Making Your Home Smarter

We’re coming up on the holiday shopping season, and if you want to make your home smarter with the latest tech OR want the perfect gift for that special homeowner in your life, here’s the rundown of the latest and greatest in smart technology for your home.

Now, if you haven’t looked into ways to automate your home, you might wonder why you would want to connect windows, blinds, clocks, appliances, doorbells, and other devices in your home to the internet.

Home automation allows you to control things around the house with the push of a button from your phone or even with your voice. Then at least there’s something that obeys you on command, right?

There are actually a lot of reasons to upgrade your home with smart technology. First, you’ll almost always increase its value. Second, in many cases, you’ll save money on utilities and make your home safer. Third, we’re all spending more time at home, so why not make your life easier?

Remote-Controlled Fans

Are you tired of controlling your ceiling fans with a light switch or trying to find the remote? There’s a solution. Connect up to six remote-controlled ceiling fans with a Bond ceiling fan unit. This disc-shaped device uses an app that connects with either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

Turn the fans on or off, adjust the speed, or turn the light on or off right from your app or with your voice. You can also put the fans on a timer, if you wish.

Bonus: This device now works with fireplaces and window shades, too.

Smart Plugs

Looking to slowly get your feet wet in the smart home world? Try smart plugs. They’re inexpensive and easy to set up but are SO convenient.

A smart plug can be controlled with an app, Alexa, Google, or Siri voice commands. Basically, it turns dumb devices into smart devices that are a whole lot more convenient for you.

There are dozens of ways you can use smart plugs, but here are a few suggestions to get your imagination started.

  • Turn on the coffee pot while you’re in bed.
  • Turn off your curling iron from the desk at work.
  • Automate your holiday lights.
  • Turn lamps on while you’re away on vacation.
  • Limit TV time for the kids.
  • Turn the slow cooker on while you’re still at work.

That’s just the beginning of what smart plugs can do for you. In fact, there are endless possibilities when you have smart plugs all over your home. Make sure that the ones you buy monitor energy usage so you can get a feel for appliances that are draining energy. You may also want to look for plugs that can be scheduled or plugs that have surge protection. Check out the D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug, the WeMo Insight Smart Plug, or the Elgato Eve if you’re not sure where to begin.

Smart Light Bulbs

Smart light bulbs add pizazz to your home in so many ways. Most smart bulbs are dimmable and come with many different color options. Most of them also allow you to create a lighting schedule, which is helpful if you’re on vacation and want it to look like someone is home. Smart light bulbs can also help you save money on your electricity bill.

The Yeelight Smart Bulb works with the Apple Hub, Siri, Google, Alexa, and via their app. Not only does it have 16 million color combinations, but it also allows you to configure lighting effects and create a schedule. Regular light bulbs are going to seem so boring after this!

Floor Cleaner

If you have kids and pets like I do, you know that the vacuuming and mopping never ends. Plus, these are chores that seem to take forever to do, and don’t you have better things to be spending time on?

The Deebot Ozmo T8 not only vacuums and mops your floors, but it also has AIVI (artificial intelligence and visual interpretation) technology that helps it avoid obstacles while it works. This nifty device works with Alexa and Google and starts and stops on command. Now that’s something I could get used to!

Smart Scale

If you need a scale, the Wyze scale is a steal at $20. It connects with your smart phone and tells you much more than just what you weigh. In fact, it tracks twelve metrics including BMI, body fat percentage, muscle mass, protein level, and more. It also addresses situations like pregnancy or pacemakers, something many other smart scales do not adapt for.

Plus, this scale is sleek and looks nice in any bathroom (which is not something you can say for every scale). It’s also really easy to set up additional users so the entire family can share.

Smart Bed

There so many ways to track your sleep these days, from fitness trackers to smart watches, but nothing is better for tracking your sleep than your mattress! Sleep Number’s 360 SmartBed has biometric sensors that can help you sleep better.

The bed creates your own personal microclimate (it even warms your feet while you fall asleep). It also measures your heart rate, breath rate, and movement, as well as tracks your sleep cycles, automatically adjusting to keep you asleep longer. Who doesn’t need more sleep? If a mattress can help, I’m all in.

Water-Leak Detector

One of the major causes of home damage is flooding or other water issues. Wouldn’t be great if you could prevent such an expensive problem? Well, you can!

A detector can alert you when it senses water, whether you’re home, or even more important, if you’re away. Flo by Moen has exceptional reviews and detects water quickly. It’s wire-free, easy to put in place, and detects cold pipes (which could mean that they’re about to freeze and burst). It also works with Moen’s smart shut-off valve, which will automatically shut off your main water valve if it detects a problem.

Smart Door Lock

Invest in a smart lock. They don’t necessarily make your home safer, but they DO give you more control over who comes in and who goes out.

Smart locks allow you to unlock your home with a smartphone (or touchpad or physical key as a backup) and give other people one-time or permanent access. That is really handy for guests and service providers). You can also see if your home is locked just by looking at your phone.

These features help keep your home safe and secure and let you monitor who’s going in and out. Check out the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock or the Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt.

I hope this gives you some suggestions for holiday shopping this year and for how to make your home a better, more comfortable place to be. If you have any favorite smart home devices, leave me a comment below! I’d love to hear about them.

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Lauren Alexander

Greater Lafayette area realtor, ready to help you with all your relocation needs!

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