Get Smart: 6 Tips to Upgrade to a Smarter Home or Apartment

There’s a lot of talk about smart devices, smart apps and smart homes, and these new innovations can allow you to control many of your home’s functions remotely. Let’s look at some of the best places to start:

Lighting

First, it’s important to understand incandescent and fluorescent lighting systems have an excellent alternative: light emitting diodes or LEDs. LED lighting is cheaper, lasts longer, and in some cases no longer even involves the use of light bulbs. Pair an LED system with a smart app and you will be able to control light intensity, hues and room ambience all from a remote device.

Smart Outlet

If you have an older and smaller apartment in a smaller and affordable town like Athens, Georgia, but still want to be able to join the smart revolution, you can install some smart electrical outlets. These are simply switchable outlets that can be reached remotely. If you install one of these for your stove, you’ll never have to worry again if you forgotten to turn that appliance off because a simple touch of your phone screen can turn off power to the outlet.

Garden

Ever drive past someone’s yard during a thunderstorm  so severe that is causes repair needed at the home and see their sprinkler system needlessly watering the grass in the rain? This silly situation can easily be avoided with a smart garden app and the appropriate hardware. With this setup, you can monitor soil moisture, of course control sprinkling times, and the good ones will interface with the local weather forecast.

HVAC

This is where it all started. Those old mercury bulb thermostats were replaced by programmable models, and those have since been superseded by smart thermostats that allow you to control your home’s heating and AC remotely. No more coming home to a cold house after a winter vacation or leaving your house at a toasty 75 degrees when no one is home. Conversely, in the summer you will be able to save your precious AC dollars by letting your home warm during the day and cooling it just before you come home from work. While a programmable thermostat may have handled some of these tasks, a smart unit will allow you to not only monitor settings you have entered, but also change them directly from a mobile device no matter where you might be.

Security

Alarm systems were nice, but they were dependent on several battery-operated motion detectors that notified an off-premise alarm company that something was amiss. With a smart security system, you can now install digital cameras that you can monitor directly from your phone or pad. You can be your own security company, and you can notify the police if you notice something amiss while you are away.

Doorknob

An extension of your home security system can be a talking doorknob. No, this is not a joke as good smart entry systems are equipped with a camera in your doorknob that will also allow you to speak to anyone that has come to your door. If you see would-be intruders, you can let them know that they better leave in a hurry, and you can watch to make sure they are fleeing.

Technology is moving fast, so make sure you keep up with the latest trends to ensure you are purchasing the latest and best products.

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