Making your home smarter has never been easier – whether you are into technology or not. As smart gadgets have become cheaper and easier to use over the past five years, their prices have fallen.
We have got you covered if you have been waiting, or if you have outdated gear. Our guide has all the information you need to start a smart home, expand it, or improve it.
What Exactly Is A Smart Home?
A smart home is a home where appliances, accessories, and the network are connected to the internet. Whether you are in or out of the house, you can manage these connected devices via apps on your smartphone or a smart speaker.
From appliances to home security systems, smart home devices fall into many categories. These days even televisions, receivers, and headsets are becoming smarter.
The truth is that smart home gear does not require you to commit to one platform for optimal performance. Apps for these new accessories are available for iOS and Android, and they can work with Amazon Echo, Nest Audio, or even the HomePod Mini speaker. As a matter of fact, you can use multiple devices from different manufacturers, and they will all work together flawlessly.
The only thing you need is a reliable internet connection and you are good to go. If you are looking for suggestions in that regard, Optimum can certainly be considered. The speeds are pretty good, and you can bundle your internet with a TV to save a few bucks.
Below are 5 smart home devices to consider this year.
Smart speakers have evolved considerably since the original Amazon Echo launched in 2015. The latest Echo is now in its fourth generation and looks great and sounds great.
Our most advanced AI interaction has been with Alexa, Amazon’s smart assistant. Her responses are lightning-fast. You can download third-party skills (apps) to expand the functionality of Echo almost every week, and Amazon adds new features to it almost every week.
If you want a speaker that also works as a smart home hub, this is a good choice.
Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Switch (2nd Gen)
This smart device works with all of your pre-existing light bulbs and provides a more lasting smart lighting solution.
It replaces your existing light switch, which means you will have to be comfortable removing the old switch, detaching your current hardware, and replacing it. If you have never performed a home repair like this, we recommend calling in an expert. It is easy to mess up your wiring.
With the light switch installed, you will be able to turn on and off your lights from anywhere. You can also change settings with any smart speaker if you are at home. Wire-free control gives you access to the same lights in two parts of your house, and that is one of the best features of the Leviton Decora switch. Using this method, you can add a switch to a place in your home where there is no existing wiring.
Those familiar and comfortable with other products in Apple’s hardware ecosystem will benefit from the HomePod Mini.
The HomePod Mini plays tunes from most major streaming services and does an excellent job of sound – especially when paired with an additional HomePod Mini for stereo sound. Apple users can stream music wirelessly from their local library (or any audio source) to the HomePod Mini using AirPlay 2.
In certain areas, Siri still lags behind Google Assistant and Alexa on the HomePod Mini. It has taken us a few times to ask the same question twice in order to get the right answer and sometimes we have come up short. Most of these gaps have been filled quickly, however.
Google Nest Audio
One of the best-sounding smart speakers out there is Google’s Nest Audio.
You can choose from a variety of fun colors that make it blend in better with your home decor, which is a nice change from most audio equipment. Among the speaker’s standout features is its integration with Google Assistant, which works seamlessly with the search giant’s services. Using the Nest Audio, you can ask about your commute, and based on current traffic conditions, it will tell you how long it will take you to get there.
You can view your day’s events with the Google Calendar, or add a new event without having to pick up your mobile phone. Every single day, Nest Audio makes a little difference in our lives with these little time-savers.
Ring Video Doorbell
Using Ring’s Video Doorbell is the best way to keep an eye on what is happening outside your home.
During the day or at night, you can record a 1080P video, and the motion sensor will alert you when somebody approaches your door. Through the doorbell’s microphone and speaker, you can speak to the person. This can be of great help when you are not dome and a friend or family member drops by. You can let the person know whether they can wait for you to be back or should leave. You also have the option to store a small video for a few more bucks in the cloud. It is, however, worth all the money.
It can certainly be hard to pick which smart devices should you choose over others in this technologically advanced era. Especially when you have so many brands and products out there. That is why we have researched and picked up the most important ones for you to consider. We hope you find this article helpful.
Let us know in the comments section which is your favorite smart device pick. You can also drop down your suggestions and queries.