We live in the new era of technology where everything is controlled by machines, wires, and circuit boards. What we drive, where to work, to where we socialize is all made on some sort of technological device so it just makes sense that our home would become the same way. We’ve compiled a list of 7 devices we believe you should have in your home that will help you out. Most of things can be controlled from your smart phone, which makes it much easier to monitor and set everything just the way you want it.
First you must have the central control, the app that connects every device in the home to yours. This app is essential, it will help you control everything and make sure that your home works in tune with both you and itself. There are a few apps for this, in fact Apple made an app called Homekit as they are the trendsetters in the phone business. There is another app called Cassia, which comes at a cost, $99.99, but will build a network for you. There are also a few for the computer such as HomeGenie, which is free, and Logitech Harmony Companion, which is $149.99.
Next you are going to want a way to control the temperature in your house, which is easily done by a thermostat. However, we are talking about a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat is helpful because it is easily programmable, with more settings and more storage than any other thermostat out there. Not only does it learn but it also saves energy, which in turn saves you money! A couple of the smart thermostats worth looking into are the Nest thermostat, which comes in at $249 and the Ecobee3 (which is said to be better) at $249.
Everybody needs light; there is no doubt about it. So it makes sense that there would be a way to make your light work for you and your needs. Now these smart lights can change colors and brightness levels to suit any need, including emotion and feel of a room. Phillips is one of the well-known light companies that has created smart lights with their light Phillips Hue Light Bulb for only $23. Not only do they sell the light but they also sell accessories to go with the lights. The other smart light bulb we recommend is the Cree Connected LED Light Bulb, which is $24.
I have had problems with my older smoke detector going off just because I lit a candle and frankly it can be quite annoying trying to shut it off if it happened to be an accident. Now, though, they have created smart smoke detectors! This happens to be another product by Nest, not only altering you to smoke but carbon monoxide as well. This product is called the Nest Protect, which costs $99. The wonderful thing about this being a smart smoke detector is that it is connected to your phone, so if it is picking up smoke or carbon dioxide you will not only be alerted by a loud beeping but by phone notifications.
Audio systems have become a really popular item for many families as music is played all the time. People often want very high quality audio systems that will play loud and clear for all to hear. You can play music whenever and wherever you want for as long as you want. A couple of good smart audio systems are the Sonos Play: 1 for $195 and Amazon Echo for $179.99. The Sonos Play: 1 is really nice because it can play any music from any source/device, this includes your computer. The Amazon Echo is really great because voice command is included with the device, you don’t even have to use your hands to control it.
Another way we can improve our home is by getting some smart plugs. You can plug anything into these so they function as a normal outlet, however they connect to your phone through your Wi-Fi. Once they have connected to your phone you are able to control whatever is plugged in simply by using your phone. These outlets will also let you know if you have left something on at night or while you’ve gone so you can still turn your lights or whatever else is plugged into your outlet off. A good outlet to consider is the Belkin WeMo Switch, which currently costs $39.99.
Having home security is one of the most important things about leaving a home. You most likely won’t leave until you know your home will be safe and secure with you gone. Smart locks are a very good way of helping you remember to lock your door. In fact some of them even lock the door for you once you leave and unlock the door when you come back. A few good locks out right now are the August Smart Lock for $214 and the Kevo from Kwikset for $160.
There are a few other things that you can pick up to help you around the house and more will surely pop up in the future. The way that the technology is changing everyday means that there will be new products nearly every day. There are robot house cleaners/vacuum cleaners called the Roomba, which are controlled by your phone and roam around your house to vacuum so you don’t have to. There are some cameras such as the Nest Cam, which costs $199 and is a security camera for your home, which streams 24/7. There is even technology to help you sleep, it is called Sense and costs $129.
Some of these things may seem like they cost a lot but in the long run they really are worth it. The amount of protection provided and the energy saved through these devices is nice. Of course these will become more affordable over time, but what is a few extra dollars for years of protection?