Whether you have a summer home at the beach, in the country, or in the city, you want to furnish it properly—and that includes adding in a few smart home systems and other high-tech features. Having the right electronics in your summer home is just as important as getting the proper patio set, a coffee maker, or even a couch.
Want to make that getaway as cool and comfortable as your year-round residence? Here are five smart home systems and gadgets for your summer house.
Media Streamer. We could say “TV,” but if you’re a fan of the Electronic House, we have to assume that’s a given. What probably isn’t so obvious is what you’re going to watch on that TV. Having a media streamer can deliver instant entertainment, all without having to add onto your monthly cable/satellite bill. Even better, you won’t have to worry about turning service on and off at various times of the year. Choose between the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Roku (pictured), based on your viewing preferences. Depending on what you’re watching, you may need a subscription (such as Amazon Prime or Netflix). Otherwise, all you’ll need is web access—which should be as much of a no-brainer as the TV.
Security Camera. Wondering who may be lurking when you’re not at the house? Having a security system is key for any second home. You may want to opt for something with a monitoring service, which can alert you and the authorities if anyone opens a door or window in the offseason or any other time you aren’t around. However, there are several inexpensive security cameras (such as the pictured Dropcam) to get you started. A few options to consider are your smartphone platform, storage and whether or not the product can be integrated into other systems in the home. Just make sure you pick something with alerts, which will send you a notice whenever motion is present.
Automated Lighting. Most people hate entering a dark house on a daily basis. Can you imagine going into a dark place that you haven’t been to in days or even months? Having automated lighting allows you to turn on specific indoor and outdoor lights before you arrive. As an added bonus, it can be used as a security measure, making your home look occupied when it’s not. And really, you have no excuse not to have some type of an automated lighting system. Currently, there are too many options to list. For instance, Lutron makes multiple automated systems, including HomeWorks and the wireless Caseta system (the necessary Smart Bridge is pictured). There are even a variety of smart bulbs to get you started, from the multi-colored Philips hue to the insanely affordable Wink, and much more.
Smart Thermostat. Did you leave the air conditioning running the last time you were at the beach? You can never be sure, unless you have a smart thermostat. This allows you to peek in at the current temperature of a remote location, as well as tweak the status, all from any web-enabled device. Of course, the Nest Learning Thermostat is currently the hot option, but ecobee (pictured), Honeywell, Carrier, and countless others all make cool thermostats that you can control from remote locations.
Automated Garage Door. This is one of those smart home systems most people don’t think about—and that’s why you need one. Chances are, you leave that second residence in such a hurry. You worry about whether the oven is off, what’s in the fridge, and whether or not you left the door unlocked. Of course, you probably closed the garage door, but how can you be sure? By having an automated garage door system! The Chamberlain MyQ is one of the most popular options, allowing you to check in on the status of that door and close it from afar. It even allows you to open it, in case you have spontaneous guests, workers or neighbors who want to bring in the mail.