The age of the smart home has finally arrived. Adjusting your thermostat, controlling home security systems or turning up the volume of your speakers – now all it takes is a voice command, from wherever you happen to be. Even better, many actions can be fully automated, so you don’t even need to remember to do them. Maybe you are too busy searching for new online casinos to remember to turn the heating off. Not a problem, as you can use your phone’s GPS to do it for you when you leave the house.
If you want to turn your living space into the home of the future, there are options to suit a range of budgets. Some smart devices provide an all-round service, controlled from a central hub. If you want to push the boat out, you may prefer to tailor a bespoke selection of connected devices.
As with all technology, upgrading your house to a smart home depends on all your gadgets being compatible with each other. This includes whichever tablet, phone or smart speaker that you may already use. With a bit of careful planning, you can have the responsive, connected home that until recently was the stuff of science fiction.
For many of us, a smart speaker is one of the first types of smart home purchases we make. Choosing the best one may depend on which operating system you use in your day to day activities, but we have found the most versatile to be the Sonos One. Capable of talking to both Siri and Alexa, and with the best sound quality of any on the market, this is also reflected in the price tag. For a more affordable option, you can’t go far wrong with the Amazon Echo.
One of the most practical smart devices to have, a smart thermostat allows you to precisely control the temperature of your house – and save energy and money in the long run. There are a lot of impressive devices on the market, so choosing the best one is often a matter of what you value the most. For example, the aesthetics of the gadget may be just as important as functionality for some people, while for other is doesn’t matter at all. Balancing price, looks and performance is the Nest Thermostat E, which can learn your routine and adjust to your schedule.
Lights can be so much more then either on or off, and the days of harsh, over-bright lighting are well behind us. If you invest in a smart lighting system, you can make the atmosphere of your home appropriate for any occasion, from smart dinner party to lounging on a quiet weekend. The Philips Hue range lead the market, and the bulbs are second to none. The system setup is pricier than most, but the bulbs are also compatible with the cheaper Hive Active Light system.
Smart Security Camera
There are plenty of security cameras on the market, both for inside the house and out. For external security, we recommend the Netatmo Presence for its sturdy design, range of functions and deterrent properties. Even though it’s one of the more expensive cameras available, none of its functions rely on monthly subscription fees, so costs even out in the long run. Inside the house, we like the attractive Hive View. This camera will not look out of place wherever you position it, and the head can also be detached and moved to another location, where it will remain working for up to an hour on battery.