It’s becoming easier and easier for people to start automating their homes with technology. Since there’s not a shortage of companies and start up ventures rolling out products like automated lights, thermostats, and air conditioners, turning a home ‘SMART’ can be a relatively simple process.
Keep reading for 10 easy things you can do to transform a house into something smarter.
Find the Right Assistant: Any sort of technology you integrate will work even better with a virtual assistant like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. Homeowners can use the devices to control smart home products by simply saying verbal commands the device picks up on. Most of the popular assistants on the market are portable and very easy to set up.
Power Up with Smart Light Bulbs: Lights are one of the quickest ways to upgrade your home to make it smarter. The Link bulb from General Electric can be controlled from a smartphone app as soon as it is screwed in. Since the bulb is an LED, it will last for decades and eat up a lot less power than more traditional light bulbs. Bulbs like the Phillips Hue and LIFX let homeowners adjust the color and hue of the lights to completely change the dynamic of a room.
Stay Comfortable with A Smart Thermostat: Smart thermostats are a popular choice because they usually come with some impressive technology. Google’s Nest thermostat collects data about its usage and begins to calibrate its temperature automatically at different times of the day based on what homeowners like. Thermostats like the Lyric T5 save lots of money and energy because they come with motion sensors that tell them to adjust when no one is home.
Keep Things Secure With A Smart Security Camera: Smart security systems can give peace of mind to homeowners because they can broadcast live video of the property and let users lock and unlock doors from far away. The Moon camera from startup company 1-Ring is able to levitate and be controlled by an app. It can even turn on its own to follow and record noise once it senses sound. The Manything program lets homeowners turn old phones into security cameras that can send alerts about any visual activity or movement.
Use Smart Door Locks to Protect A House: Upgrade the traditional deadbolt to a smart lock and get a notification anytime the door opens after installing the Lockitron. Smart locks can be calibrated to only let certain people into a house, which can be useful for a homeowner who wants to run errands when a friend needs to come by to pick something up. Safety is assured since smart locks like the one from August are hard to tamper with or manipulate.
Make Cleaning Easy with Robots: Homeowners can save time by letting machines take care of tasks like sweeping, polishing, and mopping. The Braava Jet Mopping Robot from iRobot can be set to pick up cat hair or mop floors while avoiding furniture and other household items. Robot vacuums like the well-known Roomba map out the most efficient cleaning routes and are able to be set to start working at a consistent scheduled time.
Go Solar For Green Energy: Adding solar panels to a home can be a very smart investment since the federal government offers tax credits that could total 30% of the cost of a solar energy system. Lots of states have incentives for homeowners to adopt solar power as well. There’s a lot of different types of panels on the market of all shapes and sizes. Manufactures are also rolling out all-black panels that look much sleeker and cohesive on a house in comparison to earlier grey and blue cell models.
Use Air Monitors to Monitor Quality: Smoke and dangerous gases like carbon monoxide can quickly turn deadly if they are not noticed. Since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it can be impossible to detect without a monitor. The Nest Protect monitor sends alerts straight to a phone if it detects any dangerous gases and can be set to partially shut off while someone is cooking. Homeowners can use the Awair Air Quality Monitor to keep close tabs on the types of allergens and pollutants floating around a house. The device even gives advice based on what it senses to improve air quality.
Stay on Top of Leaks with A Smart Sensor: Basements can rapidly fill up with water during a storm and lead to massive repair bills if the it starts to stagnate and leak into other parts of a house. The Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Water & Freeze Detector sends smartphone notifications as soon as a leak or freeze starts to occur so users can take action. This type of technology can be paired with smart HVAC systems, vents, and fans that can be switched on and off remotely and adjust for rising humidity levels.
Relax with A Smart Entertainment System: Smart entertainment systems are one of the easiest ways to instantly raise the IQ of a home. Technology like the Bose Soundtouch 10 Wireless Music System eschews clunky wires for a simple music setup that can be controlled wirelessly. Use the Blumoo Smart Remote Control to control all electronics in a house from one smartphone, or turn on the eyeSight technologies Single Cue Gesture control for a more physical experience. It watches movements and hand gestures to change channels, turn up music, and turn on streaming services like Netflix.
All of the above technology is widely available and can be found at a lot of different price points. Turning a home smart does not have to be a time intensive or overly expensive affair. Rather, adding features to a home to make it smart can make lives easier and result in a higher asking price once it comes time to sell the home.