Over the last decade, home automation has taken over many of our homes. Smart home devices and home automation systems are being implemented all over the world, and the opportunities that intelligent home technology can provide appear to be limitless. In this article, I’ll show you 18 of the best and most essential home automation devices that will undoubtedly make anyone’s life easier.
Smart Home Automation: Which Devices Should I Consider?
There are a lot of great options for home automation, as well as a lot of… not-so-great options. In this list, I will present the most well-known and popular smart home devices in five categories. If you were to ask, “Why should I care about home automation?” Isn’t it just some fancy lights that change colors? well, both yes and no.
Some people (myself included) prefer to keep things as simple as possible. However, I would argue that many of the appliances in our homes are already automated. The water heats up automatically, the electricity shuts off automatically in the event of a failure, and many other things we don’t notice in our daily lives. Even if you’re one of those people who is opposed to incorporating more “smart” devices into your home. Wouldn’t you agree that our homes are already automated in some ways? And what if some minor changes could help to boost your security, happiness and comfort even further?
However, I agree that you should just litter your apartment with remote controls, touch screens, and digital assistants. In my case, I chose smart home automation that meets my requirements. Then, if you wanted to impress your friends and neighbors with some fancy (but not necessary) smart controlled lights, you could do so. Then go ahead and take my guess.
Is Investing in Home Automation Worth It?
It all comes down to what you’re after and what you believe it can do for you. So there are some obvious reasons why home automation might be a good idea. Did you know that home automation is more than just convenience or impressing your date with a garage door that opens as soon as you pull into the driveway? If I even had a garage… or a date, I’m sure I’d also have that. However, there are some less obvious benefits to selecting and installing the right smart home automation products which I will further explain. As an introduction, here is an overview of the different home automation ideas and devices I’ll explain in detail.
|Home automation categories||Home automation devices|
|Home security||Smart home security systems, motion sensors, smart security cameras, smart door locks, vibration sensors and carbon monoxide detectors.|
|Temperature control||Smart thermostat, temperature and humidity sensor, and smart air conditioners.|
|Lighting||Smart lights, smart light systems, and motion detector lights.|
|Comfort||Garage door opener, smart speakers, smart TV, and smart blinds.|
|Energy effeciency||Smart outlets, and water sensors.|
As an electrician, I’ve installed and serviced a wide range of home automation devices. This list includes standard ac and some automatic blinds for residential customers. Some of the automation devices I’ll cover are simple to set up, while others necessitate the steady hands of a professional electrician.
In most cases, however, the technological improvement of home automation systems has enabled most everyday folks to set it up by themselves. Home security devices are the first (and, in my opinion, most important) category of home automation. And this is why I will cover this first.
1. Home Automation Security Devices
Before electricity, there weren’t many ways to protect ourselves from burglars and malicious people who wanted to break our locks. Previously, we had to have the biggest lock and the meanest dog to threaten the bad guys. Fortunately, we can now save money on dog food and invest it in smart technology that accomplishes the same purpose in a more sustainable manner. However, if you are a dedicated dog owner who swears by the old ways, I will not stop you. Back to the important stuff now. Here is a list of some (in my opinion criminally underrated) home automation devices that can assist in the security of our homes.
Smart home security systems: A full alarm system with smart technology will give anyone the peace of mind we all deserve. Whether we are at home or on vacation. We obviously need insurance in any case, but a smart security system will make many thieves choose your neighbor instead. My simple advice is to choose a complete security system that includes all of the necessities you will require. I would also strongly advise you to look for a well-known and trustworthy brand that guarantees future updates and improvements. You’d have to go through your house and figure out what makes sense in your situation. In the following section, I will go over each of the most important smart home security devices in more detail.
Motion sensors: Motion sensors do exactly what their name implies. If there is any motion detected, it is significant enough to set off the alarm system. Yes, most modern motion sensors can exclude household pets such as dogs and cats. The technology used in motion sensors is used for more than just detecting thieves. They can also be programmed to send a pulse to activate automatic lights and doors. While carrying multiple shopping bags, I’m sure we all appreciate a motion sensor in the supermarket. However, in this category, they will be used to trigger a series of alarms when they detect movement in the area.
