Technology has grown fast in recent years, and nowadays, not many homes operate without help from automated devices and home assistants such as Alexa or Google Home. But with so many available options, which devices are best to turn your house into a smart home?
What are the Best Smart Devices to Have in the Home?
From gadgets to help you sleep more soundly to smart devices that protect your home, smart technology can transform the way you live.
Smart Doorbells and Security Systems
One of the best home devices recently released is multifunctional video doorbells from companies like Ring. Ring aims to offer peace of mind to homeowners by providing a video replay of everybody who has visited your home. The device gives you an instant notification when the motion sensor is triggered by someone visiting your home; if you click on this notification, you will have the ability to see the person and communicate with them, all from your mobile phone. If you miss the notification, Ring saves replays so you can see who visited your property. This allows you to talk to the delivery man or spot an unwanted intruder.
Besides video doorbells, advances in technology now allow clear-display smart security cameras such as Arlo Ultra to add a level of security to your home. Complete with night vision, two-way audio, automatic zooming and motion tracking, you’ll have video surveillance of your home straight to your phone, with footage saved to the cloud if you opt for the subscription option.
The smart home continues to get smarter and safer with the introduction of smart locks, offering ultimate security for your front doors. While smart locks aren’t new to the market, their technology continues to adapt to offer a variety of lock styles to suit your requirements.
Nest and Hive are the market leaders for smart thermostats, and once you’ve had one installed, you’ll truly wonder how you ever lived without one. The most significant benefit to these smart heating devices is how it allows you to control your heating system without wasting money or energy and heat the home effectively for when you wake up in the morning or before arriving home from work.
These devices can sometimes be tricky to set up and will require home installation from a professional, but when you are up and running, you’ll be able to control the heating and set the temperature from your smartphone or device.
These can be connected to your Google or Amazon Assistant, putting you in complete control of your home lighting without having to move. From soft lighting in the bedroom to help you fall asleep to subtle backlighting to guide you to the bathroom at night, smart bulbs are a clever choice for smart homes.
Switching your lightbulbs to a smart model will allow you to control your lights remotely and on a schedule – particularly helpful when the nights draw in, and you want the house to look occupied before you get home from work. Another benefit is that if you’ve forgotten to switch a light off in another room, you can turn it off from your mobile.
With technology constantly advancing with smart lighting, Philips has now released a Hue Play Light Bar that displays lighting effects when watching movies or playing games for the perfect ambience.
Smart Home Assistants
Both Alexa and Google Home come complete with multiple functions that make them an indispensable piece of kit in modern times. Whether you want to set or snooze alarms, set timers for when you’re cooking or play your favourite songs, the action is readily available using your voice, giving you more time to do more important things.
There are various models and levels of functionality available on the market. If you’ve never used a device like this before, it may be best to start with something basic like an Echo Dot, so you can get used to having a smart device at home. If you’re already an advanced user, you could use a device like a Google Nest Hub Max for a complete home hub.
Wireless Charging Bedside Table
Charging your phone through the night is most people’s go-to, but did you know that a wireless charger stops charging your phone’s battery when it’s full, compared to a plug-in charger that continues to supply power to the battery even if it overheats? That makes wireless chargers the best option for your phone’s health. And now, you can buy a bedside table with built-in charging functionality, so your devices blend in with your décor.
A bougie choice for most people’s homes is voice-activated curtains, which are a game-changer when it comes to controlling your space from the comfort of your bed. These aren’t for the budget-conscious amongst us, but they do feel like a luxury well spent when you can let the sunlight in without lifting your head off the pillow.
One of the most common smart devices at home is a smart TV. Complete with built-in connectivity to the internet, you can enjoy subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime on the same screen as terrestrial TV channels, YouTube and Screen Cast to duplicate your mobile screen to your larger TV screen.
Installing Smart Devices in the Home
Some devices are simply plugged in, and they’re good to go, but for more comprehensive smart technology, you may require support from a professional electrician.
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