Can you believe that we are in the year 2020 already? In movies and on TV the year 2020 sounded so far away. And now here we are! And one of the coolest parts is that we actually have a lot of the smart home technology that used to seem like just a sci-fi fairytale on shows like Lost in Space and The Jetsons. There are many things that we can do to make our home smarter.
(This post is sponsored by Chamberlain Group Inc. All opinions are my own.)
We can now control much of our home from our smartphone, or even with our voices. But, what is actually useful? What smart home technology should you add? Why should you use it? And how can you protect it?
As previously mentioned, other than my alarm system, 2 LiftMaster myQ-connected openers were among some of the first things that I added to my home. The myQ-connected garage door opener can also connect many of your other smart home devices mentioned in this post, so you get an integrated system that protects and controls your home all around. One very useful service I am able to take advantage of, thanks to myQ, is Key by Amazon In-Garage Delivery. All I had to do was link my myQ App with the Amazon Key App to get all of my Amazon Prime packages safely and securely delivered in my garage (this was a real lifesaver for me during the holidays!) Check out the Works with myQ website for more information.
Don’t have the need for a new garage door opener, but want to get myQ-connected? Check out the Smart Garage Hub by Chamberlain!
Upgrade Your WiFi
Your Internet connection and therefore your WiFi are the backbone of your smart home. Without a strong, reliable connection, you may have devices that cannot keep a signal, a smart phone that cannot connect to the camera on the front porch, and other issues. When you decide to outfit your home with smart technology, be sure that your connection can handle it. Check with your service provider and find out your speed, and if you have a strong signal. Ask about specials to upgrade your plan if need be.
Protect Your WiFi
Once you have a top tier connection to support all of your devices, make sure that it’s protected. The last thing you want is hackers and prying eyes sneaking on to your network and manipulating your devices. Your Internet Service provider may offer increased security for your connection. Otherwise, you may want to add a firewall device on your own.
Add Smart Bulbs
Smart bulbs are one of the first things that I suggest adding to your smart home. Why? It’s so easy to be able to quickly and easily turn lights off and on with your phone while laying in bed, or talk to Alexa or Google and ask them to turn lights off and on. There are a ton of reasonable options available now. And thanks to updated technology, you can mix and match from different brands to meet your needs. Bulbs are available for inside and outside.
Add Smart Outlets
If you have specialty lights, or lamps that you love, rather than change out the bulbs you can add a smart outlet. I love using these during the holidays to put all of my decorations on a timer. Outlets are also available for some appliances so you can automate a variety of tasks.
Add a Few Google Nest Hubs
While you can control your smart home from your phone, a screened device like the Google Nest Hub can make your smart home even more useful by allowing you to visually see what is going on while cooking, or cleaning. And it makes a great bedside companion. It allows you to control every aspect of your smart home from the screen, or handsfree, by talking. Don’t need the full screen experience in every room? Add a Google Nest Mini to your master bathroom to listen to the news, music, or to hear the weather while getting ready for the day.
Of course if Alexa is your cup of tea, she works great too! I actually have both in my home. I recommend and love the Echo Show. You can also add Echo Dots throughout your home, so that you can control your smart home from anywhere.
Upgrade your Alarm System
One of the most important things that you can do in your home is to protect it. Unfortunately, we cannot trust everyone that drives or walks past our home. There are some people out there that do not value others property. In this day and age, every home should have an alarm system. There are companies out there that will work with your myQ system, your smart devices, and your smartphone, so your home is protected all around.
Add Security Cameras
Other than the alarm system that protects doors and windows, adding security cameras can be an essential part of your security system to protect your home. I recommend adding one of every side of your home where there is an access point. Doorbell cameras are very popular, and you can also get other cameras that can easily mount to the porch, gutter, inside the garage, and just about anywhere else. Most popular models allow you to view a live stream from your phone, record clips, and will alert you to motion.
I recommend at the very least a Ring Doorbell camera and a couple of Ring Spotlight Cameras around the perimeter of your home.
Add a Connected Smoke Detector
Adding a smart smoke detector can save your home, and the lives of your family. Like a traditional unit, they will emit an alarm when smoke is detected, but they will also send an alert to our smart phone.
Check out my previous post on the Onelink Safe & Sound for a great option. It has Alexa built-in!
Educate Your Family
Having a smart home is no fun if no one knows how to use it! Give your family quick lessons on all of the smart home devices that you installed, the proper commands to use to make things happen, or how to access the appropriate mobile apps, and use any screened devices in the home. And make sure that every member knows how to use the security system, myQ openers, and cameras.
It’s no secret that I love my smart home technology. For some, it can be intimidating, but you may be surprised at how easy it is. Do a little research and decide what areas of your home could be made more useful with smart home devices. Then, don’t be afraid, just jump right in there! You won’t be sorry.