To expand on one of last week’s 5 tips, when looking at turning your home into a smart home you can add:

Smart Theromostat

The smart theromostat has been around for a few years now and could be the simplest and handiest first step to a smart home. These are offered by companies such as Ecobee, Nest and Honeywell and are simple to install. They are typically remote controlled through your smartphone (iphone, android) and even have add-on individual room sensors to know when to adjust the temperature.

Voice Assistant

You’ve probably seen the commercials for a variety of voice-controlled (and now even gesture-controlled) assistants that respond to your commands to deliver everything from you favorite music to calling a friend. Keep in mind that the microphones on these gadgets listen to you all the time. You may want to keep them only in places where you are not likely to want to have a truely private conversation.  Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home Assistant currently dominate this space.

Video doorbell

The great advantage here is that you can see who is ringing your doorbell (through your smartphone) even when you are not at home. Ring, Simplisafe and Skybell are great options.


These devices turn your “dumb” devices, such as lamps, radios, coffeemaker, etc, into smart devices by controlling when to turn them on or off. You can also monitor energy used by the particular device using these smart plugs. There are many providers of this simple device. Among them are TP-Link, WeMo and SmartThings.


This can be as simple as replacing a few light bulbs all the way to replacing wall switches. No only can you control the lights in your home but you can add color to the home. In addition to needing the bulbs/switches, you will need a device or app on your phone to control these.

Photo by Stephan Bechert on Unsplash