The future is here! Smart homes are on the rise, but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to get yours up and running. Here are 7 budget-friendly tips to help turn your house into a smart home.
1. Make Sure You Have Compatible Devices
Before you go spend a dime, the first step is making sure you have compatible devices. Right now, there’s no standardized method for communication between smart devices and their central hub.
WiFi comes built-in on most devices. Because it’s so popular, it’s easiest to get started with WiFi. However, having so many devices connected to your router can eat up your bandwidth. If you’re paying for data, that can get expensive fast.
Then there’s Zigbee, which uses a 2.4 GHz frequency like WiFi but doesn’t need the internet to work. It runs locally and gives you a better range and security.
The third option is Z-Wave. It uses a 908.42 MHz frequency and that gives it excellent range. However, the downside is that it also means there’s less bandwidth compared to Zigbee and WiFi.
Last and the least popular is Bluetooth low energy, BLE for short. It works like Z-Wave and Zigbee, but doesn’t see as much use.
2. Select Your Automation Hub
The automation hub is the brain of the operation. It’s what will connect all of your smart appliances and devices.
With the right hub, you can use multiple smart home protocols as well. When you first start out, your phone can work just fine to control the lights, set the thermostat, or check your security cams. As more devices get connected, having a dedicated central control hub is usually the best option.
3. Use Smart Plugs
Some of the most cost-effective smart devices on the market are smart plugs. The beauty of these devices is that they make the lamps, microwave, toasters, washing machine, dryer, and whatever else uses an outlet “smart.”
4. Upgrade Your Old Lights to Smart Ones
Smart light bulbs used to be expensive, but now, they are on par with the LED bulbs you already have. So the next time you need to replace one, opt for the smart bulb!
Some smart bulbs can even come with customizable color settings, allowing you to set the look of any space. They can even help you to save money, as some smart bulbs can automatically turn off when they’re not in use.
5. Go for the Smart Thermostat
Want to reduce your utility bills? A smart thermostat is worth the investment. In addition to helping to control your energy use, a smart thermostat can be set with the touch of a button. Hate coming home to a cold house? Simply tap the app on your phone to start your heater running on your way home from work!
6. Install Faucet Timers
Faucet timers are another set of smart devices that have the “cost-saving” benefit. They use technology to monitor the weather and the amount of water needed for watering your yard and garden.
7. Use a Smart Doorbell
Smart doorbells are amazing devices that allow you to see and speak to whoever is knocking at your door – even when you’re not home. They might be a little expensive, but with a little research, you can find a cost-effective option without compromising quality.