Smart home products have been on the market for some time now with more and more homeowners looking to use smart technology to make their lives a little easier. Many households now feature a smart TV and automated lighting and security are also becoming more popular, the world of smart home products has a whole lot more to offer.
Google Nest Hub Max
To get you started on your home automation journey you’re going to want to start with a virtual assistant to allow you to manage all your compatible connected home devices with the power of your voice. There are a range of smart speakers and smart displays to choose from with this functionality, but our pick is the Google Nest Hub Max. Powered by Google Assistant this 10-inch smart display controls connected home devices including smart plugs, lights, TVs, speakers, air-con, blinds and various home appliances without the need to use multiple apps on your phone. The system also includes video and voice calling capability and built-in security camera Nest Cam.
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Google Wi-Fi Mesh Network Routers
You’ll want to make sure your home wi-fi network is up to speed to control your new home automation gadgets. Part of the Nest family, the routers allow you to extend your Wi-Fi coverage to internet dead areas in your home, and each router also acts as another smart speaker in your home once connected to your system allowing you to play music and control connected devices through voice control. Using the compatible app you can quickly see what devices are attached to your network and prioritise devices, as well as using family control to pause wi-fi on kids devices.
Nest Learning Thermostat
The temperature of our home can be something we don’t pay a lot of attention to until it’s wrong. The Nest Learning Thermostat, compatible with the Google Nest Hub Max, adjusts to your lifestyle and learns your preferences as you adjust the temperature to eventually automatically program the temperature in your home to keep you comfortable. It also utilises an Auto-Away function to adjust the temperature when you’re not home and turn off your hot water if you’re away. It can be controlled remotely using an app on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
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The Philips Hue range of smart light bulbs, lamps, fixtures and accessories can help you automate the lighting throughout your home. To get started you’ll need to decide how many bulbs you’ll want and the range of your smart lighting system. Purchasing a Philip Bridge, a smart light hub, allows you to control up to 50 bulbs and spans your entire home. If a smaller system works for your home you can connect up to 10 bulbs in a limited range without a Bridge, simply using the Hue Bluetooth app. A range of starter kits are available that come complete with a Bridge, bulbs and switches.
August Smart Lock Pro
The August Smart Lock Pro is the ultimate solution for people who are known for losing or forgetting keys. Using an app from your smartphone the lock allows you to remotely lock or unlock the door, allow access to guests and see who’s coming and going in the house. One of the biggest selling features of this product over other smart locks, however, is the ease of installation. The August Smart Lock Pro simply attaches on the inside of your door over your existing deadbolt, meaning your outside lock appears unchanged and you can use your existing keys.
WeMo Insight Smart Plug
Integrate home automation into your ordinary home appliances using smart plugs like the Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug. Pairing with your digital assistant system for voice control or through your smart phone, the smart plugs allow you to turn appliances on and off from anywhere. Using the app you can also set automatic schedules for devices attached to a plug, letting you set your heater to turn on before you get home. You can also use the Away Mode to randomise light use throughout your house and give the appearance of a presence in your home while you’re away.