Published August 2020 | Updated April 2024

4 Smart Home Essentials for Living in Comfort

4 Smart home essentials for living in comfort

There are countless smart devices on the market, from smartphones to smart climate control. Although many of the best smart home devices are new, smart technology has been on the rise for years (since the late 1970s). Today, if you visit friends or relatives, you’re likely to see a smart TV in most rooms. You may hear them call out, “Alexa, add tomatoes to the grocery list,” or see them use some kind of handheld, wireless smart device.

Many of us use these smart household electronics to simplify our lives every day. But what if they can not only add simplicity but protect your home? Sounds wild, right? It’s not. Let’s look at a few smart home essentials that can make your life easier and bring you peace of mind.

What is a smart home?

The term “smart home” refers to any home setup that allows you to control and monitor appliances and devices from any location with WI-FI. The following smart home essentials allow you to remotely access and control standard home features such as lighting and climate control, as well as home security features.

Smart thermostat

Smart thermostats serve the same purpose as your average thermostat, plus much more. They often come equipped with more scheduling features to allow homeowners more control. These smart devices allow you to adjust your home’s temperature via voice command, remote controls, or remote access.

Smart thermostats even provide access to temperature controls from your phone. So, if you forget to turn the thermostat down before vacation, no worries. You can easily access your smart home device from anywhere and ensure your systems are functioning as intended.

Smart security cameras

Home security monitoring companies have provided homeowners with traditional security systems for decades. Yet they've realized that today's homeowners want their systems to accommodate smart home setups.

Smart home security can be as simple as installing a video doorbell or a more elaborate multi-camera security system. Both options allow homeowners to receive notifications about guests, deliveries, or intruders. They also often allow you to speak to anyone who is on your property.

Many smart security camera systems can also live-stream video to compatible smartphones and devices. This offers peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your home, pets, or children — even from afar.

Smart locks

Smart locks are easy to install in any home. Not only does this essential smart home device give you the tools to easily lock and unlock your door, but it also monitors who is coming and going while you’re away.

Locked out? A smart lock can fix that.

Repairman arriving at an unspecified time? Smart locks keep you from missing unnecessary time at work.

Guests arriving before you can make it home? Again, a smart lock is the answer.

You can control smart locks, like Level locks, with an app, key code, touch, key card, or old-fashioned house key.

Smart lighting and electrical plugs

Plenty of homeowners leave lights on when they’re away for extended periods to give the illusion that they're still home. Smart lighting controls can make this old-as-time safety precaution even easier.

The best smart lighting products connect to your existing smart home system. You can control them with voice commands or from within their companion apps. Even if you can’t justify all new lighting in your home, installing a few well-placed smart plugs can let you control lamps, televisions, or radios with ease.

If you travel frequently, these features will allow you to alternate which rooms are illuminated while you're away.

Bonus product: Smart sensors

We’ll admit that smart sensors aren’t exactly essential smart home devices. But they offer an added level of security for your smart home system, making them a cool smart home device to add to your setup.

Smart sensors can detect motion, temperature, and any open doors or windows. Some smart sensors can even check air quality. You can also use data from the sensors to further automate other smart home devices, such as thermostats, lighting, and alarm systems.

Set up your smart home essentials

Although the idea of smart homes has existed for decades, they were available primarily to the wealthy until recently. Today, smart home devices and technologies are becoming the norm for many homeowners. Installing one or more of these smart home essentials will ensure that your home continues to be a comfortable, safe living space.