8 Ideas to Make Your Home Smarter in 2021
No doubt, we are in a smart home revolution. In fact, 69% of US households use at least one smart home device. In 2021, the movement toward smarter homes will certainly continue with increasingly more options to integrate into automated systems that allow entertainment, security, food and comfort to be improved through technology. So if you're looking to advance your home IQ, here are 8 ideas to consider:
1. Home Security System
For many our homes are where we protect ourselves and our loved ones. But home security systems have long been considered too expensive for homeowners or too invasive to install for those renting. But the new smart home security options are much cheaper than those of the past and are easily installed.
These systems come with some or all of the following devices:
an alarm panel, motion detectors, window/glass break sensors, door sensors, smoke detectors, cameras, and keyless entry devices. Many of these setups use your Wi-Fi to connect with your phone while also networking with local authorities and/or a security company to monitor for and provide protection against intruders, fire/water damage and medical emergencies.
2. Smart Lock
You know that sickening feeling that you get when you forgot to lock the door. It’s nerve-wracking and causes you to worry all day or to head home to check. Well, smart locks are a simple fix for this problem. Accessible from a phone or a home hub via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, you can lock and unlock your door or just check its status from anywhere. Many feature a keyless option like a keypad in which you can change the code as necessary to allow or deny access to your home.
3. Smart Heating and Cooling
A smart thermostat is usually the focal point of an automated temperature control system. These devices can set temperatures, fix different climates for different parts of the house, and turn on and off heating or cooling. They also ensure your system works in the most efficient way possible to save energy and money.
If you just want to control your air conditioning, a smart AC controller can work through your phone so when you get home your place is already cooled off. Other smart appliances include humidifiers and dehumidifiers that automatically control your home’s humidity levels. Smart fans and window coverings can be controlled via a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connected controller to keep your indoors as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.
4. Smart Package Delivery Box
As home delivery is skyrocketing, another merging trend is to protect parcels, groceries and other deliverables with a secure delivery box, such as DeliverySafe. These lock boxes prevent theft by securing packages that are often just left unattended at your front door.
DeliverySafe has a lock that’s opened and closed with a code through a digital keypad. You provide the code in the instructions at the carrier's website for package drivers to open it, place in packages, and lock it back up. This means you don’t have to hurry home or stay at home to receive important packages or perishables that may spoil if let out in the elements. Ultimately, you can make shipping and receiving packages much more streamlined, risk-free and convenient.
5. Smart Kitchen
It used to be that eating smart was more about the food you were eating than the appliances you were using. Times have changed. Now you can get a connected countertop oven that will do the cooking for you just by choosing the built-in presets or telling them what to do via your phone or home AI device. Some of these machines come complete with a microwave, air fryer, and food warmer.
Barbecuing, smoking or grilling more your thing? Get a Wi-Fi-enabled grill. Maybe you’re fancier and like to sous vide. A Wi-Fi enabled precision cooker fits the bill. If you don’t want to re-buy everything in your kitchen, a smart plug can integrate with your home system or phone to turn on a coffee pot or slow cooker so your drinks and food are ready when you want them to be.
6. Smart Lighting
The days of sticking a light in the socket and forgetting about it till it burns out are over. New smart bulbs connect to your Wi-Fi so that they can be controlled by your voice or phone, set on schedules, tell you how much power they are using, and connect to other smart devices in your home. They do all this while also giving you the option to turn them a million different colors, too!
Light strips are also becoming more popular to create ambient light or add lighting to spots that can’t fit a conventional-sized bulb. It’s not just the lights but also the switches that are changing--the smart versions of old-school light switches allow you to program lights and access lights remotely to turn them on and off.
7. Smart Finder
Your home might be smart, but you aren’t always thinking when it comes to putting your stuff someplace you can find it. Luckily, there’s something very small out there to help you with this big problem. Usually called stickers, FOBs or Tags, these little trackers attach to your keys, phone, wallet, purse or other items you commonly misplace so you can pinpoint their location in your house. Because they are Bluetooth enabled, once you push the main button in your house, the tracker will emit a loud beeping sound until you are able to find your item.
8. Smart Exterior
Just as you can make your home smarter inside, there are several options to heighten your home intelligence outside, as well. A well-lit house is usually a safe one and there are countless options for smart outdoor lighting available that mix security or decoration thanks to features like motion-activation, security system integration, color-changing options and/or remote access from your phone. Exterior cameras are another great security device that can be controlled remotely and synced to a security system or phone.
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