With all the cool and innovative technology hitting the market seemingly every day, it would make sense to put it to good use inside the home. Many companies are rolling out products like smart thermostats and automated lights, making it quite useful for an owner to turn their home ‘SMART.’ Integrating smart technology into a house can make day-to-day life easier and even boost the price of a house once it comes time to sell.
Read below for a list of 10 simple things any homeowner can do to make their house even smarter.
Start With the Right Smart Assistant: A home filled with the latest technology is going to be pretty useless if the owner is not able to control it. A virtual assistant like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa will let smart home products be controlled with verbal commands. Hubs like the Wink Connected Home Hub are also easy and cheap devices to control a digital home.
Monitor a Home With A Smart Camera The Nest Cam is able to be set up anywhere in a house and streams 1080p wide-angle video right to a smartphone or computer. A camera is a useful tool for keeping track of entryways or for watching a small child in a room or crib. The Nest Cam also sends alerts straight to a phone if it senses something suspicious, and all recorded videos can be accessed through the cloud.
Use a Smart Power Shutoff Switch for Peace of Mind Some homeowners worry about appliances and electronics that are left on in a home if they are away traveling. The WeMo switch from Belkin is a way to wirelessly turn off and on electronic devices across the home. The device plugs into existing outlets and automatically connects to the palm of your hand via a smartphone app. It gives owners the power to see what is turned on in a house and shut off devices wirelessly.
Have Sweet Dreams With A Smart Mattress Cover For those looking to cut down on their coffee usage, the Luna Smart Mattress Cover helps optimize sleep. The cover fits over an existing mattress and uses an array of sensors that can work with other devices to ensure peaceful rest. The device is able to track statistics like a user’s heart rate, temperature, and sleep duration. It can use the information it collects to, for example, tell a smart alarm clock to go off at the end of a sleep cycle or adjust the thermostat if your body temperature is getting too hot in the night.
Use Smart Switches to Light Up Outside Taking smart home technology outside has never been easier with the Jasco Z-Wave outdoor modules. The small devices are able to attach to outside objects like lights, fans, pool pumps, and water heaters, allowing all devices to be controlled by a smartphone. It’s even possible to choreograph outside lights by scheduling them through the app to make them into an entertaining show for guests.
Keep Things Nice and Tidy With A Smart Robot Vacuum The Roomba is probably the most well-known smart accessory, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. The small circular robot can be easily programmed to operate semi-autonomously and be set to start cleaning a house at certain scheduled times. The Roomba is able to learn from each time it is used and will gradually start to figure out the most efficient cleaning routes while staying away from furniture, tables, and chairs.
Jam Out with A Smart Audio System One of the easiest (and most fun) ways to start turning a home smart is to install an audio system. The Sonos Play:1 is a small and portable device that can easily stream from places like Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, and SiriusXM. Since the sound system is so easy and simple to run, it’s a great baseline to build a fuller home audio system from.
Go Green with Home Solar Power Going solar is one of the best ways to help save the environment and get clean, sustainable energy. Adding solar panels to home is particularly advantageous because there are a variety of federal and state incentives for those who install. Homeowners can see up to 30% of the cost of a home solar system returned to them via federal tax credits. Some manufacturers are starting to build all-black solar shingles that simply fit right on top of a roof that looks much more aesthetically pleasing than the industrial looking grey and blue cell models.
Power Up to Smart Light Bulbs: Smart lightbulbs that can be controlled with the touch of a button on a smartphone can really change the mood and vibe of a room. Adjustable LED lighting from companies like Philips Hue and General Electric’s Link bulb can also help save money on electric bills and will last for a lot longer than traditional bulbs.
Breathe Easy With Smart Air Monitors: Dangerous gases like carbon monoxide can quickly fill up a home without ever being noticed. The Nest Protect monitor keeps watch over a home for smoke and dangerous chemicals and sends alerts right to a phone if it detects anything. Other smart air monitors like the Awair Air Quality Monitor can also monitor the number of general allergens or pollutants in a house and give advice about how to improve air quality.
Turning a home smart has never been easier with the wide amount of technology out on the market right now. A lot of devices are available at a variety of price points that should please the wallets of any homeowner. Turning a home smart can help save money on electric bills, give peace of mind, and boost the asking and selling price. It’s also a great way to impress friends and family who come by and visit.
Author: Kyle Pennell is the Content Manager at PowerScout — we help homeowners figure out if installing solar is right for them and get competitive bids from multiple installers. Our long-term mission is to accelerate the
adoption of solar (and other smart home improvements), which will help
mitigate climate change.