Home automation – they've been talking about it forever, but most men still find themselves running around, tending to the home as if they were on a seafaring ship. And sometimes when you get off work, you just want to relax.
Imagine having the ability to change your temperature while you're in a completely different room from the thermostat...Or switching lights on and off not just from anywhere in the house but from anywhere in the world...
Check out our guide to the best home automation devices on the market. These top ten smart-home gadgets will help to make your life easier and your house more intelligent.
And you? Time to kick back your feet, crack a beer, and watch the game.
The iSmartAlarm iSA3 home security system does not require any monthly fees or contracts. You can expand this system to customize your home in anyway that you like. The iSmartAlarm will give you free phone alerts, text messages, and push notifications. That's just what you need to feel secure - whether you're home or away.
What Reviewers Say:
So, what do real users think about this security system?
Great system so far. Tech support was very helpful for questions I had. One of the biggest advantages of this system (unless you have wireless monitoring which is ideal, but you have to pay monthly fee) over other systems is that if someone cuts your phone line for a standard Security system you would have no idea, with this system you get an alert that your internet is down. This feature was the key selling/keeping point for me since I looked at other peoples alarm installs and asked them what happens if they cut your phone line before they break in? Sure the alarm would go off but you would have no idea and could not react.
This system is just perfect.
Shipped fast, with battery and ready to go. We love our iSmart Alarm. This company is awesome, great customer service.
With the smart-cycle feature it can schedule watering cycles with best practices for your location. The controller can also adjust and make sure that it will water when it's needed and not when it rains. You can control the system from anywhere using your iOS or Android device.
The Gecko bluetooth smart tag has a 50 - 100ft range that lets you track when one of your windows or door opens. You will know an action happens by an audible sound on your iOS device. The tag itself is 1-inch squared. Average battery life is about 1 year depending on usage.
Control your home via the internet, with SmartThings that allows you to program almost anything, from thermostats to lights to garage doors to washing machines. Receive notifications to your smartphone when people, pets and cars arrive or leave, or when your doors open, close.
Trying to find your garage door opener while rolling down your dark street is often awkward and even dangerous.
Chamberlain's new Smart Garage Door Opener changes this game by using geo-fence technology to automatically open your garage door as you draw enter your driveway. The kicker? It will automatically close the door once you are inside, and keep the lights on in the garage until you exit into your home.
Chamberlain is compatible with both Staples Connect and Wink, and works with every garage door open manufactured after 1994.
Sure, most of the time you remember to clip that damned garage door opener to your visor, right? How does it so often wind up under the seat, in the glove box, or on the floor of the garage?
Everyone knows and loves the Nest. And now that there's a 3rd gen on the horizon, you can get the 2nd gen model at a discount.
What Reviewers Say:
If you haven't heard your friends raving about their Nest, here's what the folks on Amazon have to say.
Truly amazing! Installs in 20 minutes. No tools or knowledge of HVAC needed. If you can operate a screw driver, you are good to go.
Control your house temp from anywhere in the world - what's not to love? It automatically knows when we've left for the weekend and I can set it to turn back on when we're a few hours away from arriving home so we always arrive to a perfect temp house with having our AC/furnace running unnecessarily while we're away.
Awesome device, easy plug and play installation. I'm sure we are saving money but haven't really compared our bills prior to having a Nest. Software is easy to use, control from your handheld from anywhere. This thing does learn your behavior.
Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to open your lock straight from your smartphone
Unique look is charming and intriguing
Packed with convenient automated features, easy to access using both iOS and Android smartphones, can be integrated into existing deadbolt systems, and very DIY-friendly.
Pricey and still a tad "buggy" with occasional software/app flaws.
Even when you work from home, sometimes people need access. But, you still need to secure the space. This smart lock is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and allows you to easily control who has access to your home and manage how long their access lasts - right from your handheld device! The lock is also powered by 4xAA batteries, so it's always on.
Design: Make no mistake: this is a big lock! It's larger and thicker than your average door handle, and it will look a bit odd. However, it's built to last, with a durable tamper-proof exterior that will protect your home from burglars.
Installation: This lock is designed to be installed with existing deadbolt locking systems. It's simply the locking mechanism, without the actual deadbolt itself. Simply remove the thumbturn and mount the August smart lock to your door. Voila!
