Expert's Guide to the Best Smart Home Devices
No doubt you’ve heard a lot about smart home devices, but how can you separate the facts from the science fiction promises? Most smart home devices currently run on either the Alexa or Google platforms and include devices geared toward security, entertaining, and cost-saving efficiency. Choosing the right smart home device is all about ensuring that your devices work together seamlessly and that you are fully optimizing their potential.
What is a Smart Home Device?
A smart home device is a product that connects to the internet and allows the user to automate tasks or execute voice commands to control various aspects of their home. This can range from the lights in your bedroom to the lawn sprinklers outside.
Must-Have Smart Home Devices
Many people struggle to understand and properly utilize smart home capabilities, devices, and elements. It may be hard to understand how a smart lightbulb, for instance, is going to be a game-changer in your home. In many cases, people buy bits and pieces of a smart home system without an overarching plan in place.
Instead of thinking of smart home devices as individual elements, it is best to think of them as part of an overall, integrated system. To do that, you’ll need to decide which platform you want your smart devices to work with. The two dominant platforms are Alexa by Amazon and Google.
Alexa Smart Home Devices
Alexa-integrated devices work with voice commands through the Amazon Alexa, as well as Amazon’s popular line of Echo products and Amazon Tap. If you are already a power Amazon Prime user, Alexa’s smart home environment may be a good fit for you.
Google Smart Home Devices
Google Home and its associated smart home appliances offer a wide range of options. If you already run your life with the Google Calendar, do your work on a Chromebook, and love your Pixel phone, you may want to choose Google for your smart home integration.
Best Smart Home Devices for the Way You Live Now
The best smart home systems are integrated and streamlined to ensure that you can take full advantage of their capabilities and adapt them to the way you live. Rather than serving individual, discrete functions, they become part of a system - and part of your daily routine.
Smart locks on the doors mean never having to rush home over a forgotten key or unexpected guest. You can open your door from anywhere and monitor who comes and goes. If you’re inside and the doorbell rings, know who is there and answer without missing a beat with a smart doorbell and door integration.
Inside and out, monitor your home with smart cameras and sensors. Prevent unexpected flooding with water leak sensors and shutoffs. Let your smart home monitor weather reports and alert you if there is a storm coming your way. Anything you do can be made safer and more secure with a smart home integration.
If you love having guests over, you’ll love the convenience of a smart home design throughout the home. Set the perfect mood with integrated lighting and audio controls for any occasion. Use voice commands to run all of your home’s entertainment options, from streaming platforms to gaming systems.
You’ll enjoy tastier treats with a smart kitchen, designed to ensure timing, techniques, and ingredients are all just right. From a connected coffee pot to a connected herb garden, you’ll taste the difference at every meal. Never run out of your essentials when you integrate everything from a smart fridge to a smart egg carton -- and update your grocery order with just a word.
Optimize your water use, electricity, and heating and air conditioning with convenient monitoring, analytics, and timers. Shut off forgotten lights, turn up the temperature when no one is home, and make sure hidden leaks don’t impact your utility bill.
By bringing in greater efficiency and identifying hidden costs, you’ll find that many of your smart home appliances pay for themselves. When you can have the perfect meal or the perfect cup of coffee at home, you’ll eat out less. When you experience more ease and convenience at home, you’ll spend less time going out. You may even find that movie night at home is far more fun than movie night out.
Smart home technology can enhance everything you do, both when you’re at home and away. Because we believe it is so important, Pulte ensures that smart home technology is part of your home’s design, making every day easier and more convenient.
Contributed to Your Home blog by Christy Murdock Edgar
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