Understanding Home Automation
Home automation is a growing trend in technology. It connects your devices through a network. This makes control easier and more convenient. Using your phone or tablet, you manage things at home. You can adjust heating, lock doors, and more. It’s like having a smart home. This system brings comfort, efficiency, and security. The future of living starts with home automation.
But, which devices are the best and most practical?
Energy Efficiency: Smart Thermostats
Smart thermostats are a must-have. They adjust your home’s temperature to your liking. But, they do more than that. These devices learn your routine over time. They adjust temperatures when you’re not home, saving energy, time and manual operations.
Consider a busy morning. You’re rushing out the door and forget to adjust the thermostat. With a smart thermostat, there’s no problem. It detects no one is home and lowers the heat. This saves energy and money.
Over time, it learns your patterns. It knows when you’re usually home or away. It adjusts the temperature accordingly. Some models even consider the weather. If it’s hot, they’ll adjust to keep the home cool. This level of automation is both smart and practical. It takes the hassle out of climate control in your home.
Well-Reviewed Thermostats Products
Google Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation (4.5 stars from 29,155 ratings)
- No more programming: With Auto-Schedule, the Google Nest Learning Thermostat learns from you and programs itself..Product note: You can also check your system’s compatibility before purchasing a Nest thermostat with our online Nest Compatibility Checker on the Google Nest support page
- Home/Away Assist: don’t heat or cool an empty home. Home/Away Assist adjusts the temperature after you leave.
- Remote control: Control your thermostat from anywhere using the Nest app.
- Know more, save more Check your Energy History to see how much energy you use and why.
- Look for the Leaf: The Nest Leaf appears when you choose a temperature that saves energy.
Honeywell Home RTH9600WF (4.4 stars from 16,164 ratings)
- ENERGY STAR certified to help save energy, track your heating and cooling and send personalized tips on reducing energy use.
- SAVE ENERGY AND GET REWARDED by checking with your energy provider about available energy savings rebates to save on your purchase. Plus, eligible customers can enroll in their local Utility’s “DEMAND RESPONSE PROGRAM” which can reward you for allowing the utility to slightly adjust your AC or furnace temperature settings when there is high energy demand.
- CONTROL FROM ANYWHERE by using the app or compatible smart home partners including AMAZON ALEXA, GOOGLE ASSISTANT, MICROSOFT CORTANA, and more. Flexible programming options are also available if you’d rather set it and forget it but still benefit from energy savings.
- CUSTOMIZABLE COLOR SCREEN: Easily change the high-definition display of the Wi-Fi thermostat to any color you choose.
- ON-SCREEN COMFORT INFORMATION: See indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity information right on the home screen, plus daily weather forecast available on the smart thermostat.
- COMPATIBLE WITH: Forced air (gas, oil or electric), hot water and steam, and heat pumps with electric backup. Does NOT work with electric baseboard heat (120-240V). C-WIRE REQUIRED. Before purchasing, check to see if this smart programmable thermostat is compatible with your home and to determine if your home needs a C-wire power adapter.
- C-WIRE POWER ADAPTER REQUIRED: Before purchasing, check to see if this thermostat is compatible with your home and to determine if your home needs a C-wire power adapter.
- Works with most heat/cool oil furnace systems. Will not work with heating only oil furnace systems unless a C-Wire is present.
ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat (4.6 stars from 10,875 ratings)
- Save up to 23% annually on heating and cooling costs (compared to a hold of 72°F)
- Control from anywhere using your Android or iOS device
- Add SmartSensor to manage hot or cold spots and deliver enhanced comfort to the rooms that matter most
- Automatically pauses your heating or cooling when a door or window is left open (requires ecobee SmartSensor for doors and windows and a Smart Security subscription)
- ecobee was named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award winner
- Integrates seamlessly with your preferred smart home system. Connectivity – Wi-Fi, 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz
Security: Smart Locks and Cameras
Security is a top concern. Smart locks offer great peace of mind. They allow you to lock or unlock your doors remotely. Some even send alerts when doors are unlocked. August Smart Lock is a popular choice. It is easy to install and use.
Smart locks and security cameras take home security to a new level. Imagine this. You’re in bed and can’t remember if you locked the front door. With a smart lock, there’s no need to worry. From your phone, you can check the lock status. If it’s unlocked, you can lock it with a single tap or voice command (if you connected your smart device to a smart speaker).
Smart locks also send alerts when doors open or close. Some even allow you to give temporary access to guests. This means no more hiding spare keys under the mat.
Now, let’s consider smart security cameras. You’re away on vacation and want to check your home. With a smart camera, you can view live footage on your phone. Some cameras even have motion detection. They alert you if they spot any unusual activity.
These features make smart locks and cameras a powerful home security tool. They bring peace of mind and enhance the safety of your home – a home upgrade that home buyers are looking for.
