With just about every tech company out to impress with smart home features, the less tech oriented among us can easily feel intimidated. After all, when even operating a smartphone presents challenges, the smart home can sound like something of a nightmare. Nevertheless, there are some simple and budget-friendly smart home options that even the most tech-challenged among us can easily use and enjoy. Here’s a top 5 to give you some inspiration.
So, you already have a garage door opener. But does it switch on the lights for you when you arrive home with armfulls of groceries at night? Can you dispense with the transponder and just activate it from your phone? Is it whisper-smooth and quiet when it opens that door? The best garage door opener for you could just be a “smart” one. It’s a simple example, but it shows just how un-intimidating smart home tech really can be.
Ding-dong! Who is on your doorstep? There’s no need to peer through windows or squint through spy holes when you have a smart doorbell. Besides showing you who is there, the video feature records what’s going on for future reference. Not at home? You can be alerted and even talk to whoever is at your door. Yes, you will need an app to keep tabs on it – just as you used one for your smart garage door – so when shopping for smart home features, ask for ones that can work together easily without you having to download a multitude of apps.
Running heating and air conditioning for perfect comfort when you aren’t even home is a terrible waste of energy. All the same, it’s nice to return to a comfortable ambient temperature, which is why smart thermostats are so popular. Decide what temperature you want your home to be before you leave work, set it using your phone, and enjoy that bit of extra home comfort by the time you arrive.
All your home appliances work from plugs, so the theory behind the smart plug is really straightforward. You control the plug remotely, and anything that’s plugged into it becomes a kind of smart device. Think of things like switching the kettle on without getting out of bed or switching on lamps when you’re arriving home after sundown. You can even set your plugs to “away” mode, allowing them to switch lights and TVs on and off to make it look like there’s someone home.
You love to garden, but getting moisture-levels just right can be a ticklish business, especially if you don’t have time to check. Automated irrigation systems are usually just set to timers, so you’ll end up with sprinklers on in the middle of a rainstorm if you aren’t careful. With so much “smart” stuff going on indoors, it’s no surprise that somebody spotted this problem and came up with a smart device that can even check weather forecasts and adjust itself accordingly.
Smart home features are definitely luxuries. But those who have them certainly enjoy extra convenience. Simple items like smart garage door openers or smart plugs are a great starting point for those of us who are just testing the waters. But be warned, tech can be addictive! Before long, you might just be the proud owner of a smart fridge, a smart washing machine, smart lighting, a smart TV, a smart security system and maybe even a smart pet feeder! That’s because it’s all a whole lot simpler than it looks. The message? Don’t worry too much about your smart home outsmarting you!