The 5 Gadgets You Should Immediately Install in a New Smart Home4th August 2017
So, you’ve heard about the smart home revolution, but you’re not sure where to begin. It’s understandable — there are hundreds of devices and apps vying for your business.
Starting your smart home setup on the right foot is important, because it can save you heartache further down the line. Perhaps more importantly, it’ll stop you from wasting money on unnecessary and overpriced devices.
If you want to start kitting out your house with smart home technology, keep reading. We’re going to look at the first things you should install or buy. All these devices are readily available and easy to install. You can worry about the more complicated stuff later.
1. Smart Lighting
I’ve been a vocal critic of some smart lighting systems in the past. In particular, I think the Philips Hue system is pointless and overpriced.
Used correctly, Smart Lighting can save you money on your electricity bill and improve your home’s security. You just don’t need the Hue system to get started.
The lights are also compatible with Amazon Alexa. ENER-J offers the RGB+WW E27 based model, where you can choose either from single warm white color or use RGB color option, dim lights, create scenes such as party, relaxing, etc, for just £23.99 including VAT.
2. Smart Thermostat
Sticking with the theme of saving money, installing a smart thermostat is another way you can shave a significant amount of money off your annual electricity bill.
Again, you have lots of different systems to choose from. They all have varying degrees of complexity, so it’s important to make the right choice.
For example, systems such as Nest and Netatmo are ideal for smaller homes. They can work with different zones, but they’re primarily designed to replace your central thermostat and adjust the house-wide temperature.
If you live in a larger home, consider something like Honeywell Evohome or Heat Genius. Their systems replace the valves on your radiators, allowing you to control each heating unit individually.
If you’re just starting out, the Nest range is probably the best choice. It’s easy to use and costs less than £200. Like the ENER-J lights, it also works with Amazon Alexa.
3. Smart Security System
Congratulations, you’ve now installed two of the most common smart home devices. Next up, a smart security system.
Mostly all systems offered by brands such as YALE, ADT, etc are GSM based which means they use SIM card to communicate in case alarm triggers
ENER-J has introduced its Smart Home Alarm Kit which can be managed via your smart phone from anywhere in the world. Again, there is no need to pay for a hub or a bridge and your IP Camera acts as a HUB and pairs with your PIR Sensor, Door Sensor and Smoke Alarm. Their complete system with 1 x IP Camera, 1 x Door Sensor, 1x PIR Sensor is available for £59.99 including VAT. You can add on smoke alarm and more sensors to the system as well.
4. Smart Plugs
The Wi-Fi enabled, internet connected Smart plug enables you to do that seemingly impossible thing – switch something on of off without you physically having to wander over the wall socket its plugged into and flick the switch. Now you can switch it on or off from anywhere – whether that’s at home, at work, on holiday or somewhere in between.
The best reason to buy a smart plug is that you can embed it into the rest of your smart home setup. For one thing you can set up ‘zones’ that enabled you to smartly control devices in a particular location in your home (your living room or kitchen, say) and then activate them at will. Such is the popularity of smart plugs - and smart homes, of course – that all kinds of big brands are getting in on the act.
Our favourite is the value for money ENER-J Smart Plug which works on the same APP as their RGB LED Bulb and is also compatible with Alexa. You can get their wifi Smart Plug for £23.99 including VAT
5. Amazon Echo
You knew it was coming, didn’t you? Amazon Echo devices are like a lazy boy armchair for the 21st Century.
Which gadgets would you recommend as “must-haves” for beginners? As always, you can leave all your opinions and suggestions in the comments below. And remember to share this article with your friends to see what they think.