While smart home technology is still relatively new and at a stage where we have yet to explore all the possibilities, the positive impact that various smart home devices bring to multiple areas of our lives every single day (sometimes even when we’re not at home!), especially in terms of convenience, is practically unmistakable.
To help you explore the possibilities and find new innovative additions for your home, we have curated a list of 10 such technological devices we believe every modern home should have, with each device bringing a unique set of advantages that will make your life at home a whole lot easier.
Even though this is hardly a surprise, as we are all familiar with smart speakers at this point due to them practically being the center of any smart home setup, it simply wouldn’t be right if we hadn’t given them a spot in our list of must-have tech gadgets for a modern home.
With an extensive array of features ranging from placing calls to controlling your smart home devices explicitly with voice commands from anywhere in your home and without requiring any other device, smart speakers make daily life a whole lot more convenient in many ways, whether it’s for productivity, entertainment, or comfort.
While it’s technically possible to accomplish all these tasks with a smartphone as well, not having to carry a device with you around the house at all times and being able to get something done by simply speaking about it is definitely the future of smart home technology, which makes smart speakers the cornerstone of a modern smart home.
Smart thermostats are devices that make it possible to automate and remotely control your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, track your energy usage, and also keep an eye on the status of your HVAC conveniently through any smart device you own, making them a must-have for comfort and energy efficiency.
What makes smart thermostats really stand out, in our opinion, is their ability to constantly adjust the indoor temperature automatically by combining factors such as household activity, outside temperature, and your temperature preferences for different times of the day and year, ensuring that the temperature is always at a comfortable level without requiring any input from you.
On top of the convenience that they bring to the table with automatic temperature adjustments and remote control, smart thermostats are also great devices to save on energy, as they are capable of tracking your energy usage and suggesting ways of optimizing things to increase efficiency.
The new generation of locks, known as smart locks, use technological means such as keypads, fingerprint scanning, smartphone apps, and voice commands for locking and unlocking instead of the physical keys we’re used to carrying around with us, which makes them a crucial part of the smart home ecosystem for both your convenience and the security of your home.
The thing we like the most about smart locks is that it completely eliminates the necessity of carrying a physical key (except for extreme scenarios where power is out and the backup battery is dead), which means that there is one less item that we have to take with us during the day, and that we can always reliably get into our home by only using the information stored in our brain, the password to the smart lock.
Of course, the benefits don’t really end with just that, as smart locks increase convenience even further by making key-sharing (such as when you would like to let a friend in while you’re away) much easier, contribute to home security by making it impossible to lose a key or for a key to be cloned, and give you peace of mind by allowing you to see who has entered and exited your home at all times.
A tech gadget that’s practically impossible not to fall in love with, robot vacuums take away the tiresome chore of vacuuming the floor off your hands by completely automating the process with sensors that make it possible for them to navigate your home autonomously.
Our favorite part of using a robot vacuum is, without a doubt, the amount of time it saves and the peace of mind it provides, as watching the floors become cleaner and cleaner while we’re getting some work done at home or knowing that we will be coming back to a home with clean floors when we’re away, is practically priceless.
Furthermore, we really appreciate how these robot vacuums are capable of cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as tight spaces, corners, and the spots below beds and couches, and we think it’s another highly compelling reason to invest in a robot vacuum.
Smart lighting makes it possible to automate and control the lights in your home remotely through any smart device and even allows you to change the color and the brightness of the bulbs to suit your needs whenever you wish, making it a fantastic tool for making things convenient and beautifying your home.
For us, the standout feature of a smart lighting system is the ability to control the lights remotely, as there are many instances on a regular day when we would like to make adjustments without getting up from where we are, whether it’s turning the lights off without getting out of bed after doing some light reading or dimming the lights without getting off the couch before watching a movie.
That being said, the scheduling feature definitely comes at a close second, mainly due to its positive impact on getting some good sleep (especially when combined with smart blinds or shades!), but also due to its contribution to energy efficiency by preventing needless light usage and home safety by making it possible to look like you’re home even when you aren’t.
Smart Blinds & Shades
Smart blinds & shades combine the standard shades and blinds that we’re all used to with smart home technology, making it possible to perform the tasks of opening and closing the blinds and shades remotely with smart devices, create schedules for them to open and close automatically, and even make them react to lighting and temperature conditions.
