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How to Make Your Home Smart on A Budget


  1.   Get The Perfect Smart Home Assistant

There are three dominant smart home platforms: Amazon Echo with Alexa, Google Nest with Google, and Apple HomeKit with Siri. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages, but it is most important to choose the automation platform that will be compatible with your household to achieve the ideal smart home. 

 

The cost of these smart home systems can range anywhere from $30 to $400 depending on the quality of the device. Amazon Echo with Alexa is one of the more affordable options, however it has a lower quality sound system and its voice recognition is a work in progress. Alexa is one of the most versatile automation platforms available as it allows you to integrate multiple devices, such as lighting, temperature, and a security system. 


Google Nest Hub is perfect for those who use a bundle of other Google applications, such as Google calendar, Google Drive, and Gmail. Google Nest Hub allows you to voice activate Google calendar to access data in the cloud and make changes, like adding an event or setting up an appointment. Google assistant runs on Android and iOS, which enables use on smartphones and other mobile devices. 


It goes without saying that Siri is for all Apple fans out there. Although it has less compatibility in terms of integrating different platforms, Siri HomeKit is the best way to seamlessly integrate all of your data from iCloud if you already have all Apple products. It also allows for easier access of these products through voice activation. 

 



  1.   Upgrade Your Front Entryway 

Another affordable way to make your home smart on a budget is to upgrade your front entryway with smart doorbells. You can find these for under $200 online, and allow you to access video footage from their built-in camera, monitor and customize ringtones, alert schedules on your mobile devices. Some, like the Google Nest Video Doorbell, even have a remote voice control feature.


If you want to go even further, you can also purchase smart door locks. Although these are typically more expensive ($200-$500), these may be for you if you find yourself frequently losing your keys or forgetting to lock your door. The locks also allow you to keep a record of when each door is opened.


 

  1.   Get a Learning Thermostat
Smart thermostats are internet-connected devices that utilize algorithms and sensors to gather and analyze large amounts of heating and cooling data. Manual temperature adjustments can be made both locally (at home) or remotely (via an app), but the smart thermostat remembers temperature choices and adjustments and memorizes energy use routines. This key feature allows you to customize the temperature of your home based on your very own daily routine. If you have an Amazon Alexa or Google Home, you can use its voice-activated feature to change the temperature as well. These can range from $200-$400, depending on the brand, but pay themselves off as they save you money on heating and cooling every year!