Work smarter, not harder. Smart home automation is becoming more and more popular. With home automation, you are able to control your home’s light, heating, security, and other appliances through one central gateway (typically called a ‘hub’). You can monitor and interact with this hub through a device like a wall-mounted tablet or smart phone. Home automation can be expensive, but you don’t have to take the full plunge just yet. Here are a few products that can help you take those first few baby steps.


Nest is an easily adaptable and buildable home automation network. You may have heard of the Nest Learning Thermostat which learns to adapt to your lifestyle. After just a week of use, the thermostat remembers your preferences for temperature, and adjusts accordingly when the climate changes. Nest doesn’t stop there, though. You can also purchase a smoke detector which verbally warns of impending fire-related disasters before they occur. It sends text alerts to your smart phone, and can be silenced from your cell, too. Security won’t be an issue with Nest, either. They have a camera that allows you to live-stream any room in your house from your cell phone. You can even program it to watch for activity when you’re not at home, and it will alert your phone if it detects an intruder.  

Amazon Echo

Next on our list is the Amazon Echo. The Echo is “always ready, connected, and fast. Just ask.” This device is voice activated, so if you keep it in the center of your home (or, better yet, purchase a few of these), you’ll be able to control your home’s lighting, temperature, and music wherever you are. The Echo can connect with the Nest and other devices. This means that when you tell your Echo “I’m too cold”, it’ll tell Nest to turn up the heat.


For outdoor security, you have dozens of options. But, for seemless home automation, you should pick one that works with your central hub (like Nest). SkyBell is a Smart doorbell. When a visitor rings the doorbell, an alert with HD video will be sent to your smart phone. From there, you will be able to see and speak with your visitor even if you’re not at home.


If you’re willing to spend a bit more money up front, you can end up saving yourself tons on your energy bills by investing in Rheem heating and cooling appliances. Currently, Rheem has water heaters and furnaces that can be connected to your Nest hub. When your Nest is set to “away”, while you’re at work or away on vacation, your Rheem appliances will lower their energy use.

Samsung Smart TV

No smart home would be complete without a smart TV. The Samsung Smart TV is voice activated, and adapts quickly to your preferences. When you connect it to your smart phone, you can even set your TV to turn on at a specific time in the morning to a channel of your choosing with your personal schedule for the day right on the screen.

These devices are wonderful on their own, but because they are part of the Internet of Things, they can all communicate with one another to deliver a consistent and smooth experience for their users. What’s your favorite home automation device? Let us know in the comments.