Note: The following opinions are those of FirstEnergy Home™. We research and offer consumers what we feel are “best-in-class” products that help to make your home become more productive and comfortable. Ultimately, it is up to each individual consumer to determine what product, if any, is best for them.
Did you know that the smart home device market is set to grow to $174 billion by 2025? Not only could connected devices provide essential services to help your family members work, rest and learn, but adding these devices to your home can help make life simpler for you. From turning up the heat when you are chilled, to dimming the lights in the evening, you can rely on smart devices to perform tasks for you, and often you don’t have to lift a finger. For example, many of the best smart devices feature voice control – all you need is a voice assistant, such as Amazon Alexa®, Apple’s Siri® or Google Assistant™*.
With so many smart devices on the market, one of the biggest questions you may ask is, “How do I know what to buy?” That’s where FirstEnergy Home can help. Whether you’re already well versed in the language of smart technology, or you’re considering your first smart device purchase, we’ve rounded up our favorite smart devices to help make your choices just a bit easier.Best Smart Lighting: Philips®Hue
If you’re ready to embark on your smart home journey, then smart lighting is a great place to start. Philips® Hue smart bulbs are simple to install and can help you save on energy costs, right out of the box. These best-in-class smart bulbs are offered for both indoor and outdoor use and in a variety of colors.
- Pro tip: We recommend checking out the Philips® Hue Bridge, the “brains” of the Philips Hue lighting system. Some of its benefits are:
- > You can connect and control up to 50 lights and accessories at once.
- > When you download the Philips Hue app, you can easily connect your smart lights and set a schedule for when your lights turn on and off throughout the day.
- > It uses a reliable low-power technology to control your smart lights and conserve energy.
- > You can pair your lights with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Google Nest has been named one of the best smart thermostat manufacturers , and we believe it’s one of the best smart thermostats you could purchase right now.
Not only is the Google Nest Thermostat designed for you to install in 30 minutes or less, but you can control it from anywhere – whether you’re out running errands or on vacation. It works seamlessly with Google Assistant, so you can change the temperature with your voice, and if something doesn’t seem right with your heating system, it alerts you.
- Pro tip: Consider utilizing Savings Finder. It looks for ways for you to save energy and suggests tweaks to your heating and cooling schedule.
One of our favorite smart home gadgets you could incorporate into your home is the Google Nest Mini Smart Speaker. This smart speaker is small but mighty – making music sound bigger and richer with more power and bass. You can ask Google to play songs from Spotify, YouTube™ and more, plus you can chat with Google to hear the weather, news or even set timers and alarms for your personalized schedule.
- Pro tip: Google Nest Mini Smart Speakers come in colors that complement most rooms in your home. We recommend placing it on a nightstand, shelf, countertop or even on the wall.
While we’re a fan of the Google Nest Mini Smart Speaker, our honorable mention goes to Amazon Echo Studio™. It can connect to thousands of smart home products, making it an ideal gadget for your smart home.Best Video Doorbell: Google Nest Doorbell
Similar to the wired version of this smart device, the Google Nest Doorbell – Battery allows you to see what’s happening at your door and answer it from anywhere. Installation is simple too. This video doorbell has special delivery alerts, so you’ll know exactly when packages arrive. And if you miss a notification, there’s no need to worry – you can go back in time and see what happened within three hours of video history.
- Pro tip: Don’t let Wi-Fi worries deter you from purchasing this smart home product. If your Wi-Fi goes down or there’s a power outage, the Google Nest Doorbell – Battery records events up to one hour in its local memory.
Rounding out our favorite smart devices in the Google Nest family is the Google Nest Cam Indoor & Outdoor – Battery. Like the Google Nest Doorbell – Battery, this security camera allows you to know what’s happening 24/7. It’s wire-free, so installation is highly DIY-able. And the unit is weather-resistant, so you can put it anywhere – rain or shine. Google Nest Cam’s 130-degree view shows you live video in 1080p HD, so you can see clearly during the day or night – a feature we love.
- Pro tip: The Google Nest Cam also has a Home and Away Routines feature, which automatically turns your camera off when you’re home so no video is recorded until you leave.
There’s no need to fumble for your keys when you incorporate the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock™ into your daily life. We chose this lock because not only does it work with all three voice assistants (Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant), but its built-in Wi-Fi requires no additional bridge connection, so you get full voice and remote access functionality without any fuss as well.
- Pro tip: Pair this smart home device with the August app, so you can securely control and manage your home.
Turning your home into a smart home may be easier and less expensive than you think. Check back with us often as we continue to add new products and valuable information to help you along your smart home journey.