A long time common thread in science fiction novels and movies, Home Automation has become a part of our 21st century reality and it is here to stay. Not only is Home Automation really really cool, but it can actually save us money, increase safety and security plus save us valuable time. Feeling like the future is here and knowing that we are a part of it is well and good, but the challenge that many of us Camden residents face is how to automate our homes without installing a costly system that requires ripping open walls, rewiring or setting up bulky equipment.
Fret no more! Apartment residents seeking home automation need look no further than our smart phones and tablets! With the increased connectivity of smart phones and tablets, simple and affordable home automation products are available and becoming increasingly popular. I did some research and found my 10 favorite Smart Home products that can easily be installed in your Camden Apartment home today and simply make your life easier.
1) The Rise App
The Rise is an extremely simple device that could make all the difference in your electric bill. The Rise attaches to your regular window shades, turning them into automatic and programmable smart shades that you can control from your smart phone or tablet. Excited? Wait until you read next on the list.
Home security just got simple and quick with the easy to install August Smart Lock. Using Bluetooth to communicate with your smart phone, the August Smart Lock is installed with your existing deadbolt and key set. The August Smart Lock App acts similar to the key fob you use to get around your Camden Community: it automatically unlocks when you approach with your phone and then automatically locks when you are 100 yards away. It also allows you to hand out unlimited digital keys, making house-sitting and entertaining a breeze!
One of the top rated smart thermostats, the Nest Learning Thermostat could lower your heating and cooling bills by up to 20%! It does this by learning your temperature likes and schedule then programs itself to adjust automatically while you’re home and away. You can also access Nest from your smart phone when you’re miles away to manually adjust the temperature in your home!
4) Haiku Fan
This revolutionary ceiling fan could improve your energy efficiency by 80%. Not only does it have a sleek design and virtually silent motor, but this smart fan uses an infrared motion sensor to detect movement and heat so that it turns itself on or off based on when you enter and leave the room or the temperature heats up! Genius right?
Most of the products on this list are controlled by your smart phone each using their own app, their own system and virtually speaking their own language. Makes you wish you had one remote that would control all of them at once right? That’s where the Logitech Harmony Ultimate Smart Home remote comes in. It is programmable with your smart phone and it controls every switch, light and robot that you bring in for your own Home Automation. It even works with your TV!
6) Belkin WeMo Home Automation Products
I was so intrigued by the WeMo family of home automation products that I couldn’t pick just one! Belkin has smart wall plugs, light switches, light bulbs, netcams and more that you can control with your smart phone to increase energy efficiency. There’s even a WeMo crockpot that you can control remotely from your smart phone or tablet to make sure that dinner is ready when you are. Yum!
7) SkyBell Video Doorbell with Motion Sensor
Install your own personal door man with the camera and voice capable Skybell! I love the features of this simple device; it’s motion sensor will alert you if someone comes to your door but doesn’t ring the button, you can keep an eye on your front door at all times from your smart phone and you can even see visitors after dark with night vision! Who doesn’t love night vision?
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had that nagging feeling that you forgot to close the garage door! Now, say goodbye to that feeling with the Chamberlain MyQ Garage. This smart garage door control is an easy install that runs off your home’s wifi and has a corresponding app that allows you to control your garage door from anywhere!
The Roomba has been the butt of jokes for years, but it continues to be the leading vacuum cleaning robot. This little guy can get where upright vacuums can’t to pull up dirt, pet hair, you name it, from your home carpet or flooring. This latest model features increased battery life and programmable features! The Roomba is perfect for small apartment spaces.
10) Towl Hub
You may have seen the last, but certainly not least product on the list in the latest edition of Sky Mall. The Tower of Power USB Charging Paper Towel Holder, capable of charging up to four devices at once is the simplest and yet, in my opinion, most useful product for Home Automation. How are you going to keep your smart phones and tablets charged so that you can continue controlling your smart home? With your Towl Hub paper towel holder, of course! Bonus: the knob of the paper towel holder is a removable wine stopper.
So what now? All of these products are available on Amazon.com and with an Amazon Prime membership you can still receive them before Christmas. For further reading about the advantages of home automation, read this article.