Imagine if you could program your devices to turn on and off only with your voice and without any use of physical movement. Now guess what? You could, and not only that, but you could also automate them to become accustomed to your lifestyle. You can even wake up energized by the day through coordinating your lights to brighten minutes before your alarm ended.
After years of dreaming a fully technologized house, we are now stepping on that era, as home automation had arrived. There is a variety of gadgets that can operate everything – from room temperatures and lights to window shades and door locks –only with the push of a button, tap on a screen, or a voice command.
However, with numerous smart home brands available in the market, it would be hard and overwhelming for you to pick the best smart home device. How do you know if you’re buying the perfect intelligent home device that fits your needs?
And because of that, we have made it easy for you. So that building a smart home is just as easy as adding up altogether the lists of products below to your Wishlist and connecting them to your Wi-Fi. We look over a hundred products from the top brands in the market, and we have narrowed it down to our top three picks for every category. Follow on to find out all that you need to know to set-up your home with the best smart home devices around.
How Smart Devices Help You Sleep Better
As your smart devices begin to become accustomed to your behaviors, life at home would feel more convenient and comfortable. Imagine walking straight to the door, and it automatically unlocks as soon as it recognizes your voice as you approach; the soon you enter the house the light turns on as you walk by and adjust its brightness while the smart thermostat regulates the temperature. It would be a hassle-free living in the comfort of your home saving you minutes especially if you’re in a hurry.
But the question is, how exactly, would these smart devices help you sleep better? We have reviewed a lot of reasons, and we came up with these five intelligent devices benefits below.
Boosts your Sleep-Wake Routine
As diurnal creatures, our body clocks follow the sun’s rotation. We are usually awake during the day and conversely, asleep at night time. It is why the pattern of our sleep is also known as the “circadian” method, which came from the Latin word “around the day.” It may sound simpler however the whole biological function hosts are cooperating to make it possible to operate even without manual handlings, and following the schedule.
A thermostat can accelerate and organize sudden naturally occurring shift in the temperature. You can try programming your wake and sleep schedules, and the smart temperature can also help your body cool down, as it can adjust the heat on your home to a low point during the evening. While in the morning, it can temperate your room, as it prepares yourself to wake up until your alarm goes off entirely.
Additionally, light plays a vital role in our rest routines, and now that smart lights have arrived we have the perfect devices for our ideal rest. Our brain can generally recognize patterns of rest behavior through lights when the lights turned off our brain will that we shall be wide awake.
When your room is dark, our brain starts to suppose that it’s the time for bed rest. As the rays of sunlight slowly decrease as evening approaches, our mind starts its job to produce melatonin, the specific hormone in charge of our sleep.
Waking up every day with a boosted energy
Most of us awake in a dim room through a ring from an ear-splitting alarm. There’s no doubt we usually hit what’s commonly used button on that instances every day, the snooze button.
However, if the thermostat in your home had already temperate your bedroom before your alarm sets off, and as your smart lights slowly light ups the room, your body would be physically prepared to wake up because it had adjusted beforehand. And because of that, you will be awake with a boosted energy which allows you to be productive throughout the day.
Sleep easier without worries
Most of us are fully awake at night because of anxiety, even if it’s on an occasional basis and not experience daily, nor was it a chronic insomnia case.
Smart devices can help your anxious selves and primarily soothe you to sleep. You can ask your home hub to switch on your sleep playlist, play a coaching session, and it can even stroll you through deep breathing and rigorous exercises. And through it, you’ll feel relaxed and comfortable in no time.
You don’t have to worry either if you are currently on vacation, but you can’t fully enjoy your stay because your afraid someone might suddenly break in your house now that no one is there. You can check the live feed of your smart camera, and testing it is just as easy as how an app on your phone launches when you tap it, a couple of seconds or a minute perhaps, just as easy and fast as that.
Every time you plan to leave and have a vacation out of town, you can set up your smart lights to switch on and of alternately on different spots in your house compared to leaving all your lights switched on with the duration of your trip. It would be more convincing for anyone to believe that there is someone there. Plus, it would be an excellent save on your energy costs.
Monitor Your Family Members who have Special Sleeping Necessities
Sleeping is way more challenging to most of us, especially those who suffer from a chronic health condition, but it can be hard with those caregivers too. Parents and caregivers may be fearful of going to sleep at night in fright that their loved ones might hurt themselves or worst being attacked by their specific illness.
If you have a child who’s prone to sleep-related disorder or sleepwalking, a smart lock installed in your door can help guarantee you that they will be safe inside their rooms at night; additionally, an intelligent camera can give you alerts if any abnormal movement had is recognized.
