The future has always inspired images of robots taking care of us in our homes. Everything is done at the push of a button or with a voice command. Seems a bit sci-fi, but we’re definitely heading more and more in that direction, don’t you think? With some of the mundanity of house maintenance being taken care of by automatic lights, TV timers, refrigerators, ovens, and of course, the famous robot vacuum cleaner.
There is a whole world out there for Smart Home Devices. It can be a little intimidating to start transitioning your home into a Smart Home. The good news is: you don’t have to go full Jetsons to enjoy a smarter home. You can get started with one device and add more as you go. Plus, I’m sharing with you a roundup of the best brand options to help you start!
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Why Are Smart Home Devices so Popular?
As we grow more and more tech-savvy, we want our homes to reflect that and achieve a greater quality of life. In the United States, there are an estimated 175 million smart homes and 63 million connected homes. A smarter home allows you to keep up with routines and take some annoyance out of small tasks that can simplify your day-to-day. The best thing, however, is how easy it is to get upgrading.
Essential Smart Home Devices
When you think of the best smart home devices you tend to think of automatic lights, robotic vacuums, etc. Though these are all great starter devices, the quintessential piece of hardware is a virtual hub. A voice-activated smart hub acts as the brains of the home and can give you greater control over other smart home devices. Not only is it a great launching off point to connect to other devices to keep them all in one place, they’re also a great standalone addition to any home.
Once you find yourself a virtual hub, you can branch out and start thinking of smart plugs, locks, and even cameras. Here is a roundup of my favorites.
Best Smart Home Devices
The Echo Dot
For accessibility, the Echo Dot from Amazon is a great virtual hub and smart speaker to get started on your smart home journey.
Google Nest Hub
This hub is perfectly tailored for home control. With easy access to check the status of locks and sensors, and the ability to pull up cameras, adjust your thermostat, and more.
Apple HomePod Mini
If you have an Apple ecosystem, you’ll love this hub. It has a nice compact size and is considerably fast in comparison with other hubs on the market.
Lights & Plugs
For a wide variety of light switches and lights, the Legrand Radiant collection has so many options for all your smart light needs. Versatile and effective, find out how a couple of these lights can save on your energy bill here in my DIY Upgrade Guide.
Kasa Smart Plug Mini with Energy Monitoring
These smart plugs are simple to use and super affordable. I love that you can monitor your energy use and schedule when you want to turn your devices on and off.
When it comes to home security, you need a trusted brand. The ring has a wide variety of options to provide you peace of mind when it comes to the security of your home. From cameras, doorbells, and alarm systems. They’re a great option for any beginner smart home.
Wyze Cam V3
Compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, this camera is a good option in terms of quality and price. You get a wide range of features including a motion sensor, 1080p video quality, and night vision. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor use.
Google Nest Yale Lock
This smart lock is a versatile and dependable device option to ensure the safety of your home. It offers multiple ways to unlock and lock your doors. A touch keypad, keyless, through their app, or the lock codes for everyone in the family.
iRobot Roomba 690
You can program and control this robot cleaner from an app or voice commands through Alexa or Google Assistant. I like that it provides good suction and works on all kinds of floors. It’s also great at navigating around objects in its path.
Being able to change the thermostat from anywhere in the house is not only a great time saver, but switching to an Ecobee system can be a great money saver too. It can be set to automatically turn off when you leave for work and restart when you’re on your way home.
Installing Your Smart Devices with Ease
Smart device installation usually begins with downloading a companion app. Get your smartphone ready and make sure Bluetooth is enabled before you get started. Some devices require mounting and a degree of preparation so be sure to read the instructions. For replacing light switches, turn the power off where you’re making the upgrade to be safe. However, most smart devices simply need to be plugged in and they’re ready to go.
Creating Your Smart Device Settings
I mentioned earlier that you want to start your smart home upgrades by getting yourself a hub. Once you do, any and all additional smart devices become so much easier to install. You’ll still need to set up any companion app. But once you do, they’ll be recognizable through a hub like an Echo Dot. You can set your preferences via voice command once the devices are paired.
For more in-depth customization, you can always go into your settings/preferences in the companion app on your phone and make the changes there too! Once you’re good to go, you’re ready to reap the benefits of a smarter home. You can set alarms for yourself to play your favorite music to get out of bed. Have lights automatically turn on and off when you enter or leave a room. You also have the option to set reminders, create grocery lists, make calls, send emails, etc.
What’s Your Go-To Smart Device?
When you envision your ideal home, what do you wish you had to make your life easier? Robot vacuum? A Smart Fridge? I’m curious to know which item you’d get first.
Tell me all about your Smart Home dream in the comments below!