If you’ve been on the internet lately, you’ve surely seen the latest trends for homes. Families have fixed up their homes on a DIY budget. Containers with beautiful labels are all we see inside pantries. Bathtubs are turning dingy (and jaws are dropping) thanks to laundry stripping. But have you seen the devices that turn your house into a smart home?
Fixing up the place you call home sort of turned into a passion project for many people over the past year. A change of scenery inside the home is just what many of us were craving after months of quarantine and working from home. Adding smart devices is another way to change up what’s within the four walls you call home.
There are lightbulbs, doorbells, vacuums, speakers, and thermostats that can be controlled from your phone. Yes, lightbulbs, from your phone. I was hesitant at first to start using smart devices in our home but with how easy they are to use, I’m so glad we made the switch. They are a convenient way to bring some relief to your daily tasks.
(Full disclosure: the price tag is steep for some options. You’ll need to weigh how important they are for your home to decide what’s right for you to incorporate.)
So go stir those bedsheets currently getting stripped in your bathtub and then sit down to read. I am going to share with you five ways to have a smart home.
Smart lights are a convenient way to light your home. This is one of my favorite smart devices. The most work for these would be from switching out the bulbs and light switches that you already have in your home (switches may not be needed for all brands).
- Controlled easily through their respective app on your phone
- Dimmable, so no harsh bright lights all day long
- Can be set on a timer to turn on/off at certain times of the day
Gone are the days when you wonder who is ringing your doorbell—now, you can see them on your porch with the help of a smart doorbell. These smart home devices are popular whether you are keeping an eye out for packages, or you are on vacation and want to know all is safe and sound back home. It provides peace of mind to homeowners everywhere.
- Connects to an app on your phone
- Motion and/or sound alerts
- Night vision
- 24/7 streaming (some brands)
Some of us may go crazy for vacuum lines, while others don’t care quite so much. Whether vacuuming is your favorite chore or not, you can let the robot vacuum do most of the dirty work for you. These smart home devices work hard so you don’t have to.
- Easily controlled through an app on your phone
- Vacuums while you are away (remember to pick up small objects first!)
- Daily use can lead to less time spent using a traditional vacuum
- Self-emptying canister (some brands)
This is the smart device you may interact with the most. Depending on how smart your home is, your speaker/hub can interact with the other smart devices you own, too. The speaker/hub smart devices can play music, answer questions, check your calendar, turn on/off your lights, and so much more.
- Connects with your music accounts to play music
- Controls other smart devices within your home
- Ability to quickly know the weather, answers to random questions, etc.
- Links to your calendar to give reminders of events and appointments (some brands)
- Displays photos on home screen so it doubles as a digital photo frame (some brands)
A digital display makes it easy to read and see. Being able to control the temperature of your home from your phone means you can turn the heat or air conditioning on or off as needed. You can always return to a comfortable home with just a couple clicks of your phone.
- Easily controlled through an app on your phone
- Learns your schedule and adjusts house temperature accordingly
- Aesthetically-pleasing display
- Saves money on heating/cooling bills
Smart Devices in Our Home
I was very resistant to any smart devices at first because I didn’t think we needed them. But boy, was I wrong! In our home, you’ll find Philips Hue bulbs, both a Roomba and an Ecovacs vacuum (can’t beat a good deal on Amazon!), and a few Google Home/Hub devices. Our old house had a Nest, and we just haven’t installed one in the new house yet.
The Hue bulbs came in handy after our oldest was born. For middle of the night feedings, I could set the lights to turn on whenever we had to get up to feed her (she was on a strict NICU feeding schedule). I could also set them to dim when they turned on, so it wasn’t harsh light waking her up in the middle of the night.
The robot vacuums have been great for vacuuming the house when we are gone, especially for all of our dog’s fur. Even just one lap around the house each day has made a big difference. The girls enjoy turning the vacuums on (and sometimes they just follow them around the house!) so it’s honestly even less work for my husband and I.
The Google Home devices make it easy to listen to music while we are home during the day. Our Hub has a screen, so I can also ask it for recipes and can use them while cooking. Having it in the kitchen is super convenient, and we keep it away from the stovetop so it doesn’t get splashed with food while cooking.
You’ve DIY’d your home. The pantry is beautifully organized. Your bedsheets have never been cleaner. It’s time to make your home smarter. Choose one, two, or all five devices, and enjoy your smarter home!