Recover more sleep
It consumes a lot of time to organize your home, for example, in cleaning a big house you may take 2-3 hours to clean the entire house from the rooms to the living room and the kitchen. You can now reduce your hassle and by causing your devices to do tasks within a trigger action and a scheduled routine. Because through the best smart home devices, you can experience a sudden play of your favorite sleep playlist or some white-noise songs, dim the lightings inside your house, adjust the temperature on just the needed, and confirm if your front door is locked. The smart cameras only switched through an app available on both iOS and Android.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Automated homes contain appliances and more electronics that utilize a remote control to monitor it. Due to the growing popularity of automated dwellings, most of the companies along the time had been able to enhance the technology to be sufficient and necessary enough to offer an affordably priced electronic home products to the market in pursuit of the consumers’ satisfaction.
All home automation devices and systems had proven themselves in the long run for being energy efficient tools. Smart thermostats let you program the temperatures in your home beforehand following the time, and instance. And some other smart thermostats even adjust to your behavior, which adapts and learns your preferences in temperature without you inputting a pre-selected timetable. Behavior-based or traditional automation can be similarly applied to almost any gadget that can be controlled through a remote.
In the present fast-paced society, the things that make you least worried is better. Do you agree? Its comfort is another crucial selling asset of smart home automation. Which readily eradicates little hassles like switching the lights on and off before you go to sleep or adjusting the thermostat by the time you woke up.
Numerous automate systems come with remotely controlled dashboard capacities, for example, you forgot to turn out the coffee pot before you leave, smart devices in instances like this would not require you go back to turn it off. Directly go to a dashboard on your computer or any smart gadgets connecting to your automated house and voila! You can turn off the pot for a few seconds.
Remote monitoring would be an immense help in putting your minds at ease while you’re not home and away for some out of town trip. Through remote dashboards lamps and lights in your house can be switched on and off, as well as the automated blinds on your windows could be raised high and low, so it may seem that there are people inside. And this aptitude can be hugely beneficial if merged with smart automated home devices. And it can be the answer to lessen the risks of invasion because if something uncharacteristic happens outside your front gate or at your house, you would be notified.
Adds convenience in your everyday life
At the time you start automating all your home devices to turn your home to a smart one, your everyday life becomes a lot easier and much more comfortable. You will have all your tools and machines programmed to your specified needs it can even adjust to your behavior and routines such as your sleeping patterns, the time you usually go out for your everyday work, or even the right temperature you prefer. Devices such are a washer, drier, lights, speaker, televisions, computers, refrigerators, your pet feeders, and even your doors are just one tap away with your smartphones or single voice command on your voice assistant, be it Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. Moreover, being able to control and manage your home wherever you are, even when you are on vacation, is just fabulous.
There are numerous smart products available on every market right now, and you might certainly don’t have to purchase all of it at once. You may start buying it one by one and automate your home slowly depending on how beneficial or how important it is in your needs such as a smart surveillance camera, a smart lock, or maybe a smart light because you recently couldn’t get a full night sleep. Whatever it is you plan to buy first or how many smart products you will buy, as the consumer it would be determined by your preference on which product you adore most. Decide first if you would certainly need it, and then count it to your collection of automated home devices and you can significantly customize all of them as your set goes on.
Automated devices, hassle-free every day
Convenience is a vital asset to smart appliances in your life. They have this specific ability to be set up following your natural needs. A particular refrigerator can give you a view of what’s inside it even without opening it. The touchscreen hanged on your wall can let you drop a message or reminder to your loved ones. The smart dryer can let inform you what time will your lint screen would need cleaning. All these smart appliances might be controlled and operated even when you’re not at home so you could increase and decrease the temperature in your home, turn on the coffee maker, begin a load of your laundry or even switch on your dishwasher.
The cost of installation would much depend on what or how many smart devices you planned to put in your home and to install it can be a high burden to the homeowner as it would require the wires to be changed or a few changes on your walls. Well, you have two options to set up, you can save more penny if you would offer your time for it. However, it would significantly affect your time as it would cost too much of it in exchange; the other option would be hiring some contractor to do it all. Nevertheless, it would be too pricey because they would require an immense count of it.
Having an automated home may sound very engaging and fascinating, but sometimes some would prefer and will find it more convenient to reach out for the switch and turn the lights on than to search for his/her phone and then tap it on to switch it on and off. But before you begin to decide which home system you want, and you think it is right for you either the old-fashioned or the automated one, ponder regarding on how far you want to automate your home system. Additionally, among the problems with a digitalized world is how some can easily break into your codes, there are hackers on standby, and even when you have these smart security devices, they can quickly enter your system.
