Technology has enabled us to all be connected like never before to loved ones, information, entertainment and, more recently, our homes. This year, more and more of us will be looking to add smart home technology to make our everyday tasks easier and more efficient.
But which smart home tech is right for you and your family? Here’s our list of devices that you’ll definitely want to consider connecting to your home.
Wifi Smart Plugs
Contrary to what you may think, you don’t need to replace all of your existing devices with smart ones. You can easily bring your vintage into the smart home age with a Wifi Smart Plug. These devices plug into any regular wall outlet and connect to your wifi network and the power on or off to whatever’s plugged in. You can then set your devices to automatically turn on or off at pre-scheduled times, or shut off whatever you missed on your way out the door when you rushed out that morning.
It may be more expensive than a traditional thermostat, but a smart thermostat will save you money in the long run. In addition to being able to be controlled from your smartphone when you’re not at your home, these thermostats truly are “smart” by learning your preferences over time. If you keep lowering the temperature before you leave for work, raising it at night, and keeping it at a higher temperature on the weekends, it’ll begin doing this automatically for you. Plus, they can even detect when no one is home and stop using as much heating or cooling.
Video doorbells enable you to see and speak with visitors from wherever you are from your phone, whether you’re in the basement or away on vacation. They can also function as an added level of security, with motion detectors that can send you a notification every time someone goes onto your porch, even if they don’t press the doorbell.
Rather than just being limited to “on” or “off”, smart lights open up a whole world of lighting possibilities. They can be programmed to turn on or off at preset times, dimmed to a certain level depending on the activity in the room, or even change colour to match the mood.
Lost your keys and no one with a spare is around? No problem! Smart locks use your smartphone to unlock the door, and will even automatically lock themselves once you’re inside. You can also give others temporary access to your home, such as a friend while you’re on vacation or the cleaner between noon and 4 pm on the third Tuesday every month.
If you’re a fan of natural light throughout your home, you’ll wonder what you ever did before smart blinds. At a basic level, you can let in some light without needing to get up or have them open at preset times. More advanced smart blinds can track the sun and adjust their angle accordingly, ensuring that your home’s lighting is always just right. Many options are even solar powered, meaning you’ll use less energy and not need to worry about messy wiring solutions.
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector can be a more convenient and safer way to keep watch over your home. Some sensors can tell the difference between burnt toast and a severe fire and alert you accordingly. Depending on how many you have in your home, it can even tell you where in your home the threat is detected. You can also turn them off from your phone, rather than needing to go right up to the deafeningly loud device to silence it during a false alarm. They will also regularly check themselves to make sure everything is working correctly, and notify you on your phone when they need a changed battery (rather than by beeping at 2 in the morning).
Thanks to devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home, you can now speak to your home like one of your family members. Using your voice, you can ask how many cups 500 ml is while your hands are busy preparing dinner, set reminders for yourself, start playing music, or even control the other connected devices in your home. You can also create preset routines; for instance, when your morning alarm goes off, you can simultaneously raise the blinds, turn on your lights, raise the temperature and have the weather read to you.
Ready to make your home smart but not overly tech savvy? Find a home automation professional from HomeStars today!