Most Practical Home Automation Products

There are a variety of smart home products available, all of which cater to different specific needs.

Here are just a few of the specific niches where home automation can make a difference:

However, some people may not be looking at home automation products because they need help with a specific area of the home. They may simply be curious about resources they can use to make their lives easier, or they may just want the best and latest devices available for their homes. No matter why you are interested in home automation products, the following sections provide a list of the most practical products for individuals who want a smart home.

Lighting

One of the simplest and most practical smart home devices to start with is smart lighting. Turning lights on and off is a task everyone engages with in their day-to-day lives, and the simplicity of smart home lighting makes it a great starting point for people worried they will be confused by the new technology.

Lifx’s light bulbs are ideal for users who want the simplest experience possible. No smart hub connection is necessary. Instead, the bulbs connect straight to Wi-Fi, meaning you can control them on your phone or with a smart device like Alexa. The app gives you an amazingly large array of options to choose from, allowing you to change the color or level of light to your liking. However, it still keeps the process simple with pre-programmed themes you can choose from to set the mood.

Philips Hue is the other major smart bulb brand on the market. Much like Lifx, it provides a range of options affecting both the color and luminosity of the bulbs. The biggest difference is that it requires a hub. This makes it better for working with other smart platforms, including the major ones backed by Amazon, Apple and Google. It has also been making smart bulbs for longer than any other company, which makes it a reliable choice that has been tested by many users for the past six years.

Kitchen

If you live on your own, there is a big chance that you cook at least occasionally. That makes a smart home’s convenience very appealing, as certain kitchen home automations can significantly simplify your life. The Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker with SmartChef Technology, for instance, is designed to make grilling as simple as possible. Whether you have an Apple or Android product, the grill can link to your phone and notify you when your meat has been properly cooked.

While you should not leave a flame unattended for too long, apps and products like these allow you to sit down and socialize with friends and family rather than constantly checking and turning the meat.

The Bosch Serie 6 is perfect for people who want a simple smart fridge. It is neither as expensive nor as complicated as some of the other fridges out there, but it has many of the same features. When the door is closed, the fridge takes a picture of its content. This allows you to plan your dinner while you are out, and it is perfect for when you are at the grocery store and are unsure if you already have an item.

Additionally, if you are storing any items that require a specific temperature, the device lets you set it to that temperature. Other fridges are soon coming to the market that will allow you to see through the door or order food with them, but those fridges will costs thousands of dollars, whereas the Bosch Serie 6 is only $1,000. Ultimately, it is a great choice because it does not have unnecessary features. Instead, it uses its smart features to do a better job storing your food.

The Amazon Dash is the simplest smart product that you can add to your home. Essentially, it is a button that you press when you want to buy more of a product. For instance, if you regularly need paper towels but sometimes forget to purchase them, placing the button near your paper rolls allows you to buy them instantly. This product’s simplicity means it has a limited range of uses, but it only costs $5. When you buy one, you also get a $5 discount for your next purchase.

Home Automation Hubs

Home automation hubs are ideal for users who want to live in a fully functioning smart home. Smart hubs can fulfill their purpose if you only have a few smart devices, but the more smart home devices you have, the more practical it becomes to link them all with the same smart hub. One of the greatest functions of these devices is their ability to communicate with different types of wireless connections.

Some smart products use connections you are likely to be familiar with, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but many use Zigbee and Z-Wave. The right smart home hub can link all of these devices and ways of connecting, giving you a single interface to interact with. There are three major smart home hubs on the market:

  • Samsung SmartThings Hub is the most popular smart home hub because it coordinates well with practically every device and only costs about $90. The biggest drawback is its app, which is difficult to get used to.
  • Wink Hub 2 connects with many smart devices, and it is able to communicate across not just Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee and Z-Wave, but also more obscure wireless connections like Thread. Costing $99, its app is easier to use than Samsung’s, and it is perfect for users who want to make sure their different devices can connect no matter what wireless connection they use.
  • Logitech Harmony Elite is a remote control that is perfect for people who love their TV, but it also allows you to control the entirety of your smart home. It is relatively expensive at $269.99, but its sleek touch screen design is worth it, providing a familiar smart home controller.

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