Go to the Head of the Class with Smart Home Tech
Smart home technology can give your home grade-A performance, whether you’re looking for home security or just an automatic cup of coffee when you pull yourself out of bed in the morning. To help make your home the smartest one on the block, we’ve put together a list of the best options for home automation, so your house can graduate to the next level.
Forget about Spare Keys
One of the coolest inventions of the past century is the smart lock, and the August Smart Lock takes the basic mechanism and improves upon it. The August lock can lock the door automatically 30 seconds after you close it, and you can control it from your smart phone. Give your babysitter, housekeeper or children a specific access code to get inside that only they can use — and you’ll know whenever they come since the August keeps a record. It also uses geofencing to detect when you’re nearby, so you can set up the door to automatically unlock before you reach it. No more fumbling for the keys when you have an armful of groceries.
Light It Up, Up, Up
Planning a romantic evening with the S.O.? Program a “romantic” setting on your smart lights. Want to make it look like you’re at home even when you aren’t? Set your lights on a timer. Flash the lights every time your team scores a point during the Super Bowl, or have them turn on when you walk down your front walkway. Smart lights let you do all this and more. Philips Hue smart lights can be connected to a smart home hub, so you can control them through an app on your tablet or smart phone.
Keep a (Digital) Eye on Things
Few things provide more peace of mind than the ability to check in on your home while you’re away. Security cameras inside and outside your home will let you see anyone that comes to the door, down your driveway and much more. Use cameras as part of a fully monitored home security system, and get the reassurance that your home is under a watchful eye. You can also connect that security camera to a smart home hub and have it respond to specific triggers. Pair your camera with a motion sensor, and you can have the lights come on, smooth jazz play and any number of other responses when you walk through the door.
Add Some Artificial Intelligence
When it comes to AI assistants, there’s no better option than the Amazon Echo. While Google Home is quickly closing the gap between the devices, the Echo has the most compatibility with smart home devices. You can use it to lock and unlock your August Smart Lock, change the color and intensity of the Philips Hue, and much more. With the Echo Show, you can also display recipes, check your security camera feeds and more.
Get Help with Daily Chores
Want to know if you’re running low on milk or get a text when your laundry is done? You can make your daily home-management tasks much easier with smart home appliances, including a smart toaster oven, smart coffeemaker and smart washing machine.
Make them All Work Together
Regardless of which smart home tech you choose, making each device work together maximizes their benefits. The key to doing this is pairing the tech’s “language” — in other words, choose devices that operate on Z-Wave or Zigbee. (There is a third language called Insteon, but many newer devices don’t support it.) Just take a look at the packaging: Most products will indicate which language they use. For help connecting all your smart devices in one easy-to-use hub, talk to your internet service provider about your options.