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DIY smart home hacks: How to automate your home on a budget

Couple using tablet to control smart lights

From security cameras that help you keep watch over your house to light bulbs that turn themselves on and off automatically, smart home technology brings convenience—and a little magic—to your daily life.

But how do you create an affordable smart home when keeping up with the latest gadgets can be costly? That's where we come in.

At Asurion, we don't just fix and protect your devices—we help you get the most out of technology. Here's our guide to creating a smart home on a budget.

How to create a smart home on a budget

You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to create an amazing smart home. There are plenty of devices under $100 that can automate your lights, keep an eye on your home when you're out, and more.

But before you do anything, think about what you're looking to automate. Do you want to lie in bed at night and use your phone to turn off the lights downstairs? Or maybe you're more interested in turning a “dumb" device into a smart one? Either way, prioritize what matters most to you.

And remember, compatibility is the key to a seamless smart home, so you'll want to invest in gadgets that work well with each other. That usually means buying tech from a single brand, like Apple® HomeKit®, Alexa™, and Google Home® (though it's starting to change with new smart home connectivity standards).

Common smart home devices

Here are some of our favorite gadgets that bring affordable home automation to your living space.

Smart speakers

Think of this device as the gateway to your smart home, connecting your tech and letting you control everything with simple voice commands. The Amazon Echo Dot® and Google Nest Mini® are both well under $100. If you want to stick with Apple®, the HomePod mini® is slightly more expensive.

Smart plugs

Talk about small but mighty. These devices let you control lamps, coffee makers, fans, heaters—anything with an on/off switch—using a voice command or by touching a button on your phone. All you have to do is insert the smart plug into an outlet, connect it to Wi-Fi via a compatible app, and plug in a wired appliance. Keep in mind though, smart plugs can't adjust settings; they can only turn something on and off.

There are many brands to choose from, but three popular options (all under $25) are the Wemo™ Smart Plug, the Kasa Smart™ Wi-Fi Plug, and the Amazon® Smart Plug. Interested in learning more? We rounded up everything you need to know about smart plugs.

Smart light bulbs

Smart bulbs are a great option for cheap home automation. They let you turn off the kitchen lights and dim the lamps in your kids' room, for instance, using only your voice or a quick tap on your smartphone. You can group lights by room or zone, connect them to motion sensors, and set up a schedule. Another perk: These bulbs help you use less energy than traditional ones.

Some models require a dedicated smart hub, but others connect directly to your router through the wireless network, making it easier to try out a bulb or two without investing in a hub. There are a lot of great brands out there under $50, including Philips® Hue™, Wyze™, and Sengled®. To learn more, read our guide to smart lights.

Smart security camera

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have peace of mind that your home (and the people and pets inside it) are safe when you're away. Put smart security cameras in high-traffic areas, like your front door, entryway, and kitchen, and in places that are vulnerable to robbers, like back doors and windows. You can also use them to keep an eye on your kids while you're on a work call in another room.

Smart security cameras range in price, but companies like Nest™, Ring™, Blink™, and Wyze™ offer models under $100. Read more in our guide to the best indoor and outdoor smart security cameras for your home

Make sure your smart home is protected

An Asurion Home+® protection plan provides coverage for nearly all the technology in your home with one simple plan. Laptops, tablets, TVs, gaming consoles, smart thermostats, and so much more—even future purchases. Plus, you'll get 24/7 live expert support and robust digital security. Learn more about Asurion Home+® coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind electronics protection.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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