Smart homes are growing in popularity as new gadgets and tech hit the market every year, making smart devices more affordable and refined than ever. Most of us have seen robotic vacuums, but fewer of us have embraced things like smart beds, which send your sleep data to your phone, where you can also adjust your mattress’s temperature.
Upgrading your home with smart devices can be costly upfront, but a little budgeting can help you build the high-tech home of your dreams. Plus, most devices will save you more than you spend within a few years. For example, LED smart lights can be as inexpensive as $6 each and they use 75 percent less energy and last three times longer than incandescent bulbs.
From home maintenance to security, there are plenty of ways to make your home smarter and save time, energy, and cash. Read up on some of the best devices on the market, or jump to our smart home hacks infographic below.
Smart Home Appliances
Smart devices are designed to improve your quality of life by reducing the time spent on chores and home management tasks. This frees your time for more of what you love, like journaling or time with your family.
1. Smart Thermostat
When most consumers consider buying smart appliances they’re most interested in smart thermostats. It’s no surprise since it can lower your heating and cooling bill payments by 10 percent through learning your schedule and adjusting for when you’ll be home.
2. Home Hub
At the center of your smart home is your home hub — the speaker or tablet you use to set your morning routines, leave messages for your family, and control all of your other smart devices. For as little as $30 you can have voice control over all of your connected devices.
LED smart bulbs can cost as little as $6 a bulb and all you need is an app to get started. If you want to make the most of your lights you can build a grid to connect your lights and make schedules for around $50.
Since smart bulbs are LEDs, switching from incandescent bulbs can save you nearly $75 a year, not including the costs saved from the ability to dim and control your lights from anywhere.
Robotic vacuums have become super affordable, with costs rivaling standard budget vacuums, and they’re smarter than ever. These vacuums keep your home clean and give you extra time to get more done.
Smart televisions allow you to connect to the web and all of your favorite apps. This means you can ditch expensive cable packages and easily tune in to your favorite show through a streaming service — of which there are many free or bundled services.
6. Smart Plugs
Even when your devices are turned off or in standby mode, they may still be using electricity. This “vampire energy” may account for up to 23 percent of your total energy consumption. Smart plugs can be set to a schedule or controlled by an app to ensure any device you’re not using isn’t guzzling energy.
Smart sprinklers consider your soil quality, plant needs, and even the weather to optimize your watering schedule. It’s estimated that a smart sprinkler could reduce the average American home’s water use by 7,600 gallons a year.
8. Smart Fridges
They may seem extravagant, but smart fridges are packed full of helpful functions that can save you some money in the long run. You can track your shopping list and expiration dates in the app to prevent food waste. If you forget to make a grocery list, many fridges have cameras inside so you can check what you need anytime from anywhere.
Loss and damages experienced by victims of property crimes totaled $16.4 billion in 2018, so it’s no surprise that 32 percent of consumers are interested in smart security devices to protect their homes. Smart security devices can help protect your assets and may even save you up to 20 percent on your homeowner’s insurance.
9. Security Camera
Home security cameras are super affordable and easy to install. Not only do they have crystal-clear images, but they often offer night vision, sound and motion detection, and can easily be accessed from your cell phone.
10. Doorbell Camera
If you’re not interested in a full surveillance system, then a simple doorbell camera may be perfect for you. Your front door is the most vulnerable part of your house, so you can keep an eye on who may be interested in your home and deter porch thieves. After all, 36 percent of Americans have had a package stolen — an average loss of $109.
Smart locks allow you to lock and unlock your door from anywhere. This can ease a lot of anxiety, and may even save you some money on a locksmith should you lose your keys.
12. Smart Sensors
Sensors on doors and windows send you an immediate alert when someone tries to enter or exit your home through these access points. Since 23 percent of burglars enter homes through first-floor windows, window sensors can be lifesavers.
Building a smart home can save you time and money, and can be a great conversation starter when you host guests. Whether your main concern is energy efficiency or home security, there’s a device that’s perfect for you and your family.