The vital part in a smart home is controlling all the other automated device into a centralized section such as smart hubs and such, but there are given instances that some automated device would not be compatible with the other. One of the significant disadvantages of having a smart home is that there isn’t a readily available global commerce standard. It means, protocols applied around smart electronics are exclusive such includes RS-485, X10, Ethernet, Bluetooth LE, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and 6LoWPAN. These protocols are sometimes not compatible with one another; therefore, you will need to buy products or smart appliances and electronics that use similar protocols with what you have if you still need them to connect.
Take for example your security system might require you to sign up to a location so that you could control the settings. While another smart device like your automated thermostat might need you to log in to another website to switch the air conditioner on and off which will be a hassle for you to sign up with different platforms just because the two smart devices are not compatible.
The price of automated devices in the market is gradually depleting over the years since its rise. Despite this, the efforts of buying one and installing it might be too costly most especially you will pay for a contractor to set it up in your home. Majority of the families can afford and are regularly buying smart products; however, it would not mean that it won’t mark a decrease in your wallet.
If you automate your home, it would be reliant to your internet connection or your centralized hub. But if you suddenly have a problem with your connection or if it becomes corrupted then you will end up having numerous smart devices that will not work. Moreover, it is crucial to know beforehand as a reminder that wireless signals such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-wave and many more are quickly interrupted by other electronic devices in your home thus causing and gradual effect on some of your tools to function at a snail’s pace or unfortunately not at all. Investing in electronics or smart products might be a significant disadvantage if it uses and only connects to a system of a particular company that had already failed. Once your connection servers had been down your automated technology would be completely useless.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to deliberate when choosing whether you prefer to transform your home into an automated home or not. Because smart home is not for everyone, yes it might be an immense help in decreasing your monthly electric bills, make things easier for you every day, and provides tremendous support on your security needs. However, few people perceived smart devices as a product that would change into a burden in the economy. But it ultimately depends on you either which side you fall into.
Safety Use/ Precaution
A recent study shows that probably 69% of consumers would own a “smart” home product by 2019. And as this specific smart invention gets more integrated into many homes, there is a probability existing for several home security measures, concerns, and vulnerability. With so many potential problems, there many options and decisions to partake. The list below is some of the basic smart home safety guidelines one should be aware of.
What feature would matter most?
Majority of the consumers seek a specific solution over many smart products. And these are opening and locking the door with a voice command, turning on the lights, speaking with the people outside the front door only through a camera and such. It would lead to a bulk of gadgets that do not communicate because it might be compatible with one another. Choosing and purchasing them on a separate manner could give the homeowner a dozen of smart home that doesn’t comply with each other, different apps to log in, and a lot of ways to control your house which would be a lot more hassle rather than convenient.
There are basically two main types of smart home options: individual smart devices, such as smart thermostats and smart TV’s, it can connect to an automated home smart hub. And, service provider options which might provide a monthly fee, but most of all it is crucial to choose a smart hub that can support and is compatible with all the smart devices you like to manage.
With the comprehensive database of internet, it is not impossible to monitor, share and potentially sell consumer information, some might start with coffee makers, thermostats and dishalsoer because they now come with specific privacy policies, without a robust privacy protocol on each single device, it could largely depend on the consumer to check and read the policies. And it is equally beneficial to be relaxed and at ease with how the data of your automated home devices are shared and used.
Securing your Network
It is very crucial to secure your devices against intrusions and hackers which had been the main problem with the automation of anything.
- Security and safety features can differ broadly by individual product and through a manufacturer. Before you buy, weigh up and assess each smart product for potential security and safety issues.
- Hard-wired devices on the internet rely significantly on its power. If these server’s connection gets lost it would be a big problem because that depends when a Wi-Fi connection usually ends up being more secure than the other if a particular device is already linked and connected to a wireless connection.
- Don’t ever forget that in a world of a digitalized surroundings it is very crucial to understand and recognize that your passwords are your first line of defense and you will need to make a strong and incorruptible password for every smart device in your home.
Prone to Vulnerability
The broad internet database of things, which can offer a sort of invitations to those criminals to enter the house. There are many instances and cases that hackers could spy on people and would have hijacked your house system, of course using your webcams and the likes they might even know your everyday routine. It is pretty evident that if you have a specific automated home device in your house, your privacy at most would always be a stake. Given for example, what if suddenly a cybercriminal get into the data on the smart thermostat in your home to know if you are already home or not? You need to take into your consideration that according to the 2017 Internet Security Threat Report that was published by Symantec an average server device is attacked every other two minutes.
