Smartphone. Smart watch. Smart TV. We expect intelligence from all of our personal electronics—but our homes are largely behind the curve.
The good news is you don't need to invest a lot more money to boost your home's intelligence. You could spend thousands of dollars for a comprehensive "Smart House" solution, spend millions of dollars to get your home like Bill Gates, or you could buy a few enhancements that make it look like you spent a lot of money. Here are some ways to spend a little and get a lot of smarts for your money.
Smart Light Bulbs
One of the fastest and most noticeable quick fixes are smart light bulbs like thehe Incipio CommandKit which screws right into your existing outlets and can be programmed to turn your lights on/off automatically, comes with a built in dimmer, and even has the ability to program preset "moods" in different rooms (romantic lighting for the bathroom etc.)
It's also compatible with Siri voice controls so you can tell your lights to turn on and off and they will actually listen. You can also set the time the lights will turn on and off so you can come home to a well-lit house and stop worrying about leaving them on all day.
Incipio CommandKit - Amazon
Smart Smoke Detector
If you are a novice cook like me then you are familiar with the judgmental loud and soul piercing screech your standard smoke detector gives off whether you burn your toast or half of your house is ablaze, and you only know if your house is on fire if you're at home.
The Nest Protect connects to your phone and alerts you when there is an alarm, what type of alarm it is (smoke or CO2), and whether or not it's a fast or slow burning fire. Giving you more context on the nature of the emergency, and not giving you a heart attack because the toaster got a little too toasty. It also alerts you with a voice and not an air horn.
Nest Protect - Amazon
Have you ever wanted to yell at your house to get colder or warmer but had to settle with being ignored by your significant other? With the Nest Thermostat, the dream of staying on your couch while maintaining the optimal temperature is a reality! The Nest Thermostat integrates with Amazon Alexa, learns what temperatures you like in what rooms, and is controllable via WiFi on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
Nest Thermostat also turns your A/C off when you leave, tells you how much energy you use and why, and will actively help you save money by telling you when you're being energy friendly. While the initial price seems steep, the amount of money it will save you on your electric/gas bill will more than make up for it.
Nest Learning Thermostat - Amazon
Personal Digital Assistant
If you have an iPhone or Android, you have either Siri or Google in your pocket listening to your voice commands. These will integrate with some smart appliances, but the Amazon Echo and Echo dot are way ahead in the integration game.
The Echo will allow you to control almost all the smart appliances on this list (plus many others) as well as order pizza, call an uber for you, playing music, find new restaurants, or Google things for you when you tell it to.
Amazon Echo - Amazon
Amazon Echo Dot - Amazon
Peepholes are so 2016. Now, you can see your visitors in glorious 1080P on any of your devices whenever they approach your front door. Night visitors? Not a problem with SkyBell HD's night vision camera. You can also record each video just in case you're out of town and somebody tries to burgle you.
SkyBell HD - Amazon
Smart locks are a quick, easy way to control entrance to your home from your smart phone and provide custom access codes to visitors or house sitters. The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt offers the best bang for your buck. With 30 programmable access codes and a "Built-in alarm technology (that) senses potential door attacks", this psychic, smart door lock will put your mind at ease no matter where you are.
Schlage Sense - Amazon
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