What Makes a Smart Home Device Worth It?
At this point, it’s rare to find a home without at least one smart home device. Smart home tech such as voice assistants, smart thermostats, and smart lighting have become a standard part of modern homes. What now? When it comes to evaluating smart home gadgets, there are a few questions we ask:
- Does the product actually make my home smarter?
- Is the price worth the benefit?
- Does it integrate with other smart home devices?
Fast Forward to a Smart Home Gadget
Click a link for more information about one of these smart home devices:
- Smart Toilet Cleaner
- Smart Curtain Opener
- Smart Ceiling Fan
- Smart Door Lock
- Smart Garage Door
- Smart Home Energy Management
- Smart Water Controller
- Smart Trash Can
- Smart Lawn Mower
- Smart Pool Cleaner
Best New Smart Home Devices
Some of us are at a loss when it comes to finding new, practical smart home gadgets that actually do something useful. Using the criteria above, we found some practical, less known smart home devices that are really worth investing in.
Shine Bathroom Assistant
The Shine automatic toilet cleaner uses electrolyzed water to clean and deodorize your toilet bowl. But that’s not all. Amazingly enough, Shine can also monitor water usage, detect and pinpoint the source of leaks, and guide you through repairs in the app!
This small wireless robot attaches to your curtains, so you can open or close them through the app or automatically at scheduled times. It also uses a sunlight sensor, which can help you save heat and air conditioning. Switchbot smart curtain integrates with Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and other smart home hubs.
Hunter SIMPLEconnect Smart Ceiling Fan
The SIMPLEconnect smart fan is available in 3 styles, each with different color options, blade shapes, and lighting. You can control the fan and light separately in the SIMPLEconnect mobile app. You can also use Google Assistant, Alexa, or Apple HomeKit to set your fans and lights to run on a schedule for a set amount of time.
August Smart Lock
For those that often lose house keys or forget whether the front door is locked or not, August is a lifesaver. This smart lock attaches to your deadbolt and works with Wifi and Bluetooth to enable keyless entry through the app. Your keys will still work, but you can also lock or unlock your door while you are away or turn on location services to automatically open your door when you pull in the driveway.
August locks your deadbolt minutes after you close the door, so your home is always safe and secure. As if that wasn’t enough, the August app allows you to assign different entry codes to each user, so you always know who is coming and going. The app works with Android or iOS phones and watches. It also integrates with popular voice assistants, such as Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit.
Vivint Garage Door Control
A similar device for garage doors, the Vivint Smart Home App allows you to control your garage door and locks from your phone. You can pair it with the Vivint Doorbell Camera to allow mail carriers to leave packages in your garage. Best of all, the kit includes a garage door monitor and sensor. If someone tries to open your garage door, the app will notify you of tampering and trigger an alarm.
Scala Smart Energy Management System
Scala is an eco-centric smart device. Its built-in sensors record room temperature, air quality, and humidity, which you can check at any time. You can also control these home comfort elements by voice or through the Joule app. Scala Satellites monitor the amount of electricity consumed by individual appliances. Based on this data, the hub and the app are able to provide helpful energy usage forecasts and notifications.
Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller
When attached to your outdoor water spigot, Eve Aqua allows you to turn your faucet on and off from anywhere you may be. Fill your pool, water your garden, or let your kids run in the sprinkler without having to remember to turn the water off. This convenient water controller can be set to run manually, automatically, and on a timer from any iOS device or voice assistant. It even estimates and monitors usage, so you know what to expect on your next water bill.
Bruno is a smart trash can that notifies you when it’s time to take the trash out or buy more bags. One of the coolest features of Bruno is the vortex vacuum inlet, which allows you to sweep directly into the trash bag. It also has a built in charger and filtration unit. On the down side, you can only use Bruno trash bags, which isn’t as convenient as running to your local grocery store when you need a refill.
Ego Self Propelled Mower
This smart lawn mower can run for over an hour to collect up to 2 bushels of grass with just the push of a button. Basically, it’s a Roomba for your lawn. Ego features adjustable speed and cutting height, as well as mulching, bagging and discharge functions. The down side here is that it does require manual interaction, as it does not integrate with apps and devices. Even so, it seems well worth it to save some time and energy on a hot summer day.
Ariel by Solar Breeze
Most pool owners enjoy the perks of owning a pool, but not the regular pool maintenance. Ariel is a robot that cleans the surface of your pool, so you don’t have to skim it manually everyday. Again, it’s like a Roomba, but for your pool. Ariel runs for up to 10 hours and does not use a hose or power cord. It consumes much less energy than a pool pump, so it’s better for the environment and your electric bill, too!
Reliable Smart Home Product Reviews
If you’re looking for product reviews and ratings, based on testing from qualified pros, we recommend PCMag Smart Home Reviews and CNet’s Best Smart Home Devices for 2021. Both of these sources are always up to date on the latest smart home technology and provide unbiased product reviews and “best of” lists from every angle you can imagine. When a new smart home product hits the market, you’ll find it here first.
Contact IRC to learn how to integrate smart home devices into your home remodel!