The growing market for smart home products can make it difficult to keep up with everything that’s available. Some gadgets are just that—gadgets. Others, however, definitely have a purpose and can provide more benefits than just the convenience of automation. Although everyone has slightly different needs when it comes to creating an intelligent home, the products below are sure to provide functional use that prove to be well worth their investment.
Smart Climate Control
Take your digital thermostat one step further by upgrading to a smart model. Smart thermostats include everything from standard climate control features to weather-based temperature adjustments, climate zone options, and more. Smart climate control may include upgrading your HVAC system, although thermostats are designed to replace standard models and be compatible with most systems. Most of these thermostats are easy to install for the average homeowner, too.
Whether it’s for security or just to help reduce energy costs, you can get a lot of functional use out of smart lighting. You can choose to upgrade your actual light fixtures, or you can upgrade to smart bulbs that can be controlled from an automated app or smart home hub. Smart lighting helps light up the home when you’re out of town, keeps lights off when they aren’t needed, and saves you the expense of leaving the lights on accidentally. Whether you automate the system or just control it remotely, or use a combination of both, it can be very useful.
Smart Air Quality Control
If you’re looking for bigger smart home investments, an air purification or filtration system might be just what you need. These systems are designed to help improve air quality in the home. Some can even bring in fresh air from the outside or diffuse heat and air through the home for a more even temperature. These systems are a big investment, but they are definitely worth it.
Smart outlets are useful in so many ways. Essentially, by installing a smart outlet, any device that you plug in can become a smart device. You can use it to control lamps, holiday lights, or anything else that you want. You can even install smart outlets in the bathroom so that curling irons and other appliances that often get left on will be safely shut off in a specific amount of time. Or, if you remember, you can shut them off remotely using your smartphone or tablet.
Smart Home Hubs
Of course, if you’re investing money in smart technology, you’ll want a single place to control it all. These devices offer compatibility with most smartphones and tablets through various apps, but you can only have so many different apps before you want a better solution. A hub will allow you to connect all of the smart technology in your home, and then monitor and control it all from one place. It also makes it easier to add on to the system later and can help you get more out of your smart upgrades.
Most smart home hubs include a touch screen display. Some include their own digital remotes or smart remotes so that you can also access the hub when you’re not at home. Some, like Google Home or Samsung SmartThings will also offer compatibility through their app on eligible Android or Samsung smartphones and tablets. Check hubs for compatibility when you’re mixing brands, though, so that you don’t buy something that won’t work with what you have.
What’s Hot and What’s Not
In terms of smart devices for home automation, there’s really nothing that isn’t trending right now. Thanks to the customisable nature of home automation systems, it seems that the more devices there are, the happier consumers will be. With an endless supply of smart technology, you might be wondering where it’s best to start when it comes to planning your smart device budget.
The best place to start is to figure out which upgrades would be most useful to you. It doesn’t matter if 5,000 people like the idea of a smart air filtration system when you’re looking for basic, budget-friendly smart upgrades. You still can’t afford it, and even if you could, it’s not what you want. Now that you know what’s useful, here are the most common products people are actually buying:
- Smart security (doorbell cameras, smart security systems, smart locks, etc.)
- Smart lights and outlets
- Smart home hubs to manage all of the devices in one place
- Smart thermostats and climate control systems
The Bottom Line
Take the time to explore all of the smart home products on the market and see what they have to offer. That way, you can figure out where you want to start. Most people make smart upgrades one or two at a time, so it’s best to know all your options up front. If you’re looking for useful upgrades, the items listed here will definitely deliver what you need.