Enjoying the benefits and convenience that a smart home can provide no longer has to be a big expenditure of time or money. These days, you can simply order the devices you want, or buy them right off the shelf, and install them yourself. If the install it yourself part sounds intimidating, there’s always the option of hiring a low cost service or installation company like Best Buy’s Geek Squad or an Amazon professional to do that for you. First, round up the products you want to comprise your smart home. Here’s a look at six of the most essential products:
A Smart lock – enables you to lock and unlock your door without a key and keep track of who comes and goes, right from your phone. One of the most popular on the market today is the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect, which attaches to your existing deadbolt and installs in about 10 minutes. It also allows your kids’ phones to serve as their house keys, and you can instruct Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant to control you lock. It sells for $249.00
A Video Doorbell – provides visitor detection, because you can stream live video on your phone as visitors approach your front door. Vivint’s video doorbell features a camera with night vision allowing its 180-degree camera to display crystal-clear video day or night. Its two-way talk feature lets you speak directly with visitors via a built-in mic and speaker. It sells on Amazon.com for $180.00
Smart Lights – Philips Hue, for example, is a personal wireless lighting system that lets you easily control your light and create the right mood for every moment. Prices vary depending on the type of Hue product you select. Check out the Philips website here.
A Smart Thermostat – allows you to adjust the temperature of your home remotely. Nest is a popular choice, and its latest third-generation thermostat sells for $249.
Smart Garage Door Opener – lets you remotely control access to your garage from your smartphone. You can receive reminders on your phone when you’ve left the door open. A smart garage door opener also allows you to manage who can access your garage and set rules for automatic opening and closing. The Aladdin Connect is a popular model and is available at Amazon, Home Depot and Lowe’s.
An Amazon Echo – can control all of these devices, play music on demand and give you the latest weather and news. Amazon offers several Echo units, with the Echo Plus being very well suited to home automation. The Amazon Echo Plus sells for $149.