The smart home revolution is taking over, and it's promising to make home living affordable, convenient, and safe. With home automation, you can connect your home appliances to your phone and control them remotely to automatically turn off the lights and appliances that are not in use. Smart home products can make your life easy and fun, but most importantly help you save on energy, hence pay less on your utility bills. If you don’t want to be left behind on the smart home energy-efficient appliances revolution, here’s a list of devices you should consider installing in your home.
Our Pick: Philips Hue Smart Light Bulb Starter Kit (costs between $160 – 199.99 on Amazon)
Forgetting to turn off the lights is a common habit that wastes a lot of resources. With a smart lighting device, such as the Philips Hue Smart Light Bulb, you can switch off your lights, regardless of your location via your smartphone or tablet. You can also set the lighting controls to turn the lights on or off whenever you want. Another amazing feature is that the bulbs light up when someone enters the room and goes off if there is no movement, thanks to motion detectors. These bulbs use LED technology which is way more efficient than incandescent bulbs, plus they last long (up to 25,000 hours).
Not only will you be spending less on bulbs, but also on electricity. Philips Hue is also compatible with Alexa making it possible to control the ambiance of the lights using voice commands. What's more, you get to play around with fun color schemes, such as green, blue, and pink to suit your moods. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, get started with Philips Hue White which goes for $89 and comes with two LED Smart Bulbs with Bluetooth capabilities. Alternatively, get the Sengled Element Plus Starter Kit for $60 on Amazon and control the warmth and hue of each bulb from your phone via Google Home Mini.
Our Pick: Nest Learning Thermostat (cost starts from $189)
Undoubtedly, heating and cooling bills take up a huge chunk of your monthly budget allocations. It's estimated that an average family spends approximately $2000 annually on utilities alone, with $1000 going to heating and cooling expenses. With a smart thermostat, you can save immensely since the device helps you to monitor how energy is being used within the house and the outside temperature. The Nest Learning Thermostat features a clear display that’s easy to read. The device learns your habits and automatically adjusts the temperature to save money. Alternative Smart Thermostats include:
- Ecobee 3 at $249.
- Honeywell starts from $47 depending on the type.
- Vivint Element Thermostat starts from $75.
Smart Plugs or Power Strips Our Pick:
Sense Energy Monitors (costs $249 on Amazon)
Lighting is not the only thing you can control remotely. Appliances are energy hogs that are also subject to being left on when not in use. With the Sense Energy Monitors, you can monitor which appliance is using energy and turn it off if not in use. This device shows you which appliances are draining your wallet or any other anomalies, hence helping you to conserve energy, and save money. If you want a budget device, go for the Monoprice Stitch Mini which gives you real-time energy usage monitoring of any device that you plug in. Other alternatives include:
- Wimo Insight and Wimo Mini smart plugs starting from $39.99
- Etekcity Volton Wi-Fi smart plug mini outlet starting from $18.99
Smart Security Devices
Our Pick: Vivint All-In-One Security Systems
Want to save on your home insurance? Get a comprehensive system from Vivint home security systems for your safety and convenience. They offer 24/7 professional monitoring, plus impressive extras, such as voice control commands with Amazon Alexa. It’s a complete home automation solution at a competitive rate with options to control climate, lights, locks as well as keyless entry. Other home security solutions to consider include Frontpoint, Protect American and ADT security systems.
Our Pick: Flo by Moen (costs $499.99)
Every water drop counts towards your water bill, and that’s where Flo by Moen comes in. This device monitors water usage so that you can know where all your water is going and reduce wastage. It also comes with a leak detection technology that shuts off the water system to prevent more water wastage. Amazingly, you can also remotely control your water to conserve more. If you like your garden or yard green, then it means you need to be sprinkling water regularly. Get yourself a smart sprinkler, such as the Rachio 3 to help cut water use. The device auto-adjusts to the weather and soil condition to optimize water usage. Plus, you can set it and forget it – and the device will water your yard as per your schedule.
To Consider Before Your Purchase
Setting up a smart home is easy and affordable. Home automation products make home life convenient, comfortable, and safe. And, you get to save more energy while enjoying all that technology has to offer.
- Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs: LED technology offers up to 25000 hours compared to 1000 hours for incandescent bulbs.
- Nest Learning Thermostat: large display makes it easy to use.
- Sense Energy Monitors: allows you to monitor appliances that use energy the most with the option to turn them off remotely.
- Vivint Security Systems: All-in-one home security system for complete protection and energy saving.
- Flo by Moen: you don’t have to worry about water leaks or frozen pipes anymore.
What Do They Say on Other Sites
“Yes, I’m another proud Nest concert and will never look back! It’s simply awesome for my gas heating and cooling forced air system here in Texas. The weather changes seasons inside of one day here during the winter months so having a Thermostat that switches between AC and furnace automatically is amazing to me. Only thing I would recommend beyond this is a 3rd party plate like the POPMAS copper plate I bought here from Amazon. The neat comes with a super cheap plastic plate that will look terrible. If you’re going to spend $200-250 on a Nest, do spend another $20 on the plate.” (Joe Granger on Amazon)
“I recently purchased the Rachio Gen 3. It's placed outside, so also bought the outdoor enclosure. Both were easy to physically install ( I was replacing another sprinkler controller.) I did have to call the support line several times due to issues with WiFi connecting to the device. They were helpful on the phone and follow-up call. Once the Rachio connected with my wifi, it was a snap to set up, label, customize and test all the watering zones. It's raining today and I was informed that the schedule I'd set would be on hold due to the rain. Perfect! Also nice to control and manage everything from the well-thought out phone app. Highly recommended.” (Mr. Bill on Best Buy)
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