You may have heard the “smart home” catchphrase and want to hop on the bandwagon. But once you do your initial research, you’ll soon realize that there are a lot of smart devices out there.
So where to start if you want to increase the IQ of your household? Which smart device should you get first?
Here’s our take on how you should smarten up your home—from the first items you should get to the ones that can wait a little longer.
1. Smart Hub
If you want to build your smart home, you should have at least one smart home hub. That’s because it acts as the central control center of your smart home. While you can control your smart home on your smartphone, it’s not a convenient solution.
After all, you don’t have your smartphone with you all the time when you’re at home. In addition, a smart home hub can integrate all the apps that different smart devices use, ensuring that you don’t need to open separate apps to interact with them.
2. Smart Light/Switch
Smart bulbs are one of the easiest smart home devices to buy, set up, and use—we even have a smart bulb setup guide you can follow if you already have one. Since light bulbs are usually one of the things you usually interact with a lot in your home, it only makes sense to make them smart.
You can also opt for smart switches instead of bulbs. If you don’t need dimming or color-changing lights, a smart switch may be cheaper in the long run. This is because whenever one of your bulbs burns out you can buy silent LED bulbs, which are very cheap.
Plus, with a smart switch, you can easily turn it on remotely even if someone accidentally toggles the physical switch off. However, setting up a hardwired smart switch is a bit more complicated. You should check out our hardwired smart light switch installation guide to see if you can do it before making a purchase.
3. Smart Outlet
Once you’ve added smarts to your lighting, you can get smart outlets to help make your plug-in devices smart. For example, you can use a smart outlet to control your desk lamp. That way, you can turn it on or off via voice command or use Routines to automate it.
Another example is using a smart outlet at your workstation. You can use a smart outlet to control a workstation. So, you can turn on or off the office desk with just one command. No need to worry about overcharging the laptop or tablet anymore. And you don’t need to turn on each item individually when you start work.
4. Smart Motion Sensor
If you frequently forget to turn the lights off or want the lights to turn on automatically every time you pass, consider installing a smart motion sensor. These little devices will detect motion or lack thereof and give commands to your devices.
For example, if you’re walking on your stairs, you can install a smart motion sensor that will command your stairwell lights to turn on every time it detects someone. Or you can set your smart bathroom lights to turn off when the smart motion sensor in your bathroom doesn’t detect anyone inside.
This small, usually battery powered, device can help you save electricity by turning off unnecessary lights and appliances.
5. Smart Video Doorbell
When someone rings your doorbell, you usually have to go to the door to see who it is. However, sometimes you just can’t do that – let’s say you’re cooking in the kitchen or working in your office.
But with a smart video doorbell, you can always see who’s at the door. If you have a Smart Hub with a display, you’ll instantly see who’s at the door. Alternatively, you can set up your smart video doorbell to notify you on your phone. So, even if you are away from home, you will see who has come.
Most smart video doorbells also come with a microphone and speaker, so you can talk to the person at the door.
6. Smart Security Cameras
Going a step up from smart video doorbells, you may want to install smart security cameras. These devices can monitor your grounds and record what is happening around them.
And while watching hours of footage gets tedious, you can get a subscription like the Nest Aware or Nest Aware Pro that will automatically record events and notify you when you’re away.
7. Smart Blinds
Most people wouldn’t give smart blinds a second look – but these things come in handy, especially when you’re going to bed and waking up. By installing smart blinds, you can automate this, thus making it easier for you to wake up or fall asleep.
For example, if you have smart blinds, when you give the command ‘good night’ it will set your home for when you sleep.