Written by Christopher Nye,
29th October 2018

You’ve worked hard for the house of your dreams – now it’s time to make your house work hard for you. With voice-activated, energy-efficient smart tech your life can run more smoothly as your own house caters to your every whim like an army of personal assistants! Not only does it take care of the jobs that you don’t fancy, it ensures you never forget to switch things off, to miss a vital ingredient for your dinner party, or to feed your pet ever again. We’re investigating the best smart-tech options for your home.

Smart Ecosystems

Before you can make everything in your home voice-activated and centrally-controlled you need to invest in a smart ecosystem. The Amazon Echo is considered the best on the market, but there are a range of other options hot on Amazon’s heels. Choose a system that’s compatible with the widest range of smart-tech apps. Amazon, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit are the front-runners here, but Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Hive and IFTTT aren’t far behind.

smart tech for your home

You’ve worked hard for your home, now your smart home can work hard for you

Smart plugs

The bigger the house the bigger the bills, unless you make it energy efficient. Smart plugs like a Belkin Wemo or Elgato Eve Energy allow you to control all your existing electrical devices that are plugged into them from an app. In addition, Wemo offers insights into your energy usage, sends you estimates of your monthly bills, and highlights where savings are possible. Features include timers for switching devices on and off, syncing up your lights and you can even pop the kettle on the minute you pull your car into the drive.

Temperature control

Imagine never having to come home to a cold house again! Smart temperature control systems allow you to adjust the temperature in time for your arrival and boast handy features like sensors establishing when no-one is home and adjusting the temperature accordingly. Systems like Nest Learning, Nest Thermostat E and EcoBee not only look lovely on your wall, but also double up as energy savers, night-lights and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Lighting

Forget the terrible inconvenience of clapping to turn your lights on and off, now you can do it with your voice…or at the touch of a button, should you be more traditional. Smart lightbulbs are another great way to ensure your home is energy efficient, and lighting control systems allow you to turn lights on and off remotely, set lights to be motion-activated and to create different lighting schemes in different rooms to suit your mood. Phillips Hue and Kasa are the best around.


Security

There are number of ways that you can protect your property via smart tech. NetGear Arlo Q is the best motion detection security system on the market. It automatically starts recording when it detects any object moving about and stores the hi-res footage in the cloud. Ring 2 and Nest Hello are video doorbells that let you see who’s on your doorstep, whether you’re in the bathroom or out for the day. Both have built in cameras and speakers which allow you to talk to the caller. This comes in particularly handy if you need to issue delivery instructions. You can also issue automated responses, ‘I’ll just be one moment’, or ‘We can’t come to the door right now’, for example, at the touch of a button. You can also silence the doorbell as and when you wish if you want to ensure your baby isn’t disturbed during nap time. Instead, an alert will come directly through to your phone.

Household chores

Forget mundane household chores like mowing the lawn, watering the plants and cleaning the windows. Smart tech can take care of all of this for you. Neato Botvac will take care of the floors, Winbot X will keep your windows sparkling and the Husqvarna Automower will make sure the garden is weekend-ready. Flower Care 2 is a smart plant monitor that takes the hassle out of keeping your plants alive, and if you really can’t be bothered picking things up and putting them back in their rightful place, you can invest in the Aeolus robot butler who’ll tidy around you and fetch you beers from the fridge.

Smart Fridges

No more standing in supermarket aisles, scratching your head, trying to remember what you have in stock. No more pointless wandering to the fridge only to find you’re out of your favourite treat. Smart fridges allow you to see inside your fridge whatever your location. They come complete with touch screens that allow you to play music, search for recipes or to browse your family calendar, and are compatible with numerous eco-systems, which means you can ask Alexa to set timers, provide measurement conversions, add items to your grocery list or to talk you through each step of your recipe.

Pet tech

Whether you’re away for the weekend or going to be late home from work, now you can make sure your furry friends never go hungry. PetSafe and WoPet are just two of the options that allow you to feed your pet remotely, give them treats when they’re well-behaved, monitor what they are up to and record personalised messages for them. This smart tech also sends you alerts to let you know that your pets are eating their food so that you haven’t got to worry that they’re going hungry while you’re not around.

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