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6 Ways to Automate Your Home Life

What makes home automation great? Mainly, you get to use your phone or a digital assistant to do stuff for you. This beats doing things yourself or getting your kids to do stuff for you. For one thing, doing everything yourself gets tiring. For another, getting kids to do stuff for you will backfire, since Google or Alexa is helpful without bribery. Here are a few ways you can take advantage of home automation. 

Get a Smart Assistant 

There are three main smart assistants on the market: the Amazon Echo ($129.99), Google Home ($179), and Apple HomePod ($349). You can use them to order an Uber, play music, add stuff to your calendar, set alarms, recite recipes, text your friends, answer questions, and more. The one you choose will depend largely on which ecosystem you use most. For example, if you carry an iPhone and your entire life is in iCalendar, you’ll probably want to go with the HomePod. 

There’s another big reason we’re starting this list with smart assistants, though. Many, if not all, of the upcoming devices on this list can be controlled by a smart assistant. The way things are shaping up, a smart assistant can be your primary point of interface in your home. 

Automate Lighting 

Why automate your lighting? For one, it’s pretty handy to control your lighting from either a smart device or via voice control. You can install smart lights like Philips HueLifx, or Hive Smart Lights to get this kind of functionality. Alternatively, you can replace your switches with something like an Ecobee Switch+ ($59.99). You’ll get the same functionality without switching out any light bulbs. You can further automate your lighting to automatically turn off when the room is empty, saving you money. 

Get Smarter Smoke Detectors 

The Next ($99) is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. The nicest thing about it is when you accidentally set it off by burning dinner, you can turn it off via your phone instead of waving a towel at it. Also, it sends alerts to your phone, which is handy. Why would you need to know about a carbon monoxide leak in the middle of the workday via a phone alert instead of finding out about it when you get home via an alarm? Well, say you have pets. 

Make Your Front Door More Useful 

Your front door is better with a 24/7 camera, like the Ring Video Doorbell ($124.99). You get video image of whomever shows up at your door, which is nice. That’s handy if you’re not home and missed someone important, or if you are home and would like to avoid a canvasser. Plus you’ll get to see if someone swipes your packages

Make Smarter Heating & Cooling Choices 

Why get a smart thermostat? Controlling the temperature when you’re away from home is handy; you can turn your heating off as you leave for work and turn it back on an hour before returning, sacrificing no comfort but shaving your heating bill down. Smart thermostats also start learning your habits, better managing your heating and cooling in a way that’s useful to you. Finally, newer models come with room sensors to monitor room occupancy. 

Automate Your Lawn Care 

What makes a smart sprinkler, like the Rachio ($239.99) or Netro ($149.99) better than non-smart sprinkler systems? Aside from being able to control them via your phone or digital assistant, they do things like monitor the weather and schedule or skip watering based on that information, optimize watering based on what kind of plants you have, and automatically follow local watering restrictions. Pretty smart.