At this moment you might be asking how can you create a more secure automated home if that’s what you are thinking then let me give you the answer. First, you will need to regard your Wi-Fi router as the “main door/ front door” of your automated home. And just like any main door, it should be comprised of a strong composure as well as it should be provided with secure locks, so that when criminals come knocking they can’t get through. As I’ve said, in building a stable and more secured automated home it should begin with your Wi-Fi router if it’s safe or not. Since it is the server or the core of your smart home as it links all your smart devices to function in resonance with the other, it’s very crucial to secure its safety first. Safety is among the significant features of having a smart home, and we greatly trust smart products to give us protection but what if it’s not secured at the very first place, then simple, either you secure it, or you find another one more secured.
Top Picks for the Best Smart Home Devices
Every day, more and more new products are being shown in the market, and each one is being added to the category of best smart devices. From a little connectivity to a Wi-Fi, the capacity to manipulate your automated speaker models and several environmental items in your home: only with the click of a button, a push of a mouse, or a command through your voice which activates your assistant inside your home, everything is possible.
We’ve covered evaluation of our top 5 picks for the best smart home device that is in for 2019. These smart devices would undoubtedly enrich your daily living experience. Also, it would ultimately provide an immense worth to your entertainment, safety, and intelligent utilization of your time given that it would minimize your little movements such as switching the light, opening and unlocking the door and such. That features and so much more is highly beneficial especially for those people who only get a few hours of rest in a day. An automated home is a significant representation of how the world is progressing: get any of these smart devices, and you’ll step up leap on a trend of convenient, comfortable, and simpler future.
Samsung Smart Things Smart Hub
Protocol Support: Wi-Fi, Z-wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth, IP
Voice Control: Google Home, Amazon Alexa
A power with 10-hour battery backup (4A)
SmartThings app is downloadable for iOS and Android
Comes with a one-year warranty
The Samsung SmartThings Smart Hub wins the paramount in compatibility. This smart hub assists the whole lot of wireless proprieties you could need, consisting of less recognized ones like Z-Wave and IP. Also, it supports a remarkable variety of smart home classes, including Yale, Philips, Kwikset, Ring, Skybell, Ecobee, Honeywell, and many more. Here’s more, this Smart Hub works both with Google Home and Amazon Alexa so that you can pick which voice assistant you choose.
Once you had finished setting up your Samsung Smart Things hub, and you can synch in all your smart apparatuses in the home using the intuitive SmartThings app, that is available both on Android and iOS. After that, it’s time to set up your routines and make it accustomed with your life such as the time you wake and such. The favorites are the “Good Night!” and “Good Morning!” routines, which came included in the hub. The morning routine increases your temperature and brightens your smart lights, creating an environmental alarm clock that wakes you up on your preferred hours. The evening routine, on the other hand, is doing the reverse: when your sleeping time had arrived, it dims the lights, cools your bedroom temperature, and double-checks your smart locks. Both routines can be customized to your preference.
The Samsung SmartThings hub uses AC power to operate, with a reliable 10-hour battery backup to maintain your home running smart even during a sudden power outage. It also possesses a wireless range of up to 130 feet, which is more than enough for most homes.
Wink Hub 2 – Runner Up
Protocol Support: Wi-Fi, Z-wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth, IP
Voice Control: Google Home, Amazon Alexa
Uses AC power, no battery backup
Wink App is available both on Android and iOS, including Apple Watch and Android Wear.
Comes with a one-year warranty
Wink Hub 2 is on the equal level with Samsung SmartThings Hub if it’s about compatibility. Moreover, this smart hub operates with a broad range of wireless proprieties and is compatible with over 400 devices from the top smart home brands. The Wink Hub 2 can even connect with Android Wear and Apple Watch.
Flexibility and customization are the down set of Wink Hub 2 fall short. It is way trickier to personalize settings for automated devices with the Wink Hub because it is not much adaptable. Nevertheless, this downside potential is ideal automated home pros makes it perfect for a beginner.
Wink Hub 2 was invented to make your home to a “smart” one which is much comfortable and convenient as possible. The Wink App automatically discovers your smart devices in your house and gives you the capacity to set them up only through using the app, but it must undergo a gradual procedure. Moreover, it’s remarkably easy to handle each of them directly from the application’s dashboard that effectively separates devices to a set of categories such as Thermostat or Lights.
Best Smart Locks
You can feel secure all the time for smart locks had arrived. The worth of smart lock for a night of restful and peaceful sleep is immeasurable because it’s just more comfortable to rest at night when you are assured that your home is safe.
Smart Locks can link up to your phone using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi technology, other than that, basing on your position either you’re outside your house or inside, it can unlock the door as you approach and close it after you when you’re on your way out. If you bring your smartphone with you, you will certainly not have to worry regarding losing or not carrying your keys.
