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Unlock Doors, Open Curtains Automatically, and More with Smart Devices
Creating a smart home is becoming more popular every day. With endless devices to choose from, I wanted to share my 10 favorite pieces of tech from this past year. These devices will help create a smart home of your dreams in 2023. Some of the devices are older products which are still worth the investment. I’m providing links to all the items I discuss in the description. I hope this list serves as an inspiration for buying the best devices for your needs going into the new year.
Schlage Encode+ Smart Lock: A Homekit Compatible Smart Lock
Leading my top 10 is the Schlage Encode+, my new favorite smart lock. This device is Homekit compatible, as well as compatible with Google and Amazon Assistants. Installing the device was easy and done entirely within the Homekit app. Multiple users can access the lock with their phones or Apple Watches. Additionally, the lock has a feature that allows you to hit a button on the lock itself when you leave and it will automatically lock the door. Although the lock was due for a Matter update to the new protocol, unfortunately it has yet to come. To be on the safe side, I recommend holding off to the beginning of next year to make a purchase.
Buy it from amazon – link
EcoBee Smart Thermostat: Perfect for Any Room
The second device on the list is the newest EcoBee Smart Thermostat, an incredibly versatile and smart device. It works with HomeKit, Google, and Amazon Assistants. Notably, the thermostat has an amazing Smart Sensor that is awesome for monitoring the temperature and occupancy in a room Then, it will adjust the thermostat accordingly when in a room. For example, in the summer, the thermostat can detect when a room is too hot and turn the fan on. This device is a great way to add smarts to a room without breaking the bank.
Strong Wi-Fi Network: The Foundation of a Smart Home
An essential piece of tech to create a smart home is a great router. Today’s smart homes are reliant on strong Wi-Fi for all your devices to work properly. I’m a fan of the Orbi Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System from Netgear. This router system includes one base and two satellites, which has the potential to allow your router to cover up to 9,000 square feet. Additionally, you can easily connect up to 200 devices with this router. This is a great way to make sure your house has a great Wi-Fi connection and is future-proofed, so you get the fastest speeds that you’re paying for and reliable coverage.
Switchbot Bot and Curtain: Automate Your Home Away From Home
Third and fourth on my list are the Switchbot Bot and Curtain. Both of these devices are great for automating any dumb devices, like a coffee machine or garage door. As for the Bot, it’s a button-pusher that is easily mounted on your device with double-stick tape. For the Curtain, you can automatically open your curtains at sunrise and close them at sunset. It’s a fun way to make your home feel more automated. I also love that I didn’t need to buy customized curtains, I just used curtains I already had. However, for both of these devices, you’ll need the Switchbot Hub for compatibility with assistants.
Lutron Casétta Smart Switches: A Reliable Smart Switch
Number five on my list is the Lutron Casétta Smart Switches. These are more expensive than most smart switches, but they’re worth the investment. They connect to a Hub to talk to the internet instead of connecting to your Wi-Fi. This added relay makes them incredibly reliable, which is why I’m willing to pay the higher prices these switches come with. Additionally, I love that they look incredibly stylish, making them a great addition to any home.
Nanoleaf Essential Bulbs and Light Strips: A Professional’s Choice
Coming in at number six is the Nanoleaf Essential Bulbs and Light Strips. Coming from a professional lighting designer, these are my go-to for white light. They offer great options for cool to warm white light and are free from any unwanted hints of pink or blue. Additionally, I’ve been using the Adaptive Lighting feature to make the lighting in my living room feel more natural by having the lights get bluer in the mornings and warmer in the evenings.
Maximize Convenience With a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats make home comfort control easy to manage. By connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi, you can remotely adjust the temperature to keep your home just the right temperature. You can also set schedules and energy-saving modes to save money on your utility bills. The Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the most popular options, but there are many others that offer similar features.
Automate Lighting With Smart Lightbulbs
Kinetic lighting can be achieved with smart LED lightbulbs that are individually or collectively controllable by Wi-Fi. Smart lightbulbs can be programmed to automatically switch off when no one’s home, creating the illusion that someone is home when you’re away. You can even use voice commands using the Amazon Echo and similar devices with Alexa integration.
Ease of Control With Smart Plugs
Smart plugs can be immensely useful in automating home tasks. With these tiny devices, you can easily turn on or off any device that’s plugged into them. You can even remotely control them with an app or voice commands. Smart plugs can be used to set schedules, access your home’s energy history, and create scenes to instantly control all of your home’s connected devices.
Keep An Eye On Things With Smart Cameras
Smart cameras offer high definition video feeds and can be used to remotely check on your home from anywhere. You can receive alerts when motion is detected, view who is at your door, or check in on your pet when you’re away. Many cameras include speaker and microphone functions, so you can communicate with people at home in real-time.
Protect Your Home With Smart Security Devices
Home security has come a long way, and today’s devices offer more ease of use, convenience, and security than ever before. Smart locks allow you to remotely control access to your home. Smart sensors can be used to detect movement, sound, and smoke, and can trigger alerts if anything out of the ordinary is detected.
Apple Home Integration With the Apple TV
The new Apple TV integrates seamlessly with Apple’s home automation framework, HomeKit. You can use the device as a local control hub for HomeKit compatible devices, as well as access your cameras and customize favorite scenes. It offers a superior smart home interface than Amazon and Fire TV, making it a great addition to any home.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro: An Easy Way to Add Security
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is an excellent option to add an extra layer of security to your home. The Pro model uses advanced motion detection technology to differentiate between people, animals and general motion, eliminating false alarms. In addition, clips from the camera can be saved to your iCloud account and photos gallery, so you can quickly review any recorded activity.
Optimize Your Home With A Z-Wave Hub
Z-Wave Hubs are essential for those looking to fully automate their home. With a Z-Wave hub, you can access and control the entire family of Z-Wave Hubs from a single app. You can also easily expand your ecosystem to include dozens of compatible smart home devices. The Hubs can also be integrated into voice control systems with Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit.
Aqara Makes Home Automation Affordable
Aqara has made home automation more accessible with their line of budget-friendly smart devices. Their cameras, sensors and smart plugs work flawlessly with Apple HomeKit and offer the same level of convenience as those more expensive devices. With Aqara, you’ll be able to control your home in more ways than ever before.
The Future Of Smart Home Devices Is Bright
Not only are there a myriad of great devices on the market, but also the future of smart home automation looks promising. Smart home technology is advancing rapidly, so keep an eye on the market for the latest devices and trends. Whether you’re looking for security, convenience or automation, the right smart home devices can help transform your home.
Acaro Buttons and Sensors: Affordable Automation
Finally, the seventh device on my list is Acaro Buttons and Sensors. Acaro announced their upgrade plan to the Matter protocol recently, so they have over 160 devices that are now Matter-certified. Most of their devices work with all the assistants, although their buttons only work with HomeKit. I find their buttons incredibly useful, as I can assign three different actions – single press, double press, and long press. Additionally, their sensors are super fast and even quicker than the Philip-Hue 50 motion sensor! They’re very affordable and easy to install, making them a great addition to any home.
Whether you recently set up your smart home, or are building it out, I hope my top 10 list will inspire you to find the right devices for your needs. From my Schlage Encode+ Smart Lock to Acaro Buttons and Sensors, I’m sure you’ll find something that works perfectly in your home. Happy shopping!