Smart Home Products That Will Elevate and Update Your Space

These core smart home items make the most impact.

Filed Under Amazon, Google & Money

The idea of having a smart home is no longer the reality only for those with an endless cash flow to throw at. We’re now at the point that the smart home market, while still growing and finding its own footing, is also maturing and becoming more affordable than ever.

Before you go out and run and buy a smart doorbell or one of the countless other devices that you won’t see the true potential until you have an audience, hear us out. The beginnings of your smart home should consist of some core foundations, or at very least be at the top of your consideration list before anything else. These legs of your smartphone can provide some of the most impactful updates to your space.

Smart Assistant Speaker

Amazon Echo
Amazon's Echo is easily the most popular smart assistant. 

Whether you’re team Amazon or team Google isn’t important. (Sorry Siri, it’s gorgeous, but the HomePod just isn’t worth it.) That’s an article for another day. Regardless, getting a smart speaker is one of your “smartest” investments, as it will provide another way for you to control your smart devices within your home when you don’t want to do it via phone or tablet. Let’s also not forget the wealth of knowledge a smart speaker can provide with just a simple conversation.

Once you get over the heebie-jeebies of having a speaker that could (but isn’t) recording everything around you, you’ll find it hard to live without in a smart home.

Philips Hue Smart Lights

Philips Hue Smart Bulbs
Philips Hue dominates the smart lights segment

Looking to make an immediate impact on your home? Add smart lighting. Full stop. Whether you’re just looking to replace your existing lights with white smart controlled LED bulbs or you’re going all out and replacing everything with full RGB bulbs, including light strips and other mood and entertainment lighting, you have more than a couple of options.

Popularized and dominated by Philips, Hue is a smart lights brand name many will be familiar. It’s been around for years and has expanded from simple lightbulbs to an entire ecosystem of lighting options, no matter the room of the house. It even has a suite of outdoor lighting options as well.

Hue isn’t the only smart light system out there, and the much-lauded LIFX lights are also fantastic.

Wemo Mini Smart Plugs

Wemo smart plug
Wemo can make dumb things smart for cheap!

Possibly the most simple device on this list may have the most impact on your day to day routine, as it can give you the ability to make “dumb” devices smart. Smart plugs simply allow you to turn power to it on and off via smartphone, tablet, or smart speaker. Its function is easy enough to define, but the real fun is finding what old device that can take best take advantage of the plug. Appliances or products that have a simple, physical, on/off switch are best. Simply turn the device on and plug it into the smart plug to control it going forward. Fans or old coffeepots (Who needs a coffee timer when you can yell at Alexa to turn your coffee pot on?) can be good choices for this, but the possibilities are endless.

Nest Thermostat

Nest smart thermostat
Nest thermostat

We can’t all have the luxury of owning our own homes, but if you can manage to replace your dated thermostat with a smart one by Nest, we’d highly recommend it. The features for such a product are fairly straight forward: Control your air condition or heating via an app or your voice via a smart assistant.

One of the best parts of Nest is that it will eventually learn your usage habits and when you’re home or away. It then creates a schedule around the collected data, which can eventually save you money on your heating and cooling bill.

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