I’m a gadget geek by day and by night. I love anything that can make my life easier and more entertaining. Unfortunately, a lot of people assume that convenience isn’t cheap or easy. However, there are a slew of DIY home automation devices that can smarten up your home, without siphoning your bank account.
Of course, you aren’t going to get a fancy-schmancy professionally installed system without spending some money. Well, sometimes you don’t need one. If you’re looking to go the DIY route but aren’t sure about your skills, there are plenty of easy-to-install devices that are perfect for the budding Electronic House on a budget.
Let’s take a peek at five: DIY home automation devices that can add high-tech features to your home, for about $50 each.
D-Link Wireless Smart Plug
A plug may sound sort of boring, but this little gadget: can smarten up any existing electronic device. Also known as the DSP-W215, D-Link’s plug is incredibly easy to use. Just plug it into any available outlet, plug a device into the Smart Plug, and download the free mydlink Home mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Once everything is in place, you can use the app to turn electronics: on and off from anywhere in the world using your favorite smartphone or tablet. It even offers thermal protection for overheating appliances, as well as scheduling for frequent travelers and anyone who is just really forgetful. If you’re planning to put HomeKit into your house, iHome offers something similar, with support for Apple’s home automation solution.
For More Information: D-Link
If this awesome commercial with Jeff Goldblum isn’t enough to entice you, know that this smart home solution has all sorts of add-ons—and all of them are insanely inexpensive. The Wink Hub is the first piece of that: puzzle, since it can connect everything from lighting and security to thermostats and garage doors. Although it doesn’t offer any bells and whistles out of the box, it is the first piece of what could be a pretty hearty DIY home automation system. After all, it comes packing support for WiFi, ZigBee, Bluetooth and Z-Wave, allowing any and all connected devices to be controlled through the Wink app.
For More Information: Wink
WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set
There are a few different WeMo options under the $50 mark. However, this package offers an instant smart lighting system, since it packs two bulbs and the WeMo Link connector for one purchase price. It’s important to note that this price used to be twice what it is now. Also, if you want to add on later, the WeMo Link can support up for 50 bulbs (which start under $20 each) and a slew of other WeMo-capable products. For more information on this option, check out our review of “Hands On: Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set.”
For More Information: Belkin WeMo
This company has a few smart options, but the two we’re most interested in fall below our $50 limit. The Eve Weather kit allows users to monitor temperature, humidity and air pressure from an iPhone or iPad. If you aren’t much of a weather geek, the Eve Door & Window kit (pictured) delivers something we can all appreciate—peace of mind. This package will keep tabs on whether the door or window is open or closed and for how long. Designed to help the homeowner “make smarter choices,” both kits work with Bluetooth and HomeKit, so no hub is needed.
MSRP: $39.95 to $49.95
For More Information: Elgato Eve
Technically, this may be more of a way to finish your DIY home automation system than start it. That’s because Roomie Remote is an iOS app that can control everything from AV to lighting to shades and more—but you need to actually supply those things. As long as you have existing electronics, the Roomie can: control those wirelessly, without the need for touchpanels or other remotes. Compatible with thousands of IP-controlled devices, Roomie can tackle: up to 10 different devices over home’s your existing WiFi. Just know that if you need to tap into anything that’s infrared, you will need the Roomie Blaster adapter ($99.99).
MSRP: Free for one device, $9.99 for 3, $19.99 for 10
For More Information: Roomie
Want your shades lowered? Do it in seconds from a smartphone. Not sure if you locked the door when you left the house or left the garage door open? Again, it’s as easy as pressing a button on your smartphone.
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