Home automation has been around for years but used to require expensive installations and complicated remote controls. With the latest apps, you can now control your home’s lighting, temperature, security systems from your smartphone or tablet.
See the Light with Philips Hue
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have complete control over the lighting in your home? You can with the Philips Hue lighting system starter kit for around $200. It works with LED bulbs that plug into regular sockets but are wirelessly controlled by a base station that connects to your iPhone or iPad. Once it’s set up and you’ve installed the free iOS app and logged on to their site, you can dim, brighten and even change the color of your bulbs to set the mood. You can also set them to slowly brighten in the morning when it’s time for you to get up, create unique color combinations for dinner parties or choose from existing color themes.
Keep Comfortable with Nest
The smartly designed Nest thermostat costs around $250 (plus optional $119 installation), and functions like a regular thermostat that you adjust to your preferred temperature depending on the time of day. It soon recognizes your patterns and adjusts itself automatically to the perfect temperature when you are home and lowers it to save you money when you’re away. You can also control it with your smartphone or tablet when you’re out of the house by using the free iOS and Android apps that are available.
Connect with SmartThings
SmartThings can turn your smartphone into a remote control for all of your household systems. The SmartThings kit costs about $300 and contains a hub and a number of sensors that allow you to control your devices and appliances by using their free app. These devices can then communicate with you and each other so that you lock the front door, turn on the lights or your favorite music when you come home and more. Best of all, SmartThings is compatible with hundreds of other smart devices, which makes it easier to connect your entire home.
Take Charge with Control4 MyHome
With the free Control4 MyHome app enabled with 4Sight, ($100 cost per year), you can have a secure connection to all of your home’s systems
including entertainment, security, lighting, and energy via your iPhone, iPad or Android. Control4’s system lets you control and monitor your entire house so you can see what’s going on and remotely turn on or off any home systems if needed. The technology behind it is complicated, but you won’t notice because the interface is user-friendly.
These are just some of the many smart apps that enable you to take control of your home systems and step into the future.
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