Remember when a mobile phone weighed four pounds? When caller ID was a revelation; and getting chipped ice from your refrigerator door made you feel like a Rockefeller?
Smart devices for our home have come a long way. Never have they been so accessible and, more importantly, affordable. You don’t have to be a Rockefeller (or a Kardashian) to leverage the advances in technology to make your home safer and easier to manage, even when far away. They offer remote connectivity, the ability to schedule when devices run, and built-in automation and safety.
Below we offer an unbiased review of the best smart home devices for 2020 including thermostats, security systems, lighting and medical alert systems.
Smart thermostats save money and energy while maintaining optimum temperature. They are equipped with sensors that can determine if a home is empty or full and adjust the temperature accordingly.
A smart thermostat allows users to schedule different temperatures for different times of the day and even different days of the week. You can save money and electricity by turning down the heat or AC while away at work or while sleeping and schedule a comfy temperature for when you wake up or return from work. These devices are easy to install on your own and are very cost-effective.
Smart Security System
Depending on the package you choose, Smart Security systems include sensors, alarms, and cameras, or you could choose to buy a single product a la carte.
These solutions are great options for homeowners who have multiple properties or travel a lot. A smart security system is accessible through a website or a single app. Users can view security footage, speak to visitors through an intercom, and monitor an alarm if it goes off while away.
Home Entrance Products
Securing your entryway is one of the least expensive choices for smart devices. Options include smart locks, smart doorbells, and outdoor cameras. With any of these products, you can have complete control over who is allowed inside your home or property. And you’ll have an extra eye on any intruders or suspicious activity.
With a smart lock, you can purchase devices that use fingerprints, keypads or fully remote access through a mobile app. These locks will allow you to set your own code or program access through certain user’s phones. Through a corresponding app, you may also be able to lock your door from any location and monitor access throughout the day.
Medical Alert Systems
Smart devices are often great options for seniors aging in place. Medical alert systems come in a variety of options, including wearable devices, at-home stations, and on-the-go medical alerts. The device you choose is dependent on your lifestyle, budget and individual preferences.
Many medical alert companies offer smartwatch options, which are great for seniors who want to remain active with the security of immediate emergency help. Smartwatches work by providing some medical tracking capabilities, such as activity per day and heart rate. If the user experiences a medical emergency, they can get help with the push of a button and even speak directly to a responder through the watch. For watches with GPS capabilities, emergency can arrive faster than ever.
These watches are also especially great for loved ones who wish to monitor the user’s safety. The watch provides information through an online portal, so the caregiver or loved one can make sure they’re okay in real time.
Smart plugs are the ultimate smart device because they allow users to transform regular devices into remote smart devices. Imagine waking up in the morning and being able to turn on your coffee maker from your bed. It’s possible with smart plug, which is much more affordable that buying a dedicated smart device.
The smart plug connects with a mobile app where you can turn a device on and off or set it to run on a schedule. Some smart plugs might even connect with voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home, so you can control them verbally. It’s easy to turn your home into a smart home with an easy-to-use, cost-effective smart plug.
Finding the Right Smart Home Products
It may be overwhelming choosing the right smart device for you and your lifestyle – options abound. Begin by evaluating the main priorities inside your home and allocate your budget accordingly.
If safety is your may concern, a smart security system and smart door lock may be your best options. For seniors at home, a medical alert smartwatch is the most important device for safety in and out of the home.
Using devices like smart plugs, you can fully customize your home to match your needs. Regardless of your needs, always be sure to read customer reviews before you choose a device. Consider things like installation, price point, customer support, and long-term use as you’re evaluating each product.