If you ever look at how people in the past imagined life in 2023, it will seem like our era is a huge letdown. In reality, however, this is not so. If you’ve ever been to a smart home, you would see that this future that people in the 60s and 70s dreamed about is a lot closer than you think. So, in that spirit, here are the top seven smart features you could introduce to your home in a couple of weeks.
1. Smart security
How often have you returned home from miles away to check if you’ve locked the doors? With a smart lock, you can check this by opening an app on your phone. The best part is that you can find smart locks for as little as $50.
What about the overall security of your home? Motion sensors can send notifications to your phone, and you can access them from work or vacation. The same goes for a surveillance system; why not check what’s happening at home while at work? We’re talking about the burglars and “friends” visiting your partner while you’re not around.
Since the system is so sensitive, keeping your phone safe becomes a greater priority. Avoid accessing these features via public networks and find the most secure and reliable antivirus for your smartphone. Keeping your phone safe is always a priority, but it has become more important when it also holds the key to your home’s security system.
In the past, this would seem like something you would see in top-secret government facilities. Now, you can have a full smart security system set up for as little as $200-$300.
2. Smart lighting
First of all, smart lighting is more efficient. Controlling the lights via voice or phone commands completely changes the level of control you have over your room. Still, on and off are not your only two options. There are also dimming capabilities that will help set the room in the right mood. You also don’t have to go downstairs in the middle of the night to see if you’ve turned off the kitchen light.
Now, this will save you quite a bit of money, but it will also prolong the life of your fixtures. Each bulb has a limited number of working hours, and turning it off when you’re not around will prolong its life.
Don’t assume that smart lighting only applies to artificial lighting features. Automated window treatment controls the blinds on your windows, and the amount of natural sunlight your home will receive. This can help create a more inspiring environment and even save you a lot of money you would spend on utilities.
3. Smart thermostat
Heating and cooling are arguably your household’s two biggest regular expenses (provided you don’t have a mortgage). Therefore, being able to set them up to the optimal heat-to-power use ratio automatically might make a huge difference in your utility bill.
Other than this, there’s also the issue of convenience that comes from remotely controlling the heat in your home. Imagine you’re away for the holidays and about to return to your cold home (that didn’t get any heating for two weeks straight). Just imagine coming home and setting the temperature up about half an hour before you arrive home. The same applies while you’re at work, etc.
Remember that this will also increase the home’s value significantly. As we’ve mentioned, not many things are more important for a homeowner than the heating system.
4. Home energy maintenance
A household that tries to be self-sustainable has so many aspects to cover. Even with solar panels, there’s the issue of installation, regular cleaning, monitoring, inverter maintenance, and even shade management.
Then, you have the battery system to control, which is more difficult than you think. You rely on the analytics, and you want the state of charge to be optimal to increase safety and prolong the useful life of this battery. Instead of conducting regular inspections, you could connect it to a smart system and monitor any notable changes in real time.
Remember that this energy-related concept doesn’t end with the battery. What about the appliances and their energy use? Getting statistics of how close you are to getting in the red can be useful for better management and improving your grid.
5. Home theater
In an era where we produce more content than ever before, the entertainment room is a focal point in any home.
A good home theater is great, but you don’t have to confine your infotainment system to just one room. Just think about it: you can connect your Netflix (or any other app) to your smart TV. So, if you have a smart TV in your living room, bedroom, and even home gym, you can just keep watching the same movie/show/program as you go about your day.
The thing is that with wireless home audio systems, you can keep listening to the podcast you started in your home office even while you’re folding your laundry a few rooms away. This can be particularly useful during home parties since it allows you to control all of these outlets (often enjoyed by many) from anywhere in the home.
Lastly, since we’re talking about streaming from your phone, you might also want to install a VPN to help you avoid geo-restrictions. This means that you can even host a watch party for a show that none of your friends can access on their streaming accounts.
6. Irrigation system (for your garden)
Let’s say you want to run a sustainable household and have a lush garden. It would seem that you’re at an impasse since water management and water use may ruin your household’s eco-friendliness. Even if you have a vegetable garden, this might not be enough.
With a smart irrigation system, you finally have a way to make things right. This way, the water use will be optimal, and you have the privilege of ensuring that the system adjusts to the external conditions (temperature, air humidity, etc.)
Now, if you’re not too obsessed with eco-friendliness and just want to have a beautiful garden, there are quite a few benefits of using the smart irrigation system. This way, you can create a program that ensures each plant receives every last drop of water it needs to grow. This way, the results will be most impressive—even if you’re not so green-thumbed.
7. Smart kitchen appliances
The worst part of preparing food is the fact that some steps take hours of you doing nothing. Still, you have to be around for the process. However, what if you could receive notifications when it’s time to turn your chicken wings on a rack in the oven? What if, at the ideal time, your stove would reduce heat because it’s programmed to do so?
Imagine another scenario. You’re lying in your bed after just waking up for work. Meanwhile, your smart kettle has started brewing coffee two minutes earlier. When you get to the kitchen, it will already be done, hot, and perfect.
The best part is that you can get them one by one instead of overinvesting in major renovations.
Using smart devices to increase your standard of living is always a smart idea
As you can see, most of these smart devices save you money in the long run and make your life more convenient. They also raise your home’s safety and security, which means it’s hard to argue that introducing them would be a bad idea. Lastly, since these appliances and systems are becoming much cheaper, there are no more viable excuses.