🗣Alexa, Make me a Smart House!


The World has finally come around to embrace technology. COVID-19 shut the world down and Netflix WiFi have become household utilities. It took us a minute to come around to smart home devices. For starters, it all just sounds so expensive. Not to mention inaccessible (you can’t exactly install a smart thermostat if you don’t own your home. But then as the world steadily began working from home, everything changed. Have you seen one of those smart lightbulbs change ever so subtly from warm golden light to clear bright blue? It’s practically magic. The mood shifts whichever way you want it to (Red Light instant MOOD setter). And the room looks different, too. Then there’s just the convenience factor of it all: The fact that you can let in a dog walker, check on said dog while he’s home alone, turn up the lights if you’re on vacation, see what’s happening in your driveway, and even adjust the temperature—all from the convenience of your desk chair, or a desert island halfway across the globe…that’s incredible. And not weird at all!
🗣Alexa, Make me a Smart House!

Sound

Get a smart speaker for the main hangout room.
pSure there are bigger more technologically savvy smart speakers but for anyone just getting comfortable with the whole...

Sure there are bigger, more technologically savvy smart speakers, but for anyone just getting comfortable with the whole “Hey, Google” thing, I prefer Amazon’s Echo Dot (which I give as closing gifts to my buyers) but recommend this little guy, because also, it’s adorable and affordable. 
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And a waterproof portable smart speaker if you have outdoor space.
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For outdoor spaces—think rooftops, fire escapes, the front stoop—you’d like to turn into fun zones, there are waterproof portable speakers galore. But this one has 360-degree sound and is Alexa compatible!

SHOP NOW: Megablast Portable Speaker Bundle by Ultimate Ears, $199.95

Lighting + Temperature

Rig a whole room with smart lights.
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The Philips Hue system is one of our favorites for turning an ordinary room into one that can really fit any mood. The hub just needs to connect to Wi-Fi and then all the bulbs can be programmed to your heart’s content via iPhone. These are a hit when I’m gaming or throwing my annual ugly sweater party. 
SHOP NOW: Philips Hue LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit, $99.99

Or try just one smart bulb where you need it.
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The great thing about TP-Link’s Kasa Smart bulbs is that they don’t require the use of a hub to operate. Twist one into a task light, a bedside lamp, or the only floor lamp in the whole room, link to WiFi, and set the color to change as you see fit. SHOP NOW: Kasa Smart Wi-Fi LED Light Bulb by TP-Link, $19 On sale for $13.99 Limited Time

Or smart-ify your existing lighting scheme.

Temperature

It’s time to get a smart thermostat. I haven’t gotten around to adding mine yet but here’s what I am researching. 
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With its built-in Amazon Alexa speaker, this smart thermostat really is a cut above other popular touch-screen models. Just ask it to adjust the temperature—no fiddling with your smart home.
SHOP NOW: ecobee4 Smart Thermostat, $230

Security

Keep an eye on your outdoor space.
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Watch the driveway, the back gate, the front porch—any part of your property—while you’re away. It’s as good at easing your worries as it is at seeing what time the mailman actually comes. Lots of options in this category, but we love Nest’s for its wide field of vision and adorable, not-too-technical-looking design.
SHOP NOW: Outdoor Security Camera by Nest, $297

Or just monitor deliveries before you open the door.
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As soon as motion is detected on your stoop (or when someone taps the doorbell), Ring sends an alert and a live-cam link right to your phone. Talk about a gut check! And you don’t even need an existing doorbell to have it installed.
SHOP NOW: Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell, $100

Let people in, even when you’re away.
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Stop hiding keys! If you need to let someone in your home, send them an electronic key from the August app (programmed to work for any time period you choose) that’ll unlock this smart dead bolt. Bonus: It stores clips for a full 24 hours. SHOP NOW: August Smart Lock 3rd Gen, $119

 

Helpers
Smart-ify anything that plugs into the wall.
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If, rather than buy all new smart products, you’d rather make your existing electronics voice- and app-activated, there’s Wemo. Plug anything into it and suddenly you’re in action.
SHOP NOW: Wemo Mini Smart Plug, $30

Streamline your space.
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With all these smart home devices in play, you now also need an interface that unifies them (otherwise you’ll be checking a zillion apps all the time). This one works with all the big brands and has a pleasing interface.
SHOP NOW: Wink Hub 2, $130