With so much to choose from and so much you can automate, how do you know which products to choose? To help you get started, here’s a quick list of some of our favourites on the market right now…
Amazon Echo 2nd Generation
Like with most technology, things get better after one or two revisions and while the original Amazon Echo was pretty great, the 2nd
generation Echo is even better. It does all the same things the original does but now you can change its skin to match your home décor as well. It sounds like a minor difference but this simple feature means you can integrate Amazon Echo into your home on a decorative level and well as on a technological level and for many of us, that’s a big plus. This device works great simply as a speaker but it can also connect to other smart hubs, control smart home gadgets and of course, give you traffic updates, cooking tips and even play the odd quiz with you. It’s a solid bit of kit and it comes with a very reasonable price tag at just £89.99
Netgear Arlo Q
This a discreet, well made and pretty cheap IP security camera that’s fully capable of monitoring the inside of your property in full HD quality. It also boasts day and night vision, motion detection, flexible scheduling and 7 days’ worth of free video storage. You can bag one from as little as £169.99 from Amazon.
Philips Hue White
The Philips Hue White Starter kit includes two bulbs and a hub so you can get started straight away. The hub integrates with the vast majority of smart home systems including Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home and Nest and it also has an app so you can synchronise your smart bulbs with music and videos being played at home. This particular kit doesn’t have the colour changing options of other Philips Hue products but it does allow you to control brightness. You can pick up your kit for just £59.99.
Belkin Wemo Insight Switch
A simple but very effective way to make almost any device smart, the Belkin Wemo Insight Switch is a must have buy for anyone just getting started with smart home technology. It comes with its own app so you can create schedules and an away mode that can turn your devices on so it looks like you’re at home, ideal if you’re going on holiday. It also integrates with most other smart home hubs as well so you can control alongside all your other smart devices. It also monitors energy consumption too, so at £39.99, we think it's a steal.
The Ecobee4, like the Amazon Echo has been through a number of versions already and now version 4 actually has Alexa built in! It offers a smooth touchscreen interface and a remote sensor that helps monitor room temptations so it can ensure things are heating or cooling appropriately.
Nest Protect is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector however, its sensors are also designed to identify both slow and fast burning fires. It does more than just raise the alarm though, it lets you know which room the fire’s in as well and it can be easily linked to your other smart devices for a full emergency response.
This smart water controller allows you to set watering scheduling and even water while you are away. The app calculates water usage over time and once it’s all set up, you can leave it to do its thing completely autonomously. The only snag with this product is the lack of compatibility with android devices. You can pick up the Eve Aqua from Amazon for just £89.95.
The Skybell Video Doorbell has been touted as one of the best on the market. It features HD video, live monitoring, colour night vision and lots of other desirable technology, oh and free video recording to boot. It gives you the power to answer your door with your smartphone whether you’re in or out and it works like a charm.
If you’re thinking of making your home a smart home, why not talk to our experts
today and find out what automations
could work for you?