Home automation used to only be affordable by wealthy households, but innovative brands like Ring, Nest, and Arlo are disrupting the industry so these smart devices affordable for all homeowners.
Smart devices used in home automation systems let you do things like remotely lock your doors, turn on the lights using voice commands, stream music or movies, and so much more. On top of that, you can connect video doorbells and security cameras so not only are you making your home more connected, it’s also more secure.
To help you build your own home automation system, we’ve compiled a list of the best devices you need to keep an eye on.
BEST HOME AUTOMATION DEVICES FOR YOUR SMART HOME
Smart video doorbells let you see who’s at your door whether you’re on the couch or at work. These doorbell cameras are motion activated so when they detect movement, a push notification is sent to your smartphone or tablet letting you know about the event. You can even configure the motion detection zones to exclude a swaying tree or passing cars, so you don’t get false alerts.
Depending on the model, your video doorbell can also recognize faces and tell you who’s at your door, so you don’t have to answer it if it’s someone you don’t know! If you own a Nest or Ring video doorbell, you can use voice activated commands to see who’s at your door too.
These home automation devices typically offer a subscription to unlocks additional features for your doorbell and from what we’ve seen, they’re worth it.
If you’re looking to add cameras to your home automation system, not just any kind will do. You want to make sure that they’re compatible with your other devices.
All the major home automation brands have their own models of security cameras to monitor your home in 1080p high definition while still being affordable on a regular budget. These cameras also feature night vision recording so you can keep an eye on your home even late at night, motion detection so you only record important events, built-in spotlights, and (depending on the model) loud alarms.
While some people may overlook cameras when it comes to their smart home, criminals are less likely to break into your home or vandalize it if they know they’re going to recorded doing it. Think of these as less as an expense and more of an investment in preventing later expenses.
SMART DOOR LOCKS
Smart locks are one of the best quality-of-life investments you can make for your smart home. The added convenience of having your locks connected to your smart home is worth the investment. There are no more trips to the hardware store to get copies of your key made for your dog sitter or your family, or those follow up trips when you decide to change your locks.
With smart door locks,you can add users and permissions to only let certain people in and you can unlock your doors remotely by tapping on an icon on your smartphone or tablet. AND if you’ve connected your locks to a smart speaker, like an Echo Dot or Google Home, you can unlock your doors with a simple voice command.
These locks are more expensive than traditional locks, but the added benefits of remote access, user permissions, voice commands, and so on easily make up for the difference in price.
HOME ALARM SYSTEMS
You don’t have to go through a door-to-door salesman to get an alarm system to protect your home anymore. Bluetooth, WiFi connectivity, and advances in technology has made these home security products cheaper and easier to install than ever before.
New smart home alarm systems can be installed in under an hour and their app can be set up in a matter of minutes so you can control your system from your smartphone or tablet in an afternoon. You can receive push notifications when an alarm is triggered, remotely arm or disarm your system, and set a schedule to allow certain people in only during certain times of the day. People like your baby sitter or a cleaning service or dog walker.
These systems are also designed to be modular and scalable so you can secure just 2 points of entry if you live in an apartment or up to 30 points of entry if you live in a large home. Like other smart devices, your home alarm system can be connected to your other devices and be controlled via voice command.
Smart thermostats are an absolute must have for any smart home and if leveraged correctly, it can pay for itself in a matter of months. These thermostats can be configured to follow a set schedule, but they can also learn your daily schedule and operate on its own to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. By knowing your schedule, they can optimize the performance of your heating & cooling units to save you a ton of money.
You can also shut off your thermostat from your smartphone if you know you aren’t going to be home that night. Studies have shown that you can save between 10 – 15% per month on your heating and cooling bills which makes smart thermostats one of the few products that can save you cold, hard cash.
Smart speakers, home assistants, whatever you want to call them, devices like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home are the brains of your smart home. While they aren’t required to interconnect your devices, they make controlling your smart home a lot easier.
Hear a knock at the front door? “Alexa, who’s at my front door?”
Leaving for work? “Alexa, please arm Ring in away mode.”
Want to listen to some music? “Hey Google, play Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.”
Feeling a little cool in your house? “Hey Google, set the temperature to 70 degrees.”
It’s that simple. Anything and everything in your house is just one voice command away.
Smart speakers used to literally just be that, a speaker, but these brands have taken it to the next level with devices like the Amazon Echo Show, Facebook Portal, and the Google Home Hub that also feature a screen that can stream video from your video doorbell, show you information about the song you’re streaming, and much more.