The Smart Home Starter Kit: 4 Fun Additions


Photos via

A smart home takes advantage of modern technology to make life easier. If you want one but don’t know where to start, here are four fun additions that can make a huge difference.

1. Smart Thermostat

Gone are the days of running downstairs in the middle of the night to turn your thermostat up or down. Smart thermostats allow you to control your heating and cooling systems from a phone or tablet.

Companies like Ecobee, Google, Amazon and Mysa have thermostats with various features that can save you money while preserving your comfort. You can set temperature ranges and your system will stay in them without switching from heating to cooling. You can also program the thermostat to work less while you are away from home, saving you energy costs.

For example, you might want your home to stay at 22° Celcius during the winter, but you’ll let it drop to 18°C while at work. You can set your thermostat to decrease the temperature after you leave and warm your home back up before you arrive.

While some still have button options, smart thermostats are typically touchscreens, making them easy to customize and control. You can set passwords to control who changes your temperature. If a toddler loves playing with screens, this feature can give you peace of mind. You can also save energy by only keeping your desired temperature where you or your guests spend time.

Many smart thermostats have sensors you can place throughout your home to detect if someone is in the area. If they are, the system will adjust to your preferred temperature until that person leaves. This way, you can stay as warm or cool as you like without your system using as much power. Smart thermostats are also popular with heated floor companies, making Toronto winters easier to adjust each year.

2. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant can help you manage your responsibilities with just the sound of your voice. Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s Siri are some of the most popular systems you can install to adjust your home’s automated systems, find out almost any information from the internet and set reminders for different items and events.

These systems are helpful and entertaining. You can ask it to play different genres of music, or you and your family can use it to play games.

3. Smart Garage Door Opener

Your garage door is vital to protecting your vehicle from the elements, and having a smart one makes it safer and easier to control. It’s fun to push a button or tap your phone to open and close your door, and you can program it to only open with specific devices at particular times, making it harder for a potential intruder to gain access.

Everyone you allow can easily open your door since no one has to get out to lift it, which can be dangerous or inaccessible. You often don’t need to get out of your car or reach through the window to line up a sensor since many versions work with your WiFi network. The apps with these devices let you keep track of when the door was opened or closed and by who, resolving any potential disputes.

For some models, forgetting to close the garage isn’t a problem — you can use your access to close the door from anywhere. You can also program your door if it’s open and there’s no activity during certain times. Most models have sensors that stop them from closing if someone or something is underneath them.

4. Smart Security System 

Keeping your home secure means keeping your family safe and you can do so better than ever with intelligent security systems. Many companies make integrated systems you can control from your smart devices, making setting alarms, checking cameras and locking your doors easier.

Smart doorbells allow you to communicate with visitors through your device, whether at home or away. Cameras can send you alerts when they sense motion, and you can customize light and alarm systems to scare off intruders.

With smart locks, you can lock or unlock your doors and windows from any location, so you don’t have to agonize over whether your home is safe while away. For entry, you can use a biometric lock that only opens for your and your family’s fingerprints, or set unique codes you can activate or deactivate for each household member, friend and delivery driver.

Transforming Your House Into A Smart Home

Creating a smart home is an excellent investment for comfort, security and entertainment. It’s fun to experiment with new technologies that can make your life better. Start with one system and expand to make your home as smart as possible.

About The Author

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded, where he writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors and more. Check out @TModded for regular updates! 

This blog post may contain links to external websites or products. We encourage you to do your own research to make sure a company or product is right for you.

Like this post? Leave your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.