Are you tired of rummaging deep within your purse for your house keys? Maybe you’re sick of being greeted in the evening by a cold or stuffy house.
If so, don’t despair. There’s a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel
You can add smart devices inside or outside your home – one square foot at a time.
By the time you’ve equipped yourself with these essentials, you’ll feel like you’re finally keeping up with the Jetsons.
The future is now.
So, check out the accessories below and get acquainted with 21st century living.
Make Your Kitchen Smarter With Smart Appliances and Under-cabinet Lighting
The kitchen, today, represents one of the “smartest” areas of the house. You can upgrade your kitchen with smart appliances such as a smart refrigerator, smart oven, smart coffee maker as well as install under-cabinet lighting. Plus, you can control all these appliances and lights with an app or a simple voice command.
For major appliances, switch out your traditional and non-thinking fridge with a smart update. Smart refrigerators track what’s inside your fridge and warn you about expiration dates.
Major brands of smart refrigerators include GE, Samsung, and LG.
If you don’t have a big inventory in your fridge, check out the smart ovens featured today. You can preheat the appliance and adjust the temperature with an app on your smartphone. Some of the models feature built-in cameras so you can watch TV and simultaneously check on what you may be roasting or baking.
Top smart oven brands include Breville, such as the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro; Tovala; and the Brava Smart Oven, which is rated by Popular Science as being the best countertop oven on the market.
If you can’t work or function without your daily brew, you’ll want to add a smart coffee maker in your home. Just tell your virtual assistant, Alexa, to start brewing the coffee as soon as you get up in the AM. She will have your coffee waiting for you.
Install under-cabinet lighting, complete with motion sensors, so you can see your countertops and save energy at the same time. Dim the lighting with a wave of your hand or use an app for a subdued and pleasant soft ambience.
Keeping Your Home More Comfortable, Maintenance-Friendly, and Energy Efficient
Avoid major plumbing problems, keep your home at the right temperature, and reduce electricity use by installing smart technology upgrades.
Place a smart water sensor near your water heater or pipes to detect leaks and to avoid moisture damage or flooding. Connect the device to your Wi-Fi for additional peace of mind.
If you’re depending on an old thermostat to keep your house warmed or cooled, it’s time to replace it with a smart thermostat. That way, you can come home to a house that isn’t too warm or cold at the end of the day. Adjust the thermostat before you go to bed so it will automatically lower the temperature overnight.
Smart Light Bulbs
You can also use smart bulbs to control your home’s lighting outside your house. Doing so will prevent would-be burglars from entering our home whenever you’re away.
You can also dim the bulbs inside your home for watching movies or entertaining.
Today’s technology allows for mood lighting options as well. Select from a large range of colors to “lighten” or accommodate your mood. You’ll never feel cranky again after a hectic and busy day.
You can also add a smart diffuser to your home to make your at-home time more pleasant. You don’t have to use scented candles (which can be a fire hazard) to scent your house. Instead, get air freshening on demand by using an app. Choose your fragrance, schedule the diffuser’s operation, and adjust the intensity.
Securing Your Home with Smart Locks, Cameras and Alarms
The most popular smart home upgrades are those that keep your home locked and secure. Smart locks, alarms, and cameras make it possible for you to secure your home with streamlined ease. Gone are the days when you had to fumble with your house keys or you needed to call out a locksmith to help you get back inside your house.
A smart lock allows you to lock or unlock your doors from a remote location using an app on your smartphone. Some locks link to home automation systems so you can lock up your house for the night with a voice command to your speaker.
It’s best to find a lock with features like tamper alerts and auto-lock capabilities. Make sure you get a lock that works with an existing deadbolt for easy installation. Check out smart locks like the Schlage Encode or August Smart Lock Pro, both of which are highly rated.
A security camera will help you see what your pets are up to while you’re away or will record any nighttime intruders. Cameras are your second set of eyes. Use them inside or outside your house. You can stream live videos from the cameras to your smartphone to keep everything in check.
Some cameras detect motion so they can alert you to any suspicious activity. Branded cameras include Ring, Blink, Arlo, and Nest. To ensure full coverage, install multiple cameras with wide-angle lenses and a night vision capability. Add cameras in areas with sufficient light which are free of blind spots.
Maybe you left your house and can’t remember if you switched off the porch light. If so, you can use a smart security camera to see if you did. If you forgot and didn’t flip off the switch, you can turn off the light remotely.
