Home Automation has been one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the tech industry in recent years. New products are constantly being released to make our homes more secure, more convenient, and more efficient than ever before. While most gadgets tend to offer more distractions to our everyday lives, home automation products aim to automate common tasks or simply offer peace of mind solutions with set and forget services. If you're looking to help make your home smarter, here are ten products you should consider in helping automate your home.
Before you begin improving your home with products that offer home automation, you will need a good router. Most Home Automation devices require a Wi-Fi connection and getting a good router is a must, especially if you live in a large home. A good router will ensure that your home has a strong and consistent internet signal no matter where you connect a device. Check out the Connectedly guide to the top 5 best routers if you're looking for help on choosing the best home router.
2. Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats have been around for a while now and are one of the most popular first home automation upgrades many people choose. A smart home thermostat will offer both convenience and efficiency to your home. The most popular home thermostat is the Nest Learning Thermostat made by Google-owned Nest Labs. The 3rd generation Nest thermostat will adapt and learn your home to create convenience and comfort all while conserving energy. A smartphone app allows you to connect to your home and adjust temperatures anywhere in the world. Imagine going for vacation and forgetting to turn off your air conditioner, a smart home thermostat would allow you connect to your thermostat and turn it off remotely. There are several smart connected thermostats, the most popular and often recommended continues to be the Nest Smart Learning Thermostat.
3. Smoke and Carbon-Monoxide Detectors
Along with your smart learning thermostat, Nest Labs also offers the Nest Protect. It's a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector that will send alerts right to your phone even if you're not home. The Split-Spectrum sensor can determine the difference between a fast or slow burning fire. You can install multiple units and have them communicate with each other to tell you exactly where the problem is when trouble arises. Most of us have at one time or another had our smoke detector go off inadvertently during a cooking mishap; you're frantically trying to turn off the screaming smoke detector with a kitchen broom. The Nest Protect is a smarter, calmer smoke detector that talks to you in a friendly human voice and can easily be silenced with your smartphone. It's a simple and fairly inexpensive product that adds safety and convenience to any home.
4. Home Security Cameras
Traditionally in the past if you wanted a home security system, you paid a company a monthly fee to monitor your home, and they would alert you or the police if someone triggered the sensors. Many folks are now choosing to control security themselves by installing security cameras in their homes. Smart security cameras can sense both motion and sound and will send notifications to your phone. They also let you connect remotely and see a live feed of your home at any time. Many of them also offer cloud recording that let you go back and see the history. There are countless of home security cameras on the market with the Nest Cam being one of the most popular ones that offer 1080P video recording and live playback with cloud storage history. A good home security camera lets you check on your home from anywhere in the world and get that peace of mind.
5. Smart Doorbells
Along with internal home security cameras, many smart doorbells are coming onto the market that will notify you anytime someone comes to your front door. Ring is one of the more popular options that will sense any motion at your door and provide an HD video feed of what your doorbell sees. Answer anyone at your door even if you're not home or never miss a package delivery again. Smart Doorbells are relatively easy to install and are a great addition to any home.
6. Smart Door Locks
Along with doorbells, many homeowners are also choosing to install smart door locks on their homes. Smart door locks allow you to lock and unlock your doors remotely using your phone. They can also provide you with virtual keys and let you into your home without the need for physical keys. Let loved ones in your home even if you're not there. Many smart locks on the market will also automatically lock your home when it senses your away. Check on the status of your doors from anywhere in the world and know that things are secure. There are new products coming to the market that pair both a smart camera and smart lock into one device. The Westinghouse Nucli Smart Lock is one such product currently looking for crowdfunding to come to market.
7. Smart Garage Openers
Along with smart locks for your home, a smart home garage opener offers lots of convenience and security to your life. Smart Garage openers such as the MyQ allow you to open and close your garage from your smartphone. Not having to keep a remote in your car can prevent someone from accessing it the random time you happen to park your car outside. How many times have you pulled away from your home only to wonder if you closed the garage door? Smart home garage door openers allow you to check on the status of your door anywhere in the world and get notifications when there is activity..
8. Smart Lighting
Perhaps the cheapest and most popular smart home improvements to start with are smart connected lights. There are countless of different smart bulbs on the market that will allow you to control your lights from your phone. In the olden days smart home light automation meant buying the clapper, now smart bulbs let you control their color or brightness from anywhere using your smart device. Many smart bulbs can be set to run on a schedule and will sense when you arrive home to turn on automatically. Philip offers the Hue line of light bulbs and light strips that can accommodate virtually any home and offer many different convenience modes. There are also a lot of cheaper alternatives that work on both Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections.
9. Smart Assistants
Many devices are coming to the market that allow you to talk and control them using your voice. They can answer questions and help you control other devices with commands. An example of one of these devices is the new Amazon Echo. This little cylinder speaker lets you ask its smart assistant Alexa virtually anything your heart desires. She can check the weather, sports scores, control your music, adjust your lights and anything else you may want. Voice recognition devices such as the Amazon Echo can help save time and prevent you from needing to reach for a device for control.
10. Smart Hubs
As you start to add some of these home-automation products to your home, you realize they require their own apps and hubs for control. Smart Hubs intend to help us with these devices by creating a platform to control them all with one solution. Many Smart Hubs are coming on the market and are working with the companies to support their products. One of the more popular ones on the market is the SmartThings hub made by Samsung. A good smart hub can make home automation less intimidating.