As our homes get smarter, we don’t. In fact, many times a smart home can make for a dumb homeowner. Now, that’s not being said in a disparaging way, but in a way that we can agree on – technology is advancing far faster than some of our brains can keep up with.
Maybe using one or possibly two smart home pieces of technology is something that isn’t much cause for consternation, but if you are truly trying to set your home up as a Mr. or Mrs. Smarty-Pants home, then you know that it can get quite complicated. Once set, though, you can be the show-off on the block with your ability to crank out Meat Loaf tunes with a simple phrase or set the temperature to your home with another vocal command or clean up that messy floor with your new friend, the robotic vacuum.
Smart homes are becoming more of the norm as technology aims to make life easier for homeowners. With voice assistance from Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, or Apple’s HomeKit, the days of touching things to turn them off or turn them on may be fading.
There are not only numerous brands of smart home technology, but with the many pieces of smart home technology on the market, it can be trying at best to sift through. This is why we are here to help. We are going to “sift” for you and pull out a few items that we consider to be some of the best smart home devices.
There are numerous smart home devices to choose from, so the following suggestions wouldn’t complete an entire installation, but they will give you a nice start. So, check out our list and decide where you want to start in making your home the smartest on the block.
WHAT WE LIKE – Why not jump on the smart home bandwagon with the Amazon Echo Smart Hub? This Alexa-guided device is the perfect choice to get your smart home started.
The new Echo offers premium sound with clear highs, dynamic mids, and deep, rich bass for a sound that adapts to any room. You simply need to ask Alexa to play your favorite music, make phone calls, answer any questions, or share with you the news, sports scores, weather, and more.
The hub allows you to talk to compatible lights, plugs, sensors, and locks by simply saying, “Alexa, discover my devices.” It’s really that simple. Need to keep the home safe? Just set up the hub to Guard or Guard Plus to get mobile alerts if your Echo device detects glass breaking or the sound of a smoke alarm while you’re away.
PRICE – $59.99 on Amazon.
WHAT WE LIKE – In this day and age, we all know how important it is to have fast and reliable internet. As many of you are well aware, some homes present internet connectivity issues for various reasons. Google Nest Wi-Fi aims to correct that issue with a clever smart home solution.
The Google Nest is a Wi-Fi router that plugs into your home internet provider’s modem in order to create your own powerful Wi-Fi network. The second Nest device is set in another part of your smart home to give you fast, reliable Wi-Fi with 4400 square feet of coverage.
Google Nest is simple to install and set up. If two aren’t enough to offer complete coverage based on your home size, you can even add one more.
PRICE – $209.00 on Amazon. You can also get a 1-Pack for $169.00
WHAT WE LIKE – How many of you out there dread those weekend days of house cleaning, especially when you have to add vacuuming to your list of chores? Well, the Shark IQ Robot Vacuum can certainly check that one off your list of duties.
With the Shark IQ robot vacuum, you can virtually forget about vacuuming for a straight month. If it wasn’t for the fact you eventually have to empty the base, you could pretty much program the Shark to clean and never worry again. But the base can only hold 30-days’ worth of dirt and debris, so your attention at some point will be required.
The vacuum itself is a powerful unit. You can control by phone or voice and set the cleaning parameters, so it knows where to clean and when. It’s a pricey device but you will certainly get your money’s worth from the Shark IQ.
PRICE – $434.00 on Amazon.
WHAT WE LIKE – Who’d a thunk that light bulbs would be included on the list of smart home devices? It’s true though and the Philips Starter Kit can get you going in the right direction.
The Starter Kit includes 4 Philips Hue Smart bulbs and the Philips Hue Hub that has the ability to control up to 50 Hue lights without slowing down your home’s Wi-Fi. You can control the lights while you’re away or make sure your home is properly lit when you come back from a long day at work.
PRICE – $89.04 on Amazon.
WHAT WE LIKE – Are you saying that temperature can be controlled in your house with just your voice? Yes. The “you” (as in “we”) are definitely saying that. Ecobee SmartThermostat does exactly what it’s built for.
Set the SmartThermostat up and put its SmartSensors in your most important rooms. Then you can either tell Alexa (it comes built-in) what temperature you wish or use the app to set it. If you really want to get technical with it, add some SmartSensors for the doors and windows so when one is left open, your SmartThermostat with automatically pause your HVAC until the door or window is closed.
PRICE – $248.64 on Amazon.
We are just scratching the surface when it comes to smart home devices. If some of the names or prices don’t do it for you, there are plenty of other brand names that dabble in the same type of smart home tech.
Some of the items we didn’t mention above are the WYZE Cam v3, an indoor and outdoor security camera, and the Kasa Smart Plug Mini that allows you to plug in and turn off or on any electronic device with voice control or the Kasa app.
Technology is becoming so advanced; we just need to catch up to it.