Popular Security Products
Yale Assure Lock (4.2 stars from 5,8171 ratings)
- Replaces your existing deadbolt with a touchscreen smart lock so you can lock and unlock your door without the hassle of keys
- Lock, unlock, share access and see who comes and goes from anywhere using the Yale Access App – no additional hub needed, WiFi Connect included.
- Your door will unlock automatically as you get home and have your phone on you – If you don’t have your phone, just use the keypad!
- Lock, unlock and check lock status with voice assistants including Alexa, Hey Google and Siri. Alexa can also provide notifications when your battery is running low so you can proactively replace them. Set up smart reorders through Dash Replenishment to make sure you always have replacement batteries when you need them. – No additional hub needed
- Never worry about if you forgot to lock the door – enable Auto-Relock to ensure the door always locks behind you.
- Forget copying or hiding keys. Share app access or create unique entry codes for the people you trust. Choose from permanent, scheduled or temporary access and revoke it whenever you need to.
- Comes with the Connect Wi-Fi Bridge so there’s no additional hubs needed and it works off your home Wi-Fi
Smart Lock, ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro (4.3 stars from 10,185 ratings)
- 6-in-1 Keyless Entry Smart Lock: Touch and Go 360° Fingerprint ID + Anti-peep Keypad + Smartphone + Auto Unlock + Shake to Open + Mechanical Key
- Control Your Ultraloq Smart Lock via Bluetooth: Lock, unlock, share access and see a Log of who’s entered and exactly when they did using smartphone App. Grant access to your family, guests or service people via a code or an eKey for permanent access, specific dates or periods of time. Ultraloq Bridge WiFi Adaptor is required for remote access (sold separately).
- Auto Lock and Auto Unlock: Smart Lock automatically locks as you leave and unlocks when you arrive at your door with your smartphone in your pocket. 360° Live Fingerprint ID. Just one touch to unlock your smart lock. No more fumbling around for keys. Stores up to 100 fingerprints. Up to 50 customizable 4-8 digit codes for backup.
- Certified Highest Security and Durability: ANSI Commercial Grade 1. Proven for up to 35 times strength of standard residential locks along with a 7 times longer lifespan. IP65 rated dust and weatherproof external Smart Lock built to withstand heat and cold.
- DIY Installation: Replace your current deadbolt with just a screwdriver. Backed by Ultraloq, world’s leading smart lock brand with more than 1 million happy American users. Plus lifetime mechanical warranty and 18 months electronic warranty.
Convenience: Smart Speakers and Displays
Smart speakers make life easy. They use voice commands to control other smart devices, like devices to control your door, AC, refrigerator, lights…the list goes on. They also play music, set alarms, and answer queries. Amazon Echo & Google Nest are popular smart speakers. It integrates well with other devices.
Smart displays are the next step. They offer the same features as smart speakers. But, they also have a screen for video calls and more.
Popular Smart Speakers
Echo (4th Gen) (4.7 stars from 141,098 ratings)
- PREMIUM SOUND – Rich, detailed sound that automatically adapts to any room. Supports lossless HD audio available on select streaming services such as Amazon Music HD.
- VOICE CONTROL YOUR MUSIC – Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, SiriusXM, and more. HD requires a compatible music streaming service.
- SMART HOME HUB – Built-in hub to voice control compatible lights, locks, and sensors. Easily set up compatible Zigbee and Matter devices or select Ring Smart Lighting solar lights and bulbs.
- ALEXA IS READY TO HELP – Set timers, reminders, and alarms. Alexa answers questions like “Alexa, what time is it?”
- START YOUR ROUTINES WITH MOTION – Turn on compatible lights, play your Flash Briefing, or turn on the coffee maker when you walk into the room.
- FILL YOUR HOME WITH SOUND – With multi-room music, play synchronized music across Echo devices in different rooms. You can also pair your Echo with compatible Fire TV devices to feel scenes come to life with home theater audio, or extend wifi coverage with a compatible eero network so you can say goodbye to drop-offs and buffering.
- CONNECT WITH OTHERS HANDS-FREE – Call friends and family who have the Alexa app or an Echo device. Instantly drop in on other rooms or announce to the whole house that dinner’s ready.
- PRIVACY CONTROLS – Designed to protect your privacy – Amazon is not in the business of selling your personal information to others. Built with multiple layers of privacy controls including a mic off button.
Kitchen: Smart Refrigerators
Smart refrigerators are handy in the kitchen. They can monitor your food inventory. They also offer recipe suggestions based on what’s inside.
Home automation devices offer various benefits. They enhance security, save energy, and add convenience. The best device depends on your needs. Consider the benefits of each and choose wisely. Enjoy a smarter, more efficient home.