Saturday, March 2, 2024
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Top Gadgets and Appliances for a TechSavvy Home

Futuristic gadgets and homes like the Jetsons used to be a thing of the future, but now they’re becoming more realistic. Smart tech helps you control your home with ease, increase security, and enjoy multimedia entertainment.

With voice assistants, you can turn on lights, play music and adjust your thermostat with just a few simple commands. These products can also integrate with each other for a seamless experience.

1. Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat can automatically adjust based on who is home, the time of day and even weather conditions. Plus, some models provide energy reports letting you know how much you’re using and give you tips to reduce your usage.

Look for a model that works with your smart home hub. It should also have easy-to-use controls that light up when you walk close to it and work with voice commands.

2. Smart Lighting

Smart lighting systems are among the most popular smart home devices on the market. Smart light bulbs and switches allow you to control your lights remotely with an app or voice assistant. Some even offer features like a vacation mode that randomly turns your lights on and off so it looks as if you’re at home.

They can also be integrated with other building systems to send notifications, such as turning the porch light on when someone approaches the door or blinking a certain color when you get a text.

3. Smart Plugs

Smart plugs are a gateway to smart home technology. They’re easy to set up and a great way to bring any appliance into the smart arena.

Use them to turn lights and radios on and off remotely, set schedules or monitor energy usage. Some also feature an ‘away mode’ that turns the device on and off at random intervals to help deter burglars.

4. Smart Locks

Smart locks are a great way to let house guests or pet sitters in without needing a key. Some, like the Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt, integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Home systems, while others, such as Eufy’s security video lock, pair a built-in 2K doorbell with a full smart lock.

Many of our top picks include a Wi-Fi gateway, which lets you connect the lock to your network for remote access and voice controls. The Yale Assure Lock 2, Schlage Sense and Level lock+ also support Apple HomeKit, so you can unlock with a tap of your iPhone or Apple Watch.

5. Smart Doorbell

The latest craze among tech-savvy homeowners is the smart doorbell. These Wi-Fi-connected devices let you see and talk to people at your door from your smartphone (with some models using two-way audio) or trigger entryway lights when someone approaches. This helps ward off porch pirates and makes it easier for you to communicate with your house sitter or dog walker.

You can also get notifications for package deliveries and integrate with smart displays or speakers for more security and convenience. Some smart doorbells also run on battery power or low-voltage wiring.

6. Smart Cameras

Smart cameras can be controlled via voice commands. Look for one that has built-in storage and a battery, so it can continue to work during power outages.

They can also be used to monitor entry points. Some models use facial recognition to restrict access by recognizing visitors or badges.

Look for cameras with a clear image and night vision. You may want a camera that can identify faces and vehicles in motion and send notifications to your smartphone.

7. Smart Door Locks

Smart door locks are a great way to give visitors, housesitters or aging parents access without a key. They also offer a convenient way to get notifications when your doors are used.

The Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt is an excellent pick that allows entry via app, physical key or a digital Apple home key. It also integrates with HomeKit systems. It needs a hub (sold separately) for remote control and support of other smart devices.

8. Smart Speakers

Featuring a voice assistant like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant or Apple’s Siri, smart speakers play music, answer questions and control devices around the home. Some also have a built-in Zigbee radio for connecting to smart light bulbs, locks and sensors.

Standard smart speakers are designed for indoor use and require a power outlet to work – but portable models with batteries and water-resistant enclosures make for fun additions to hikes, beach trips or backyard barbecues.

9. Streaming Devices

Streaming devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Chromecast connect to your television and provide access to a wide range of entertainment options. They offer great image quality and fair prices.

Give the tech-obsessed on your list a new device that will make their life easier and more fun. Whether it’s a sunrise alarm clock for their early mornings or a microcurrent facial device to tone and tighten their skin.

10. Wireless Charging Stations

Wireless charging stations are a great way to keep devices charged and ready to use. They are also convenient and help reduce clutter by eliminating the need for tangled cords.

This 3-in-1 wireless charging stand can charge your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods at the same time. It’s a must-have for any tech enthusiast!

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