If you’ve ever gotten out of bed or turned the car around two blocks from home because you can’t remember if you locked the front door, the information in this article may change your life. Depending on your age and economic status, you may have thought that home automation was only for those with lots of spare cash, or that it was nothing more than a new-fangled gadget you don’t need and don’t have time to figure out, but in reality, neither of these are necessarily true.
Home automation doesn’t have to involve an expensive base, such as Alexa, unless you choose to go that route and most of these products not only do the work for you, but they are incredibly easy to set up.
We are going to discuss some of the top home automation devices that will take some of the drudgery out of everyday tasks while providing you with some peace of mind as well.
Top Automation Device #1- Learning Thermostats
If you live in a two-story home, or if your home or apartment is older, it seems as though you must get up every 30 minutes or so to adjust the thermostat. How many of you have ever set your alarm 15 minutes early so you can turn up the thermostat on the heater, jump back into bed, and wait for the room to warm up? You can kiss those problems goodbye with automated or learning thermostats.
The most well-known name is Nest, but there are other brands. Beyond the programmable thermostats, learning thermostats notice what temperatures you prefer at what time of day. While the cost might seem a tad high on some models, you will save money month after month, not to mention steps, by not paying for heat or A/C that you really don’t need.
Top Automation Device #2- Robotic Floor Cleaning
Let’s face it; everyone wants a clean floor but vacuuming or sweeping and mopping is time-consuming! This is why many people only do this chore weekly. What if we told you that you could have (almost) spotlessly clean floors every day and only have to vacuum or mop perhaps once a month?
You can choose a vacuum only robotic cleaner, or a combination mopping/vacuuming robotic cleaner. Again, Roomba is the big name everyone knows, but there are a great many brands to choose from that cost far less. These are, in our opinion, the biggest and best automation devices to date. While it won’t deep clean your carpets, they do keep dust (no more dust bunnies under the bed or sofa!), bits of dirt, leaves, grass, pet food, and more off the floor. You can program them to clean when you aren’t home, or just hit the start button, they are that simple. The only real problem is that these devices are round, and your floor is square, so you might need to pick up items that gather in a corner, but these devices are life-changing.
Top Automation Device #3- Video Doorbells
For those of you who have been in the upstairs bathroom, coloring your hair, mask on your face, wearing a robe and nothing else when the doorbell rings, video doorbells are a real boon.
Ring is the best -known brand, but there are plenty of other options. These devices allow you to see who is at the door and even speak with them, so you don’t have to rush downstairs or get out of your chair only to find out it’s someone selling magazines you don’t want. Even more than the convenience video doorbells offer, these are safety devices that record activity at your door or wherever you decide to place one of these cameras. It’s difficult to put a price on your family’s safety.
Top Automation Device #4- Smart Lighting
These are the simplest home automation devices to set up and use. You replace a standard light bulb with a smart light bulb and via an app on your cell phone, access any light bulb in the house. Forget to turn off the lights downstairs when you went to bed? Turn them off from your phone! With smart lighting, you never had to come home to a dark house ever again! You can program the lights to turn on or off at certain times, and these lights do reduce your energy use.
Top Automation Device #5- Smart Plugs
Smart plugs, or smart outlets, allow you to control anything that you plug into them. Controlled by a cell phone app, you can remotely use anything that would plug into a wall socket. These devices also allow you to program items to turn on or off at set times. This means you can have your coffee maker turn on and have coffee ready before you wake up, you can have your crock-pot turn on or off, the possibilities are endless.
Why use a smart plug instead of the old- fashioned timers? Those plug-in timers use electricity and if the power should fail, they lose time and your schedule goes out the window. Smart plugs allow you to save electricity by turning the item off, so it only uses electricity when it is turned on.
There are more devices that you can control via Alexa or Google Voice, but if you aren’t a fan of these voice-assisted products, you can still enjoy the convenience of home automation.