With the many ways technology is enhancing our lives, is it any wonder that we’re learning how to make things easier and more fun around our homes? How would you like to turn your lights on before arriving at the house? How about cooking a meal from the comfort of your office? Ever wonder what shenanigans your pets get in when you aren’t home? Here are answers for all of those desires, and a lot more.
You may think that “smart homes” cost a fortune to create. While that may be true for some of them, advancements in home-tech are speeding up, which means prices are dropping. Below you’ll find 16 items that will smarten up your home without breaking your bank account.
1. This Nest Cam is perfect for home security, as well as freaking out any unsuspecting guests.
You can use the two way mic to voice your opinion to anyone who enters uninvited, or to simply tell the cat to remove itself from the counter. With a high resolution and the ability to interact through an App, this is a fun and handy smart home device to have.
2. This high def Simplicam has a two way mic, facial recognition, and night vision!
This works with ArcSoft’s technologies to recognize who is coming and going, and sending you alerts as necessary.
3. The August Smart Lock works off of your Apple or Android Bluetooth connection to unlock and relock the door, via the deadbolt. Kiss keys goodbye.
4. If you don’t trust you luck with smartphones, you can trust the Schlage Touch Camelot Deadbolt with your home security needs.
It can be programmed with up to 19 different access codes for personalized entry. This is perfect for Airbnb homes.
5. Give Siri an even greater purpose in your life with the Lutron Caséta Wireless Lighting Kit.
Now that spunky AI can assist you with turning on and adjusting your lights from anywhere near the house. Before long, she’ll be DJing.
6. These Misfit Bolt LED Smart Bulbs are perfect for setting colored mood lighting for any part of the day.
They work with the Misfit app for iOS and Android, as well as the Flash program used for the Flash fitness tracker.
7. The Belkin WeMo Insight Switch is amazing for managing power consumption.
It switches off power to devices after a set time, and can also monitor and disconnect devices that are slowly vamping electricity. You can even turn appliances on and off remotely.
8. The Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Outlet Kit comes with five outlets and two remotes for managing your powered devices from anywhere in the home.
This device is designed to assist with eliminating unnecessary power usage, and is claimed to be able to decrease the electric bill by up to 15%. Seems well worth the price.
9. Nest is at it again with the Nest Thermostat.
This attractive thermostat learns your habits and works to save energy. It can be set remotely from anywhere in the world via an app.
10. If you want something a little plainer looking, and perhaps more secure, check out the Honeywell Touchscreen Thermostat with Wi-Fi.
It can also be controlled remotely with iOS and Android, and seeks to help maintain your room temperature while saving on electricity.
11. Home is the place to rest your head. Now you can rest it with greater peace and efficacy using Withings Aura Smart Sleep System.
This genius system uses melatonin inducing lighting and ocean sound to help you get to sleep. It then tracks your sleep progress, and uses wake-up lighting and sounds to gently bring you out of sleep after your final REM cycle. Sweet dreams.
12. Finally, a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that won’t wake you in the middle of the night with the low battery beep.
This alarm works with the same Nest app that applies to the camera and thermostat. With a 10 year life span and portable alerts, what more could you ask for?
13. The Roost Smart Battery allows you to keep your old smoke alarm…
…while giving you Wi-Fi access to know when it needs replacing, and to turn off those annoying false alarms from the comfort of your smartphone.
14. Need to manage that perfect, slow cooked meal from a distance?
Introducing the Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo. With this and the WeMo app, you can start and stop cooking, and even tweak the settings mobily. No more rushing home to get things prepared before company.
15. Is your green thumb more of a murky, greyish brown color? Fret no more!
The Parrot Flower Power Plant Sensor enables you to keep an eye on the soil around your plant, and help you gauge when to water it, add fertilizer, and gives other tips on over 6000 specific plant varieties. It is iOS and Android compatible.
16. You can also replace standard 120-volt outlets with one that also offers a USB charging station. It takes a few minutes from start to finish.
Learn more about USB-equipped power outlets here.