Automate your home from A-Z with these great Smart Home Gadgets and time saving ideas from iRewire.
We all live busy lives and there’s nothing more annoying than knowing you’ve left for work - or on holiday for a few weeks and left the heating or the lights on. Luckily technology for the home has developed so much in the last few years that there are lots of amazing solutions that can automate processes in your home, as well as allow to control things remotely.
Whether you are at home or heading off somewhere, make life less stressful and the home easier to manage with these smart home gadget ideas, starting with A…
… is for Alexa and Amazon
It’s been widely promoted in the last few years and is central to a lot of what you can do at home. Connecting an Alexa device to many types of gadgets (some of which are listed here) means you can control them from the comfort of your sofa, or even while abroad!
B is for Doorbell
Being at the bottom of the garden when the doorbell rings can be annoying but there are solutions now that allow you to see and talk to whoever is there through an app on your phone! You may still need to get to the front door but at least you know it’s for a good reason and you can respond immediately rather than leaving someone waiting.
Running long cables around a house to install CCTV is becoming less popular now in favour of wireless cameras that connect to the internet. And whilst they may not be as robust in some ways compared to industrial surveillance systems, they have some pretty nifty features, including the ability to receive notifications when someone is in your garden or driveway and the option to see what’s going on remotely from your phone.
Dash is a device from Amazon that allows you to order more pet food, washing powder or another consumable just by pressing the button. It connects to your WiFi and avoids having to mess around with your phone or leave the house to get more supplies.
F is for Fridge - and we were surprised when doing research to find fridges* available that connect to speakers or allow you to remotely see what’s inside your fridge. You may find a use for these, but we liked the feature that you can order more supplies through a touchscreen on the fridge door. Could this mean morning coffees will never be without milk again?
Google Hub uses Google Assistant and works in a very similar way to Alexa. There are so many ways you can use these devices we won’t cover them here.
H is for Heating (and Hive) - and you save costs on your utility bills with these new home heating smart devices. There’s also the added convenience that you can boost the heating remotely before you set off to go home, making sure you aren’t returning to a cold house.
IFTT stands for If This Then That and the term comes from programming languages. This shouldn’t put you off. IFTT, like many other solutions, is an app for your phone where you can set up a range of automations such as sending a text message or turn on your WiFi on your phone when you arrive home or get a notification to take your umbrella if it’s forecast to rain today!
L is for lightbulb (smart lightbulb)
Lightbulbs with WiFi built-in means you can put your lights on a timer while you are away. Gone to bed and left the lounge light on? Not to worry - you can ask your Google hub or Alexa device by your bedside to turn off the living room light.
Nest is a smart heating device, similar to Hive (see H)
Sonos is a hub similar to some of the Amazon and Google versions. The main difference is that this device is focused on sound quality. Music fans can now wake up or come home to their favourite music played on high-quality speakers.
S is also for Smart plug and these handy devices allow you to control when you want the power on for a particular device. Most smart plugs allow you to have a timer so that devices only come on - or switch off - at certain times of the day and certain days. This could be for the pump on your outdoor sprinkler system, your child’s night light or electric radiator. The possibilities are endless.
And finally, Z is for Zapier
Zapier is very similar to IFTT but is more for orientated towards office tasks and is worth considering if you work from home.
The apps and devices mentioned above are only a small selection of what’s available for your smart home. If you need help with wiring in your smart home and upgrading your fusebox to make sure you have the right smart devices set up in your home then get in touch with our rewiring experts today for a quote.
*including but not limited to https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/household-appliances/refrigeration/fridge-freezers/samsung-family-hub-rf56m9540sr-eu-american-style-smart-fridge-freezer-real-stainless-10164049-pdt.html