Also, you can synchronize automated lock with your preferred voice assistant either Google Home or Amazon Alexa, so whenever you are ready to sleep, you can ask your voice assistant to make sure that your front door if it is locked, saving a minute of your bedtime habit.
Most of all, a smart lock is convenient to install because in just 5 minutes or more, you can already use it, as most bolts are made to substitute your deadbolt.
August Smart Lock Pro
Compatible with Apple HomeKit, Nest, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, iOS, Android
Protocol Support: Wireless, Z-Wave, or Bluetooth
Included with 4 AA batteries
Comes with a 1-year warranty
This lock is well-matched with all the top-listing voice assistants coming from Amazon, Apple, and Google, so you won’t have to teach a new smart voice assistant to operate your smart lock. Additionally, it also supports wireless Z-wave and Bluetooth protocols, so that you can pick which one fits best with the existing smart home system in your house. Additionally, it would only take ten minutes to set it up and given that, it can fit on the existing lock in your home, you can also continue to use your old keys.
August App might be the lock’s best feature because the dashboard could tell you at one glance the essential things you must be familiar to – even giving a notification or a confirmation that your front door has been unlocked or locked. And you could also click through the other tabs to be able to know and view the full reports on who came to your house, when, and who went.
August’s Door Sense Technology utilizes the location of your phone to unlock your door automatically as you draw near, as well as to close and lock it behind you. It will save a great deal of your time getting your keys in your bag and with a hassle return it to your pocket when you came back from a grocery, and your hand is full, you could just easily unlock it using only your voice. However, the August Smart Lock Pro comes with a little wireless hub, and it only requires to be to plugged in somewhere in your work or your home.
It is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Ring Doorbell, Select Honeywell Thermostats, Nest Learning Thermostat, Android Wear, IFTT
Its protocol support is Bluetooth
Comes with 4 AA batteries
Kwikset Kevo is among the popularly known smart locks. It may be because of its streamlined technology and minimalist design. Among the smart locks we have encountered it looks much like the non-automated lock aside from its futuristic and trendy radiant blue ring surrounding the keyhole. They also provide a lavish appearance through its colors where you can pick from gold, Venetian bronze, and silver finishes, so you can certainly catch one that fits the style and theme of your door.
Kwikset Kevo is only compatible with Bluetooth, which means that you can’t open and close your door through a voice command. Because for doing that you will need to buy another set which Kevo Plus Wi-Fi hub is, which is compatible with Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa which can unlock and lock doors only through voice commands.
Nevertheless, this smart lock’s functionality is of high importance to homeowners because it’s less costly and yet equally handy with the first smart lock device that we have presented. As we’ve said, it utilizes Bluetooth to spot and operate its system it works with IOS, Android, Samsung, Apple watch, and Android watches as well. Its primary function is to unlock the instance you approach the door, and then opens later when you’re confirmed to be inside through your smart phone’s connectivity to it.
Additionally, you can also set up the user authorizations such as a scheduled guest, some friends visit, a relative, or a family visit you can set the time and day. You can view the detailed activity logs with the Kevo App which is downloadable both in iOS and Android devices, and this will help you keep updated on the exit and entry data of your main door. But not only that, but this smart lock is likewise known for its compatibility among more smart systems, including Honeywell and Nest smart thermostats which will adjust your home’s temperature the moment the door opens.
Best Smart Thermostats
The abovementioned smart thermostat provides two significant benefits in a single, meek round device. It is usually helpful in lowering your electricity bills and will also help in supporting your normal sleep-wake cycle every day by adjusting the perfect temperature.
Admit it or not, temperature plays a vital part in our sleep and wake pattern, for example, if its too hot you will probably be sweaty and greasy, and it will be hard for you to sleep. All through the day, our core temperature usually swings and changes, rising temperature early in the morning to start energizing us for the daytime and lowering it in the evening as our body starts relaxing through sleep.
And with the availability of a smart thermostat in your house, you can reinforce your day-to-day body temperature fluctuation. You could set beforehand your ideal temperature for each point throughout the day, such as a slightly warmer in the morning, somewhere in the middle temperature during the daytime, and a cooler one in the evening as your body is reducing temperature because it’s about to rest. You can also add a timeline to your thermostat unto when you are going for bed and when you awake. Now here is where this thermostat becomes smart: it adjusts the cooling and warming following those set times.