Performance: One of the best things about this Bluetooth door lock is the fact that you can check the lock history via the smartphone app. You'll be able to see when the lock was opened via the app, making it easy to monitor your family's comings and goings. The app has a lot of functions: instant invites to allow guest access, time-restricted access, and more! You can send as many "e-keys" as you want.
The iOS app is best, as the Android app has a few bugs in the software. The fact that it's Bluetooth means there's a bit of lag when trying to connect/open the door. However, you can also connect with it via your home wireless connection, making it a useful WiFi door lock. The latest generation of August Smart Lock is now compatible with Amazon's Alexa voice control service. You can lock, unlock, or check on the lock via the August Home Skill app on Alexa. Be warned, you'll need the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge to make it work.
Lost power or your Bluetooth won't connect? No worries: the lock comes with a key that will allow you to open it in case of emergencies.
Price: At $250, it's the most expensive smart lock on this list. However, for users who HAVE to have the latest gadgets, it's a lock worth having. The convenience of a Bluetooth door lock makes it a tech-friendly security solution, and it's the best of the truly "smart" locks.
What Reviewers Say:
The August smart lock allows you to give timed access. For example, you would give your family 24/7 access to your front door but the maid would get only a couple of hours. The August smart lock is accompanied by an app that allows you to see the logs of those who have entered your home. It doesn't even need to have your WiFi active as it can still be controlled without it. In case of a power failure you also don't need to worry as it runs on 4 x AA batteries. Many people really like this. Here's what they think.
"The August lock has been quite reliable and does better than described. The packaging and instructions, fit and finish are great. It works with a good variety of lock vendors and it's been well thought out. For those of you, like me, were worried about the grinding noises other motorized locks make when lock/unlocking fear not - August is quite quiet. I bought the August lock for the auto-unlocking when approaching the door with your associated phone. It works pretty much all the time, but will not work for quick trips out to the car and back to the door, you really need to leave. You quickly get in the habit of leaving your keys, so I've been locked out of the house once because I enabled the auto-lock feature and shut the door. Thankfully I the Apple Watch app could talk to my iPhone inside the house so I could unlock the door using the watch app. A casualty of convenience and not August."
"Product works as expected. No issues."
"Compared to Lockitron which worked only maybe 20% of the time and involved weird steps to be made and Schlage where you can tell its a special lock from the outside because of the keypad...I standby August as being the best option available on the market today when it comes to Smart Locks!"
If you already have a whole-home security system including smart video feeds, Canary is not for you.
A innocuous 6" tall cylinder could easily be mistaken for a kitchen appliance or light to the casual observer. Yet it is a full featured video and audio surveillance solution, allowing you to see 360 degree motion in your home. It also analyzes temperature, humidity, and air quality and can send text messages to your phone if it detects something is wrong.
And finally, Canary is also smart enough to analyze your family or office routine and detect if something is amiss. For instance, it may know that 2-3 times a week you wander downstairs at midnight for a snack. But it's smart enough to know that movement outside the window at 2:00AM is not normal, and will alert you.
What Reviewers Say:
People like this. Want to know what they think?
I have had my canary for 2 weeks. I was very excited to have a easy to use and attractive apartment monitoring device.
The several updates over the past months have added many features that I wanted such as the ability to save videos to the camera roll on my phone, the ability to delete videos from the cloud and the ability for the device to auto reconnect to the internet if it loses it's connection.
Canary knows whenever I or my wife leaves or returns, I can consistently review captured events and live view is always available. The only reason I didn't jump right to 5 stars is because sometimes the live view takes longer to come up than I would expect but it does come up and I have to say that this is now an awesome product. My earlier comments regarding the excellent image and sound quality still hold true and this is now a product I fully recommend. Thank you Canary for listening and taking the time to work with me to figure this out.
Jenna is an Iowa native and former Chicago resident who is currently living her best life in the Tampa Bay area with her husband and fur baby. She has a BS in Political Science from the University of Iowa, as well a JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Jenna has a passion for running, brunching, home decor and, of course, her beloved Iowa Hawkeyes. When she isn’t writing, Jenna loves to read just about anything she can get her hands on.
Jenna covers everything from health and beauty to home and lifestyle, you name the product, she’s likely tried it. So if you’re looking for ways to beef up your beauty regimen or enhance your humble abode, Jenna is your go to girl.