Google Smart Home Devices | Source: Google

Hey Alexa, How Do I Make My Home Smart?

Chances are, you already have smart home devices in your home. With the rising popularity of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, it seems that smart devices are becoming an established part of everyday lives. And when lights, music and more can be controlled by voice alone, the benefits of automation tech cannot be understated.

But with so many smart home devices on the market, what’s worth buying? What gadgets will work inside your home? And can you connect using Bluetooth or do will you need a downloadable app? We’ve selected the devices which we think are making an impact in the home automation space.

Smart Hubs

When it comes to automating your home, a smart hub is a good investment. Allowing you to control multiple devices from the one hub as well as functioning as a decent speaker and thermostat, smart hubs can simplify your smart home. However, no one hub can control all of the various smart home devices on the market, so be prepared to install an app or two when it comes to using smart tech throughout your home.

The two main hubs on the market include Amazon’s Alexa, which boasts multiple radios so you can connect to numerous low-power smart home devices, and the Google Home offers the ability to connect to android smart TVs.

Video Doorbells

While certainly not new, video doorbells have come a long way. With the ability to connect your doorbell to an app, talk with visitors live and see them in HD, as well as set up multiple cameras within the one system – video doorbells are a fantastic way to introduce more smart tech into your home.

A popular and highly rated wireless video doorbell includes the Ring Video Doorbell 4. Offering night vision, enhanced wifi and motion notifications the Video Doorbell 4 is a solid choice. The Arlo Essential Wireless Security Camera is also highly rated with similar features to the Ring doorbell. If you’re looking for a video doorbell system that allows you to see visitors from both your phone and from a fixed position in your home, the DoorBird IP Intercom Video Indoor Station is for you.

Smart Lighting

While turning on lights with a simple ‘lights on’ used to be impressive, now smart lighting gadgets allow you to sync your lighting with your music and movies to create the ultimate ambient experience. If you’re looking to install some smart lighting into your home, consider the Philips Hue starter kit, which offers you the ability to choose from over 16 million colours and can sync with your media.

Or, if you’re after permanent switches in your home along with the ability to control lighting through voice control and an app, consider the Caseta by Lutron Smart Lighting Kit.

Smart Shades

As one of the first mainstream smart home offerings, smart shades were once a considerable expense. Now there’s a range of automated blinds that work with voice assistants or from apps, like the Serena Smart Shades from Lutron. Offered in a range of colours and fabrics, the Serena smart shades allow you to control all your blinds at the touch of a button, or from the Lutron App and Smart Bridge, so you can control them from anywhere at any time.

Smart Keypads

If you’re after a physical interface rather than relying on voice control and apps – which can admittedly be very frustrating at times- then a smart keypad might be for you. In terms of aesthetics as well as functionality, the Basalte Sentido is up there with the best, offering multitouch functionalities and an integrated temperature sensor.

Find out how to integrate sleek design while making your home smart here.

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