Let’s face it, Smart Home and home automation is going nowhere. There’s no doubt that homes are going to get smarter as Smart Home products become more affordable. Not everyone wants to upgrade, but there are a few Smart Home products that are really, really worth buying.
Smart Home products aren’t just for show – they’re meant to make life more convenient and take on tasks we’re too lazy to deal with.
Here’s a list of eeco recommended Smart Home products for your home.
1. LED Lightbulbs
The most useful Smart Home product is smart LED lightbulbs. How many times did you feel too lazy to get up and turn off the lights before going to sleep? In the morning, you wake up to find the lights are still on! Remember the times you left home but weren’t sure if the lights were turned off? With smart lights, these problems are instantly solved. Using Wi-Fi, you can turn lights on/off with a single touch on your smartphone or tablet.
Lightbulbs like Philips Hue can be dimmed for times you don’t need a bright room or when you want to create a mood. Dimming lights also saves considerable energy. Additional energy is saved by controlling smart lights individually. If you’re curled up on the sofa watching a movie, turn off the lights without getting up and keep just one or two on for ambiance.
Smart lights can be controlled from anywhere in the world. Afraid of monsters in a dark, pitch-black basement? Don’t get clammy fumbling around for the light switch; light things up using your smartphone. Forgot to turn a few lights on before leaving for a weekend getaway? Use the app on your smartphone and turn on those few crucial lights that say, “I’m-still-at-home-even-though-I’m-not.”
2. Smart Doorbell
Wouldn’t it be nice to know who’s at the door without getting up? How many times did you get locked in a conversation with a sales guy who wouldn’t take no for an answer? Did you instantly regret opening the door to another Jehovah’s Witness?
Smart doorbells will ensure you never get stuck in an awkward conversation again. Most smart doorbells come with a built-in camera to see who’s at the front door, letting you pretend you’re not at home. A built-in speaker helps when you’re really not at home.
When someone rings the bell, its app pops-up on your smartphone or tablet with audio and video. If the UPS guy comes with your newest eeco Amazon purchase, tell him to drop the package at the front or take it to the back. With this Smart Home product, find out who’s stealing your home deliveries.
Because a smart doorbell’s features are accessed using Wi-Fi, a smartphone or tablet can communicate with the device from anywhere in the world. You can be sitting at the office or a quaint café in Paris and always know who’s at the door.
3. Smart Curtains
It was always annoying when mom opened the bedroom curtains in the morning at the speed of lightning. That initial flood of sunshine did more harm than good. Ever wish curtains opened slowly for a more pleasant wake-up experience? Smart curtain systems make that wish come true.
Connect Slide to your smartphone’s alarm clock and let your curtains pour gentle rays of sunshine when it’s time to wake up. Slide can also open and close curtains according to sunrise, sunset and other settings using the Slide App.
Because smart curtain systems like Slide are made using a retrofit design, there’s no need to replace curtains and railings. It’s a truly DIY design that makes installation a cinch. As with all smart things, smart curtains can be programmed to learn when you leave home and return; and work alongside other Smart Home products.
4. Smart Plugs
Never forget if you turned off the stove ever again. Smart plugs are a handy Smart Home product that attach to any outlet in the house. Most plugs only have room to attach one appliance, while a few plugs are big enough to connect more. The main purpose of smart plugs is an on/off feature. Using an app on your smartphone or tablet, instantly kill the power (or turn it on) to any appliance connected to a smart plug.
Smart plugs also allow scheduling when appliances turn on or off. For example, set a coffee maker to turn on at 7:00am for a fresh brew first thing in the morning; program a space heater to warm up the bedroom before you get home; schedule Christmas lights for the festive season or save power by turning off your home entertainment session.
For rental property owners (such as Airbnb), having smart plugs is especially useful. Property owners can remotely turn off appliances that may have been left on by previous renters.
5. Voice Assistants
Last on the list of five must-have Smart Home products are voice assistants. No Smart Home should be without one. Voice assistants work with Smart Home products providing control via voice recognition. This means you can be sitting on the couch watching television and command your voice assistant to turn down the lights, open the curtains or turn up the heat on your thermostat.
A few voice assistants on the market are extremely popular. Amazon Alexa and Google Home are the most common, with Apple’s Siri falling behind. The first two have physical hubs and can be purchased online, while rumor has it Apple is making one of its own.
A flood of different Smart Home products on the market make controlling them a big pain. Instead of searching between five or six different apps to find the right one, simply tell your voice assistant what to do.
“OK Google, close the curtains.”
“Alexa, what’s the temperature inside?”
“Siri, dim the lights to 30%.”
Voice assistants make Smart Home operation easier.
Make Your Home Smarter
It can be overwhelming trying to determine which Smart Home products you should buy. Understanding the inconveniences in your home is a good place to start. Simple things such as automatic curtains, scheduled on/off appliances and energy saving lightbulbs make life more convenient.
As for voice assistants, chances are you already have one! If you use an iPhone or Android smartphone, an assistant comes with either device by default.