Getting Started with Smart Home Devices


If you’re new to the smart home game, it might seem overwhelming and confusing. The truth is: it is. This isn’t something that you should dive into without some research and some serious thought. If you are looking to start to dabble with smart home technology, though, there are some fairly affordable devices that are easy to setup and control. Here are some of the things that helped me learn more about smart technology, and about how I wanted to use it for my life:

For security:

  • Locks. I love smart locks. They help me feel secure, and they are just convenient. Smart locks allow you remotely control whether your door is locked or unlocked (using your phone or tablet), and they can also log all entries and exits. You will never have to make a spare key again, since you can just set up digital keys for guests and employees. You can set these to unlock when you approach, meaning you no longer have to fumble around for your keys.
  • Doorbell. The Ring is a great example of a smart doorbell. It has a camera, and it will feed live video to your phone or tablet. It also has motion sensors, so even if someone doesn’t ring the bell, they can still be recorded. This helps with total home security.
  • Lights. Using motion sensor lights is no new trick, but today’s smart lights can be connected to your locks and your doorbells. They can also alert you when a light has been triggered.

For entertainment:

  • Fire TV. The Fire TV from Amazon is on my list here because it is a simple entertainment streaming device, but it is also a smart, voice-controlled search machine. In addition, the newest Fire TV now features Alexa, the smart brain created by Amazon. Alexa can be triggered by voice, and can tell you all sorts of useful information.
  • Smart TVs. If you want to skip having to buy an extra streaming device, you can just jump straight to a smart TV. These devices already connect to your WiFi, and have the capability to run all the current entertainment and streaming apps.

For saving energy:

  • Thermostats. These days, you can do so much more than just set your thermostat; you can actually control it remotely or even automatically using geo-location. You can even use functionality that will command your thermostat to find the happy medium between two household members’ preferred settings.
  • Lightbulbs. Smart lightbulbs can also be controlled remotely, meaning you don’t have to leave the light on all day so that you have visibly when you get home at night. You also never have to leave lights, televisions, or radios on to try to trick burglars into thinking you are home. Smart bulbs also track your energy use, so you can figure out how to cut down costs.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of one or more of these products, you’ll be ready to move on to wrap your head around how intricate and complicated having a smart home can actually be!

Which devices started your obsession with smart homes and automation? Holla at me with a comment!

Photo by: David Pacey

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Julie is totally technology driven. She is an early adapter, getting the newest devices first and loves seeing how they work. She is the first one called when her friends need help setting up networks, new computer systems, printers and cool home automation devices. She loves being the token "dork" in her group of friends.