As a new homeowner, one of the things I've been excited about is all the cool gadgets that I could install. This is my first home so a lot of the apprehension I had as a renter in adding technology to my home have gone away. I never saw the need of having smart gadgets until I bought a two story home. Man, those stairs got old real quick! When I was upstairs snuggled in bed, I would think "did I turn down the air downstairs" or when I was getting ready to leave the house, I didn't want to run all the way back upstairs to check if I did in fact unplug the flat iron. I slowly started seeing the need for more convenience in controlling certain aspects of my home more seamlessly. This post details the first 5 smart home gadgets I bought to make my home easily controllable, right from my smart phone! What's great is that most of these smart devices are available at the Home Depot, so you can pick them up in one trip. They are are currently running a Smart Home event, so it's definitely worth checking out!
1. Smart Security: SimpliSafe Home Security
OMG how I love this system! I first heard about them about a year or two ago when I kept seeing their TV commercials. When I bought my house, I did a lot of comparison shopping of different security systems and decided that SimpliSafe would give me the best bang for my buck. What I love about it is that it can be easily self-installed (literally plug and play). It is non intrusive in that it does not require someone coming and drilling holes in your walls to install wires, and you can take it with you if you choose to move.
Here's how it works:
All in all I love SimpliSafe because it provides me with the convenience in monitoring my home and it makes me feel safe. The system can be purchased at SimpliSafe.com or from retailers such as Best Buy.
2. Nest Smart Thermostat (Eco version)
This was one of the first things I purchased after buying my home security system. I have a two story home, so I have two different HVAC systems for upstairs and downstairs. I got tired of running up and down the stairs to get the air just right or to turn down the air upstairs when I was downstairs and vice versa. In addition to not wanting the monitoring of my heating/cooling system to be a chore or exercise routine, there is also the issue of wanting to use energy efficiently in my home. (And you know how I like to save money!! Cha-Ching!) The Nest website claims you can save 15% on your cooling bill, and 10-12% on your heating bill. After one month of having the Nest Thermostat E (Eco version), I was quite impressed that my power bill for my entire house was $10 more than it was for my 1 bedroom apartment with half as much square footage...now that's what I'm talking about!!
Here's how it works"
Nest can be bought at various retailers and some power companies offer discounts for customers who decide to upgrade to this energy efficient life. The Home Depot is running a smart home event right now so I would also recommend checking it out there.
3. Google Home Mini
As an Apple user, I was initially offended by Google home devices, lol. They wouldn't work with my iPhone or the entire Apple ecosystem I've build for myself (laptop, tablet, watch...). I also was apprehensive of smart home devices for concern that they would always be listening to my business at home. Let's be clear, I still have that apprehension. What made me make the jump was the fact that I got them for free with each of my Nest E thermostat purchases. (Hey, you'll get me with FREE almost every time!) So I have one upstairs and one downstairs.
The best thing about the google home is that I can control all of my smart home devices with just the sound of my voice. Makes me feel like I'm finally living like the Jetsons LOL. Although I might have become a little lazier ? Oh well, one struggle at a time ?
4. Smart Plugs
If you're like me, you're always checking that you turned things off. I will literally make myself late by going around the house to make sure I unplugged everything I used that morning. Safety first! But sometimes I'm a bit obsessive with it. Then I realized that smart plugs would help solve this problem for me. By plugging in one-use items to the smart plug (e.g. curling iron, clothes steamer or iron), I can takeaway my concerns of leaving things plugged in because I don't use them regularly, and I get to keep my home safe. These are also good for lamps that you can turn on remotely so your home is not in darkness if you get home late during the day. And the best part - these also come with a smart phone app, but are also compatible with Google Home, so can also be controlled with the sound of your voice ("Hey Google - turn off the smart plug upstairs"). Yass....
I bought this pair on Amazon for prime day (and because I now buy two of everything...one for upstairs, one for downstairs).
5. Linksys Smart Wi-fi router
Now I did not know that these existed! I went to the store one day looking to update an old, out of date router and was kindly introduced to this technology by a sales person. Who woulda thunk that you could control your wi-fi from your phone! Yasss!!
Here' s how it works:
I love how I've made my home a Smart Home with just a handful of upgrades. I plan on adding more smart devices as my budge allows. What other devices do you love that would help make running and monitoring my home more convenient and efficient? Please comment below with your device recommendation or with your experience with a device I talked about above.
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"T's Favorite Things" is all about the products and brands that I love! I'm sharing the love :)