Create a “smart home” with these gifts. We add a few smart home devices each year to help make life easier!
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Every year, I ask for a few “smart home” items for Christmas. I want to make things easier for myself and save electricity. My dad has the ULTIMATE smart home setup and it cost a LOT of money. We don’t have that kind of money to spend, but fortunately a lot of smart home items are getting more affordable! They’re a great investment to make!
Here’s some of my favorite products and some that are on my wish list. We tend to stick with devices on Nest or that are compatible with Alexa- it’s ideal to pick ONE platform so you can control it all from one app.
Giving a smart home device is giving the gift of convenience. Most of us can't afford to buy it all at once so each year we try to add a few items to our home that help make our home more ecofriendly, safer, or that make life easier. Here's some of my favorites and why you might love them!
This is BY FAR the best smart home device we've purchased. It allows us to see if our alarm is going off, even when we're on vacation or running errands. We live far enough from neighbors that it would allow us to call the fire department before our home is completely engulfed in flames. Even in a neighborhood with closely placed homes, it's easy for neighbors to not see a small fire until it really gets going.
The alarm rings out to our phones and also goes out through the alarm itself. Usually we get a warning before the alarm goes off- this is convenient because I'm a mediocre cook and I can turn the alarm off when the smoke is just from me burning our dinner. LOL.
I have a love hate relationship with Alexa. On one hand, it's pretty handy to be able to play music, tell her to add items to my shopping list, and ask about the school lunch menu for the day. On the other hand, she's another creature in my house who isn't listening to me. No, I don't want turnkey added to my shopping list, I want TURKEY.
In fact, my Alexa appears to think my 8 year old is the boss and seems to recognize everything he says best.
But for the most part, she's useful enough to keep her around, mostly to make sure groceries get added to my list while I'm using up ingredients cooking.
This kit is on my wishlist, although I'm still not 100% which lights I need to target first. My kids are always leaving their lights on in their room so I think I'd like to get bulbs to replace those first. It would be SO wonderful to not have to manually turn off all of the lights in the house.
My dad's house has a panel that they can power everything off when they walk out the door. Can you IMAGINE how much electricity you'd save? Kids y'all.
I am not sure how useful this would be for some homes, but if you worry about leaks, particularly when you're on vacation, this would be fantastic. It has an auto shutoff if it detects a leak in your home.
Locks are one item we haven't replaced yet. We still have the standard key. I have wanted something like this though because there are times when it would be convenient to let someone into the house while I'm out, or times when I don't have my key on hand.
This is one of the first smart home products that we bought. We have one outdoor security camera for our front porch in lieu of a doorbell camera (more on why in a bit). This allows me to monitor my children if they're playing out front, any vehicles that come up our driveway, and also the comings and goings of local wildlife.
We will probably add another camera or two at some point for other areas of our exterior. My favorite part is that I get alerts when motion is sensed.
I haven't tried the Nest doorbell, but we tried another brand and it blew the whole fuse.... or something. It required an electrician to come fix it (we're handy so this is saying something). Make sure to get the right doorbell for your electrical setup. Our home was a new build and STILL had trouble. I think if I went with another doorbell that I'd go with a battery powered version.
I'm just not sure if the doorbell outlets are meant to handle the power required to run a camera.
This is a GREAT product to have if you want to save money on electricity. We were on vacation when I realized I never turned down the heat. I popped open my app at the airport, turned it on eco mode, then left for our trip without worrying about heating an empty house.
It's also great for those nights where you're laying in bed super cold or super hot, and don't want to run downstairs. You can control the temperature from your phone.
The one thing I haven’t seen marketed as much is smart blinds… those would be super useful in some parts of my home, particularly windows that aren’t easily accessible (our master bath has a window over the bathtub that’s hard to reach).
Do you own any of these devices? Did I forget any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!
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Danielle Pientka is the sewing and DIY blogger behind DIYDanielle.com. She taught herself to sew in 2011 when she wanted to make cloth diapers for her first son. She’s been sewing everything from ecofriendly items to kids products to clothing since, as it has become a passion. She loves learning how to do new things and teaching others in the process. She hopes to inspire other moms to take time for themselves to find their own creative passion.
Danielle lives in Maryland with her three young sons and her husband, Brandon. In her spare time, she gardens, reads, horseback rides, and has a small homestead with goats and ducks. Visit her shop to buy patterns or her sewing eBooks. Subscribe to her newsletter to get blog updates, free patterns and other printables by clicking here.