Some of the most popular gifts this year are smart home devices that make your home more interconnected and convenient. The smart home space is relatively new but continues to develop quickly, with most devices coming from the biggest technology companies, including Google, Amazon, and Apple. You will also hear of these devices referred to as IoT or Internet of Things. Essentially, most of these devices are connected to your home WiFi which enables alerts (notifications) and the ability to control them at home with a smart device, with your voice through a smart speaker or anywhere you have internet connection. Where to begin?
Every smart home/apartment must start somewhere. The thermostat is a logical place to first step as you build out your smart home for multiple reasons. Having the ability to control the temperature of your home from your office, car or school can add both convenience to your life and save you money on your utilities. Eventually, the device will pay for itself and have a positive return on your investment. Apartments at Aspen Square have been installed with Google Nest Thermostats in most of our apartments, which also have the added benefit of Home/Away Assist. The Home/Away Assist feature will turn the temperature down or up when it recognizes that you are not home and will reconfigure to your desired temperature when it recognizes you have arrived home. The convenience of changing the temperature without leaving the comfort of your bedsheets is another awesome added benefit. Our apartments in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Mesa are all equipped Nest Thermostats that you'll love!
Another very popular smart home device that can form the foundation of your smart home is the smart lock. The benefits of a smart lock include the ability to monitor when the door is locked/unlocked so you can easily check on your little ones getting home from school or the punctuality of the dog walker. Additionally, being able to provide a code for other people to access your home is a benefit you will not want to forfeit after experiencing the convenience. Aspen Square Management has installed Kwikset Kevo and Aura locks at many properties, which also have the added benefit of opening with a touch while your phone is within Bluetooth range. This can be super helpful when you’re carrying groceries or don’t want to rummage through your pockets or purse. Our communities in Phoenix, Arizona offer incredible amenities, including a few standard smart home devices to get you started!
A true smart home includes smart lighting and smart outlets, which add both security and convenience to your home. This step is typically when it gets a little more complicated as many of these devices require a “smart bridge” which connects to your WiFi and talks to your devices using radio frequency (RF). Luckily, there are now a lot of smart lights and outlets that include built-in WiFi such as the Wemo WiFi Smart Plug, or the TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi plug. Most of these devices can also be controlled with Google Home, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa, making them much more convenient. One of the best features of smart lighting is adding geofencing which has the ability to turn the lights on in your home when you come within a certain range.
After installing a few smart lights and outlets, you are ready to get into the fun devices. Amazon offers quite a few devices that are both speakers and microphones that allow you to change the temperature or turn all the lights off with a quick voice command, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Studio and Echo Dot. Additionally, Google’s offerings include the Google Nest Hub and the Google Nest Mini. You can also add cameras, video doorbells, speakers and security systems that all talk with your other devices and provide you with custom notifications.