Home automation is all the range today but setting up a fully automated home can be a costly and time consuming process, especially for an older home! The good news is that there are plenty of options out there that will allow you to get your feet wet, so to speak, and try out home automation for your own home without a complete overhaul. These simple, easy to install products let you enjoy many of the benefits of home automation with little or no installation headaches!
It’s The Light Thing
Remember the clapper? This handy little invention gave us the ability to control the lights in our homes with a clap – but automated lighting can do so much more today! ELA is a system that offers easy to install lighting automation. Installation involves simply replacing your existing bulbs with the ELA Smart Hub and Bulbs, no electrical or wiring required at all! And yes, ELA does allow you to turn lights in your home off and on without getting up from the couch or bed but it also does a lot more.
Using the cloud, you can control the lights from anywhere. Forgot to turn off the lights this morning? No problem – you can check in on your app, see what is still on, and turn it off from the office. Traveling? Use the app to turn various lights off and on during your trip for extra security. Entertaining? Use the app to change the tone and colors of each bulb to set the perfect atmosphere. Trying to improve your health? Use the Bioclock feature to adjust your lighting to mimic natural sunlight and improve your circadian rhythm. Designed to increase energy, decrease eye strain, and relax you before bed. Want a more soothing morning wake up call? Set your bedroom lights to turn on gradually before your alarm goes up, waking you up gently.
Many brands now offer a smart plug which allows you to turn any outlet into a smart outlet! This plug into the existing outlet and then you plug your appliances and electronics into the smart plug so the installation is simple. You can then use your smartphone app to turn outlets off and on from anywhere. This is a great way to save energy and it’s also great for those people who have a tendency to forget things. No more rushing back home because you’re not sure if you turned off your straightening iron off! Worried about your stove? Wallflower makes a similar smart plug for your stove outlet that allows you to monitor and control your home stove from anywhere. It also sends you an alert if the stove has been on for longer then usual.
A Little Sunshine
Another great please to try home automation is your window coverings. Many window covering companies offer options for blinds and shutters with automation features including remote controls, app controls, voice control and the like. HunterDouglas even offers a battery powered option which means no electrical work is required. Combine smart window coverings that close and open remotely and the ELA light system that turns on and off remotely when you travel for an extra layer of security as well! Automated window coverings are a great choice for families with small children or pets as well since they do not have the safety hazards that come with dangling cords on manual window coverings.
The Perfect Temperature
For a few hundred dollars, you can upgrade your thermostat to a smart thermostat. There are a number of great choices on the market today offering a variety of options that allows you to control your heat and AC from anywhere, set up schedules to adjust the temperature thought-out the day or even automatically lower the temperature when the home is empty. Many include an app to set up and control the thermostat even when you’re not home and today, most offer the option to connect to Alexa, Google Home and other smart home hubs as well. The main benefit of a smart thermostat is the ability to create the perfect temperature at all times, while saving energy when the home is empty or everyone is asleep.