Smart Home Technology

Home automation is becoming more and more common and affordable. Smart home gadgets enable us to control items around the house using voice commands or an app on your smartphone. These smart home products offer the convenience of simple functions such as cleaning the floors, adjusting the temperature, locking doors or turning lights on or off in your home remotely. But they can also provide so much more like security from a surveillance camera or video doorbell and they can even help you save on your heating and energy costs. The number of products available is rapidly growing and can be overwhelming so I thought I would highlight a few favorite products that I’ve found helpful.

  1. Amazon Echo—This Bluetooth speaker is powered by Alexa, Amazon’s handy voice assistant. You can ask her questions, have her tell you the weather or top news stories, stream your favorite music, or even play a game, plus a myriad of other features. Cost: $29.99   
  2. Ring--This video doorbell notifies you when someone approaches your front door and can even record video footage, whether they ring the doorbell or not, since it is motion activated.  It has a speaker so you can greet them from your phone and ask them to just leave the package on the porch, if it’s a delivery, or you can tell them you’re not interested, if it’s a salesperson so they will move on.  You can talk to them as if you’re at home, even if you’re hundreds of miles away.  This is helpful for tracking deliveries, keeping your home secure, and especially monitoring visitors at your door, whether you’re home or not. Cost: $100  
  3. Sensi--This Wi-Fi thermostats allows you to adjust the temperature in the house from an app on your phone.  It also offers the convenience of turning the air on before you arrive home to bring the house to a desired temperature or verify you turned it off after leaving for the day or on vacation.  This device can offer convenience plus help you save money.  Cost: $95
  4. MyQ--This Wi-Fi garage door opener allows you to remotely open or close your garage door. This has proved helpful for guests arriving when we’re not home, as well as confirming we remembered to shut the door after leaving and if we forgot, being able to take care of that oversight.   Cost: $50

There are so many apps now to control lighting and even preheat your oven!  To access a list of the best smart home devices of 2019, according to PC Magazine, click here.

Leave a message for John

Want to take the next step?