Best Smart Home Devices For Tech-Savvy Homeowners
Many of our customers are into technology. We all want the latest gadgets! The big thing right now is smart homes, which means houses where several things are connected through wifi so that you can control them with your computer or phone. Here are some gadgets you can look into to make your home a “smarter” home:
1. Programmable thermostat
The Nest thermostat is very popular. A smart thermostat learns when to cool your house down and when to heat it up so that you don’t have to keep adjusting the temperature in your house. This is handy in the spring and fall in Texas when one day you’re wearing shorts but the next day you’re bundled up in a jacket! Our springs and falls have erratic temperatures, and it’s hard to know when to have the air conditioner on and when to have the heater on. A smart thermostat will take care of that for you, and will also save you money on your energy bills to boot.
2. Smart cameras
You can install these by your front and back doors for an added level of security. One of these is the Ring camera. When someone rings your doorbell the Ring camera will notify you on your phone and can let you see who is at the door. It will let you talk to the person on your doorstep, even if you’re not home! When the mailman rings your bell to drop off a package you can use the Ring to see the package, and you can alert a friend or neighbor to pick it up for you if necessary.
3. Amazon Echo
This is also called Alexa because that’s the name you use to activate the device. You can have Alexa manage our programmable window shades for you. All you’ll have to do is say, “Alexa, lower the blinds!” and it’s done, without you getting up or lifting a finger! This is a great feature for windows that are very high up and difficult to reach, or for elderly people who have trouble managing the blinds. And if you’re away from your house, you can use Alexa’s phone app to tell her to raise or lower your blinds, making it look like someone’s home.
On top of that, you can ask Alexa to play music, to tell you about the news and weather, to act as a timer and alarm clock, and even order pizza, among many other things. You can also use Alexa to control your Nest thermostat!
4. Smart lighting
There’s a device called the Philips Hue that’s great for managing smart lights. It will allow you to program lights to turn on or off, or dim, or get brighter. This is a good option for people who travel a lot, to make it look like you’re at home. It’s also great for saving on your electric bills! These can be controlled through the Amazon Echo as well.
5. Robot vacuum cleaner
You might have heard of the Roomba, an automated vacuum cleaner. This is especially great for families who have hardwood floors! The Roomba will zip around your house, picking up dust and dirt as it goes. We’re not sure how your pets will feel about this little robot wandering around the house, but you can come home and not have to spend your time vacuuming or sweeping.
6. Motorized blinds
We offer this on our blinds. You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo to have programmable or motorized window treatments! You can control the blinds through a special device, or we can set it up to be controlled through your tablet or phone. You can either hit a button to raise and lower your blinds, or you can program “scenes” to automate raising or lowering your blinds at certain times of the day. This way if you know that the sun hits your house at 3 pm and makes your house hot, you can program your shades to automatically lower to block that sun at that time of day. That way you don’t come home to a house that’s been cooking all afternoon!
7. Smart garage door
We’ve all had that panic of wondering if we closed the garage door when we left the house. With a smart garage door, you can just look on your phone and know whether the garage door is open or closed. If it’s open, you can hit a button on your phone to close it. For those of us who grew up in a time when you had to manually raise and lower your garage door, this technology is kind of mind-blowing! (And have they invented it for the coffee pot or oven yet?)
So if you’re a tech-savvy homeowner who wants an energy-efficient home, greater home security and to save some time and effort, these are the items we recommend. If you’d like to talk more about our motorized blinds, click below to book an appointment and we’ll be more than happy to give you a demonstration!