Smart Home Technology

Smart homes and smart home gadgets that allow us to control items around the house using voice commands or an app on your smartphone are not necessarily what one would consider ‘brand new technology’.  However, what may surprise you is how robust and affordable home automation is becoming.

Smart home products offer something as simple as turning your lights on and off to alerting you to an intruder when you’re hundreds of miles away. The number of products available is rapidly growing and can be overwhelming so I thought I would highlight a few favorite products that my family and I have 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 motion-activated and discreet doorbell monitor notifies you when someone approaches your front door and can even record video footage. The speaker allows you to provide instructions for delivery, deter an unwanted salesperson, and so much more.  The best part: you can do this from anywhere! They will never know if you’re right inside laying in your La-Z-Boy, at the office, or enjoying the shores of Hawaii. This gadget has helped us to keep track of deliveries, and most importantly helped us to feel more secure. Cost: $100+  
  3. Sensi--We’ve all had those days where we can’t remember if we adjusted the thermostat before running out the door and come home to find the A/C has been blasting all day! This handy little device is a Wi-Fi thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature in your house from an app on your phone.  With it officially being summer here in Southern California, this app offers the convenience of turning the air on to your desired temperature of comfort before you arrive home. Convenience plus helping you conserve energy & 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.

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