Smart Home 101: Get Connected From Doorbells to Thermostats

Are you impressed with the latest innovations to make any home a smart home? Life is busy enough these days, so having a smart home that you can automate can save you time. Here are the basics on what types of home devices are available and how they can improve your life.

Video-Equipped Doorbells

Video-equipped doorbells feature a motion detector and camera. They can signal you through an app on your phone or tablet when someone comes to your door. They can also provide two-way communication so that you can ask questions and hear the answers, or give instructions, such as “come to the back door” and so forth.

Smart Locks

Smart locks allow you to enter and lock your smart home without even having a key. You can activate the lock from any room using the app, such as when you go to bed and can’t remember locking the door. And you can use it anywhere else, like when you are out and you want to unlock a door for a family member. You can also use the app to create a one-time-use code so that someone like a cleaner or a guest can enter the home with your being present.

Wireless Live-Stream Webcams

Wireless live-stream webcams are useful indoors to monitor pets or people, such as babysitters. Outdoor wireless live-stream webcams are weather-proof and can be a good security measure. You can view “always on” footage from the app on your phone no matter where you are. They are a great option if you want to keep an eye on your smart home during a vacation.

Smart LED Bulbs

You can use smart bulbs in the light fixtures you already have. You can use apps to dim or brighten them or schedule them to turn on before you arrive home. They can also be set to go on and off at designated times when you’re out of town. An added bonus is that the bulbs last for years.

Smart Speakers

Smart speakers are a step way beyond wireless speakers or Bluetooth speakers. They do a lot more than play music. When you connect them to a second device, they can give you reminders and read audiobooks. They can even operate smart locks or smart light bulbs or other connected appliances, such as smart fridges.

Smart Thermostats

The newest smart thermostats adjust per the weather conditions or by learning your preferences. They can help you reduce energy, which saves money on electric bills. Some models are Energy Star rated, which can save you even more money through a rebate.

Smart Smoke Alarms

Connected smoke alarms allow you to test the batteries and silence the alarm from the app. Some can even identify the sources of smoke. There is also a device available called a “listener,” which will notify you via an app when the sound of any smoke alarm goes off.

Smart home technology will continue to evolve; however, it has become a mainstay for many modern homeowners. Although you may experience a learning curve, installing smart home devices can save you time, effort and money, as well as provide peace of mind.