Smart security cameras: Security cameras are something we’ve all heard about and seen. There’s nothing revolutionary here. Smart security cameras, on the other hand, connect to your wifi and allow you to watch a live feed of your home while you’re away. These security cameras will detect anything out of the ordinary and send you a notification, allowing you to take appropriate action. The Arlo series is one of the most popular smart security cameras. And have you ever wondered why nearly all old security footage is hazy? This appears to be a story from the past, as their cameras shoot in 4k.
Smart door locks: Did you know that your key could soon become obsolete? You could easily replace your key with the tip of your finger if your door locks were smart. Smart door locks can be set to only respond to your fingerprint or your voice. These locks, like smart security cameras, will connect to your wifi network. This allows you to make changes and adjustments to your admin settings. So, if you have a set of smart door locks, you shouldn’t have to worry about the thief finding your key under the door mat.
Vibration sensor: A vibration sensor can provide information about small vibrations that could be dangerous in certain situations. These smart home devices are primarily used by health care providers to ensure that nothing out of the ordinary is happening. Smart vibration sensors, for example, are being used to track how long patients stay in bed and whether they get a full night’s sleep. Building managers use vibration sensors to monitor the smooth operation of machines and pumps. As seen on this page, Aqara’s smart vibration sensor is also being marketed as a clever way to measure movement on doors and drawers.
Carbon monoxide detectors: I decided to categorize this smart device as security because it will also help to secure your health and well-being in general. Carbon monoxide detectors emit a sound if they detect unsustainable levels of CO2 in the same way that fire alarms do in the presence of a potential fire. These detectors can detect things that humans cannot. Because CO2 is a tasteless and odorless gas, a carbon monoxide detector can be useful in some situations. Installing these smart detectors on the wall is a good idea because carbon monoxide is lighter than air and thus does not rise as quickly.
2. Home Automation Temperature Control
We’ve grown accustomed to manually adjust the temperature in our homes over the years. Today, we have new technology that automatically adjusts this important aspect of our daily lives and comfort. Here are some of the most important home automation devices in this industry.
Smart thermostat: A smart thermostat not only automatically adjusts the temperature. It can also, by doing so, provide you with a significantly lower gas and electricity bill. Customers can save up to 26% on cooling and heating costs, according to ecobee, a manufacturer of smart thermostats. Smart thermostats, for example, work by adjusting to the optimal temperature (22°C) in relation to their immediate surroundings.
Temperature and humidity sensor: A temperature and humidity sensor falls under the same category as home automation devices. They can be an excellent choice for families with multiple rooms who live in multi-story homes. By using a temperature sensor, you can ensure that you always have the desired temperature. The Google Nest Temperature Sensor is a popular option in this category and will assist you in creating that cool bedroom that we all desire.
Smart air conditioner: Unfortunately, a smart air conditioner does not have an IQ higher than 150. However, it does connect to your virtual assistant and app, allowing you to control the air conditioner via wifi. But how does this make it intelligent? For starters, it allows you to control and plan a specific temperature in your home. Consider arriving at a cool and calming temperature after a hot summer day at the office (without air conditioning). Your dreams could come true if you invest in one of these smart home automation devices.
3. Home Automation lighting
When most people think of smart home automation devices, they probably envision smart bulbs, led strips, and the like. And this popular smart home technology is exactly what I’ll be discussing in this section.
Smart lights: What makes smart lights smarter than the standard light bulb we’ve been using for decades? For starters, there are not only bulbs but also led strips, panels, spots, light-up alarm clocks, and many more options. Personally, I’ve grown to appreciate the wide range of smart light bulbs offered by Philips Hue. I’ve been using the Hue Series to replace all of my standard electrical lighting solutions for the past five years. Even though I have been trained to install many other types of advanced lighting systems as an electrician, I only use Philips hue smart lights in my home.
Smart light switches: We’ve all heard of the dimmer function on certain light switches. However, as an electrician, I can tell you that these can be difficult and expensive to install. Especially in comparison to smart light switches, which almost all have a dimmer function. Dimmer light switches are no different than regular light switches. However, if you wanted to relocate the switch, you would have to pull new cable and connect the wires to a nearby outlet. Again, using the Philip Hue system, for example, you can easily place a dimmer switch wherever you want. Personally, I am grateful every day for the dimmer switch I have strategically placed beside my bed.
