Turning your dumb home into a smart home may feel like an expensive endeavor, but it doesn't have to be. These devices are available for under $100.
Setting up a smart home might sound daunting and expensive, but surprisingly, you don't have to break the bank to begin your journey into the future.
If you've wanted to know about smart devices and how to get started with using them in your home, read on. We've compiled a list of smart home devices that are all available for under $100.
Smart devices run on your Wi-Fi and perform tasks to make your day-to-day life at home easier. And they're no longer just for those with enough cash to splash on them. In fact, there are plenty of options out there to help you build a smart home on a budget.
Investing in a smart home can help with a variety of activities and tasks around your home. If you have ever worried about security, for example, there are plenty of devices that can help; from two-way cameras to motion sensors that connect directly to your smartphone.
However, that's not all. Whether it's for safety or entertainment purposes, there's a huge array of products out there from security cameras to smart speakers that aim to make your day-to-day life a little easier.
We start with smart speakers, which are the majority of people's entry into the smart home sector.
Nowadays, speakers are for far more than just listening to music. Smart speakers run on Wi-Fi and can do everything from checking the latest news to finding the best recipes for dinner, or even reminding you about your neighbor's birthday.
Some, like the Amazon Echo Show and Google Nest Hub, offer touchscreen displays that allow you to watch streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+. Or check up on step-by-step how-to guides while you're cooking up a storm in the kitchen or doing some home improvements. Both of these also offer the ability to make video calls through their built-in cameras.
More importantly, smart speakers are crucial to the inner workings of a smart home because they can act as a hub to connect all of your other smart-enabled devices. Including everything from light bulbs to microwaves.
That's why they should always be one of the first purchases made when you're starting out on your smart home journey. Don't be afraid to look further than Amazon and Google though, as there are plenty of smart speakers out there that have much to offer.
Smart bulbs can completely shift the ambience of a home, and with no extra fittings or equipment needed, they're one of the cheapest ways to evolve your home into a smart one. From strip lights to bulbs that plug directly into your current fixtures, there's a huge selection to choose from.
Some, such as the Wyze Bulb Color, can connect to both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (how to set up Google Assistant), and with multipacks available relatively cheaply, you can bring the party to multiple rooms in your home for well under budget.
As well as snazzy colors and voice controls, smart bulbs can be set to react to music and/or the shows you're watching on your television to help make your movie night even more magical. Furthermore, they can even be sensitive to the natural light outside, helping to make waking up on Monday mornings that little bit easier.
Just like smart bulbs, smart plugs are an easy step into the smart home world because they fit easily into existing wall outlets. You can connect to them via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and control, turn on, and schedule devices and appliances to start using apps or Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
You can get your hands on a four-pack of the voice-assistant supported Kasa Smart Plug HS103P4 for under $100, which means you can pretty much make every socket in your household smart without breaking the bank.
There's plenty more that smart plugs can bring to your home too, as our article explaining everything you need to know about smart plugs reveals.
There are even smart plugs that can keep track of your energy consumption, for those who hold environmental issues close to their heart. The iHome Flow Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring can do exactly that, helping make sure your home is as energy-efficient as possible.
Keeping your home safe has been transformed in recent years thanks to smart home technology. In years gone by you needed to ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you were on vacation, whereas now, you can do the same from the comfort of your smartphone anywhere in the world.
They're relatively easy to install too, with many being ready to go as soon as the accompanying app is installed.
Motion sensors such as YoLink detect movement in a particular area of your home, and can send an alert, trigger an alarm, or handily turn on devices they are connected to such as lights, speakers, or the television.
Meanwhile, the YI Security Home Camera features two-way audio which allows you to speak into the camera. Whether to simply talk to your pet or to alert any intruders that you're watching and able to see them.
As you can see, starting your smart home journey doesn't have to break the bank. There are plenty of ways to make your life easier and your home more accessible while on a tight budget.
With smart homes quickly becoming the norm and the price tags becoming more accessible to a wider audience, there's no excuse not to at least dip your toe in the water and give it a go. Trust us, you'll never look back.
You would be best set by getting your hands on a smart home starter kit to begin with, and there are plenty out there that are worth the asking price.
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