Investing in a smart home can be tricky, and one might lose sight of what he or she is setting out to achieve if one is not careful. For one, there are many products with great promises on the market and it is easy to get lost and confused as to which ones speak to the needs of your smart home. The best thing to do however order for you to achieve your dream of functional albeit affordable smart home is to invest in a smart home system that revolves around a central control that integrates other less expensive devices. Therefore, this post will be focusing on different devices that you need to make your smart home tick while we will also be recommending one product in each category.
1. Home Automation Controller: This is the strength of the home automation, so you have to be careful which one you pick. The ideal controller should have multiple network support, should have IFTT support, be able to operate with no internet connection and should have no hidden monthly charge.
In this category, we would be recommending the Samsung smart things hub simply because of its simple to understand processes. The fact that it is easy to install also helps a lot.
2. Light Control Switch: In an automated home, you are expected to have automated devices that are useful, not some high-ended show-off toy. And when it comes to usefulness, remotely controllable switches are some of the most useful devices. You can turn your lights on and off from wherever you are in the world, save yourself the problem of groping in the dark looking for light switches, check if you remembered to switch your lights off before leaving home and do a lot more with these light control switches.
For this category, we will be recommending Homeseer, a wall switch that has 7 level dim indicator supply that is guaranteed to make your light control much easier. You can read more on Homeseer switches to get an idea how well they perform here.
3. Security Camera: If we decide to delve into the advantages of a surveillance camera, we might veer off the real purpose of this post. Safety is a critical need, and you should invest in a security camera even if you don’t plan on building a smart home. However, for the purpose of this post, we will be talking about security cameras that support and can be integrated into the smart home system. For us, two important factors should be taken into consideration when investing in a surveillance camera. First, there should be no monthly charge as it can accumulate and strain your pocket, then we also consider the camera’s outdoor functionality. The outdoor feature of a camera should be taken very seriously as it will be useless to invest in a camera that will not be able to monitor your environments.
For this category, we will be recommending the Samsung Smartcam Full HD cameras. The Samsung SNH-E6440BN SmartCam HD Outdoor Camera and the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro can be used together to achieve an excellent surveillance of your home. They both have memory cards thereby eliminating the need for you to pay a monthly charge for cloud storage of your videos.
4. Smart Home Thermostat: Regulating the temperature and ventilation of our homes can be a daunting task at times, especially when you are already in bed and that AC is becoming too cool or when it was cold when you slept, but now the temperature has become hotter. However, a smart thermostat can solve all of this issues. By automating the temperature and ventilation regulation of your home, life becomes a lot easier. You can create a “rule” for your home temperature to adjust according to the effects of the weather outside, receive alerts to open up the windows if the temperature outside is more favorable than the one inside and so on using the smart thermostat.
For this category, we are suggesting the Zen Zigbee Thermostat because of the following reasons:
- It is relatively cheap
- Easy to operate
iii. It has a simple design.
5. Smart Home Doorbell: While it might look like a vain investment, the functionality of a smart home doorbell proves that the reverse is the case. If integrated well into the smart home, a smart doorbell will in more ways than one, complement the security system of the home. Most of these smart doorbells come with an accompanying security camera that gives you a close-up look at anyone attempting to enter your house.
For this category we will be recommending the Skybell HD WiFi video doorbell; a doorbell that comes with 1080p video resolution, compatibility with Alexa, Nest, and IFTTT. It also has free cloud video storage, thereby eliminating the need for a monthly fee or other hidden charges.
With the choices outlined above, you can be assured that you are getting yourself some of the best smart home devices on the market. We have also taken pains to streamline the product to those that will not culminate in us spending an outrageous sum of money to buy them. As a piece of advice, we like telling our readers to focus on the most important aspects of home automation like lighting, security, hubs and of course thermostats. You can begin expanding your smart homes later when you have more money and a better understanding of which devices can integrate well with your home automation system. This list of the best smart home devices is a good place to start your automation.