Motion detection lights: Sometimes smart lights don’t have to be as smart or connected to the internet as we might think. For many years, electricians have been familiar with the light sensor, which is installed and wired in the same way as a standard wall switch. This somewhat “smart” light solution is a no-brainer for anyone looking for automatic lights that turn on in the middle of a cold and dark winter morning.
4. Home Automated Comfort
Yes, we’ve arrived at the exciting part, in my opinion. Now that we’ve covered lighting, security, and temperature control, I think it’s time to move on to something a little more relaxing. As a man in his thirties who works in a physically demanding job, I welcome anything that will improve the comfort and ease of living in my own home. This section could also be titled “smart devices that you don’t need but are definitely nice to have.”
Smart garage door opener: Consider the following scenario on a cold and dark winter evening. Mother Nature has rolled open the floodgates, and the wind is howling. But now that you’re warm and cozy in your van, you have to step out and open the garage door. But don’t worry, because smart technology has arrived and will get us out of this jam. Smart garage door openers not only open the door automatically, but they are also a great security solution for keeping unwanted guests out. The obvious advantage of arriving at your house warm and dry is evident. This smart device, however, has one more useful feature. You could easily instruct a postman to place your new package safely inside the garage while you are not physically present by connecting the smart garage door opener to your wifi. I know that by the time I get my first garage, this will be at the top of my wish list.
Smart speakers: Smart speakers and smart music systems are available in a wide range of styles and brands. The common denominator is their wireless capabilities, which allow you to listen to music and podcasts regardless of where you are. I grew up in the 1990s and remember having to squeeze the headphone wire just right to get a clear signal. Fortunately, these times are now a distant memory. Smart music systems, such as the Sonos series, have quickly become one of the most popular smart speakers.
Smart tv: Even though I may be the only person on the planet without a smart television, I can’t wait to finally get my act together and buy one. The great thing about technological advancement is the wide range of options available from many brands. This not only provides us with advancements (such as 4k and 8k screens), but also lowers the cost of acquiring one (due to competition). So, when I finally get my own smart home TV, I’ll be able to join the club along with the rest of you.
Smart blinds: Blinds are already a life-saver for people like me who gets to bed early and need to block out the natural sunlight to get some sleep. Smart blinds is the revolutionary next part of this equation. Some people invest in alarm clocks that smoothly awakens you with artificial sunlight. If I were to choose, it would be to have the real thing. Smart blinds will typically have some type of remote control that you have to physically press. The next generation of smart blinds can be activated by either an app or even through voice commands.
5. Home Automated Energy Efficiency
One of the lesser-known advantages of investing in smart home automation is increased energy efficiency and thus lower energy bills. Even though you would have to invest in smart home devices to get started, you could reap some serious potential benefits later on. As previously stated, a smart thermostat can assist you in lowering your heating and cooling bills. But did you also know that you can make some smart changes to reduce your overall electricity bill? This is what I’ll talk about in the final section on home automation and smart devices.
Smart outlets: Smart outlets are a simple way to not only reduce your electricity costs. They can also provide some additional benefits in your daily life. You can program these smart devices to turn off after a certain amount of time. The ways in which you would use this feature are unique to each individual. For example, you may not require your television or computer to consume electricity while in standby mode. Did you know that standby electricity is actually a significant contributor to energy consumption? Depending on which appliances are left on standby, you could save well over $100 per year. As a result, a smart plug could become a great long-term investment.
Water sensor: In comparison to the smart outlet, a water sensor could save you not only money but also a rather large headache. Water sensors are smart home devices that detect water or leaks in places you don’t want them to. This could be in the basement with all of your valuables, or in any other unfortunate location. When a water sensor, such as the Aqara water leak sensor, detects flooding or a leak, an alert is sent to your phone. This sensor is simple to connect to Apple Homekit and voice recognition.
Is Smart Home Automation Devices Worth the Hype?
Some obvious benefits include increased home security, comfort, peace of mind, and lower energy costs, as I mentioned in this article. As a result, most people may benefit from a smart home automation system. These new smart devices connects our homes to the mobile device we’ve become accustomed to in recent years. So you could give it a shot and see if it works for you. Having said that, I would not advise you to jump in headfirst and install smart devices throughout your entire house. Look for a good fit and go big on it. That is exactly what I did, and I now only use home automation options that truly simplify and ease my life.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and that I have given you some useful information that has inspired you to learn more about what home automation can do for us.