From smart speakers, smart lights, a smart home security system, smart heating, and a smart doorbell, there are so many smart home devices available now it feels like everything has to be smart!
Being able to control these connected devices from your mobile app is undoubtedly convenient, but it can also save money, improve sustainability and even help lower your energy consumption with a supplier like social.energy, for all you eco-warriors out there.
Smart home gadgets range from simple to quite complex, and often people will start with one or 2 lights, some smart plugs, and a smart speaker to play music.
All of your devices can, of course, be connected, and it is sometimes best to think of the top four or five things you want from your home to start with; if sustainability is what you are worried about, then smart thermostats could be the place to start for you.
- What you need to know about smart home technology
- The best smart home devices and apps
- Are smart devices and apps worth it?
From voice control to control through a smart home app, many different competitors are in the market. Some people prefer to have one standalone smart home app for each device whilst others prefer to have a multi-purpose app for a smart home automation system that works from one app.
Alexa and Google are probably the most well-known brands in the smart home industry, but there are others out there, and it’s worth having a look at them all before you make your choice.
With so many smart devices available, it can often be really confusing, but a few brands make home automation systems easier and enjoyable to use.
Google assistant is brilliant at connecting compatible smart devices into one place. It works well with Philips Hue for lighting, Nest for heating with the Nest thermostat control, Chromecast and home security systems, and many other smart home devices.
The Google Home app lets you control devices from one place, and like the Amazon Alexa app, it is compatible with a wide range of devices. Google Assistant voice commands make it easy for you to control things from the comfort of your own seat with hands-free control. In addition, the Google Home app is great at creating shortcuts for frequently done things, like switching on lights or playing certain routines.
Amazon Alexa App
If you already have the incredibly popular amazon echo, connecting the rest of your smart home systems through this is a great idea; it acts as a smart home hub. The Amazon Alexa app is compatible with a huge number of different devices, making it extremely versatile. It can be used for so much more than just controlling your smart home, and you can create automated routines, shopping lists, alarms, listen to music, and works on voice command.
As smart home apps go, this one is intuitive, and you have the ability to control your smart home from your mobile device with all your devices in one place.
If you already have a lot of Apple devices, then the HomeKit is worth looking into. Apple allows you to create scenes, which means you can do many actions simultaneously; an example would be ‘Coming Home.’ You could then set all the lights to come on for a certain time, window blinds to open, and the kettle to boil for a cup of tea. It’s very similar to Amazon’s routines.
Not quite as many devices are compatible, but it is growing every day, and as always, Apple’s interface is so easy to use.
Samsung was a little bit late to the party with smart homes but has the SmartThings app. It doesn’t connect to as many different devices yet and you will need a smart home hub for this, but it is growing in popularity. The hub connects to your wi-fi and is compatible with both IOS and Android.
With Samsung, we get scenes, control of devices in one place, and you can use the app from your phone, watch, tablet, or TV. In addition, it uses the Bixby, Google, or Alexa voice assistants making it really flexible.
Whether you are looking for a smart home device and app to help you reduce your energy bills and save money or whether you want the ease of use and to be able to control your home from afar, the rising trend in all the devices isn’t going away anytime soon.
The added protection you get from affordable security cameras and the peace of mind of knowing that you can check on your home at any time is worth it for many.
Energy savings are arguably the biggest cost-saving and, along with cutting the cost of bills, you can be safe in the knowledge you are helping the environment too.
It is important to select the right things for your needs, but it is definitely worth thinking about investing in the right smart device and app.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.