Ready to join the smart home craze, but live in an apartment? No problem! While the first wave of this technology was largely geared towards hard-wired applications for single-family home owners, there are now emerging portable options that don’t require you to leave them behind when you move and only require a smart phone to operate.
Here are our top 5 smart apps and products that offer convenience and ease for your home.
- Voice Activated Speakers
“Google, do you know Alexa?”
Amazon and Google are the leading players in the rapidly growing-smart speaker field. All of them allow you to simply speak the recognized “wake” alert and then request to turn on any number of smart-connected devices, such as a TV, sound system, lighting and more or answer a query (here’s a comprehensive list of commands Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant).
- Light Bulbs
It’s as easy as screwing in a light bulb…
Smart lighting allow you to turn fixtures on and off remotely, dim them to the perfect light level, set an automatic schedule when traveling or for gentle waking, connect to your voice-controlled devices and even change colors to set your mood. Some require a discrete wireless hub while others have the tech included in the bulb, itself. The top brands on the market today Philips Hue are LIFX.
- Light Dimming
Let there be (less) light!
For those without smart bulbs and for applications such as ceiling lights and want the convenience of a dimmer switch, the LightwaveRF switch plate uses existing wiring for quick and easy installation and is compatible with a wide range of dimmable LEDs. They can be controlled manually or remotely using an app or a remote control.
Set it and forget it.
The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip offers protection from a power surge as well as app-controlled on/off switching for up to six items. The strip and plugs such as and the TP-Link Smart Plug and Belkin’s WeMo also offer scheduling for travel, holiday lighting or just creating a welcoming home after a long day of work.
It’s all at your fingertips.
If you don’t already have a smart TV, there are a host of smart devices that allow you to stream Netflix, Now TV, YouTube, Google Play, Spotify and other services. Leading the pack are the Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick or Cube, Roku Streaming Stick and Apple TV.
Apartment dwellers, welcome to the future!