devices that way. Some speakers work with a variety of different brands, so this is also something important to consider.
There are so many cool devices that can instantly make your home a smart one. Get yourself some smart plugs. This method is one of the best ways to make your home a smart one and one of the cheapest ways.
These plugs look like ordinary plugs with a socket in the front, but they can also connect to the internet. This concept means that you can turn on and off anything connected to this plug from your smartphone.
Another great thing you can do with the installation of smart plugs is that you can set a schedule for them each day. That means certain things can be turned on at different times of the day, depending on when you need them.
This method is a great way to save energy through your smart home. Some smart plugs will let you know how much energy you are using with the device that is plugged in at that point in time.
Once you’ve got your plug sockets sorted, it’s time to move onto the lighting in your home. That is another easy and cost-effective way to turn your home into a smart home. All you have to do is change your existing light bulbs to smart light bulbs.
These lightbulbs can connect to the internet, which means that you can switch them on and off, even when you aren’t at home! They come in a wide range of popular fittings so you can find one to suit your needs.
Like with the smart plugs, you will be able to set a lighting schedule for your home using these smart light bulbs. It is perfect if you are away but want it to appear as though someone is still in your home for safety reasons.
This idea is also great if you don’t want to arrive home after work to a dark house. You can set a schedule to have them switch on just as you pull into your driveway. Your home will be lit up and invite you in.
You can also quickly turn your home’s security system into a smart one with Wi-Fi security cameras. They might just seem like any other ordinary CCTV system to record what is happening outside and inside your home.
But they are so much more than that. You can log in and see what is happening if motion is detected in your home when you aren’t there, but there are other uses for it. You can have a light that is automatically switched on in your home if there is motion detected.
If you want to start getting a little bit fancier with your smart home, you could consider installing smart thermostats. That will make your boiler smart so that you can turn on and off the heating wherever you are.
These are a bit more expensive than the previous ways to turn your home into a smart home, but it is certainly worth it. You can get it all installed by an approved installer, and you’ll have water heating up in no time.
Last but not least, smart appliances. If it’s time to buy new appliances for your home, consider purchasing smart ones to make your life so much easier. You can buy smart ovens, washing machines, and even fridges.
If you have a smart fridge, you can check out what is inside it, so you know what to buy when you go grocery shopping. Never again will you return home without that item you needed to but didn’t think you had run out of — amazing!
This smart gadget is going to cost you more than just changing the plugs and installing a speaker, but if you want to upgrade your home into the smartest version of itself, this is the route you should be taking.
Do your research on various brands that are leading the way when it comes to smart appliances. Samsung and LG are forerunners in this department, but there are new and exciting brands joining each day.
What else do you need in your smart home? You should get a smart smoke detector. We all have smoke detectors in our homes, but they don’t do much good if no one is home to hear them when they go off.
Smart smoke detectors can sound a local alarm and send an alert quickly to your smartphone. If you aren’t at home, this could be the thing that saves your house. You can also authorize other people to get the same alert.
Other smart smoke detectors provide other features too. They have emergency lights built in that can help guide you out of the home if it is filled with smoke. This smart device could save your life and your family’s too.
Another smart smoke detector has an integrated smart speaker that will help you in this situation too. There are also less expensive options for a smart battery that you can place into your smoke detector.
You can also make your garden smart – not just your home! You can do this with your irrigation system. As we all know, water is a very precious resource, and we should not waste a drop.
That is why a smart irrigation system can help. It will keep your lawn and garden watered enough without wasting water. You can decide on a schedule and find a system that detects when there is rain and doesn’t need to go on.
It’s time to get into the specific products that are worth spending money on, which will make a difference in your life. Firstly, you need Brilliant Control. This brand is a wall switch that connects and controls smart devices in your home through Wi-Fi.
It has a small touch screen with button controls that allow you to control things such as music, lighting, and temperatures. This smart function can let you see who’s at the front door, and many other great features.
The great thing about this control panel is that it works well with many popular smart home platforms. These brands include Ecobee, Nest, Ring, and Sonos. It also has a built-in Alexa support system.
This smart device isn’t a cheap thing to install in your home, but it really will make it a lot more high-tech and also user friendly. There are other systems that you can use, but if you want one that comes highly recommended, the Brilliant Control is what you should install.
You have quite a few options when it comes to a speaker to use in your smart home. One of the best out there is The Echo. Alexa powers this gadget. Alexa can connect to many smart home devices directly as well.
You’ll be able to control most of the gadgets in your smart home with your voice’s sound. If you already have another speaker, you can connect the Echo Dot to it and then add the Alexa function to it, which is an affordable option.
