home automation

Home Automation Devices

When trying to automate household tasks with smart devices, it can be challenging to find the right home automation devices for the job.  There are tons of devices available today but if you aren’t aware of what exists it is easy to spend a lot of time trying to use multiple devices to hack a project together.  Whether your just getting started or already have some smart devices here is a list of some home automation devices to help level up your home.

Smart Locks

Adding a smart lock to your house can be an easy way to give guests, house keepers or contractors temporary access to your home without any kind of master key.  You can unlock your home remotely using an app or just generate a one time access code for them to use when they arrive.  Another useful feature is setting the door to automatically lock after a certain amount of time has passed.

Smart Lock

Smart Blind Control

Automatically have the blinds in your house open and close as desired throughout the day. This adds a very futuristic look to your home and is a great way to help keep things cool in the summer. 

Alarm System Kits

You could buy several individual components create a home alarm system but why bother when there are kits readily available.  Most kits include a combination of contact sensors for doorways and motion detectors for general room detection.  The main benefit of getting parts as a kit is you know they will be easy to integrate together and will function under the same application.

Smart Relays

Smart relays are a great tool for converting standard household electronics into smart controllable devices.  Smart relays simply plug into standard wall sockets and allow you to turn things on/off remotely or on set schedules.  Some relays like the Sonoff S31 shown below even include energy monitoring features to let you see how much energy a connected device is using.

Temperature and Humidity Relays

This type of smart relay is great way to get control over older heating and cooling devices. For example if you attached the relay to a garage heater you could easily use the relay to turn on the heater before you go outside.  It could also be used to automatically turn off the heater once up to temperature.  If you have any temperature sensitive devices this smart relay could also be used to automatically cut power to the device once it is below a certain temperature.

Smart Lighting

The great thing about modern smart lighting is the devices typically screw right into existing  light fixtures making them very easy to install.  Once setup smart lights can easily be commanded to darken/brighten, turn on/off and even  change colours as needed.  A smart assistant routine can be used to have them automatically turn on and off at different times.

 

Smart Assistant Devices

 Smart home assistant devices are the central hub of home automation. It makes it effortless to control your other devices, play music, get news, check your calendar or even video chat with friends on some devices.  There are many smart assistant devices however we will focus on amazon’s echo brand of devices since they are one of the most popular devices with a lot of advanced features.

    Amazon Echo Dot

  A small speaker/microphone device which is great for basic assistant voice controls and listening to music.  It is very inexpensive and can be a great tool to use for controlling other smart devices.

 

    Amazon Echo Show

The echo show includes all the features of the echo dot but includes a screen which can be convenient for video calling friends, looking up recipes, displaying pictures and much more. 

Video Doorbell

Having a video doorbell can be a convenient way to see who is coming to your front door throughout the day, especially if you are not home a lot of the time.  On most devices like the ring video doorbell device mentioned below, the doorbells will send notifications whenever the doorbell is pressed or if motion is detected. 

Outdoor Security Cameras

If you have a large property and a doorbell camera won’t cut it, you might want to consider getting a smart outdoor security camera.  Security cameras like the ring model mentioned below have high quality video and audio feed which you can view from anywhere.  It also allows you to speak to people remotely through the cameras built in speaker.

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