Everyday I get asked “What are your FAVORITE Smart Home devices?”, so today I’m going to give you my Top 5 Simple Smart Home Devices that you can put into your home before Thanksgiving. I picked each of these products based on three criteria, 1-Budget Friendly, 2-Ease of use and 3-Impact on enhancing your life. So while there are additional products out there that can be used, these are just some of my favorites based on those 3 benchmarks.
1. Video Doorbells. These little things are one of my FAVORITE game changers for in the house. With very little work, and a good wi-fi connection, this doorbell will allow you to see who comes to your door anytime via there app. Ring is currently my “go-to” product for these because they have a great price point and a variety of options based on your needs. With an MSRP ranging from $99.99-249.00 this product has a low entry price point, but a BIG impact to enhancing your life. The question that I get asked most often on these doorbells, is “What one is right for me?”. There are 3 models that you will see most often. The Video Doorbell at $99.99, the Video Doorbell 2 at $199.00 and the Video Doorbell Pro at $249.00. I personally prefer the second 2 options because the first one, although it has a better price point at the start, will cost you more in the long run as you will have to replace batteries. The V2 (Video Doorbell 2) model is also battery operated, but this model allows you to add a Solar Charger for only $49.00 that takes away the need to continually replace batteries. The one I like the best however is the Pro. While this one does cost just a little bit more, since it is hardwired using the wires you had on your old doorbell there is no need to have batteries and it therefore has a slimmer design. As far as ease of use, install on any of these models, including downloading the app and full step-by-step walk through should take most people less than an hour to complete and Ring makes sure you have all of the tools you need to complete the job right in the box . They give you 4 face colors to choose from, white, black, brown and silver.
2. Smart Thermostats. Not only do these things look WAY better than our previous thermostat predecessors, they make your life so much better! Many of the models out there, like the Nest (my current “go-to” product for this category) will actually ‘learn’ your behaviors and preferences. That means that although you will have a little work the first week or so adjusting the temperature to your preferences after that, it will begin to automatically adapt your home to create the best environment for you all while saving you money on your utilities. Installation on this device should take you less than an hour for install and set up as well. Nest claims that individuals report savings of 10-12% on heating bills and up to 15% on cooling bills. Products like this with an MSRP of $249.00 are a no brainer if you ask me as they will more than cover their own cost in future bill savings all while making your life just a little easier. Nest comes in a variety of colors to suite everyone’s room aesthetics, stainless steel, white, black, copper, polished steel, brass and mirror black.
3. Sonos Beam. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you already know how much I love my music….it just seems to make everyday tasks that much more fun and enjoyable! So I was super geeked when Sonos, a company that I use often on my projects introduced their new Sonos Beam. With an MSRP of $399.99 and packed with AMAZING sound, in my opinion this should be the #1 sound bar sold this holiday season. What I really like about this sounder is that it can not only connect to your television and enhance the sound from your TV, it easily allows you to stream any of your music content, all right from an app on your phone. I also like that you can upgrade the Beam in the future to create a full 5.1 surround system in your room by adding a Sonos Sub and either in-ceiling speakers and a Sonos Connect Amp for your rears or two Sonos Ones to give you a full surround sound experience. These are great for bedroom or den televisions and can be mounted on the wall with the television. I’ve also seen them used in kitchen spaces by being mounted under a cabinet or placed above the refrigerator or on top to the cabinets if you are just looking for some great sound in that space. The Sonos Beam is available in black or white and every time I set one up for a client, they are super impressed with the sound that they are able to get from their television and the LOVE the addition of being able to stream their music so effortlessly!
4. Smart Door Locks. There are a variety of Smart Door Locks out there, but I currently work a lot with Kwikset. These locks allow you to use their app to quickly see if the door is locked, allow you to create one time or repeated access code during set times for individuals like contractors, get real-time alerts for when the kids come home and so much more. With an MSRP ranging from $95 up to about $400 depending on the style you choose, these are a wonderful addition to any home. I especially like adding these to clients’ side garage access doors and I’ve seen a real trend in these for vacation homes, especially rentals….just think, no more lost keys and you don’t have to worry about a weekend renter making a copy for future use. Just create a code for them to use that only works during their stay.
5. MyQ Enabled Garage Door Openers. Many of you out there that have purchased a new garage door opener or have moved into a new house in the last year may already have this product but you either didn’t know you did or don’t know how to set it up to use it. MyQ allows you to control your garage door opener from anywhere! The first thing you want to do for this little device is to go to your garage and see if you your opener has the “MyQ” symbol on it. If it has it, awesome! If not, don’t worry, I’ll address a solution for that shortly. If your opener does have the “MyQ” symbol only, you may need to purchase the MyQ hub to be able to utilize the full benefits of your opener. If it has “MyQ WiFi” on it, you are all set! All you need to do is download the app, go through he step by step set up and you will be able to see when your garage door was opened, for how long and experience many more benefits. If your opener needs the hub or if you have an opener that was made after 1993, the MyQ Hub should still allow you access to all of the perks of this opener for only $79.99 MSRP. This little piece will give you an amazing peace of mind any time you travel away from your home.
So that’s it….my current FAVORITE 5 Simple Smart Home Devices to Update Your House Before Thanksgiving! My hope is that you will see that these products aren’t scary or difficult to use and that they can really enhance your life and give you some peace of mind. If you have questions about any of these great products or would like to purchase any of them, feel free to contact me at my website at TruMedia Home.
My goal in sharing this information with you and educating you on these and any other products is that while I know many of you will choose to use the DIY (Do It Yourself) path, my hope is to introduce you to a concept of DIWY (Do It With You). I believe that anyone adding these devices should have a trusted resource for their information…I am happy to be that resource for you, I just ask that if you choose to purchase any of these products and you found my information helpful, please consider purchasing those products through my company, TruMedia. If you need assistance installing them, we are happy to schedule a time to get you all set up with one or all of these smart home devices at your home before the holidays! For more about these and other great projects that we are working on, check out my Facebook and Instagram pages as well.
Let me know what you think….if your favorite didn’t make the list, let me know. Have a new product out there you’d like to learn more about? Shoot me a message. If you are a manufacturer of a product, reach out…I’d love to hear what your new smart home technology is!