When you hear the phrase “smart home kit” you might think of a fancy house with all the bells and whistles featured on HGTV. The future is upon us, as more and more people add intelligent devices into their homes. These gadgets could make life less complicated. But that’s not necessarily always the case.
Even if you have no desire to make your entire house smart, you don’t have to buy a lot of technology. Figure out what you need and start with that. Contrary to what some might think, a lot of smart technology is not expensive. Not to mention, that most equipment works through Wi-Fi, which pretty much every household has that. Basically, if your goal is making everyday life more simple, there’s a smart device for that.
Smart Home Starter Kit: What You Need
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If you’re looking to ease your way into the smart home lifestyle, consider the Amazon Echo. It’s a voice-operated device that works through Wi-Fi. Amazon calls the intelligent response system Alexa. You can awaken the device with a simple voice command like “Alexa, what’s the temperature today?” The system also makes and answers calls. Alexa is an impressive, intelligent device that you can ask almost anything, and she will have an answer.
Amazon Echo is also compatible with many home automatic apps such as Belkin, Wink, Nest, and Ecobee. You can even use it to control many other day-to-day apps like Uber, Pandora, and Audible. You can’t go wrong with making Alexa a part of your home, and it’s relatively inexpensive.
The next concern homeowners have, of course, is security. A big part of the home automation revolution is smart devices that protect your home while you’re away. The Nest Cam is a smart home device that scares off intruders. It’s not an alarm system, per se, but it has night vision and digital zoom to help identify criminals. It has two-way audio that shouts at burglars, and for an additional $10 per month, you can gain access to cloud storage. If anyone destroys the evidence, the cloud stores all the cam footage. Also, it can integrate with the Learning Thermostat and Protect smoke and CO detector. This is a great gadget to add to your smart home starter kit.
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Nest offers a fantastic smart smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, the Nest Protect, and it is a great home automation kit.
A CO leak can be a huge danger to you and your family, and this system helps to safeguard against any potential threats. Nest Protect will vocally tell you where it detects a smoke or carbon dioxide leak. In case the alarm goes off and the batteries are low, it sends a message to your phone. The system does self-tests, but you can also test it yourself to make sure things are working correctly. And if there is a CO leak, you can set the thermostat to turn off the heat automatically and also capture video of any unfortunate events. While each of Nest’s smart home products can stand alone, they seem to work best as a smart home kit.
The traditional lock and key have done a decent job for many years of keeping homes protected. But unfortunately, crooks have figured out clever ways to intrude. The Kwikset Kevo smart lock uses fingertip recognition to open doors. It uses Bluetooth functionality and works without a smartphone. You can send an electronic key to family and friends, and they can use an app to enter your home. The Kevo app allows you to receive notifications and view lock activity. Having a smart home kit to manage your front door is an essential component of a smart home kit.
There is also smart home packages, like the Wink starter kit. The Wink starter kit is the ultimate smart home package if you’re to make a complete transition to your house. However, you can start with as few or as many products as you like.
Everything flows through the Wink app. It’s a fast and simple way of connecting you with your home. The app combines hundreds of smart products you can control from anywhere such as locks, lights, sensors, and thermostats. You will receive alerts about what’s happening in your home and view who’s at your front door. The application also allows you to trigger your alarm to turn on in case of smoke or fire.
This smart home kit works hand-in-hand with two other devices: the HomeSitter and Moonlight. It comes with two Sylvania Smart A19 bulbs. All you have to do is connect the Wink Hub to a route, attach the bulbs, and turn them on. From there, you control everything via the app. Home Sitter is ideal for when you’re away and need access to the lights in your home. You can also set it to turn on at night when you are traveling so that your house does not look empty. In fact, the lights turn on and off in a realistic pattern while you’re gone. Moonlight works differently and provides a welcoming atmosphere for your arrival. The device also turns your house’s lights on before you return home so that you do not come home to a dark house.
The Wink Lookout
Lookout is yet another smart home kit that sends alerts about your doors, windows locks, and more. Lookout comes equipped with a motion sensor for your home and receives alerts if there’s activity. Use it with Wink Siren for added security. You can adjust the sensitivity on the sensor so that its pet-friendly.
The door and window sensors privately track your home’s doors and windows, notifying you if they are open or closed. And lastly, the siren and chime both activate with a built-in light that’ll notify the household if the system detects movements. The Wink system has ten different sounds that allow you to adjust the volume and duration of the sirens.
Amazon Echo Show
The Echo Show makes staying in touch a lot better with video calling home kit capability. This cool accessory takes the features you love about the Echo Dot and upgrades it. In regards to video, you can do easy video calls with other people who also have the Echo Show or voice calls with people who own the Echo or Echo Dot. You can also ask Alexa to play video clips from YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.
The display screen on Echo is great. It shows you the time, date and lyrics to songs if you are listening to music on Amazon. The screen can even connect to other devices, like your security cameras and nursery cameras. And there’s no need to worry about basic Alexa questioning not working because of screen issues — this model has eight microphones and noise cancellation, so you no matter what room you are in, you can ask questions.
The starting price is $230.
Get a Kit With a Motion Sensor
A motion sensor plays a vital role in your security system because it identifies when someone is in your home. It uses technology to detect movement and sends a signal to your security panel in case of emergency. Both you and your monitoring center will be alerted if there is a threat to your home. The main purpose of motion detection is to protect your home when you’re away and recognize suspicious movement in your home, windows, or doors.
You can use motion sensors for a variety of scenarios, including:
- Alerting you if your teen breaks curfew
- Triggering a doorbell when someone approaches the front door
- Alerting you when kids enter restricted areas in the home, like the basement, workout room, or medicine cabinet
- Saving energy by using motion sensor lighting in unoccupied spaces
- Notifying you if pets enter areas where they’re not supposed to be
This motion sensor is at the top of the list for detection systems. It recognizes any motion that’s 180 degrees, and up to 70 feet away. The security light on it is good, so you can put it outside if needed. The floodlight of this device also has a sensor, and it automatically turns the light on and off. However, it doesn’t come on in the daytime. And there is no need to worry about the system failing due to power issues, as it has power-outage protection and tool-free sensor-head adjustment. Upon purchase, you’ll receive a limited warranty, and the cost is around $15.
Buy Your Smart Home Kit Today
Choosing the system that’s right for you and your family will likely depend on your specific home and family needs, but make no mistake – purchasing a smart home kit will help keep your family safe. And, you can do it with a relatively small chunk of your budget, too.
Featured Image: CC0 by geralt via Pixabay