As well as following the schedules you have set onwards, the smart thermostat easily learns to become accustomed to your behaviors. A big thanks to Geofence technology, and motion sensors because through it smart thermostat can identify if you are not at home. Then, after recognizing that you are not home, it might adjust the temperature to save energy, sooner than cooling or raising it, so when you reach from school or work, you will get just the right and accurate temperature suited with the moment.
All this comprises a home that is comfier to live and stay in and take note – cheaper too. The smart thermostat prices are usually from $125 to $150. While it is costly compared to a standard thermostat or those that we used that are not digitally smart, deliberate this: The Energy Star had estimated that smart thermostats could make homeowners annually energy bills drop down with an average of $ 180. Which means your own thermostat’s energy costs could compensate for a smart thermostat in a year!
For that, we have reviewed dozens of smart thermostats to pick just the right one for you, now here are your top picks.
It is a touchscreen display
Compatible with Amazon Alexa (Built-In)
Comes with a 3-year warranty
It is usual for smart thermostats and other smart devices to be consistent with voice assistants like Google Home, or Amazon Alexa, instead of going to a section in your house where it was put and then adjust the thermostat manually which will only be a hassle for you.
Additionally, the Ecobee4 stands out among all smart devices because it arrives with a Built-In Amazon Alexa voice assistant
That only means the thermostat is necessarily a 2-in-1 device: this smart thermostat that is also known as an Amazon Echo. Besides utilizing your voice and giving a command to regulate the temperature in your home before going to bed, and you can use and or command it to play your favorite playlist or a sleep playlist as you’re going to sleep, listen to the white noise, or even setting up your morning ring alarm.
ThECobee4 is also compatible with numerous smart hubs as well as smartphones, and among these are Amazon, Android, iOS, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Watch. And its other selling point is the three-year warranty compared to other smart thermostat devices, which is also the higher end for automated thermostats.
The Ecobee4 only comes with a single room sensor, that will require to be plugged in so that the thermostat could function inside your work or in your home, but it will be limited to one space only. However, if you want to extend its area coverage to multiple floors or even rooms in your house, you can buy additional sensors for that. It can be hugely useful for homes with members who prefer to sleep colder or hotter than the other individuals in the roof.
Nest (T3007ES) Learning Thermostat
Compatible with iOS 8+, Amazon Alexa voice assistant, Android 4+, and Nest
This thermostat comes with a 2-year warranty.
The main reason why the Nest Learning Thermostat is called as such because it acquires your behaviors and it adapts significantly on it. Instead of programming or setting a specific heating or cooling schedule beforehand, you can try answering few questions thrown by the device during installation and allow the smart figure out, and through Nest’s Automated Scheduling Feature the adjustment of the temperature in your home would be based on your behavior. Now what’s outstanding among its features is that it has a Built-In motion and humidity sensors that can help in supporting the Nest device to work smarter. In the basis of your home’s inside quality, it prepares a continual adjustment beforehand to achieve your preferred temperature. Its display also works as an analog or digital clock, and switches on every time it senses a physical movement nearby.
Moreover, the Nest Learning Thermostat can perform great when it’s a parcel of a Nest home system because they have the same mechanical structures. During the morning when you wake up, it can synchronize with your Nest automated lights to brighten the lighting inside your home. It’s also the exact moment the thermostat begins to increase the temperature inside, which contributes an immense help to wake you up for the daytime. Moreover, if your Nest Smoke Alarm turns off, the smart thermostat notifies and alert you through words about the problem using a speaker that’s already built-in.
The nest is the reason why the smart thermostat is a trend because it is where it begins, and until now it remains as the top-selling smart thermostats available in the market and is consistent in that position ever since. Lastly, it comes with a variety of stylish designs and finishes to suit anyone’s color preferences or homes décor.
Best Smart Lights
Smart light bulbs provide significant benefits in mood lighting and especially energy-efficiency, all of these while enhancing your levels of energy, too so that it will not be of too much energy cost. These might sound like specific bold claims about light bulbs but listen to us first.
The essential benefit of these smart lights is their ability to tune your interior lighting into ways and themes that suit your lifestyles, such as the tone, brightness, and color of the bulbs using a feature called “scene programming.” When watching a TV in your living room, the scene might put for instance dimming three lights to dissimilar levels of brightness, adjusting the color of the other side, and then turning the rest switched off altogether. And you can program these kinds of scenes beforehand and then afterward switching them off through a one voice command, given that smart lights are called as such for their capacity to be compatible with voice assistants like Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.
You can also program scenes to function in accordance with a specific schedule. Picture this, for the lights on your bedroom every morning. You can schedule it to brighten the lights slowly in preparation for the alarm to set off, programmed like the rising of the sun. When the alarm rings, your body had already adjusted and primed to wake up, credits to the brightness in the bedroom for the convenience of waking up quickly.
