How to turn your place into a smart home

Published on 07 May 2019

Having smart features in your home used to require a big budget, and all smart functionality needed to be included at the time your house was originally built. Well, not anymore - even renters can incorporate smart technology into their place. Here are five tech upgrades you can make to your home this weekend.

App-controlled lights

Don’t mistake this smart option as being lazy - it’s more handy than simply allowing you to turn on your lights while you’re chilling on the couch. You can set your lights to turn on at specified times so you don’t need to walk into a dark house after work; and if you’re out of town, you can make it appear like someone’s still home. Smart bulbs also makes every light dimmable. You don’t need to rewire your entire home to make lights tech-controlled; you don’t even need to call an electrician. Swap out your lightbulbs with smart bulbs, download the app, and set up your own routines.

Safe and secure

There are smart security systems for every budget these days. It’s a cinch to instal wireless cameras that work off wifi in your home to protect your family and property. You can even use them to spy on your dog during the day! Notifications of motion and audio are sent to your phone so you can get real-time updates of what’s going on at your place when you’re not there. Many of these types of security cameras can also double as baby monitors.

A smart hub

Google and Alexa (that’s the name of Amazon Echo’s voice-controlled system) can instantly add an impressive array of smart features into your home - with more to come in the future. They can play music, control your smart light switches and appliances, answer any questions, or talk you through a recipe, just to name a few.

Your very own cleaner

Ah, vacuuming - it’s one of the most disliked house chores of all time. A robot vacuum certainly makes life easier (and cleaner) for you. It can vacuum your entire house while you’re at work so you don’t even need to lift a finger. Depending on the model you choose, you can even get clean reports that show you where your vacuum has cleaned and when it’s finished, and they’re smart enough to charge themselves! 

Upgrade at the power source

A smart plug can upgrade your everyday appliances to smart status. While functionality can be limited depending on the appliance, powering an appliance via a smart plug allows you to wirelessly turn it off and on (with an app or voice command), and even schedule it to go on at specific times. Some of the best smart plug uses include switching your TV on with a simple voice command (if you have a smart hub installed), scheduling things to turn off and on at set times to conserve energy, and if you’re the type that regularly stresses that maybe you left the hair straightener on, well, a smart plug allows you to flick it off remotely.