10 Ways To Simplify Your Space with Smart Home Automation
With the dizzying number of smart home devices on the market today – from wristwatches to air conditioning units – knowing where to start can be a challenge. Here are 10 of the easiest smart home devices to incorporate into your home.
If you’ve ever been lost your keys and been locked out of your home, you’ll immediately recognize the value of a smart lock. Smart locks for your home use alternative modes for unlocking. Some use thumb scans, others use keypad codes, and others use a wireless signal sent from the corresponding app. Additionally, some smart home locks also come with a standard key and key slot, allowing you an alternative means of access if your phone dies or if the battery that powers the lock runs out of juice.
Smart lighting switches can be used to accomplish a number of practical lighting effects. For instance, you could set your smart lighting system to dim when the TV is on, reducing glare. You might also set your lighting system to come on in the morning when it’s time to wake. Best of all, smart lighting can also help you save money by switching off automatically when you leave a room or after a certain amount of time has passed.
While installing smart lighting switches doesn’t require new bulbs, it tends to be both more expensive and more involved than swapping out your old lights for smart bulbs.
Smart thermostats adapt over time, learning what temperature ranges are acceptable to you during different types of weather. As they learn about your temperature preferences, they adjust automatically based on data from local weather reports. And using data about your schedule, they can adjust the temperature to suit your preference by the time you wake or arrive home.
Like other smart devices, smart thermostats can also be adjusted from anywhere using an app. The app might also be able to provide you with feedback about your energy use and offer suggestions about how you could save money on your energy bill.
Smart leak sensors use your home’s wiring to detect changes in ambient humidity that could indicate leaks from your pipes or roof. If your system detects leak, it will send a message to your phone alerting you of the problem. While roof leaks could happen anywhere, it’s best to place the sensors in areas where leaks are most likely to occur – the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
Smart light bulbs
Smart light bulbs are capable of being turned on and off remotely or through a voice-activated home management system. Some of these bulbs require a bridge to link your smart home management system to the bulbs, so check the bulb requirements before purchasing them.
Some smart lights can produce a range of colors and hues, and are perfect for creating ambience. For instance, if you’re hosting a party, you could program the lights to cycle through their many colors to add to the mood. If you’re into gaming, you could set your smart lights to sync with the on-screen action. And if you wake in the middle of the night, you might prefer a less-intense blue or purple light in your hallway or bathroom.
Smart plugs allow you to identify the exact source of your energy consumption. The plugs operate like standard pass-through plugs, but connect to your wifi network, allowing you to check your energy consumption data. Just snap the smart plug into your standard wall socket and then plug the device whose power consumption you’re interested in monitoring into the plug. You can check the power passing through each plug on the bundled app.
Some smart plugs even allow you to set energy consumption limits, so that after a certain device uses a given number of watt-hours, the plug (and the connected appliance or device) will automatically shut off.
Smart plugs can also transform traditional appliances into smart versions. For instance, by plugging your coffee machine into a smart plug, you could remotely activate it each morning before you even leave bed, and your coffee would be ready by the time you’re dressed and ready.
Smart security system
A smart security system uses sensors to alert you to any movement in your house. Some smart security systems don’t even require a wifi connection, and instead use the manufacturer’s cell service. Be aware, however, that these wifi-free systems will likely require you to purchase a monthly service plan.
Other smart security systems utilize small cameras. Some of these miniature cameras look like traditional security cameras, but others could be integrated into decorative objects and stashed inconspicuously on your mantle or coffee table. Using an app, you can playback recorded footage over a limited amount of time or check the live feed from a distance.
Smart toaster oven
Countertop toaster ovens are great for cooking or baking small batches. Smart toaster ovens utilize a camera, artificial intelligence, and a wifi connection to cook everything to perfection with minimal input from you. Just put your meal in the oven, confirm that the oven has correctly identified it, and set it to cook the way you’d like.
Mowing the lawn can be a drag. Fortunately, a series of new smart lawnmowers has made the process easy. Setup for most of these robotic assistants is as easy as designating the perimeter of your yard, then setting them loose. Smart lawnmowers vary in the type of terrain and the amount of acreage they can cover in a single charge, so check the specifications on any model you’re interested in buying to ensure you get one that meets your lawn care needs.
Home management system
A home management system can integrate all the smart additions to your home–including lighting systems, heating, and security features–into a single hub through which you can control everything.
All home management systems are slightly different, and not all will be compatible with every smart device. When choosing one for your home, look for one that integrates features and devices that matter most to you.