Get a smart home on a budget with affordable smart home devices
Richard Howard • September 30, 2020if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
Smart homes are, in a word, awesome. Basically, they allow us to live out the futuristic life we saw on TV as kids: “Hey house, turn on the lights and call Grandma.” Many of us haven’t really looked into turning our house into a smart home because we don’t think we can afford the extra cost. Well, it turns out that these days you can get some smart home capabilities for a lot less than you might think. Here’s a life hack on how to get your smart home going for less with affordable smart home devices. We won’t play favorites, but with a quick search, you’ll be able to find which model is right for you. If you’re stuck, there are a few “best of” lists to get you started.
This will be the foundation of your affordable smart home. Standards like the Amazon Echo and Google Home can be had for under $100, while their smaller siblings (Echo Dot, Nest Mini) are available for around $30 or so. These won’t have the expansive compatibility of smart hubs or smart displays, which are also needed if you want all your smart devices to talk to each other. On a budget though, they’re a great starting point.
These are a budget smart home builder’s best friend. While often overlooked by those looking for the latest and greatest (and most expensive) smart home gadgets, these are a great way to incorporate regular appliances into your smart ecosystem. It’s important to realise that these will only work for electrical devices that you can safely leave on. Through their own smartphone app or using your smart speaker, your lamps, coffee makers, fans and the like can be turned on and off. These cost as little as $10 each, and you can often get multi-packs on sale.
On a budget, you won’t be able to splurge on a smart fridge or house-wide sound system but to get that I’m-in-the-future feeling, you’ve got to invest in some smart lighting. This can be done using a few different types of smart home devices. The smart bulb is the preferred way to go. Depending on your budget, you can get ones that change color, brightness and temperature; ones that can only be dimmed, and the simplest that just respond to “on” and “off” commands. If you want to save in the long term, you can also purchase smart bulb socket converters. These will allow you to turn regular, inexpensive light bulbs into smart lighting. They’ll only turn on and off but save you a ton in the long run.
This is a bit more costly, but if you live in a locale that gets pretty hot or cold, it’s worth the investment as part of your smart home. Beyond the convenience of voice or smartphone control while at home, you can adjust the temperature from anywhere and set schedules. Most importantly, you can maximize the efficiency of your homes cooling or heating, saving you thousands in the long run.
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