Homeowners can experience a level of connection, security and convenience unlike ever before with today’s smart home technology. If you are looking to simplify some of the day’s tasks or feel safer in your home, there is a device available to you. Explore this list of smart home technology to consider installing in your home.
With a simple command, virtual assistants make it easier to find information quickly, play music, tell you the latest news or weather, add items to your grocery list and much more. When integrated into other smart devices, you can even adjust lighting or temperature, check to make sure doors are locked and more.
Google Home: With the simple command of “Hey Google,” your Google Assistant will help you with a variety of tasks. It can pair with a variety of your other devices including a Chromecast, Google WIFI, Nest Thermostats and Cameras, as well as other accounts and devices. You can install a Google Home or Google Home Hub in one of your rooms and use the Google Home Mini for more access throughout a house.
Amazon Alexa Devices: For those who love Amazon and are looking for a way to have a virtual assistant, Amazon Alexa devices are great. To get started, simply say “Alexa,” followed by your command. Set the time, check the weather, change music and more from the large Amazon Echo or smaller Echo Dot. They also offer the Sonos One smart speaker. Alexa devices can also connect to the Philips Hue Smart Light Bulb Kit. You may already notice some of your other devices have Alexa enabled.
Television and Streaming
Today, “cutting the cord” does not mean you lose access to some of your top shows. In fact, there is more available now more than ever that can be accessed on streaming devices. With streaming devices, you can log into services to watch television and movies on-demand. Individual channels are also coming out with their own apps to watch television and services such as DirecTV Now or Hulu with Live TV allow you to have all the benefits of cable at a fraction of the cost.
Chromecast: Google’s Chromecast allows you to stream videos and music from your television. You plug it into your TV’s HDMI port then after initial set up, you can browse for shows and music on your smartphone, tablet or computer and will come through your screen.
Firestick: Amazon’s Fire Stick is a small device that also plugs into your TVs HDMI port. From there, it will pull up a variety of apps to stream music and television all in one place. You can control through a very simple and easy-to-use remote or take advantage of models embedded with the Alexa Virtual Assistant that allow you to use voice commands. It uses your Amazon login to keep your latest information in one place, so you can use wherever you go.
Roku: Similar to the Amazon Fire Stick, you will plug in the Roku into the HDMI port of the television. From there, you will find your streaming options all in one place. It has exclusive programming to customers as well as the ability to stream from your favorite apps and live television. Pair the device with add-ons like the Roku wireless speakers, streaming devices and more.
Thanks to smart technology, you can secure your home or business perfectly to fit your needs at an affordable price. Smart security systems do much of the work for you, alerting you of dangers or allowing you to let a delivery driver know where to leave a package.
SimpliSafe: The SimpliSafe wireless home security system is unlike the traditional options available. Instead of paying a large installation fee, they have made this system completely DIY and wireless. Taking it a step further, SimpliSafe allows you to pick a system package perfect for your needs, at a fraction of the price. As you shop, you choose the protection you need for an apartment, house or business. Packages start around $170 or you can build a custom system. In addition to motion and glass-breaking sensors, of the options, you have include smoke detectors, temperature sensors to alert pipe-bursting conditions, water sensors for leaks, sirens and key fobs. It is around $14.99 per month and no contracts.
Ring Doorbell: Ring has taken the concept of a doorbell to a new level. Choose one of the four+ models available that not only works as a doorbell but a monitoring and communication system. Using wi-fi, you can see what is going on outside your door at any time in HD. Its motion-activated notifications will alert you when someone or something is nearing your door and you can talk to someone through the device. There is no monthly fee for your Ring Doorbell, but you can add on 24/7 monitoring starting at $10 per month. Also, the company offers security cameras, smart lights, security systems and more to aid in your safety.
Appliances and Home Features
Smart technology in your appliances allows you to have added controls and convenience with your everyday items. From cooking more efficiently to creating the perfect ambiance in a room, smart devices and home features make your home work for you.
