In this new age of advanced technology, everything is “smarter.” We have smart cars, smart phones, smart watches, and even smart houses! There are great gadgets available now, that can help to create a more efficient home. Connected home gadgets help to decrease your carbon footprint, aid in eco-friendly living, and offer technology that helps you run a productive household. With a smartphone, tablet or computer and a WiFi signal, your home is completely manageable and protected, no matter where you are. Here are some smart home gadgets to consider:
Small devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod are voice-controlled speakers that can accomplish a huge array of tasks. These are great examples of the artificial intelligence advancements in the last couple of years. From answering your questions about the weather to controlling your smart home, and requesting an Uber to ordering products online, just about the only thing these fun devices can’t do is the dishes! There are over 15,000 tasks that Amazon Alexa, for example, can accomplish. Re-order shampoo from Amazon, have a recipe read to you so you stay hands free, put reminders on your digital calendar, play your favorite music, or workout with a digital assistant – it’s all possible (and so much more) with these devices.
Why you need it: These devices all offer different and unique features. They offer immediate information with artificial intelligence assistants, keep you from having to get on your mobile devices, and are conveniently sized to be place in every room. From entertainment and information, to the ability to connect with other smart home devices, these inexpensive gadgets have become must-haves in every home.
With new technology, we are now able to detect a potential threat before it occurs. Gone are the days of asking “who is it” when the doorbell rings, or placing guard dog signs on your gate. With hubs like the Canary All-in-One Security Device and Nest Cam, you’ll be able to have 24/7 remote access to your home and its surroundings. When a motion or light sensor is tripped, you’ll be alerted immediately via your smartphone. Ring is a popular doorbell video surveillance device that allows you to see who is knocking at your door, or on your porch, before they ring the bell or knock. Wireless locks and keyless remote access can give you even more security. For example, Kwikset’s Kevo allows you to tap a connected key fob to the lock on your door to unlock it. If you’re not keen on replacing your entire lock, the August Smart Lock replaces just the inside lock, and you can connect it to a doorbell cam, as well. In fact, these devices will alert you every time someone enters your home. Keyless locks also allow you to lock and unlock your doors remotely.
Why you need it: Remotely keeping an eye on your home 24/7 will give you peace of mind and comfort. You’ll know what’s going on in and around your house at all times, and be alerted immediately when something isn’t right. Your protection is ensured when you can view the other side of your front door. You’ll know if you need emergency assistance, even before opening up your home to a stranger. Even better, having the ability to unlock and lock your doors remotely will come in handy. Should an emergency occur inside your home while you’re away, you’ll feel more comfortable knowing you can unlock the doors for a neighbor or emergency personnel.
One of the most inexpensive and easiest ways to start transforming your home into a smart home is with smart light bulbs. These bulbs can be more eco-friendly, connected to smart devices (like Amazon Echo), be remotely controlled and much more. Some smart bulbs also double as wireless speakers, so you can fill your room with music via bluetooth. You can dim the lights from a smartphone app, control them remotely, Change the mood of the room for romantic evenings or parties by changing the color of a smart bulb. Turn them off and on in groups or individually, and some will automatically shut off at sunset and turn on at sunrise! And this tech lighting can also help you sleep better. For example, the C Sleep will emit different color temperatures to help regulate natural melatonin production in your body.
Why you need it: When you have smart lighting, one of the basic components of your home is instantly already smarter. Forget about installing dimming switches or buying new light sockets – smart bulbs fit in your existing fixtures. When your home looks empty, you’re more apt to become a target of home invasion. Remote access can offer more security, making it look like someone is home. Forget to turn off a light? No problem – with smart bulbs, you’ll save on electricity by using an app from anywhere to turn them off! You’ll even sleep more comfortably through the night or have the ability to set different moods in your home with colors and music. These are much more than just your basic light bulbs!
Temperatures in Texas definitely run the entire spectrum, even in a single day. A smart thermostat can create schedules for every day of the week to control your indoor climate control. Whether you’re at home or miles away, you can control the temperature remotely. Even better, you control your thermostat with your smartphone.
Why you need it: Saving money and convenience are the two best pushing points to get a smart thermostat. This is especially important in Texas, because of our fickle and extreme weather. Your smart thermostat can create a comfortable environment in your home. Unexpected cold front? While you’re at work, you’ll be able to bump up the heat. Your thermostat learns the way you use it and creates schedules from your patterns. This means you’ll be saving money because heating and cooling account for almost half of the average home’s utility bills. Instead of wasting money by leaving your A/C on all day, let the smart thermostat turn it off for you, or do it remotely yourself!
Smart CO & Smoke Detectors
We may not think about our Carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors much – until they beep in the middle of the night because batteries need changing. These are life saving implements in your home, and when they are smart – you’ll be more protected. Smart smoke detectors can alert the police should they be triggered, or alert you via your smartphone. In fact, when the battery is low, you’ll get an alert on your phone, as well. Some models give you even more features like voice alerts, double as night lights or even give you weather updates. More expensive models will shut of your heating system should it identify a gas leak. Some, like the Nest Protect, will verbally alert you when smoke is detected.
Why you need it: When you’re away from home and your smoke alarm is set off, you probably won’t even know unless a neighbor or police call you. With a smart detector, you’ll be alerted via your smartphone immediately so you can take control of the situation. If it notes a gas leak, your heating can be shut off automatically. Your home and family are investments and priceless. This is one of the smartest home devices you can own.
Smart Water Detectors
Water damage can be costly and devastating to a home. Smart leak or water detectors will alert your smartphone when it detects a leak, instantly. These smart devices are one of the newer gadgets on the market, but just as important for your home. Your pipes may freeze in the winter, or your washing machine might spring a leak. With as little as WiFi and an electrical outlet, a smart water detector can alert you to the issue. It has a built-in alarm that will sound, as well as sending a push notification to your phone via the app. The Honeywell Lyric, for example, offers super easy setup, temperature and humidity readings and an optional cord sensor attachment to expand the detection area. Even better, it will last up to 3 years on AA batteries.
Why you need it: Why risk coming home to a flooded laundry room, bathroom or kitchen floor? For under $100, you can score any of the smart water detector models, which could potentially save you thousands of dollars in water damage. Not only will an audible alert sound when water is detected, the simple apps will also send you a notification so you can take care of the problem before it grows.
Smart Shades & Blinds
These might seem extravagant or like something you would find in a fancy 5-star hotel, but the average home can really benefit from smart shades and blinds. Set them to rise when they detect the sun rise, or lower when the sun sets. They can all be commanded via app to rise or lower in a group or individually. There are even lower priced motorized add-ons that you can attach to your existing blinds. Some brands like, Pella Insynctive, work together with their other smart home products.
Why you need it: Similar to smart lighting, when you aren’t home, you can trick would-be robbers or unwanted guests into believing you’re home. These can also help with your electricity bill, because the blinds will block out the sun when needed, so your thermostat doesn’t kick on the A/C.
Convenience, security, safety, entertainment and eco-friendly. These are all reasons to create a smart home with smart devices. Look for brands like Nest that combine several devices into one and can be monitored via simple apps on your smartphone. As you begin the process of creating a smarter home with smart home gadgets, you’ll begin to realize just how many can work cohesively. Your home will be more efficient, safer and protected with smart home gadgets. Installing these devices doesn’t have to be difficult! Fixd offers a smart home installation service!