Don’t be plagued with false alarms from an older and temperamental home security system. A smart home alarm system, with motion detectors, will keep this from happening. Thanks to advancements in AI, you can distinguish between harmless triggers, like your pet dog or cat, and a real warning and threat.
Make Sure You Have Emergency Equipment in Place
One device you don’t want to exclude is an automated electronic defibrillator or AED. This device will come to the rescue in case of a drowning or sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). One of the best brands on the market is Zoll, available through the In-Pulse CPR website.
Zoll AED Plus (Semi Automatic) – Get It on the In-Pulse CPR Website
The Zoll AED Plus (Semi Automatic) is an ideal AED for in-home, business, or institutional use. Again, you can easily purchase the emergency electronic through the In-Pulse website online.
You can also find other AEDs featured on the site as well as classes that lead to basic life support (BLS) CPR/AED certification.
The smart AED provides real-time instruction and feedback for chest compression depth and rate during an at-home CPR emergency. It also features sound prompts and illustrations to support rescue activities.
Smart Hubs and Smart Assistants for Device Management
Once you add your smart devices, you can set up a smart hub so you can keep everything working like clockwork.
The key to syncing your smart home technology is making sure you can control everything from one location. After all, it can get quite distracting, if not annoying, to keep pulling out your phone to adjust each device individually.
Your smart hub is your digital butler – a robotic assistant that oversees your smart home system 24/7. That way, you can create automated routines and activities across your smart home devices.
Examples of Smart Home Hub Devices
The major players among smart home hub devices are Google’s Nest Hub and Amazon’s Echo. For maximum flexibility, the SmartThings Hub manages over 200 smart devices representing a multitude of brands.
Hands-free voice commands allow you to tell Alexa, for example, to turn on your kitchen lights or instruct Google Assistant, for instance, to set the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also obtain information from smart speakers so you can keep on top of to-do lists or daily activities.
Creating a Morning Routine
For instance, you can start a morning routine by using a smart hub – one that will switch on lights, begin the coffee maker, unlock doors, and give you the latest news by command.
Establishing Your Routine at Night
You can get into a nighttime routine as well. Use your smart hub to switch off lights, lock the doors, adjust the thermostat and arm your security system.
Using Speakers for Security, Temperature and Light Control, and Entertainment
Smart speakers allow you to secure your property as well as enjoy movies, audiobooks, or podcasts on demand. Again, add a smart speaker like Google Nest or Amazon Echo to support the activity.
The voice assistant that comes with the smart technology will control all your smart home devices, set timers, play the music you like when you want it, and answer questions about cooking methods and recipes.
Simply add voice control to a smart speaker so you can switch off a light or adjust your thermostat’s temperature with a voice command.
Smart Speakers for Home Entertainment
Control your entertainment options by telling Google Assistant or Alexa to play an audiobook, podcast, or your favorite music. Your assistant will also pause the show, per your instruction, if you need to go into another room or answer a call.
Some of the Major Benefits of Using Smart Devices Inside and Outside the Home
The best part about smart devices is that they help you save money and make you feel safer and more in control.
Energy and Water Use Savings
For instance, smart light bulbs conserve energy while smart shower heads help you save on energy and water. Some of the shower heads, like the Hai Smart Shower System, allow you to program your temperature and water use. The shower head is also easy to clean with its groove-free design. In the long run, you will use a lot less water over time.
Smart Irrigation Savings
For saving water outdoors, you can use Wi-Fi irrigation controls. A water timer controls the spigot rotation and allows you to automate your watering schedule. Pause the irrigation system if rain is in the forecast.
Outside Audio and Security Lighting
While smart locks are definitely useful, it also helps to block potential threats from trespassers or burglars via lights and alarms. This can be easily accomplished with motion security lights or a smart siren upgrade. These additional security updates reduce your liability and can also help you save money on your homeowner’s coverage.
Taking advantage of smart devices and life-saving and security electronics will help you conserve energy, keep you safe, and even help you save a life. Don’t downplay their usefulness. Enjoy the “home advantage” and get on the “smart” team in the 21st century.
Author: Donna Ryan
About the Author: Donna Ryan writes home and gardening articles in various categories. She covers topics such as smart technology, landscaping, plant care, home improvement, home maintenance, and real estate. You can contact her with any comments or inquiries at [email protected].