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Creating a Smart Home

In world full of technology and gadgets and having every whim available at the click of a mouse or the opening of an app, it’s no surprise that the interest and demand for smart homes is increasing.

Here are just a few devices that can put you on the right track to fully automate your home from your phone!

Let’s start with keyless entry – how great would it be to go for a run with no keys, or to let a visitor in that arrived early while you’re stuck in the rush hour commute?

Starting at just under $200 for the August Smartlock, you can use Apple’s HomeKit to unlock your door. The August Smartlock replaces just the inside portion of your deadbolt so you can keep using your same key if you want. This smart lock doesn’t have a build in alarm but it has it’s own app so if you’re an Android user this is still an option. The August Smartlock has optional add ons such as a keypad for around $80 and a doorbell camera at around $200. This smart lock enables your home to be key free but to be able to monitor your door remotely you’ll need the WIFI bridge ($80).

A more pricey option would be Kwikset’s Smartcode 916 at around $220. You an still use your old housekeeps and offers additional security with the SecureScreen feature which makes you punch in two digits before entering your code which helps ensure that burglar’s can’t guess your password by looking at your fingerprint smudges. This smartlock does have the remote access option via Zwave technology (a wireless technology that lets smart devices talk to one another) and although it is not compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, the Z-Wave iOS or Android Apps, or Z-wave controller software.

So we’ve entered the house without at key – what’s next? How about the AC? Maybe you feel like it’s a little chilly when you first get home but don’t want to start playing with the thermostat upstairs. Enter the Nest Learning Thermostat priced at around $207 on Amazon. This was designed by the same people as the iPod and has built-in WIFI so you can remotely control the temperature from your phone table or PC. If that’s not really your thing how about the Ecobee3 that not only checks the temperature from one spot in the home, it checks multiple senosors in multiple rooms. It’s easy to instal and configure and has the same iOS, Android and Web browser support that the Nest Learning Thermostat has but be prepared to pay a little more at around $250.

Next comes the lights! Te Philips Hue not only lets you control th intensity of the lights, but also the color. It’s pricey at around $140 but the Hue ecosystem works with just about any system including the Amazon Echo to Siri. If you want something a little less expensive or aren’t worried about color changing lights, try the Philips Hue Lux starter kit around at $80. The Hue apps can control third-party smart bulbs as well so Philips is not your only option.

If you’re looking to upgrade your appliances, look no further than Whirlpool. They offer a range of laundry and kitchen appliances that all integrate with smart technology including the Nest mentioned earlier. With these appliances you can save on energy costs by using a range of different cycles on the washer and dryer when you’re not at home.

For complete cutting edge technology in the kitchen how about the LG Smart Refrigerator with a food management system that lets you check what’s in your fridge right from your home and even tells you the expiration date. No more forgetting grocery items when you don’t write a list!

At the end of the day when you’re ready to sleep, you’ve remotely locked your door from your bed and now want the peace of mind that comes with a security system. Lets take a look at the Vivint Sky at only $50. This includes subscription-based remote motoring that will cost between $50-$70 a month for the monitoring. This system offers a video doorbell and remote control of locks, cameras, thermostats and sensors. If you prefer the do-it-yourself option without the monthly fees, the iSmartAlarm Premium is a great option that leaves it up to you to take action when an alarm is triggered. You can control it with your smartphone and it’s easy to install but the camera only saves snapshots and the system can’t be controlled from your desktop PC.

There are many, many more options for full home automation but this should help get you started on the way to your Smarthome – all you need now is a robot to load and unload the laundry and if it could rustle up something delicious for dinner you’d be all set!

For information on how smart technology may help you to sell your home in today’s market please email us today.

**prices are correct as of September 2016**

Nicci Tomlin-Baker

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