Smart home products are becoming more universal. Many homes have an Alexa, Google Nest thermostat, Phillips Hue light bulb, or security system. Some of the benefits include automation, a reduction in costs, and a better living experience. We’ve collected information on a series of smart home subjects: lowering your utility bill, different security options, creative ideas for lighting, and more.
Lowering Your Utility Bill:
As it starts to heat up, we’re all going to be seeing a big jump on our utility bills. I’ve found a few cool products you might not have thought about that can save energy (and money).
Smart blinds. These could be big for us Floridians. Your blinds could be closed all through the work day and open just before you get home. Or, you can set an internal home temperature benchmark that will trigger them to close.
Occupancy-sensing light switches. You may not need these everywhere in your house, just places where lights can be left on for a long time: laundry rooms, bathrooms, or the garage.
Smart surge protectors. We’ve all heard the advice to unplug our phone chargers and TVs when we aren’t using them (since they still pull energy), but no one is actually doing that. Instead, put a surge protector on a schedule, and it can cut the power to all your large electronics automatically.
Smart sprinkler controllers. These go further than just a timer, using weather data, soil information, plant types and more to ensure you never waste a drop of water.
Alternatives to The Google Nest Smart Thermostat:
Smart thermostats are getting more and more popular, and Google Nest has dominated the market with a sleek design and integration with other products. However, there are a few competitors that can do even more.
Ecobee Smart Thermostat. Another beautifully designed product, this one also comes with temperature sensors you can place around your home for greater control over the climate in too hot and too cold areas.
Sensibo Sky. This thermostat is uniquely designed for window units (which can be notoriously inefficient). It can be great for rental properties or smaller suites.
Honeywell Home T9. Besides just temperature sensors, the T9 can also detect when there are people in your home, and in which room. This smart thermostat provides the absolute maximum in automated adjustments to help keep you comfortable.
Five Cool Things to Do With Smart Light Bulbs:
Many people are now using smart light bulbs (like Phillips Hue) to add some color or automation into their home. If you invest in making most of your rooms smart bulb enabled, here are some of the coolest things you can do.
Schedule a sunrise. Many bulbs can slowly brighten right before your alarm goes off. This helps your body adjust to waking up much better than in the dark. You could even throw in a little color instead of just a soft white!
Add voice commands. How cool would it be to mumble, “Hey Siri, turn on the downstairs lights” as you get up for a glass of water? Or, “Hey Siri, turn off the bathroom lights” to mess with your significant other?
Use the vacation mode for safety. Some burglars who might be staking out an empty house can tell that lights turning off at 8PM on the dot every night are just on a timer. Vacation mode will turn on lights in certain rooms at random intervals, making it seem much more likely that someone is inside.
Build a cycling studio. If you have an exercise bike (or other equipment), colored smart bulbs can turn your home gym into something better than an Orange Fitness class. You can even sync the color changes to your music as you work!
Enjoy the holidays. From Halloween to Christmas, there are color schemes that can make the interior and exterior of your home the talk of the town. Host a spooky party in Orange and Purple light, or spread Christmas cheer with red and green uplighting outside!
Smart Home Security Products to Keep You and Your Family Safe:
The world of home security has been transformed by smart products. Here are a few of the best bundles and stand alone devices on the market:
The SimpliSafe Security System. This system includes so many different tools: keypads, cameras, motion detectors, entry sensors, smoke detectors, and more. You can run the system from your phone, and it’s professionally monitored as well.
The Abode Iota System. Although you can also add as many sensing devices as you want, the “hub” of the Abode already has a camera, motion sensor, and other features included. You could get started by placing the hub in your living room facing the front door and immediately be safer.
The Cove Touchscreen System. This premium option comes with some of the best response times from their professional monitoring team. The touchscreen command center is also a nice touch, with many other systems requiring your smart phone to function.
Regardless of the system you choose, having a few smart security products in your home can’t hurt.
Four Smart Kitchen Appliances:
The kitchen is a sacred space where food and family gather. But it also takes a lot of time and effort to keep up with! Here are a few unique smart appliances I’ve found to make life easier:
The Cue Smart Induction Burner & Fry Pan. This pan and cooktop has sensors that connect to the app and guide you through recipes. You’ll never undercook or overcook a meal again.
The GeniCan Scanner. I can’t tell if this is genius or ridiculous. This product snaps onto your garbage can. Every time you throw away something that needs to be replaced (like a ketchup bottle), you scan the barcode and it will automatically add it onto your digital shopping list. If you’ve ever made hot dogs and tragically realized you only had normal bread, you might want something like this.
The Bartesian Cocktail Machine. Looking like a Keurig, this machine uses a stash of syrup-based cocktail pods mixed with various base liquors. This would be a huge hit at any party you happen to host.
The Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug. Are you the type of person who takes two sips of tea and then dumps out a nearly-full cup a few hours later? This smart mug has both a built in warmer and a charging coaster, so you can slowly sip all day long.
Leave a comment for others if you have any product recommendations or advice!