The Home is now a reality for so many because so many affordable products are now being created. “Smart home” products can be controlled from anywhere using a smartphone or other wireless device. Today’s most popular connected devices are easy to install and can help create a smart home for as little as $50.
Some Smart Home Products to Consider:
1. Control the garage door. Since an estimated 71% of U.S. households use their garage as the main entry point to their homes, automating the garage door with Chamberlain’s MyQ Garage allows you to monitor and control the most active door of the house from anywhere in the world. Smartphone alerts tell you when the garage is in use or left open, and allow you to open it anytime to let deliveries, guests or workers inside. MyQ Garage works with most existing garage door openers, installs in minutes, and is available for $129.99 at Best Buy, Home Depot, Amazon and the Chamberlain website.
2. Install smart locks. With connected door locks, a mere touch of your finger, smartphone or key fob locks or unlocks the front door bolt, and gives you activity alerts so you can monitor who’s coming and going. You can also allow access to others through their smartphones, and turn off access at any time. Smart locks begin at about $200 and are available at Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other stores.
3. View your home with video. Sadly, more than 400,000 home break-ins occur in the U.S. during November and December alone, with holiday travel, deliveries, parties and general distractions the cause. A connected home video camera can help by streaming live video to your smartphone once movement is detected in or around the home, and video is accessible with a cloud storage option. These products start at about$150.
4. Automate your light switches. One of the easiest and most affordable places to start automating your home is with the lights. Chamberlain and other companies let you appear home when you’re not by setting schedules that turn lights on and off at select or random times. They’re also great for dangerous areas like basements, or other dark areas. The year we got the sensor lights for stairs in our basement was the last year anyone twisted an ankle grabbing for the light switch string in the dark. These products are sold at most home improvement and electronics stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy and online for about $49.99.
5. Save money and energy through temperature control. Installing a connected thermostat can save you up to 20% on your heating bill during the cold winter months. Smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature based on your comings and goings from anywhere – turn up the heat in your house just before returning from a trip, or switch your setting to vacation mode if you forgot to do so before leaving. These devices sell for about $250 from various online, electronics and home improvement retailers.