With home automation apps and devices on the rise, it is important to understand that you too can create a smart home environment without breaking your bank. Creating a cost-efficient smart home requires some technical knowledge as well as a little creativity. Starting with the hub, product’s like Samsung’s SmartThings Hub and Apple’s HomeKit have been noted as great DIY smart home centerpieces. Connecting to everyday devices such as your lights, thermostat, and home security system, these hubs can create “scenes” based on your settings or schedule. This sort of hands-off automation gives you the freedom to relax and enjoy the real comforts of home.
How often do you forget to turn your porch light either on or off? If you’re like me, most days you leave it one way or the other, all day. Luckily, companies like Phillips, Stack, and BeOn have developed smart lightbulbs that can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app. These lights can also be programmed to learn your routine lighting patterns, giving you peace of mind when you are away from home. Some high-end smart bulbs come with back-up batteries and store power to provide lighting during electrical outages. Starting around $59 for a starter kit, these lights can be a bright addition to any smart home environment.
Control Everything Without Touching Anything
Your living room should be a place of high-level relaxation, and for most of us, that starts with the television. Smart TV’s have been the rage in recent years, but connecting them to your smart home system gives you the ability to control everything through one device. Blocking out that obnoxious glare is getting easier with Lutron’s Serena Shades. Connecting to an Apple HomeKit, you can control your blinds with Siri voice commands. The smart thermostat from Ecobee makes controlling your home’s temperature a breeze. This Wi-Fi enabled device can be used in conjunction with almost any hub to allow you easily adjust your environment from your phone, tablet, or voice-controlled remote.
Sleep Smarter, You Deserve It
Not to be left out, your bedroom can also be easily upgraded to enhance your time at home. Ceiling fan manufacturer Haiku, combines technology and style to deliver smart fans that integrate with the Nest smart thermostat. With settings that can recognize when you enter the room or optimize room temperature for sleep times, these fans are a great addition to your smart home. Getting the best night’s sleep is a struggle for many people, however, Sleep Number iSeries beds can integrate with your smartphone to learn your sleeping patterns and create optimal sleep settings.
Smart homes are still a few years away from being that opening scene we remember from the Jetsons. However, with all of your favorite tech companies focusing on lifestyle integrations like robot vacuums, intelligent door locks, and smart kitchens, we can expect that more aspects of our daily lives become available for automation.
Image via Flickr by Maz Ngibad