With gadgets such as Amazon Echos, Ring cameras, Philips Hue bulbs and more, high-tech homes aren’t just sci-fi speculation — they’re the future of connected living. Whether you’re building a new home or looking for ways to modernize your current one, smart technology allows you to simplify your day-to-day experiences and stay connected no matter where you are. Here are our top eight smart home ideas that will take your house to a whole new level in 2023 and beyond.
1. Install Smart Lighting
Transforming your house into a smart home can start even before you walk in the front door. Outdoor smart lights like the Ring Smart Lighting System provide protection and peace of mind with intricate motion-based security lights. You can customize the system as needed by adding floodlights, pathway lights, spotlights and more. After you connect the lights to a Ring Bridge, you can control them with Alexa voice commands or through the Ring app on your phone. Of course, smart lights don’t need to be limited to the exterior of your home. You can install smart light bulbs throughout your home to control and automate lighting. The lights can be controlled with voice commands or through a smartphone app. One of the best parts of smart light bulbs is their price point: you can purchase white light smart bulbs for less than $10 and color-changing light bulbs for less than $15.
2. Upgrade to Smart Security
Forget about deadlocks...smart home security systems allow homeowners to increase their in-home security without breaking the budget. One of the most secure and easy-to-use smart home systems is the Abode iota, which includes a 1080-pixel camera, motion sensor, built-in siren and much more. The comprehensive security system can support many third-party devices, which makes it easy to integrate with other smart technology. Top it all off by investing in a smart lock, which can allow you to lock and unlock your door with your fingerprint, voice or mobile app.
3. Automate Your Vacuuming Process
Bid adieu to the old-fashioned mop and broom, because today’s vacuum robots can easily and efficiently clean your entire home. Available in a plethora of sizes and varying capabilities, smart vacuums rid your home of dirt and grime in a matter of minutes. Today’s smart vacuums vacuum, sweep and scrub the floors, which means you can clean your house without having to lift a finger. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, consider the iLife A9 robot vacuum, which is available for around $220. If you’re searching for something with a few more bells and whistles, you might want to spring for the top-rated iRobot Roomba j7+ robot vacuum, which even comes with a self-emptying compartment.
4. Invest in Smart Appliances
Rather than just functioning as a place to store food, today’s smart refrigerators can serve as the hub of the home by communicating with other smart devices, streaming TV shows from Netflix and other apps, and even showing what’s inside your fridge from an app on your phone. And the same goes for smart TVs (which can control heating and lighting) or smart microwaves and ovens (which now feature cameras that let you keep an eye on what’s cooking).
Other smart devices like self-cleaning toilets and heat-adjusting showers are just around the corner. Over time, you can switch your appliances to smart versions for ultimate efficiency and interconnectedness. Keep an eye out at CES and in trade magazines so you can stay up-to-date on the newest inventions for your home. Need to get rid of some of your bulky appliances to make way for the new ones? You can rent a storage room and stow the appliances there until you’re ready to sell them at a garage sale.
5. Install Smarter Sensors
From doors to lights, sensors can be installed throughout your home to monitor movement and control functions. For example, door and motion sensors can sound an alarm when unexpected motion is detected. Light sensors can turn on when someone walks through the door, and water leak sensors will let you know if your home plumbing has a leak. Occupancy sensors gauge whether someone is in a room or not and can turn on the lights or air conditioning accordingly. Today’s smart sensors are more advanced than ever before, with a slew of new features that can simplify your day-to-day processes.
6. Create a Smart Home Gym
In recent years, workout mirrors have used connected technology to bring wellness classes into the comfort of our homes. The smart home trend is poised to grow in 2022 thanks to the advent of new launches that rolled out at CES this year. Options include the Clmbr (a climber machine that comes with an app-controlled library of live and on-demand workouts) and the Vitruvian Trainer+ (which generates up to 440 pounds of weight-training resistance and features an algorithm that tracks the user’s improvement). With many gyms and workout studios still closed or at partial capacity because of COVID-19, making your own smart gym at home is a great way to ensure you always have a place to work out. If you don’t have enough space in your house, you can create a smart home gym in your garage and rotate through new workout options each day.
7. Embrace the Robots
The idea of household robots once seemed like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, but they’re now closer than ever to reality. In fact, Amazon’s newly announced Astro robot could be just the smart home robot to help us all embrace this new normal. Designed to interact with and help its owners in a variety of ways, Amazon Astro is like a more functional and mobile version of Alexa. Set on wheels, Astro will be able to easily navigate throughout your home to complete tasks. It also comes with a 1080-pixel periscope camera, which means you can use Astro to call friends or integrate it with Ring’s network to function as a home security guard. The $1,000 robot is currently only available for preorder by invitation...but you might just want to put it on your future wishlist.