Smart Home Technology
It seems like every aspect of homes today can be upgraded to include some sort of app that you can control on your phone or sync with your wifi. While some totally make us all geek out on the information and control we can gain, some are an added technology that costs more money than its worth. Here are the latest smart home items available for your home. For today lets call it picks and kicks.
1. Nubryte – Pick It! Nubryte is a device that can control an entire room, eliminating the need to buy 30 different devices, instead combining into one. It connects to your wi-fi to act as a temperature sensor, motion sensor, video camera, and speaker. It can replace either a single or double gang switch, and looks like an iPad on your wall. Any light can be dimmable and can automatically turn off when the room is empty. If you have a NuBryte in more than one room you could use them as an intercom system.
2. Nest Thermostat – Pick it! I love being able to control the thermostat from your phone. It can be set to track motion to control the temperature, allowing you to conserve energy when nobody is home or awake. The app helps you see where you can save energy and money. Win! Another great aspect of the Nest is that so many other tech items can sync with it. You will see some on this list!
3. Door Lock – Pick it! Have an Airbnb, an actual BnB, rental home, or just have kids? The August Smart Lock allows you to set who can access your home and for how long. Easily installed over your existing deadlock, so you have no need to re-key. Bonus, it can automatically unlock as you approach so you don’t need to dig in your bag for your keys. Another great option is the Kwikset Kevo with similar features and prices. For younger kids who won’t have a phone or iPod, I would get something with a number code (like this).
4. Back Up Sensor – Pick it! Cars are big and dangerous, so anything that helps keep your family safe is important to me. Also, if I could stop myself from hitting the side of the door, pulling in far enough to not shut the garage door on my trunk, or anything else, I consider it a win. This garage laser park assist works for two cars and attaches to the quiet garage opener, all from Ryobi.
5. Range – Pick It – Dacor has a gas range called Discover IQ that can text you when your food is ready, switch to keep warm mode, and started via your phone. This range seems to have just the right among of “brains” to look high-tech but not age itself out. Price is available via quote, so I am not sure the value compared to similar ranges. Overall, I say Pick It!
6. Family Hub Fridge – Kick it! The family hub fridge from Samsung is the most high-tech fridge I have ever seen, but it leaves me wondering why. Sure, there are some helpful features such as a camera to see inside your fridge for needed groceries. You can leave notes, use a family calendar, or check the weather. It can play music, look up recipes, and connect to services to order groceries. While cool to have, the price tag around $5000 has me leaving this one behind. I worry the technology will be outdated before the fridge is, and would rather buy an iPad or a Nubryte just for the kitchen.
7. Washer & Dryer – Pick It – Whirlpool Cabrio Top Load Washer. More than just a notification on your phone, the washer can be remotely started to start at the perfect time to avoid it sitting and getting stinky. You can also download specialty cycles via your phone and control it via the Nest Thermostat as well. Energy efficient and hopefully time efficient. The price is right, making this a great pick for me!
8. Light Bulbs -Pick It! I am a huge supporter of buying the right light bulbs. If they are too dim or the wrong color it drives me crazy. I am also cheap, so I have to admit I struggled BIG TIME with this purchase. While it has a large price tag upfront, they function a million times better than your basic light bulb, they had me falling in love with my house again because it just felt better, and the bulbs will last 15-25 years depending on what you buy. Note: some brands need a connector / hub / bridge, so please check before purchasing. Check out the Philips Hue starter kit, GE Link with Hub.