Smart home products not only make your life easier, safer and more fun, but can also save you energy and money. Our team of tech experts are often asked the best ways to do this, so they’ve created a list of smart home gadgets that will help you achieve both:
Best Smart Home Tech to Save Money
- Thermostats – Set up a home and away status for smart thermostats to turn on heat or air conditioning when needed. These statuses can be triggered from a variety of ways, such as “when my phone is connected to my Wi-Fi, set thermostat to home” or “set thermostat to away between 8 AM and 5 PM.”
- Smart Lighting – Use smart lighting options such as Philips Hue, Lutron, or a variety of other manufacturers to automatically turn lights on/off when they’re not in use. Use dimmable bulbs to save money with dim lighting while eliminating the harshness of lights at night.
- Smart Plugs / Power Strips – Automate electronics such as coffee makers, lamps, etc. by time or other triggers to maximize efficiency. Some devices even contain an energy management feature that monitors the amount of energy being used by the device.
How to Set Up a Smart Home
Setting up a smart home might seem like a daunting task. But it’s really as simple as three separate components: an input device, a hub, and an output device.
- The input device is the device that receives your command. This could be a standalone voice assistant like Amazon Echo or Google Home or it could be your iOS or Android device (Siri, Google Assistant, or app).
- The hub’s job is to receive the command from the input device and send it to the output device. Your hub—Samsung SmartThings, Apple TV, or Wink—should be compatible with a wide variety devices to ensure that the output device receives the command.
- Finally, the output device is simply the device you want to trigger. This might be the light bulb you want to turn on or off, or it could be the coffee maker you need to turn on from your bedroom because you slept through your alarm.
The end result will go something like this: “Okay Google, turn off the bedroom lights.” The Google Assistant on the Android device tells the SmartThings hub what the command was. The hub identifies the lights that are in the group “Bedroom” and turns those lights off, leaving the lights in the groups “Kitchen” and “Living Room” on for you to enjoy. And the best part is, all this can happen right from your couch!
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