Turn Your Home Into a SmartHome. Without Breaking the Bank
Turning your home into a smart home is a fun but daunting task. Many of the concerns people have when starting their smart home journey stem from how expensive it is to outfit or retrofit your home for everything from automation to voice control. But starting to venture into the land of Alexa and scheduled lighting doesn’t have to break the bank. Get started building your smart home ecosystem with these ideas for a low-budget, high-tech home.
Give the appliances you already own and intelligence boost with smart plugs like these from TP-Link ($29.99). These smart plugs make anything a smart device when connected to the TP-Link app, Google Home, Amazon Echo, or Echo Dot.
Smart Bulbs can be expensive and some, like the Phillips Hue, require a hub separate from the voice control system. However, you can purchase less expensive options that also have great feature sets. GE’s C-Life Smart LED bulbs ($13 each) are controlled via Bluetooth and when paired with the C-Reach bridge ($49.99) can be controlled with WiFi and pair with Amazon Echo or Google Home, and TP-Link’s Smart LED bulbs ($19.99) are controlled via WiFi and can connect to your voice assistant without a bridge.
At just under $250, a Nest thermostat isn’t exactly budget friendly, but if you are looking to really control every aspect of your home, there are other budget-conscious smart thermostats out there. Take for example the Ecobee 3 Lite ($169), which can pair with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Echo,and other smart services.
Smart Light Switch
For hands-free or app-controlled lighting beyond the bulbs, the Belkin WeMo light switch ($50) can respond to voice commands and schedule your lighting.
Smart Garage Door
Don’t panic about whether you left the garage door open ever again when you upgrade your garage door controller. The Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub ($99) works with many garage door opener brands, and the MyQ app allows you to control your garage door from anywhere.