8 Smart Home Gadgets for Everyday Use

To set up a smart home, it is not necessary to make repairs and install a bunch of sensors. We suggest starting with devices that can be quickly set up and started to be used without additional equipment: smart sockets, lamps, and locks.

A smart home is a complex of devices that automate most of the usual everyday activities. With their help, you can control household appliances and turn on the lights, open doors, cook food, check which products are in the refrigerator. Thanks to the smart home system, you don’t have to worry about forgotten electrical appliances and the access of strangers to the apartment. At the same time, serious changes in the design of the house are not needed to use smart technology – it is plugged into ordinary sockets or runs on batteries, and is controlled by remotes, buttons on the case, and wirelessly.

Smart locks

One of the first elements of a smart home that can be found right at the entrance is a smart lock. This electronic device is mounted on top of a conventional electronic or mechanical lock and remotely controlled from a smartphone. You can install a smart lock on the door of an apartment, house or office, garage doors, and even on the gate.

Smart locks

Most of the smart locks are equipped with a Bluetooth module and connects to the phone only at a short distance. This is not very convenient, but such a system consumes a minimum of energy and works longer on the built-in battery. Wi-Fi in smartlocks is usually not built in because of high energy consumption, and intermediary devices are used to control them over long distances. A small electronic gadget plugs into an outlet and communicates via Bluetooth with an electronic lock. The same device exchanges signals with the phone via Wi-Fi.

Popular smart locks include August Smart Lock, which automatically closes doors and sends notifications to the owner about access to the premises. The Keywe smartlock costs the same amount, allowing you to not only open and close doors, but also check who used it and when.

Window and door sensors

Usually, they are installed on the doors, and in private houses and premises on the ground floor – on the windows. Gadgets control the opening and closing of door and window sashes, performing the following actions:

  • signaling to other systems (e.g., alarms);
  • inclusion of light (when a person returns home);
  • turning off the air conditioner (when opening the window).
Window and door sensors

Most of these devices are battery powered and compact in size. The most popular models include the Xiaomi Mi Smart Home Door / Window sensor, which is connected to the general control unit of a smart home of a Chinese manufacturer. The Life Control model, which is part of a separate system, has similar functionality.

Surveillance cameras

To control the situation in the premises, you should choose a device such as a smart surveillance camera. With its help, you can track what children or pets do at home, check the condition of an elderly person or find an outsider who has entered the property. Some models can keep an event log and save videos not only on the memory card, but also in the cloud storage.

One of the most popular cameras is the Nest Cam. This is a model with a large viewing angle, which records sound without extraneous noise, saves the captured video, and highlights individual events. Another option – Canary – costs a little cheaper and can shoot video, recording sound if necessary. In addition, this small device monitors air parameters, sending their values to the user’s smartphone.

Nest Cam

A smart camera installed on the street will allow you to control events in the courtyard of a private house. Such a gadget is also useful to the car owner to increase the safety of the car or check the availability of free parking space under the windows. A good option for outdoor surveillance is the Nest Cam Outdoor with 8x zoom and Full HD resolution. A model is equipped with infrared LEDs and a good microphone.

Climate-smart devices

A modern smart home can provide not only protection and control of the territory but also a comfortable atmosphere in the premises. To do this, the system should include gadgets for climate control – thermostats and special climate systems. With their help, you can not only increase the usability of heating and cooling housing but also save energy.

The main functions of a smart climate control system:

  • automatic climate control in each individual room;
  • temperature and humidity control with messages the owner about sharp jumps in these indicators;
  • energy saving in the absence of people in the room due to turning off the devices;
  • creating a certain air temperature before the tenants return home;
  • setting the temperature using the application on a mobile device.

To install it in an apartment you can choose, for example, the Nest Learning Thermostat 3.0 thermostat. Which regulates the temperature in the rooms in accordance with the programmed daily regime. Another interesting model – Ecobee4 – can detect “cold spots” in the room and adjust the microclimate indicators depending on the time of day.

Nest Learning Thermostat

Advanced climate control devices, such as the Elgato Eve Room are able to create entire scenarios for the operation of a smart home, providing for the inclusion of a humidifier with a decrease in humidity.

Smart assistants

For quick control of equipment, launching TV programs, and searching for information on the Internet, it is convenient to use smart speakers with voice assistants. A vivid example of such a device is Alexa, which we recently tested. This multimedia platform will help you find an interesting movie, lose your favorite music, set an alarm, find answers to questions on the Internet.

Alexa

Speakers, such as Google Home, have wider functionality. Google model costs as much but can manage other smart devices.

Smart sockets

If you are constantly worried about turning off the iron or other household appliance, buying a smart outlet is a great solution. This is a small device that looks like a regular power outlet, you can make a turn off the command from your smartphone. A model with a dimmer will help regulate the brightness of a lamp or a nightlight, and with energy control, determine which home appliances consume the most electricity.

The main features of smart sockets:

  • turning on and off the timer;
  • monitoring the load on the outlet and turning off when a certain value of current or voltage is exceeded;
  • voice control.
Smart sockets

The most popular and relatively inexpensive models include smart sockets Redmond R1S and TP-Link HS100. The first gadget is controlled by the Ready for Sky Guard application installed on the smartphone, the second – by the Kasa utility. There are versions that work without connecting to a network: for example, you can call the Sapsan PRO 10 smart socket from a regular phone via GSM-connection.

Smart lights

A smart HomeTree Light Of the Tree lamp, for example, can serve as a station for wirelessly charging a smartphone or as a Bluetooth speaker. And the Life Control lamp is easy to install in any lamp with a suitable lamp holder (E27) and make smart the most ordinary chandeliers, sconces or floor lamps.

Smart lights

A smart HomeTree Light Of the Tree lamp, for example, can serve as a station for wirelessly charging a smartphone or as a Bluetooth speaker. And the Life Control lamp is easy to install in any lamp with a suitable lamp holder (E27) and make smart the most ordinary chandeliers, sconces or floor lamps.

Smart home appliances

The category of useful gadgets controlled from a smartphone and simplifying home life includes smart home appliances. Including refrigerators, kettles, washing machines and even ovens. The functionality of these devices can reduce the time for cooking, washing and checking the availability of necessary products.

Smart fridge will provide not only storage, but also control the hob, IP-camera and smart kettle. Such functionality is possessed, for example, by the Viomi VioBrain model. It also knows how to turn on and off the light, serve as a loudspeaker during a telephone conversation, independently adjust the temperature for storage of certain products.

Smart home appliances

A smart kettle can control the temperature of the liquid or start heating the water while you are going home or in another room. And devices like the Redmond SkyKettle G210S are equipped with backlight and color music. By the way, recently we talked about how smart kettles and coffee machines are able to use the best models as examples.

Smart ovens can reduce cooking time by 50-70%, defrost foods and cook several dishes at the same time. A smart washing machine reports the end of washing not only with a sound signal, but also with a notification through a mobile application. Smart vacuum cleaners clean the premises on their own, return to the base for charging and begin cleaning from the same place where they stopped last time.

How to set up a smart home?

If you want to start equipping a smart home, you don’t have to buy all of the gadgets listed at once. We recommend starting small: for example, install a couple of controlled outlets and lamps, buy a smart kettle and sensors on windows and doors. And only then, when you evaluate the benefits of these small but smart devices, go on to set up a complete smart home system. By the way, there are ready-made gadget sets for Smart Home on the market – we talked about them in the next article.

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