The smart home of the future is here today!
With smart home devices, you can set your air conditioner to automatically turn on as you leave the office. Then, as you pull into the driveway, the lights in your living room all turn on. And as you walk up the steps, your front door unlocks for you, so you don’t have to fumble with your keys.
But if you haven’t already started to set up your smart home already, it can be a little confusing to know where to start. If you’re new to the game, here are the best smart home devices for beginners:
1. Smart Home Hub
In order to have a smart home, one of the first things you need is a smart home hub. This will allow you to control your other smart devices with your voice alone or through an app. You can say something like “turn on all the lights in the living room,” and your smart home hub will send that command to your lightbulbs, turning them on.
While there are many different smart home hubs to choose from, the Echo by Amazon is currently the undisputed king. This is mainly due to its functionality and its excellent voice recognition technology. For now, Amazon is considered to be the best due to its broad compatibility with other devices. So, if you buy a new smart home device, there’s a good chance that it will work with Alexa.
Remember: not all smart devices work well with each other. So, be sure to pick your smart home hub first. That way, you can know if other smart devices that you buy later are compatible.
Alexa is perhaps one of the most well-known smart assistants around. However, competitors are slowly catching up to Amazon’s technology.
2. Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat can save you a lot of money on heating and cooling. Plus, you won’t have to get out of bed to change the temperature in the middle of the night anymore.
The Nest learning thermostat is considered to be one of the best smart thermostats because it actually gets smarter over time. It has a learning AI that allows easy adaptation after a long time. Unlike most other smart thermostats, Nest actually learns what temperature you like and builds a schedule around yours.
It has a simple round shape with a minimalistic design that’s easy to understand. It is also ENERGY STAR certified and compatible with lots of other devices. While a smart thermostat might be more expensive than your current set up, Nest claims that it will save you so much in energy costs that it will pay for itself after 2 years.
3. Smart Lightbulbs
One of the easiest places to start with a smart home is with smart light bulbs. There is no feeling like walking inside your house and having all of your lights turn on at once. In fact, you can even turn on your lights when you are on vacation so buglers will think that someone is still home.
If you are looking for a simple white light, the LIFX smart bulbs are easy to use and compatible with most voice-activated assistants like Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.
If you are looking to add a little color to your home, you can also try the Philips Hue, which comes in a variety of colors. Hue also has a variation of bulb designs, and the bulbs are voice-controlled. It’s one of the best smart home devices, but it’s more expensive than other options currently on the market.
4. Smart Plugs
If you want to turn a regular device into a smart device, all you need is a smart plug. This will allow you to turn any device on or off with a voice-activated assistant like Alexa.
These are perfect for coffee machines, lamps, computers, TVs and more. If you want to make sure that everything is turned off when you leave the office, you can just buy a few smart plugs and set them to turn off just after closing time.
5. Smart Lock
Did you forget your keys? Don’t worry. You won’t need them anymore. Now, you can now lock your front door from the car with a smart lock. You can even get one that automatically locks the door when you’re far enough away.
Smart locks don’t only keep people out, they also allow you to let people in when you’re not at home. No more leaving a key under the mat, smart locks allow you to give anyone a code that unlocks the door for a set period of time.
The Nest x Yale lock is a Nest-integrated lock with Wi-Fi connectivity. It has a mobile and web application that sends push notifications to your phone. It has location services, a tamper alarm, guest access, and a touchpad.
If you are looking for a voice-activated lock, the August Smart Lock Pro+ can be integrated with a lot of voice-activated assistants.
6. Smart Vacuum Cleaner
Say goodbye to your clunky, old vacuum cleaner, and say hello to your new robot vacuum cleaner. You’ll be cleaning smarter, not harder with this little robot picking up after you. Many of these smart vacuum cleaners can be set on a schedule, so you’ll come home to a clean house every time.
There are a lot of smart vacuum cleaners on the market, but the iRobot Roomba 980 is considered to be the best of its kind. It can navigate itself around, and it’s good at cleaning everything from dirt to pat hair. It has a 2-hour battery life as well. Like most smart vacuums, you might have an issue with cables and wires getting in the way, so you’ll still have to do a little cleaning on your own.
7. Small Appliances
If you like the idea of smart devices, but don’t want to set up a whole smart home, you can always try a few smart appliances to start with. There are smart microwaves that can scan barcodes on food items and cook them to perfection, smart fans that remove dust and allergens from the air, and even smart mugs that keep your beverages at the right temperature all day.
Smarter Coffee is considered to be the best small smart appliance available in the market today. It can be operated through the use of a mobile app, and it can go from a full bean to a steaming cup of coffee all by itself.
8. Smart Home Starter Kit
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time picking out a lot of different devices for your smart home, you can just buy a starter kit. This will usually include a smart home hub, a couple of smart lightbulbs, a few smart outlets, and more. Some starter kits are much smaller, while others are much more comprehensive.
The Samsung SmartThings Starter Kit is considered to be the best one-box smart kit for beginners because it contains everything you would need to smarten up your home. Since Samsung also makes smartphones, these devices are easily integrated with mobile devices. The designs of the products are simple and sleek, as you would expect from Samsung.
It’s important to note, however, that some products in the box may not be as good as some of the devices from other competitors. But if you’re looking for a box that has everything you may need, SmartThings is a reliable option.
The more you automate your home, the easier it will be to do everything. If you’re hesitant to start making your home smart, you can always talk to a real person at HelloTech. We can teach you to set up and use any smart home device properly.