Home automation is becoming the latest fad these days, but the price range is huge on these devices. They can cost anywhere from ten dollar to thousands. Full automation often comes with a price tag of up to ten thousand dollars, and while convenience is the watchword, it’s still a lot of money to spend. Certainly, if you’re building a house, having a hard-wired smart home system built in is a great idea, but if you’d like to make some small changes without having to completely rewire your house, you’re in luck. There are a great deal of products on the market that can make your home smart without having to break the bank.
The best advice when trying to create a smart home is to start small. Make a list of your priorities from most to least important and start at the top. Chances are, they first items on your list are going to be the items that make your life a little bit more convenient or those that help to lower your monthly bills. Here are some of the top items that won’t cost too much money to have control of your home.
The Top Five
- Garage Door Openers – There are several different Wi-Fi garage door openers on the market and the majority of them run around $85-$150 depending on how many sensors you’ll need. The added convenience of not having to worry if you left the garage door open after packing up the car for vacation is the number is what you’ll get with one of these sensors. Through an app you can remote close or open the garage without having to worry about batteries or complex setup.
- Automated Lighting – Phillips Hue makes a really cool system that allows the user to control the color of the lights in your home. It’s as simple as a lightbulb with a sensor system built in so that they may be easily controlled from your cell phone. Want to dim the lights for a romantic evening in? You can do that. If you want to theme the lights for the holidays, you can do that as well. The possibilities are endless and everything is automated!
- Thermostats – A Wi-Fi thermostat isn’t just for convenience, they’ll actually save you money as well. They feature super easy set up and complete control from your cell phone. You won’t have to have your doctorate degree from MIT to program it either. The best part, however, is that they are learning thermostats, which means they can detect trends in your temperature settings.
- Leak Detectors – Any homeowner knows that nothing can be as detrimental to your home as a leak can be. These little sensors are placed in areas where leaks are likely to happen; beside your water heater, near your washing machine, or under sinks. Some of them can also help to detect pipe freezing, so they would be invaluable in the winter time if you live in an area where freezing is likely.
- Smart Locks – While the coded locks used to be the bees knees, they’ve been replaced. These days, the smart lock is the best of the best. It’s a lock for your doors that can be easily installed and then setup for smart phone control. It will help to eliminate the need for handing out keys left and right and should prevent your teenagers from being locked out on a regular basis.
While automating your entire home isn’t an option for everyone, that doesn’t mean you have to be left out in the cold with nothing. There are plenty of items that are readily available and are pretty inexpensive. Pick one or two and have fun with your new gadgets!