Smart devices in your home can help with every aspect of daily life, provide security, comfort, and convenience. Generally, all you need to set up most devices is a power source and Wi-Fi connection. A little guidance helps, which is what this article is meant to do!
You can start with one or two devices and then add on once you feel more comfortable. Here are some of the more popular smart tech options that are the easiest.
Smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Dot or Google’s Nest Products allow you to get news, weather, and play music using voice commands. Also, it becomes the hub to control all home automation. Typically, these speakers are the first thing to purchase.
As an aside, a smart speaker is a great tool to contact a family member that doesn’t answer a cell phone or landline phone. It can be set up to “drop-in” to verify they are well. It can also be used to dial emergency services.
A smart thermostat is another simple tool that can connect to many existing HVAC systems quickly and easily. You can control temperature settings as needed from your phone while at home or on the go. Usually, installation takes no more than 15-30 minutes following the device’s instructions.
There are a few different ways to turn your existing “dumb” lights into smart lights: bulbs, plugs, and switches.
Smart light bulbs simply replace regular light bulbs while smart plugs connect to an existing outlet to control any connected device. If you are handier, you can install a smart switch, but only if you have electrical knowledge.
All of these options allow you to control lights using your voice or an app. You can also set schedules for when you are home, waking up, or going to sleep. They provide an added security level both by activating lights when you are not present or upon your arrival, so it isn’t dark and you don’t trip over furniture.
Smart plugs can be used beyond just lights. You can schedule appliances plugged into the outlet to be turned on or off.
Smart locks replace your house keys. A smartphone or a multiple-digit code is used to unlock doors. Newer locks allow for key use for the non-techie people in your household, as well as codes and the app. These devices also allow for creating permanent and temporary users and access schedules for specific days and times.
Robot vacuums are almost too good to be true. They can automate vacuuming the floors, whether hardwood, tile, or carpet. These robot vacuums can be activated with an app as needed, or you can set an ongoing schedule, so you don’t have to think about it. They have a limited capacity for dirt storage but still are very useful.
The list of smart home technology keeps growing. Some that we haven’t covered but are frequently used include: security systems, window shades, and faucets. There is no end to what you can automate and control with a touch in an app or a simple voice command.
In our household, we have smart speakers in several rooms. Lights, thermostats, and the security system are all controlled through an app or with voice commands. My non-techie husband is using most of these options.
I have lighting schedules set up, as well as automated arming of the alarm. I love using the speaker for news, cooking, music, as well as controlling smart devices. Using your voice to activate functionality is a game-changer.
Are you using any smart devices in your home? If so, which ones? If you have more than one, which one did you purchase first and why was that your choice? Do you have a smart speaker? If so, what are you using it for? What is next on your list to try? Please share your smart tech faves!