The smart home is just the latest in the futurification (totally a word) of our society and that means that it’s come time to embrace smart home devices.
But, the future can be overwhelming and outfitting your new smart home so that it’s not the dumbest kid on the block can be stressful. And that’s why I’m here to help you out. I did some digging for the best smart home devices and now I bring you these 15 of the best smart home devices that will make your home not just a smart home, but the smartest home.
Let’s start with something basic. The Amazon Echo is a key first step towards making your home a genius. Thanks to the integrated Alexa, not only is it a cool toy all on its own that basically serves as your very own personal assistant/robot companion, it also is the nerve center of your new smart home, capable of controlling all your cool new devices.
Maybe you don’t want or need the full smart home experience and just want it for a specific device in a single room. Why pay extra for the full Echo when you can just get the smaller Echo Dot, which is built specifically for a small, single room experience? Or buy a few of them, which is still a cheaper option than its big brother.
Of course, if you’re not in the same room as your Echo or Echo Dot and your beloved Alexa, you still need a way to talk to her. Enter the Alexa voice remote, which allows you to communicate with your Echo devices, so that you can control your smart devices from anywhere in your home.
This little device is a killer because it instantly turns whatever’s plugged into it into a smart device. All you do is plug it in, sync it with Alexa, and then you can tell Alexa to turn them on and off without having to get up from the couch. Pretty sweet, right? Right.
This killer little kit allows you to control your home’s lighting just by using an app on your phone. It comes with a smart bridge, which serves as the hub through which everything works, 2 in-wall smart dimmers, and two little remotes in case you’d rather use those than your phone. And, of course, it also works with Alexa.
With so many devices running our lives now, it’s become vital that we keep them all juiced up, and let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to find space for them all. This charging station takes care of all that by giving you a 6-port hub that will let you charge all your devices at once, and does it in a way that automatically detects each device’s specific needs, meaning that you save power, and that your devices don’t get overcharged. Save your outlets for your new smart devices, and use this to charge your phones, tablets and everything else that you use to control your smart home.
Okay, now that we’ve taken care of your home’s new smart infrastructure, we can start to trick it out. Start with this smart thermostat, which allows you to control the temperature of your home through your phone from anywhere. It also allows you to check your energy history, so you can see how much energy you’ve been using and why, which will allow you to make your home even more energy efficient.
This smart garage door opener lets you take control of your garage from literally anywhere in the world. Forgot to close the garage door this morning? Use this to close it from work. It also automatically detects your phone so that when you drive up, it opens right up for you without you having to lift a finger.
Thanks to this, you can now control your underground sprinkling through your phone or by telling Alexa to take care of it. It also utilizes WeatherSense technology, which automatically detects various conditions (your yard’s slope, soil type, the weather forecast, etc.) and then automatically adjusts the amount of water it uses. Now that’s smart.
A bit more expensive than the Orbit, but it’s also a bit smarter. Use Alexa or your phone to create a detailed day to day watering plan based on “hyper-local weather intelligence” from a variety of sources. Plus, the touch screen display is miles and miles ahead of just about any other system.
That’s right, a smart ceiling fan. Now, this may seem ostentatious and the height of laziness, but consider this: for homes with high ceilings, this is an absolute godsend. Just tell Alexa to turn the fan on or off, or slow it down or speed it up. Never have to worry about pulling a chain again.
This kick-ass air cleaning system allows you to control your home’s air quality from anywhere in the world. An air quality monitor allows you to keep an eye on what you’re breathing, the HEPA filter cleans that air of allergens and dust, a UV light kills bacteria, viruses and mold, and the odor reducer, uh, reduces odors. Use your phone or tell Alexa to take care of it and literally breathe easier.
Keep your home safe while also making it more convenient to get in and out with this deadbolt alarm setup, which uses a touchscreen keypad that stores up to 30 personalized entry codes. But that’s not all! It also works with Alexa so you can open and lock your doors simply by saying you want it done. You do need a separate hub to run it all through to make it truly smart, and a popular choice is the Samsung Smart Things Hub.
Forget those clunky window units. This portable air conditioner can be placed in any room, and the best part? You can control it from anywhere with your phone. Turn it off when you leave the house, and then get it running again a few minutes before you get home. This is the perfect way to stay cool and do it as efficiently as possible.
Okay, look, this is not strictly a smart device in that you can control it via an app or Alexa, but I’m going to allow it because (A) being able to just walk into a bathroom late at night and have a light turn on by the toilet is the future’s greatest gift, and (B) there’s nothing smarter than not pissing all over your bathroom because you can’t see. This may not be the highest tech or the most expensive thing we talk about here today, but I promise you, no purchase could be smarter.