Samsung Family Hub™ refrigerator: When learning about this smart fridge, you will wonder “what can’t the Family Hub do!?” This refrigerator connects you and those in your home in so many ways. In addition to being able to look inside at any time with your smart device, you and all others can create shopping lists. But that’s not all and provides convenience in two ways. First is through its screen. It is your calendar, dry erase board, grocery list, music player, television, picture frame, sticky note reminder, meteorologist, food delivery service, light switch and more all in one. Second, the app allows everyone to stay connected on their day’s essential things. It keeps everything for everyone in one place including a calendar, to do list, notes, dry erase board and more.
Philips Hue smart lighting system: From creating the perfect atmosphere to turning off a light from the comfort of your couch, the Amazon Alexa-compatible Philips Hue smart lighting system does it all. Bulbs can be changed from a warm yellow hue to a crisp blue. You can invest in accessories and lamps for in the home as well as outdoor.
June oven: You can spend thousands on a convection oven, air fryer, dehydrator, slow cooker, broiler, toaster and warmer. Or, you can pay half that and buy a June oven. This seven-in-one unit cooks your foods to perfect temperature and texture. Its app helps you keep an eye on your food wherever you are and customize food just how you like it. There are more than 100 foods already programmed into the June oven system, or you can manually adjust via the convenient touchscreen or your smartphone.
Blinds.com motorized blinds and shades: Blinds.com has made what seems to be such a luxury into an affordable feature. This system is available in a variety of configurations and colors to help you let in natural light when you want to and put down the shades when you don’t. Find anything from sheer shades that let natural night into blackout shades to help you sleep better at night. Prices start as low as $30 for a shade.
Home Hub and Management
As you add on various smart devices in your home, you may wonder if it is possible to join them together. It is! Home hubs and management systems combine items in one secure place.
Wink smart home hub system: As you create your perfect “smart home,” you may find all of the apps quickly adding up. This is where Wink comes in. Wink helps you control all of your smart devices and appliances from one place. Connect your existing smart devices or purchase some from the Wink line. This system allows you to automate everyday tasks from turning on lights when you come home to managing your thermostat to save during the day. As you scroll through all the options, they are endless. From smoke alarms and security systems to door locks and electrical outlets, Wink lets you turn your home into a smart home.
Nest: The ENERGY STAR certified Nest thermostat would help you conserve energy and reduce your heating and cooling bills. Using smart technology, you can turn things down while you aren’t home and bring to a comfortable temp when you are. The “Learning” model will even observe your habits for a week, then manage your thermostat for you. However, they’ve branched out from the smart thermostat. Nest now offers security cameras and alarm systems, smart doorbells, locks and smoke alarms. It syncs with the Google Home Hub allowing you to say a command with a quick “Hey Google.”
Not only are smart cleaning devices more convenient, but they do an impeccable job at keeping your house clean. They can get the spots you usually can’t, making a room feel great.
iRobot Braava jet® Mopping Robot: Gone are the days of sopping wet mops and cleaning floors with dirty water. The iRobot Braava jet’s smart navigation triple-pass cleaning system works on a variety of floors. You can set it for a heavy duty setting or a light, damp clean. Don’t want to mop? It also serves as a vacuum.
Eufy RoboVac 12: To simply put it, this Eufy robot vacuum keeps your home clean. It is smaller than other models, at just under three inches tall. It’s quiet, so you may not even hear it going and easily maneuvers onto rugs, medium-pile carpet and more. Have hardwood floors? It works great for those, too. You can pop on your smart device to see where it is—and what you won’t have to do is dock it to charge it. It will make its way back to the dock on its own when it is done or needs charging!
Litter-Robot 3 Connect: If you have a cat, then you know how much fun it is to scoop. The space-like Litter-Robot 3 Connect handles the scooping for you. It pairs with your phone, so you can check in to see when it’s time to change out the litter, update settings or even see how often your cat is going.