New smart home devices are flooding the market, promising to create more time, better security, lower energy use and more efficiency in the home. This "Internet Of Things" is the latest boom in the tech industry and reports coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in China this month suggest the market will go from strength to strength over the next few years.
With so many of the best smart home devices to choose from, how do you choose the ones which really deliver upon their promises? The following are the most intuitive, innovative and best smart home devices available on the market today, for transforming your home from simple to smart.
Introducing the Best Smart Home Devices
Having an intuitive, tech-enabled home is the key to reduced expenditure, enhanced efficiency and a house which does the residents’ bidding at a click of a switch or a voiced command. However, the best smart home devices available can be challenging to navigate, depending upon what factors are influencing your purchasing decisions and the outcomes you want to achieve. The following list includes the best-rated gadgets for controlling lighting, music, heating, security and water, making your home the ideal space for safety and efficiency.
Canary Home Security
Canary aims to be an all-in-one home security system built into a single smart device. The device takes aim at the traditional home alarm system and offers a solution that is connected your smartphone and takes only a few minutes to set up. Canary offers an auto arm/disarm system that senses when you've left home so you don't need to manually switch the device on and off as you would with a traditional alarm system. The Canary companion app allows you to connect to the device in your home from anywhere. When the device senses a problem in your home, it immediately pings your device and allows you to check what's happening via video and audio. If something is wrong your can activitate the devices alarm (90 decibels!) or connect to your local emergency services from your phone. The device is also able to alert you if you've left the oven on, the house is flooded or if there is a fire or gas leak.
Lifx Color 1000
The Lifx Color 1000 has been hailed as the smartest lightbulb on the market. It enables homeowners to personalise any room in the home with millions of colours, altering the tone and hue in order to create different atmospheres and reflect various moods. Lighting is arguably the single most powerful factor in home customisation, and the Lifx Color 1000 isn’t just great for atmosphere - it’s also extremely efficient to run, costing under £2 a year when used for approximately three hours each day.
The Echo is Amazon’s ultimate smart gadget, designed to respond to your voice at any location within the home. It has the ability to pick up on voice commands across the house, even when background music is being played. Echo will obligingly turn off lights when you’re curled up in bed, or lower lighting if you’re settling down for a cosy evening in with a great film.
Belkin WeMo Smart Switch
The Belkin WeMo is a plug with a difference. Imagine being able to control any electronic device in your home, simply by using your mobile phone? Now, thanks to Belkin’s new and improved WeMo, you can. The smart power plug offers home automation at a fraction of the cost of its predecessors, and has all the attributes you may look for including programmability, a compact design and full IFTTT support. It also has the ability to work with any gadget which plugs into it, to establish power consumption. For smart, budget home automation, this little gadget is probably the best on the market right now for the money.
Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat is a third-generation intelligent device which adapts and learns after being used for just one week. Following professional installation, the Nest takes note of when you adjust the temperature with the gadget, and then continues to reflect your unique preferences for both central heating and water temperature, working with your boiler system to adapt around your individual requirements. It even understands when you pop out of your house, working with your smartphone to lower the heating until you get home, saving you money on fuel expenditure. If you are out of the house but other family members are coming home, you can even adjust the heating levels from your phone to give them a warm welcome when they arrive back.
BeOn Starter Pack
The BeON lighting pack provides an ingenious way to light up your home when you are out. This clever system captures your typical seven-day schedule of lighting, and then emulates it when you are away for the evening or on holiday. While it is relatively simple to establish, it does have a few limitations in terms of programming ability. However, it is still a highly intuitive system which could revolutionise home security by making your house appear to be fully occupied, even when you’re away for periods of time.
August Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock is the modern way to grant access to your home, without ever needing to copy another key or hand out keys to family members. It’s completely controlled by your smartphone, meaning you can even control entry to the home when you aren’t in the vicinity. It also tracks who has gone in and out of the house, providing a useful log of entry and exit, and will unlock the door as you approach and then lock it behind you.
Meet the most innovative smoke and carbon monoxide detector on the market. The NestProtect is an industrial-grade smoke alarm which is able to tell you with a friendly human voice when there is a risk as a result of smoke in any room of the house. It can also be turned on and off via your mobile, meaning there’s no mad dash to the alarm to silence it in the event of a mishap with cooking. The NestProtect system stands to transform home safety by working with you to recognise threats from fire or carbon monoxide leaks, using a friendly voice to alert you to any signs of potential danger.
The iSmart Alarm system is an intelligent, all-in-one home security kit which provides the equivalent level of safety amd surveillance as a professional installation, but for a fraction of the usual price. It has received consistently positive reviews as a result of its reliability, simplicity to use, and overall intuitive operation. The iSmart system can bring huge value to both homeowners and small businesses, at a much reduced price in comparison to the surveillance systems which require security firms to install. While the system won’t call the police on your behalf, it does provide everything else you need to keep an eye on your home or business in your absence.