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A Guide to the Best Smart Home Devices

Categories: Smart Home | Posted: December 10, 2019

Buying a home in 2019 means seeking options for a smart home. The gadgets that comprise the smart home of today make it easy for you to do things such as turn your lights on from your smartphone, stream music to a speaker, lock your doors remotely, keep a clean house, and more. Perhaps the most promising smart home devices enable you to unlock more than just convenience – they can also help you save money on the cost of heating and energy, they can alert you if someone’s trying to break in, or notify you in the event of some other emergency.

We’ll go through a variety of smart home devices that can enrich and augment your home – from voice assistants to various security systems, from water monitors to smart light configurations. The options are endless – here’s a guide to get you started.

1.) Voice Assistants
“Siri, when is my first meeting today?” While the digital assistants in our smartphones have helped us to establish a baseline familiarity with voice-enabled support, the idea of embedding a voice assistant in the house is still a novelty for many people. When it comes to voice assistants, it’s all about convenience. Asking about the weather, cueing up music without having to unlock your phone or computer, get instant help with a recipe – these are just some of the quick fixes voice assistants can offer. Google Home and Amazon Echo are the dominant rivals in the market – and while both do a fine job at answering questions, they offer different benefits that will appeal more to Prime aficionados or Google-everything users. Amazon Echo makes it easy to quickly purchase items with a simple voice command – like magic, your Prime credentials will ensure that an extra bag of dog food or liter or Windex appears at your door in almost no time. On the other hand, Google Home’s synchronization to the rest of your life – i.e. places on the map you want to search for, calendar appointments, to-do items in your “Keep” list, etc. Plus, if Chromecast is in your entertainment center, Google Home can act as a controller for video streaming throughout your home.

2.) Smart Lighting
Do multifaceted LED light bulbs have you fantasizing about controlling the vibe in different rooms of your dream home? Take your pick of explosively colored, vibrant options – knowing that once you go Smart Bulb, you are in – LEDs are addictive, multi-functional and come with a higher price tag than traditional lighting. If your entertainment and decorative urges call for LED smart lights, there are all kinds of options available.

3.) Smart Security
The idea of punching a code into a keypad when you come and go from your home is nothing new – with this reflex, imagine the added value of high-quality audio, video and in-the-dark security footage. Legacy systems required maintenance, long contracts, professional installation and the headache of accidental alarm triggers. These days, wifi-enabled gadgets make home security simple, affordable and foolproof.

Tools like NetGear’s Arlo Q offers this range of functionality, plus the option to customize how much or how little recording takes place depending on when you’re at home. An integrated system that works both inside and outdoors, such as Nest’s wifi-enabled multi-camera security system, is a strong option for homeowners with a large footprint and a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces to monitor.

Looking to make life easier and go keyless? Check out the world of smart locks, where home access is a code away, and the experience is fast and stress-free. Plus, a household with guests or family members coming and going need not worry about getting locked out when the push of a few buttons lets you in the door.

To connect the dots between cameras, keypads and extended monitoring systems, a broadly compatible product like Ring Alarm is a helpful way to ensure that home monitoring is consistent.

4.) Connected Outdoor Devices
No one balks at the idea of a little music in the garden – add a little extra to your cocktail hours, outdoor chores and playtime with wifi-enabled speakers. There are dozens on the market – from waterproof mini-loudspeakers to high fidelity audio towers, it has never been easier to take your playlists with you as you enjoy the great outdoors. Don’t forget to consider whether a smart speaker is able to play music from the streaming services you prefer, and to check in on multiroom capabilities. A speaker system is multiroom when it allows multiple users to listen to different content throughout the house, with no interference. Everybody wins. And, while Bluetooth speakers are pervasive, wifi-enabled audio devices have many benefits. Better sound quality, a stronger, broader coverage range, and multi-room streaming are just a few perks of wifi-enabled speakers.

We’ve covered the exciting options available when it comes to smart indoor lighting. Additionally, a little ambiance in the yard goes a long way. Outdoor lighting adds a feeling of luxury and safety to pathways, trees, and garden beds – and is also a sure way to prevent tripping in the dark. Smart outdoor lighting amps up the experience by adding a bit of simple automation to the mix. Set your lights to a timer, and take “turning on the patio lights” off your mental to-do list, forever. Or adjust lighting by remote control, a smartphone app, a sensor, or even a voice command, for systems that play nice with Amazon Echo.

Lastly, emergency preparedness is ultra-helpful in the age of the connected home. Whether you’re upstairs at home, at work or traveling, the first step to ensuring that water damage is low-impact is early intervention.  Take advantage of a leak sensor to get instant notifications of any excess moisture in your home.

Are you eager to start building out a connected home system of your own in a brand new home? H&H Homes offers an extensive variety of floorplans that are waiting to be outfitted in the best tech of 2020, in locations throughout the beautiful Carolinas. Our versatile environments suit families and homebuyers at all stages of life. You can learn more about our full suite of options here, or search by city on our homepage. The team at H&H is passionate about building homes that will comfortably ease you into an economical and eco-friendly future. Check out our extensive homebuyer resources to learn more about our commitment to the best possible home buying experience. Get in touch today.