The Ultimate Guide to Automating Your Home
Categories: Budget Friendly Home

The Ultimate Guide to Automating Your Home

If you’ve been following Brit + Co. for a while, you know we’re all about futuristic Jetsons-esque gadgets, especially ones that automatically make your home smarter and more efficient. Well, there’s a new kid in town.

SmartThings is a recently launched KickStarter project designed to help automate your home to help make your everyday life a little easier. But wait, haven’t we written about this exact product before? Not quite, but we get where you’re coming from. There’s been a lot of innovation in the automated home realm recently and, while it’s exciting, it’s also hard to keep everything straight.

Here’s a list of home automation-related systems and products that we’re loving and the unique factors that set each of them apart:

Systems:

These aim to help you control a wide variety of aspects of your home through a streamlined mechanism. If you’re interested on more detailed information on a specific system or product, click through on the link for the full article.

SmartThings: Let’s start with the newest project and this post’s inspiration, shall we? No complicated setup required, SmartThings is designed to work right out of the box. It consists of a central hub, a smartphone app, and various “things,” including motion sensors, power outlets, and presence sensors. You can operate and monitor all SmartThings activity directly from your smartphone, wherever you are. Because SmartThings is an open platform, makers can create their own related “things,” and we’re looking forward to the unique applications product developers come up with to automate more aspects of daily life.

WeMo: The WeMo family of products focuses on outlets as locations for automation. It’s incredibly easy to use, controlled by an app, and offers the options of switches with motion sensors on app. And because you pay per switch that you purchase, you decide how much of an investment to make and what layout is optimal for your space.

Vivint: This service takes the actually automating process out of your hands. The company charges a one-time set-up fee to automate things like your thermostat, locks, and appliances, and then charges you on a monthly basis for your subscription. It can help to make your house greener and more secure, which are great benefits to living like you’re from the future.

Twine: This one is all about monitoring. You can use the small Twine sensors to monitor virtually anything while you’re away from it. Get a text when someone knocks at your door, a tweet when your laundry’s done, or an email if your kids tracked water in the house.

Products:

If you’re not completely sold on the idea of automating your entire home, but still want to try out this smart technology, these individual products might be more your speed.

Nest: This thermostat is the key to maintaining the perfect temperature in your house without wasting unnecessary energy. It learns your temperature preferences over the course of a week and then auto-adjusts based on your input. You can also control it from your smartphone or computer, so you can turn the air-conditioning off after you’ve left for vacation.

INSTEON: Not only are these bulbs eco-friendly, they’re also completely controllable through your smartphone. It’s The Clapper, 2.0.

Click and Grow: This smart flowerpot completely automates the indoor plant growing process.

AGA iTotal Control: This oven is controllable completely by smartphone, computer, or text via regular phone. Get the oven preheating before you get home or turn it off remotely if you forgot before you left the house.

Have you tried any of these smart home products or systems? (And do you remember that old Disney Channel movie, Smart House?) How do you feel about the automated home technology trend? Let us know in the comments below or over on Twitter.