Market experts valued the global home automation market at $45.25 billion in 2019. They project this to almost double to $83.67 billion by 2027.
Those figures prove how home automation technology is no longer only for the rich and famous. Innovations in home tech materials and manufacturing methods have made these gadgets cost-affordable. They also allow you to upgrade individual home components, so you can automate one part at a time.
To that end, we created this guide on the best technology add-ons that you can get today to make your home smarter. Read on to discover the top techie home improvement options that won’t break the bank.
1. Garage Door Wi-Fi Adapter
Have you heard or read about how burglars can pop open a garage door within seconds using a coat hanger? Criminals can use this dirt-cheap item to tinker with and free a garage door’s emergency latch.
This led to some homeowners snipping their garage door’s emergency release cable. In doing so, they deactivated the emergency latch, but they also made their doors less secure.
Keep in mind that a garage door’s emergency latch lets you override its automated system. It enables manual door operation if you lose power. Therefore, cutting the emergency garage door cord permanently removes this nifty feature.
Instead of doing all that, consider installing a garage door Wi-Fi adapter. This device enables remote monitoring and access control features through a mobile app. The app, in turn, lets you check the door’s position at any given time and notifies you of door movement.
Most Wi-Fi adapter apps also send reminders about closing your garage door if you leave it open for too long. You can then use the same app to close your door from almost anywhere. You can even set opening and closing schedules as well as who can access the garage with the same app.
2. Smarter LED Lighting
LED lights can last up to 25 times longer and consume about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Their widespread use could save the US over $30 billion in electricity costs.
Those estimates apply to traditional LED lighting systems, though. However, today’s LED lights are smarter, with built-in sensors, self-chargers, and connectivity. These convenient features can help lower your energy use and electricity bills further.
Darkness-sensing LED bulbs light up on their own only when it turns dark and then switch off when the sun’s up. Motion-sensing bulbs only come on when they detect movement and then turn off a few minutes after. Self-charging bulbs store energy in batteries, so you can use them as a flashlight if the power goes out.
LED lights with connectivity features are controllable with smartphones or tablets. You can turn them on or switch them off with a few taps on your smart mobile devices. If the bulbs are dimmable, you can adjust their brightness level using your phone or tablet, too.
3. Wall-Mounted Tablet Docks
Wall-mounted docks allow you to transform your tablet, such as an iPad, into a home control center. They provide a semi-hands-free way to operate the automation devices you have at home. Some of the iPad wall mount options out there include SimpliDock, Dockem, and AboveTEK.
Once docked, you can tap away at your iPad to make changes to, say, your smart thermostat. You can also view your connected security cameras without having to carry the device. You can also operate your smart LED lights with a few taps on the wall-mounted tablet.
Moreover, some docks also serve as chargers, so your tablet won’t run out of juice so long as it’s on the dock. In any case, these iPad accessories enable you to maximize your device’s features at home.
4. Smart Thermostats
Smart thermostats work like programmable thermostats, except they have more sensors. For one, they let you control your heating, ventilation, and air condition (HVAC) system. However, they’re smarter because you can link them up with your smartphone or tablet.
From there, you can use your mobile device to control the HVAC unit from virtually anywhere. You could be at the office yet still be able to turn off your heater or AC if you forgot to do so before you left for work. You can also turn the system on from another location in preparation for your arrival at home.
A smart thermostat can also record your HVAC system’s energy consumption. Some even let you input your electricity rates so that they can compute how much your HVAC use costs you. By knowing how much energy your comfort system is using, you can then take steps to cut your bills.
Smart thermostats also come with sensors that detect changes in ambient temperature. These allow them to adjust their heating or cooling capacity based on how cold or warm the temp is.
5. Smart Speakers
Smart speakers are convenient and fun gadgets that let you use your voice to control your home tech. These devices rely on a voice assistant powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Some of the best AI-powered speakers include Amazon Alexa, Google Nest, and Sonos One.
Most smart speakers let you control entertainment devices, lights, thermostats, and smart switches. You can also “talk” to your AI assistant to operate your other smart appliances. If you have smart locks at home, you can tell your voice assistant to open or secure them for you.
Make Your Home Smarter With These Fun Home Tech Upgrades
As you can see, you have plenty of affordable home tech upgrade options for a smarter, more secure abode. They won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and besides, you can invest in them one at a time. So, as early as today, start making plans to get these technology add-ons for your home.
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