Making your home smarter
It’s easy to fall behind with the crazy pace of new technology. The next breakthrough is always just around the corner.
Nearly every device you own already has a Smart variant available on the market. Needless to say, the prospect of updating them all is quite daunting, especially if your home is closer to “average” than Smart. Fortunately, there are some easy tech gadgets that will take your home to the next level, even if it didn’t come with all the newest bells and whistles.
Mr. Beams Wireless Motion Sensing LED Night Lights
If you’re just dipping your toe into the automated lifestyle, these motion-sensing LED night lights are a great first step. Easily add a little light to any area of your home without having to rewire a thing. These lights use double-sided adhesive to attach to any surface and can sense movement within 13 feet. The LEDs face downward to light your path and come with long-lasting batteries. No more scrambling for the hallway light or worrying about finding the stairs in the dark.
Philips Hue Starter Kits
Now that you’ve had a taste of what lighting gadgets can do for your home, it’s time to take things up a notch. The Philips Hue bulbs are energy efficient LEDs available in a range of colors and controlled by the Hue Bridge. The Bridge acts as a go-between that allows other Smart Home devices to control your lights, turning them on and off by your schedule. If you don’t have a Smart Home device yet you can simply download the app to communicate with the Bridge. This gives you full control over your lights even when you’re away from home.
Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug
That takes care of your lights, but what about the rest of your appliances? Not to worry, Belkin’s Wemo Mini Smart Plug makes anything plugged into it instantly smarter. The slim plug adapter won’t block the other outlet and allows the device to connect to your home wifi. Now whatever you have plugged into it can be scheduled or controlled through an app on your phone. If you have a Smart Home Assistant you can even use it to control your new Smart appliance with your voice.
Ring Video Doorbell 2
Naturally, now that your home has so many cool, Smart features your friends and family are going to want to come over and check them out. Time to get a fancy new way to greet them. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 can either be hardwired to replace your existing doorbell or run off a rechargeable battery pack. This device offers a 1080p camera with motion alerts so you can check who’s at your door even when you’re not home.
With porch thefts on the rise, thanks to our reliance on home deliveries, this gadget is even more valuable. You can record and review any collected footage for an extremely reasonable monthly rate from the comfort of your phone, tablet or PC.
Google Home Hub
Ready to get all your fancy new gadgets to play together? The Google Home Hub looks like a normal digital photo frame, but actually acts as a control center for all your Smart devices. Voice control any compatible device or request on-screen information on a whim. Basically, the Hub does everything a typical digital assistant does, but with a crisp, clear touch screen.
Check the thermostat, dim the lights, and answer the door all from one convenient control panel. When you’re not using the screen to keep tabs on everything it will scroll through your favorite pictures, blending perfectly back into the decor until you call upon it again. Now that is smart design.