Smart home technology is nothing new, but it can do more – for less – than ever before. Once an expensive niche product that often required a household-wide installation, many smart home products today are affordable, modular, wireless, inter-compatible and upgradeable.

If you’d prefer to avoid the hefty investment of a whole-home system from brands such as Control4, a wealth of products are available from vendors like Amazon and Home Depot to provide just the features you need. Below are a few cost-effective products to raise your home’s IQ. When shopping, ensure the products you select are compatible with your desired control devices, such as Apple or Android phone and tablets, computers or voice-control products like Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

Kitchen

Bluetooth thermometer

Perfect for grilling, barbecuing and slow-cooking enthusiasts, Bluetooth thermometers monitor the temperature of your food and notify you via your paired smartphone or tablet once the desired temperature is reached.

Smart crockpot

Did you remember to turn your crockpot on? Or off? Wonder no more! With a Wi-Fi enabled crockpot, you can control your cooker from anywhere with your smart device, starting, stopping and adjusting the cooking at a whim.

Smart kettle

It does indeed feel like a watched pot never boils, but with a Wi-Fi enabled kettle controlled from your smartphone or tablet, you can have water at a rolling boil ready whenever you need it.

Bathroom

Bluetooth shower speaker

Give yourself some musical accompaniment to your shower singing with a waterproof speaker that syncs to your smart device. Built-in buttons on the speaker allow you to control the tunes from your sudsy sanctuary.

Smart toilet seat

Your toilet seat can be much more than just something to sit on when nature calls. A wealth of smart models are available with features such as heat, illumination, washing, warm air drying and deodorizing functions.

Any room

Smart plugs

You don’t always need a smart device to get smart functions from it. A leap forward from the days of the infomercial-famous “Clapper”, smart plugs allow you to control the power to devices in your home from anywhere.

Wi-Fi lighting

Make the switch from traditional light switches. Wi-Fi enabled switches and lightbulbs offer features such as timed, remote-control, motion-sensing and schedule-learning lighting.

Smart home packages

You can often save money, simplify setup and ensure compatibility by purchasing smart home packages. Just ensure the package you select supports any additions you may want in the future.

Home automation is about making life easier. Creating a smart home doesn’t have to happen in a day. Consider focusing on a few rooms or tasks where you could use a helping hand, and research and upgrade them before finding the next area for improvement.

  • By: Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.
  • In: Housing, Tips
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