Smart Home Upgrades That Will Make Your Life Easier (and More Fun!)

Picture this: the year is 2020 and you’ve just arrived home to your smart house. Do you…

A) Ask Alexa the best recipe for pancakes
B) Raise the thermostat to 75 degrees from a touch screen on your wall
C) Unlock the door for an expected guest while comfortably seated on your couch

With the right devices, you can do all of these things and more. Just a few decades ago, this was the stuff of science fiction. Fast forward to the present, and we can select from a panoply of cutting-edge devices to make our daily lives easier and more comfortable.

If you’re just dipping your toes into home automation, it can seem overwhelming. New gadgets and brand names are popping up faster than you can ask Google where the nearest brunch restaurant is located. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular smart home upgrades so you can choose the perfect new gadgets for your home!

Keyless Entry

Have you ever gotten home from a long day at work and realized you forgot your keys at the office? It’s not a pleasant feeling. If you had a keyless lock, all you’d have to do is type in a passcode or press your fingerprint to the touch screen. Never get locked out again! 

Before you decide to invest in a new keyless entry system, be sure to do some research into different brands to make sure you’re getting all the features you need. Some keyless systems allow one-time entry codes for visitors, while others integrate with personal systems like Alexa for voice-activated entries. Depending on the model you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100-$275 for your smart entry system.

Doorbell Camera

A smart doorbell combines security and convenience in one elegant package. Smart doorbells, like Ring and Nest Hello by Google, feature a live video feed so you can see who’s waiting on your doorstep. All you have to do is check the app. Some apps are also voice enabled so you can communicate in real-time with whoever’s outside. If you have a keyless entry system, you can share the one-time passcode to let your guest in, even if you’re not home! 

The video stream doesn’t end when you close the app. Most smart doorbells have recorded footage that you can review at a later date, which is a huge help for reporting suspicious activity and solving property crimes. Not only does your doorbell camera help you keep your home safe, but it also protects your entire community! 

image via CNET

Smart thermostat

Even with the convenience of a programmable thermostat, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature for everyone who lives there can be a frustrating task. Especially if you live somewhere with big daily fluctuations in temperature. Smart thermostats, like Google Nest, learn your comfort preferences and make subtle adjustments to the temperature throughout the day. The result? A home perfectly attuned to your comfort!

Smart Lighting

Lighting is one of those home decor features that plays both decorative and functional roles. Without good task lighting, you’d fumble through tasks like cooking, cleaning, and working. But if you’ve ever tried to watch a movie or enjoy a romantic dinner under harsh task lighting, then you know it’s not the greatest option for mood-setting. Luckily, smart lighting lets you adjust the lights throughout your home with just a click of a button. From dimming the lights to switching to different color bulbs, you have the flexibility to create any atmosphere you desire. Just like for smart light bulbs and start playing around! 

Smart Hub

If you’re the proud owner of more than one smart home system, you may want to consider investing in a smart hub. The “hub” is like a homebase for all of your tech. Once you set up the hub device, you can control all of your disparate smart home devices from a single app. This is a great option if you have multiple devices from different manufacturers, since the smart hub interface allows you to access all of them from one convenient platform.

image via gadgetgram