Smart homes and the gadgets within them are all the rage. What are the “must have” smart home gadgets? If you’re building a home or upgrading your current setup, you might be interested in our list, curated from the editors of PC Mag and CNET. You’ll want to read Part 1 of this post to see the first four essential gadgets on our list!
How Gadgets Make a Home “Smart”
A smart home, at its basic level, is a home equipped with electronic devices, lighting and even temperature regulation. These gadgets can be controlled remotely, by phone and/or computer. Smart Home USA gives us an even more specific definition: “A Smart Home is one that provides its home owners comfort, security, energy efficiency (low operating costs) and convenience at all times, regardless of whether anyone is home.
‘Smart Home’ is the term commonly used to define a residence that has appliances, lighting, heating, air conditioning, TVs, computers, entertainment audio and video systems, security, and camera systems that are capable of communicating with one another and can be controlled remotely by a time schedule, from any room in the home, as well as remotely from any location in the world by phone or internet.
Installation of smart products give the home and its occupants various benefits — the same benefits that technology and personal computing have brought to us over the past 30 years — convenience and savings of time, money and energy.
Most homes do not have these appliances and systems built into them. Therefore the most common and affordable approach is for the home owner to retrofit smart products into their own finished home.”
A good video doorbell might set you back anywhere from $100 – $250. They are well worth it, and Ring seems to have the lion’s share of the market. Video doorbells are an easy way to provide peace of mind against home invasions, package thieves and even unwanted solicitors. These devices typically rely on Wi-Fi to stream live video to your phone. They use cloud storage to house the archived video clips. Another popular, mid-range priced doorbell is SkyBell.
Smart outlet plugs- a great gadget
The editors from PC Mag have their clear pick, and their words sum it up best. “…the $29.99 iHome iSP6X SmartPlug comes pretty close. It lets you easily control gadgets and appliances from your smartphone while delivering an unparalleled level of third-party smart home integration. Not only does it support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control, but it also works with Apple HomeKit, Nest, Samsung SmartThings, and Wink. It lacks energy monitoring, but makes up for it with robust scheduling options, an intuitive app, and painless installation.”
Another great contender is the Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug. It also boasts Alexa and Google Home compatibility, which are two gold standards you want to look for with almost any smart device.
If your basement is prone to getting water, or you just want to be “in the know” in the case the unthinkable happens, a flood sensor might be for you. The way leak and flood sensors work is pretty straightforward. Most have 2 or 3 metal probes. When they come in contact with water, increased conductivity is detected, setting off an alarm. Many detect temperature, humidity levels and more. D-Link Wi-Fi Water Sensor is one that consistently rises to the top.
Get past the sticker shock of a $300-$500 vacuum, and a smart vacuum might be your favorite gadget yet. Things you might want to look for in any smart vacuum: long battery life, manual steering, app control, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Don’t overlook the obvious; make sure you get a strong clean from your robot! The Ecovacs Deebot N79S is relatively affordable and does these things. iRobot also makes several models, one of which shoots water onto the floor, simulating a mopping effect.
Whatever you choose, it’s a good idea to stick to established brands with solid track records. Read those product reviews and do your research! Check out Part 1 where we reviewed the first four essential smart home gadgets!
Looking to build or buy a new home that is “smart” through and through? Give us a call today! You can reach the Cami Jones & Company team at 913.402.2550. Want to come see us? Our office is conveniently located at 5000 W. 135th St. Leawood, KS 66224. You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. We’re even on LinkedIn, as Cami Jones & Company, ReeceNichols.