Smart homes are all the rage, and by “smart” we don’t mean they look fancy. Rather, we are talking about devices and systems that make use of the Internet of Things to remotely control the functions and features of the house.
Using an app or web portal, a smart home system allows you to control your locks, lighting, thermostat, security, and other features through your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. You can set one up to automate tasks, like turning on the lights before you get home from work or turning off the heat when you leave for the day. It allows you to control your home when you are on the go.
Not only do you gain comfort, but you can also save money with smart systems. Many homeowners insurance companies offer discounts if you install a security system equipped with an alarm, door and window sensors, and motion sensors. And you could save on energy costs by adjusting your thermostat so you’re not using as much heating or cooling when the house is unoccupied.
Not surprisingly, these benefits make smart home devices an attractive option, so much so that 69% of American households have at least one smart home item. If you’re in the market, here are some of the latest and greatest devices available.
An energy monitor helps you spot areas of energy waste by monitoring the electrical output of appliances you’re using (or aren’t using, but are plugged in). Although individual plugs have been around for a long time for individual power outlets, there are now whole-house energy monitors that track appliance usage throughout the house.
For example, him sensory energy monitor (one of the most recommended brands) works like a small computer, constantly analyzing where and when the energy is going. This type of tool allows you to monitor the electrical use of particular appliances (as large as a refrigerator or as small as a clothes iron), make adjustments to reduce energy consumption, and work with smart assistants to follow voice commands. You can also use it to check whether devices are on or off. But you’ll likely need an electrician to install it, since the monitor plugs into your home’s electrical panel.
Smart locks provide another layer of security, with logs that let you see when someone arrives and leaves in real time. You can check the log to see when your kids get home from school, if the house or pet sitter arrives on time, if UPS dropped off the package as instructed in the email notice. You can also assign temporary codes for those who need short-term access to your home, like a contractor or real estate agent.
the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is often cited by real estate professionals as offering exceptional connectivity via Wi-Fi and easy installation. “Thanks to the simplicity of this smart lock, all a homeowner needs to do is install it on their doors and invite people who need access,” says Vicky Norfaul, owner and associate broker at Platinum Real Estate Group in Northern Virginia. . “Access can be easily controlled through the home solution app and software, and the invitation can be extended or withdrawn at any time.”
Going to the smart lock, a better one is the smart door. Masonite M-Pwr smart door is the first to offer a Yale smart lock, along with other devices like motion sensor lights and a Ring video doorbell, in the same package as a mini security system. Connected to your home power source, it’s always on (with a battery backup if the power goes out). You can use your mobile app to monitor who’s at your front door and receive notifications if it stays open. The doors are made of durable fiberglass and come in a variety of colors and styles.
Smart thermostats allow you to set the temperature in your room even when you are hundreds of miles from home, saving you on energy bills by setting your thermostat higher (in summer) or lower (in winter) when you go out for extended periods. CNET, the sister site of Bankrate, recommends the Amazon Smart Thermostat. It’s affordable, Energy Star certified, and has an easy-to-use touchscreen interface.
intelligent security systems
Keeping your family protected is paramount. And smart security systems come equipped with everything you need to give you protection and peace of mind. the Vivint smart home The system is among the best available, according to technology experts.
The system features security cameras, window/door/motion sensors, and a hub panel. Most importantly, it offers 24/7 monitoring with a subscription. If a sensor detects glass breaking or something trying to break through a door, it notifies you and first responders. Plus, you also get 14 days of video clip storage, in-home installation, and warranties on all equipment. Best of all, it integrates with other smart home ecosystems to let you manage everything from lighting to security cameras from your phone or tablet.
With smart lighting, you can turn your lights on and off with the push of a button from your smartphone. the Wyze Bulb is a wise entry point. You can buy a white light or upgrade to the LED version, where you can change colors depending on your mood. Each Wyze bulb uses Wi-Fi radios, allowing you to control its features through the Wyze mobile app, without having to connect to routers or other hardware. Ranging from 880 to 921 lumens, they’re also among some of the brightest smart lights you can find.
smart vacuum cleaners
Smart vacuum cleaners have come a long way since their inception. Now, they can navigate the twists, turns, and corners of homes big and small alike. the iRobot Roomba i3 EVO it keeps track of the areas it cleans, handles thick carpets and rugs (previously a weak point of robotic vacuums), and is more than capable of picking up coarse pet hair. Use the Wi-Fi app to turn the vacuum on and off or set an automatic cleaning schedule. Its smart mapping technology allows it to give you precise commands about which rooms the vacuum should clean and when.
Smart home assistants: They’re not just for playing music anymore. Devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant can act as the command center for your smart home, connecting each compatible component. Nick Good, a realtor with The Good Home Team in North Texas, says, “These smart devices can help you adjust the temperature and lighting in your home with voice commands.” Also, if you have an Android device, you can use the Google Assistant to access your shortcuts. Once you ask the assistant to open your shortcuts, it automatically suggests features, like ordering food.
Aspects to consider with smart home devices
As advantageous as they are, smart devices do come with a few caveats.
If you plan to use an energy monitor or home security system, it is advisable to consult an electrician. Some DIY systems take just a few minutes to set up. However, if you are inexperienced with the equipment, it would be better pay a professional to install it; in fact, if it’s directly connected to your power box (as all power monitors are), it’s vital.
Another common issue: One part of your smart home ecosystem isn’t working well with devices from different manufacturers. For example, Amazon’s smart thermostat doesn’t pair with Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant. So if you already have a personal assistant or other smart home devices, make sure the new one is fully compatible, or you’ll have to control it separately from the rest. Before you fall in love with a product, make sure you read all the specifications carefully and make sure that it will work with your type and model of phone, tablet or computer.