The concept of a smart home is to add convenience and efficiency through automation. The very best smart home devices allow homeowners to control different aspects of their homes, such as lighting, heating and cooling, door locks, and more from anywhere via a smartphone.
What’s even better is that multiple smart home devices can be integrated to work together to bring automation to a whole new level. In addition, some smart home devices are energy-efficient and allow you to save money on utility bills.
Some smart devices are often used as home security systems, such as smart cameras, video doorbells, and smart locks. These devices offer an extra layer of home security for those who want the peace of mind that comes with the safety of their home and loved ones.
Most smart home devices offer increased convenience through benefits like automated functionality, mobile and voice control, and energy efficiency. The smart home products covered in this article include these benefits and more. And there are many more types of smart home products available that may benefit your lifestyle. If you’re interested in learning about various smart home products, visit FirstEnergy Home to find more information.
In this article, we will be sharing the best smart home products to start you on your journey of total home automation. These devices are great for beginners because they’re relatively easy to install, and they’re simple to manage from a phone or via voice commands.Smart Thermostats
Programmable smart thermostats are a great way to start building your smart home because they can save energy and money. The ability to control your heating and cooling from your smartphone is a great cost-saving feature.
The Google Nest Learning Thermostat was one of the first thermostats introduced in the smart home market. This smart thermostat is extremely intelligent and automatically adjusts to your heating and cooling habits after learning your routine. Moreover, it makes sure the HVAC system is not unnecessarily heating or cooling your house when there’s no one around.
The Nest Learning Thermostat automatically saves energy when you’re away and is controllable from your phone or your voice with a compatible voice assistant. In independent studies, Nest thermostats saved an average of 10% to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. That means it can pay for itself in under two years.*
*Individual savings are not guaranteed.
* FirstEnergy Home’s review of this product is solely opinion. FirstEnergy Home did not receive compensation for the review. FirstEnergy Home, and any FirstEnergy affiliates, are not affiliated with the manufacturer of the product, nor is there any endorsement or sponsorship between the product manufacturer of the product and FirstEnergy Home or any of its affiliates.Smart Security Cameras
As mentioned, smart home devices also play a significant part in a home security system. Smart cameras allow users to monitor their house from their smartphones, even when they are not home. Such smart devices are recommended for those away from home and have kids or pets to look after.
It’s easy to see why people love the Nest security system. Nest offers an indoor/outdoor smart camera that’s battery powered and weather resistant. As a result, you can watch a 24/7 live feed of your home, inside or out, in crystal-clear 1080p HD from anywhere. Moreover, Google Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor camera has excellent night vision capabilities for low light and complete darkness. Smart security cameras will alert the user if it suspects any suspicious activity around the house.
This camera is perfect for the exterior of your house to keep an eye on the yard, or the inside to check in on the dog or the kids. An available stand makes it easy to set up wherever you want. It’s wire-free installation makes is easy to set up anywhere. And since it’s battery powered, you won’t need an outlet.Smart Video Doorbells
A smart video doorbell is another one of the best smart home devices to start your smart home. Just like smart security cameras, smart video doorbells also add an extra layer to home security.
Similar to most smart home devices, smart video doorbells offer a remote access feature, allowing you to monitor what’s happening at the front door and also see who visited you when no one was home. They also capture clear and detailed footage, whether it’s during the day or at night.
There are two types of Nest video doorbells; wired and battery. That said, both smart video doorbells strike the perfect balance between price, performance, and reliability.
Unlike battery-powered units, wired smart video doorbells have to be installed in the same spot as the previous doorbell. As a result, battery-powered video doorbells are generally better if it’s a rented home or it’s not possible to remove the old doorbell.
Battery-operated smart doorbells connect wirelessly to a hub that connects them to the Wi-Fi router. You can install it on any outdoor surface and start using it immediately. In contrast, wired smart video doorbells may require professional installation.
Both kinds of doorbells offer the same benefits. In addition, there are video doorbells with a two-way communication feature that allows users to speak to their visitors at the door. Moreover, you can also do this if you are not around.
Smart video doorbells are also a great smart home device as it captures and stores all footage from the camera.Smart Lighting
Smart light bulbs are perhaps the easiest smart home devices to add to your home.
When talking about the best smart light bulbs, Philips Hue is at the top. Apart from having a wide range of bulbs and color options, Philips Hue smart bulbs are easy to install. All you need to do is swap the existing bulbs with Philips Hue smart bulbs. Phillips Hue also has a wide range of indoor and outdoor smart bulbs, LED floor and table lamps, light strips, and more for your smart lighting system.
Smart light bulbs also have customizable scheduling options. In other words, you can easily control the lights from an automated schedule or your smartphone. For instance, you can set a time when the lights come on in the morning and throughout the day. In addition, you can schedule your indoor and outdoor lights to come on when you’re not home, which adds some extra security against potential intruders.
Smart lights are almost always energy-efficient because most, if not all are LED as opposed to incandescent. However, even though smart lights are energy efficient, they have become more popular for their convenience. Smart lights can be controlled from your phone or with your voice. They can be scheduled, or automated to turn on and off automatically. And some types of smart lights offer more color options than just the standard white.Smart Plugs
Smart plugs may be the quickest way to add smart automation to your home. These affordable smart devices allow you to control conventional devices and appliances around the house from your smartphone or voice assistant. Smart plugs use your home Wi-Fi network to provide wireless control of lamps, space heaters, fans and more.
Simply plug the smart plug into an electrical outlet, connect a device to the smart plug and control your device from the app on your smartphone or by using your voice with a compatible voice assistant.
Some smart plugs, like the Wemo WiFi Smart Plug, allows you to set the device on “away mode” when you leave. The smart plug will turn plugged-in lights on and off randomly to make it appear like you’re home–even when you’re not.Smart Voice Assistants
Another great smart home device is the voice assistant. This device is one of the most popular smart home devices to date, because of its wide range of functions. You can control your smart devices, like the thermostat and lights, with your voice. For example, say, “Hey Google, turn my thermostat to 72 degrees.” Every smart device in this article can integrate with any or all voice assistants for better control.
Voice assistants can provide the latest weather, traffic, news, scores, and more. Use the device to learn translations, calculations, nutrition information and unit conversions. Set it up in the kitchen as a cooking assistant to find new recipes, act as a timer, or just to play your favorite music.
The devices listed above are the best smart home devices to begin your smart home journey. There are many other smart home devices that you can continue investing in once you become familiar with smart technology, but these are great for beginners because they’re easy to install and simple to use.
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1 Nest White Paper. Energy Savings from the Nest Learning Thermostat: Energy Bill Analysis Results. Retrieved from https://storage.googleapis.com/nest-public-downloads/press/documents/energy-savings-white-paper.pdf