During the night, your smart lights can perform a different act. Instead of just going straight from bright light to darkness during bedtime, your smart light device can help you feel tired at night allowing you to sleep peacefully which is much ideal for those who find it hard to fall asleep at night. And you can schedule them to start subduing in the hour before your bedtime or to begin more reddish tones all through the nighttime, to replicate the sun’s setting and to strengthen your daily circadian rhythms.
And in addition to all these cool lighting effects and features, smart light bulbs are also energy- efficient. These LED bulbs are designed for its longevity while consuming less power, so that is why it is the best pick for homeowners.
Because of their whistles and bells, smart lights are much costly than a typical light bulb that we regularly use. Its price range is around $20 to $60 per piece. But, even though it has a costly price many homeowners and consumers find they’re worth it when they had experienced the effects of these smart lights that improve their sleep’s quality, their moods, as well as their energy levels during the daytime.
After reviewing dozens of these smart lights to find the best picks that you will love, we have picked these two for you.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19
It is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, Vivint SmartHome, Razer, Xfinity, and Logitech.
With the inclusion of a scene programming
Offers a promise of a 23-year lifespan
Comes with a 3-year warranty
The Philips Color Ambiance is the fitted starter pick for anyone ready to begin setting up their home with an automated lighting system. And these eight hundred-lumen light bulbs are packed of vibrant colors, which allows you to choose the specific shade of view you prefer for your scenes, out of a variety of 16 million which means you can pick a color from a wide array of choices.
Begins at opening your Philips Hue app available on your smartphones which is compatible with either iOS or Android, and then you can also use the slider to attune the lightings of the rooms following your preferences. This app comes with 30 pre-set scenes which are mainly inspired by sunsets and nature. It also comes with an option to change the temperature color of a photo in your phone into a lightscape. However, if you’re not entirely into customization, it’s alright too because the app includes built scenes beforehand for waking up and relaxing or sleeping. You can try using these as your evening and morning routines especially if you are not into customization.
Each Philips smart light usually needs a Philip Hue hub to function. In line with that, to allow voice commands and enable your Philips lights to function following all your smart devices, you will need to link your smart hub to the hue hub.
LIFX Mini Day & Dusk Smart LED Bulb
It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit, Microsoft Cortana, Xfinity, Nest, IFTTT, and many more.
Cool/warm light bulbs
Scene programming is included
It has a promised of a 22-year lifespan
It comes with a two-year warranty
The LIFX is a big name in the industry of smart light and is very consistent in its position. LIFX further increased in ratings when their LIFX Mini white bulbs were introduced to the market, LIFX is invented the Mini Day &Dusk White bulbs, its engine was engineered mainly to imitate the natural sunlight from dawn to set which gives an immense help on your body’s mood preference and light adjustments. The “Mini” talks about the bulb’s compacted design, which makes it a convenient suitable to a broader light fixture.
Because it is a white-only bulb, you will honestly miss out the capacity to make a customized lighting mood that a scene programming can provide are offered with the Philip Hue Bulbs. But, LIFX can make up for it lacks when compared to the abovementioned device and can even surpass it through its attention to sleep-promoting lightscapes, and its mimics to the sun’s light volume.
The LIFX (that is available on iOS, Android, and Windows 10), you can put in your daily activities, like when to go to bed, when do you usually wake up, or when you reach home from work. The LIFX app will routinely fine-tune the lights inside your home to fit those activities. And that specific automatic adjustment includes introducing more amber tones in the evening and bluish whites during the morning. In the middle of the day, the LIFX bulb brightens all through the day to subtly increase your levels of energy.
And its best feature is it doesn’t need or requires a smart hub to function properly. It connects directly to the internet connection in your home.
Best Security Cameras
Today’s security cameras can do more than to record footage – it can be of much greater importance. These security cameras can directly connect with internet connection in your home, and then it offers you a stable live stream where you can check freely whenever you have free time through an app downloadable on your phone or a web browser on your laptop.
Many smart security cameras nowadays also have two-way audio it didn’t only record sounds, but it also allows you to speak through your smartphone than having it emitted through the camera’s speaker, which can add more security options. Modern security cameras include night vision, the ability to recognize faces, and some free cloud storage, and can notify you of a people arriving, like your home caregiver.
In general, home cameras serve a dual purpose. Even their presence dissuades burglars, and if someone would be brave enough to enter your home still then you’ll have the whole scene recorded on tape.