There will also be certain people who get annoyed by the voice control of a smart home. Sometimes the device won’t hear you correctly, and there could be quite a comical miscommunication that ends up happening.
To solve this, you can get the Logitech Harmony Elite. This smart device is a universal remote, and it can control your home instead of just your television. It is quite expensive, but it could be the thing that keeps you sane in your home.
You learned about smart home plugs earlier, so this has to be one of the best inventions for your smart home on a budget. It is a plug with six outlets to plug a whole host of devices into one smart plug instead of needing lots of them.
The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip HS300 is an upgrade from your usual plug extension. It can be controlled from your phone and uses Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana voice commands.
You also learned that you could control your thermostat with smart home devices’ help, so what about your air conditioning? You can get a smart home version of that as well with the GE Energy Star Electronic Room Air Conditioner.
It is a window unit that you can control with your phone or with your voice if you are at home. It works alongside Alexa, Google Assistant, and also Siri. But wait, there’s more! You’re about to be amazed by this high-tech product.
The device uses your phone’s location services to make sure that rooms are cooled down before you even get home! You can still schedule your cooling system, and it also provides energy usage reports.
This action will, of course, come with a bit of a higher price tag than your standard air conditioning unit, but it’s smart features make it worth it. It’s one of the top smart air conditioning units currently, and it’s something you should invest in this summer.
Let’s get things heated up and head to the kitchen! What smart appliances can you use to kit out your kitchen? If you are a fan of sous vide food, this gadget will be your dream come true. You can get a precision cooker that uses Wi-Fi connectivity.
This concept means you can control it even when you aren’t cooking at home! Your app on your phone will let you know how cooking is going, and you literally could have dinner made by the time you get home without doing anything!
If you are someone who prefers to be outdoors when cooking, there’s something for you. You can now buy a smart barbeque, which means anyone from a novice to a barbeque master will love this concept.
This device is Wi-Fi enabled and can be used for anything from smoking to roasting. It even uses hardwood pellets, which means you don’t have to worry about putting wood into the smoker to use it. The device also will set your cooking temperature to just the right number.
There is also a smart home oven. While this isn’t necessary, it certainly is a luxury that we all dream of having in our homes. A smart oven will help multitask as you won’t have to keep an eye on it so carefully.
It’s also useful in situations when you are running a bit behind schedule or don’t have much time to wait for the oven to preheat. You can have it all ready and waiting to go even if you aren’t at home to turn it on or off.
Out of the kitchen and into the cleaning supply closet. Most people have already added this smart addition to their homes – it’s the robot vacuum that just seems smarter and smarter each time one is released.
Some simply can be programmed by hand and others that use voice control. They can map out your home, and some even use camera-based navigation technology to make your house clean.
These robots can be quite expensive, but if you hate having to clean or have a pet that frequently sheds hair, this is a worthwhile addition to your smart home. It really can take away that chore you hate doing.
You can even get a robot vacuum that mops you home as well – this is a real two-in-one deal that you don’t want to miss. Save your time and energy for things that you would have more fun doing than cleaning!
Another thing that is a smart device that pet owners might enjoy is the automated treat dispenser and surveillance camera. It is a device that you can connect to your phone, enabling you to “spy” on your pets when you aren’t at home.
Some of these devices have a small screen on them, which allows you to video call your pets as well as dispense a treat to them with the tap of a button. If you’ll be away for the day, this can come in very handy for needy pets.
Did you know that you can now also get a robot lawnmower? Working from the same concept as a robot vacuum, this is a lifesaver if you have a garden, especially a large one. You power it up with your phone and stop it the same way.
You can do this even when you aren’t at home! You can create schedules and also monitor on your phone where it is on the property. This invention will change the game in the world of landscaping.
When it comes to choosing smart devices to equip your home with, it is going to be personal. There may be some gadgets that other people think are amazing, and for you, they are just going to be a waste of money.
Figure out what suits your lifestyle and what will help you before just buying it for the sake of being trendy. Yes, smart homes are more valuable, but you live in it, so you need to make it work for you.
If you don’t require a smart oven or fridge, instead invest your money in setting up smart light bulbs that turn on with the sound of your voice. This gadget is fantastic, especially on late nights when you don’t want to get out of bed to turn off the light.
If you love to be in the garden, make it a smart garden instead of your home. There are many amazing smart gadgets out there to enjoy in your yard and make the experience even better.
Smart homes are a great way to save money even though they often require much money to get it all set up. You will save on water bills, electricity bills, and also gas bills in some cases, depending on what you are using.
You may get frustrated sometimes with your smart devices, but you’ll get used to it, and before you know it, you won’t know what life was like before you had them installed in your home. Enjoy shopping for your smart home technology!