In this age of Wi-Fi and smartphones, managing your home has never been easier. Controlling your entire home from your phone is not only possible, but relatively simple thanks to these apps, appliances, and gadgets.
Invest in a Security System
Image via Flickr by hnnbz
If you want to build a smarter house, a security system is a good place to start. Several systems include smartphone apps that allow you to arm or disarm the system, set security passcodes, and view live camera feeds while you’re away.
For even more control over your home’s security, consider replacing your current locks with smart locks. That way, you can lock your home or let people in remotely. You won’t have to worry about having spare keys for babysitters, guests, or family members; instead, you can simply assign digital keys as needed.
Upgrade Your Lightbulbs
Even lightbulbs can be controlled remotely now, as long as you have the right ones. Philips, for instance, sells some smart lighting options that can be controlled remotely via Wi-Fi. Many apps allow you to set timers and alarms from a distance, as well as dim lights or turn them off or on. You can even sync lights with the music you’re playing, rotate through different colors, and use them for ambient lighting while entertaining.
You can further enhance the Philips Hue system with add-ons such as dimmer switches, motion sensors, and tap switches. Lighting strips and lamps can also be used. The system also works well with complementary products from other companies, including Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Logitech Harmony home theatre products, Nest thermostats, and Samsung SmartThings sensors and outlets.
Install a Smart Thermostat
If energy efficiency is your biggest goal, a smart thermostat may make the most notable difference. Choose a Wi-Fi-enabled model that pairs with a smartphone app, and you can program your home’s heating and cooling schedule easily ahead of time or on the go. Respond to unexpected changes in the weather by adjusting your HVAC settings at work, or set the system to keep your home cooler at night and warm it up again before you wake up.
Replace Your Refrigerator
When you think about controlling your home from your phone, your refrigerator probably isn’t the first appliance that comes to mind — but maybe it should be. Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator features a Wi-Fi-enabled touch screen that makes it easier to leave notes, coordinate family schedules, and display photos on your fridge. There are even apps that allow you to listen to music, mirror your smart TV, find recipes, browse the internet, and more. Several apps sync with your phone, and three cameras help you keep track of what’s inside and what you need from the store.
Of course, this isn’t even close to an exhaustive list. Nowadays, almost the only thing limiting how “smart” your house can be is your budget. However, even if you can’t afford to overhaul your entire home at once, small energy-efficient changes add up over time. Start with whichever aspect of home management is most important to you, and build from there until you have the futuristic home of your dreams.