Nevertheless, frequently many people buy security cameras help monitor the security of their family within their houses, as well, such as when parents are always not in the house on daytime because of work and children are left in the house. Although numerous people have the tendency to grow out of it eventually, sleepwalking is a quite sleep disorder that usually affects children ages up to 12. Up to the time that they become out of it, a security camera is installed in the house can relax the minds of these anxious parents, which helps monitor their child’s movement and waking the parent with a notification on their smartphone if the camera feels any abnormal or unusual movement.
Similarly, adults who are taking care of an aging parent who has dementia might have the same concerns too, because base on usual instances aged people goes out the house and wanders alone outside then afterward being lost, this is a typical case among seniors who do have Alzheimer’s. For common instances, these seniors will be lost, confused, and disoriented as they wander off, so this surveillance camera will be a great tool in these instances. Additionally, to use smart locks in the house, caregivers can also install a smart surveillance camera inside their bedroom to notify them if the person had awoken at night and if he/she needs help getting back to bed and calm them down.
When buying a smart camera, it’s necessary to pick the best and the perfect camera for you that fits your needs. The cameras that are for outdoor are different from those inside cameras. Outdoor cameras are engineered to be weatherproof, on the other hand, indoor cameras are not. So, the tip is, you should not buy an indoor camera if you intend to use it outside.
It greatly depends on the included features on each, however on the average, smart cameras usually cost somewhere from $20 up to $500. After reviewing and filtering dozens of smart cameras available on the market in search for our best pick, we listed two and you can read it below.
Arlo Pro 2 by NETGEAR
It can be used Indoor/Outdoor, wire/wireless camera
It has a 1080p HD camera with 130-degree wide-angle lens
Comes with a 100-decibel alarm
Up to 25 feet night vision
It is a two-way audio surveillance camera
Comes with a free cloud recording for seven days
Works and compatible with Samsung SmartThings, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT
Arlo Pro 2 is the most movable, yet functional and handy camera around the market today. It is a weatherproof camera that can be used both inside your house or outside it, and because of its good feature of being powered compatibly in three diverse ways such as by a solar panel, rechargeable battery, or through a power cord, which will give you a choice in your placement options.
Additionally, this smart camera incorporates significantly with Amazon’s Alexa, Samsung SmartThing, and Google Assistant. You can make trigger actions to switch on the smart lights every time the camera feels unusual actions outside, or you can even command it through your voice assistant to show the live stream on your smart television. If you like or at times of emergency, you can also activate the infamous 100-decibel alarm which can enable your smart lights, if connected, to generate along with the alarm.
The Arlo app which is downloadable both on iOS and Android smartphones, you can manage and establish notifications for strange movements and sounds and define or mark a specific activity area for heightened alerts (like the bed in a room for a child who have sleepwalking patterns at night, or even someone who have sleep-related movement disorder). And if you’re loved one is sleepless especially if your child is scared at a moment you can calm and ease their worries in the comfort of your bedroom through your phone which directly connects to the two-way audio surveillance camera. And at the time the lighting conditions are dim, this is where the night vision kicks in and plays it parts which are of vital role because burglars and like-minded people usually attack a house at night when people are quietly sleeping.
Cloud recordings will then be recorded and stored privately in the cloud storage for up to one-week, given the options, of course, to upgrade to your cloud storage on a subscription to Arlo Smart to unlock additional storage choices, the capability to call 911 from your phone lock screen, and a more customized alerts.
For Indoor use, wired camera
1080p HD with 110-degree wide-angle lens and 8x digital zoom
Up to 30 feet night vision
Comes with Two-Way Audio
14 days of free cloud recordings
Works with Amazon Alexa
1-year limited warranty
Smart Home Cameras are usually costly, generally at around $100. This Cam is different because while having the same amount of functionality and quality, but it comes with an affordable price of only $25.
Wyze Camera can only be utilized indoor; however, the 6-foot power cable is the reason why it’s safe to place anywhere in the house and it will be easier to place it especially in the bedroom of any of your family members you wish to monitor. The package also comes with an adhesive metal base and a magnetic base so that you don’t have to screw the camera.
Using Wyze app which is downloadable, of course, on your smartphones, which gives you the options to set up and program users, reply to a conversation through the two-way audio, and you can also share video recordings. And you can zoom in up to 8 times much closer on the live footage, and it stays clear.
However, The Wyze Cam is compatible and can only work with one voice assistant, and it is the widely-used voice assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and it comes with a limited warranty of a year, but cloud recording is stored for free for a lengthy 14 day. Additionally, the night vision feature can illuminate up to 30 feet, which is longer than majority security cameras can offer.
In conclusion, Wyze Camera is an affordable and a quality camera that can surely support caregivers and parents monitor their loved ones.
Co-founder of Counting Sheep and Sleepaholic