Everywhere you look, people are talking about smart homes, but what exactly does that mean? Imagine you go away for the weekend and on the way home, you click an app on your phone. You turn the heat on so your house is toasty when you get there. Your favorite lights are flipped on, along with some relaxing music and you check your door camera to see if that package you ordered was delivered. You stop at the store on the way home to grab some groceries, and quickly check the camera in the fridge to see if you are out eggs for breakfast. You pull into your driveway and before you even get out, you unlock your front door from your phone so you aren’t fumbling with your keys with hands full of luggage and groceries. Welcome to the world of smart homes.
Jumping in to buying gadgets for your home can be intimidating, so a great way to start is with a smart speaker. These are devices like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s HomePod, and the Google Home. You can set these up with little to no fuss. Most additional devices are compatible with these, so adding from here is effortless.
Smart Outlets are the next logical step. They plug in to any outlet and are already compatible with most smart speakers. They are also incredibly affordable with some starting at just $15. Plug in your favorite lamps or devices to control through your phone or Alexa. The best rated plug-in smart outlets right now are the WeMo Mini, the iHome iSP8, and the Geeni ENERGI.
The beauty of smart thermostats like Nest, Ecobee4, or the Emerson Sensi Smart, is that you can control the temperature in your home no matter where you are and from any device. It helps conserve energy and will lower your monthly heating and air bill. They even program themselves, so even those of us that are not as tech savvy have no need to feel intimidated. As you use your smart thermostat, it learns your habits and schedule and will tailor your home temps to your needs.
Here are a few more of our favorite gadgets for your home that will have you feeling like the future is here.
Smart Doorbells: These come with cameras that let you see who is at your door, are motion activated and will even record anyone who comes knocking. No more wondering what happened to that package that was supposedly delivered that afternoon.
Smart Locks: Forgot your keys? Need to let your Mother-in-Law in the house while you are out? Need your neighbor to let the dog out while you are stuck in traffic? No problem when you can unlock your door from remotely from your phone.
Smart Refrigerators: Not only do they have cameras inside that let you check what you have from your phone, but they also serve as a hub for your family, including everything from family messages boards, to the weather. You can even connect your tv to the fridge so you won’t miss any part of the big game when you get up to grab a snack.