The benefit of smart blinds & shades that we enjoy the most is how they improve sleep, as scheduling the blinds and the shades to stay off through the night but slowly turn on as the time to wake up approaches makes it a whole lot easier to both get a good night’s sleep and to shake the morning tiredness off with some gradual sunlight coming in.
Combined with added benefits such as the convenience that comes from being able to control the shades and blinds remotely from the comfort of your couch and the energy efficiency (using sunlight to reduce energy bills), increased safety (making it appear like you’re home when you aren’t), and better privacy (automatically turning off the blinds when you’re sleeping) that comes from scheduling the on/off hours, smart blinds and shades are an excellent addition to any modern home.
Unlike traditional doorbells, where you have to get up and look through the peephole to see who’s waiting outside (which isn’t very convenient!), smart doorbells offer features such as live video feeds, motion detection, and two-way audio to place the entire doorbell interaction right in the palm of your hands.
The standout advantage of a smart doorbell, in our opinion, is the convenience it brings, as there are many scenarios where it would be sufficient to communicate with the person at your door without opening it, such as when you’re getting a delivery that can be left at the door once you’re informed of it, or when a neighbor would like to let you know of something quickly.
Aside from convenience, it’s worth mentioning that smart doorbells also score some points in the privacy and safety departments, whether it’s the motion detector potentially picking up some suspicious behavior around your door or the live video feed allowing you to decide whether you would like to answer the door to the person who’s currently ringing your doorbell without letting them know that you’re home.
Wireless chargers are, as the name suggests, devices that allow you to charge your battery-powered devices, such as smartphones, wireless earbuds, and smart watches, by merely placing them on the charging pad and without the hassle of having to plug a cable into the devices.
While they aren’t “smart” like the rest of the devices on our list, we still consider wireless chargers to be one of the best additions to any modern home, as the convenience that they bring saves a lot of time in the long run, especially if you’re someone who frequently needs to charge their phone and take it off charging for usage.
Additionally, even though they still have to be plugged into power outlets, the fact that the wireless chargers stay stable at their places, unlike mobile devices that we constantly move around, largely prevents overlapping charging cables from creating a mess that isn’t very pleasant to look at.
Smart plugs are Wi-Fi-connected devices that act as a bridge between the power outlet and the power cord, offering features such as powering your devices on and off remotely, setting up timers for the devices to turn off or on after a certain amount of time, and creating schedules to make your devices turn on and off automatically according to your needs.
When we take a quick look at what a smart plug can offer, convenience is the first thing that pops to mind, whether it’s scheduling your coffee machine or kettle to turn on a few minutes before you wake up so that it’s warm and ready, setting up a timer for your TV to turn off once you’re asleep, or turning your slow cooker off without getting up from your couch.
That being said, the benefits of a smart plug don’t just end with convenience, as the safety that comes with being able to turn devices off when you’re away from home (imagine leaving the toaster on before leaving home and being able to power it off without coming back!) and the energy savings that the automation features bring to the table are nothing to scoff at either.
Smart Security Cameras
Smart security cameras add features such as motion detection, two-way audio, facial recognition, and cloud storage on top of the recording capabilities that a security camera brings by default, ensuring that your home stays safe and sound without requiring constant attention to the live video feed to see whether something unusual is going on.
Among a plethora of features, one feature of a smart security camera that particularly stands out, in our opinion, is the motion detection capabilities, which, when combined with facial recognition and smartphone notifications, bolsters your home’s security by a great deal by immediately letting you know whenever there’s unexpected movement around your home.
Additionally, with their geofencing capabilities, smart security cameras can automatically activate (or let you know that they aren’t activated, based on your preferences) or deactivate when you leave or enter your home, meaning that you will never have to worry about whether you forgot to activate the security systems or not.
While she would define herself more as an art person than a tech person, Mary has a deep rooted love for tech that comes from fixing computers ever since she was a child during the days of dial-up internet, as she had a knack for tech that made her family members come to her for solutions all the time.
After a short stint as a software developer, Mary found her true calling to be UI/UX design, which gave her a way to stay involved in technology while also being able to express her artistic side.
In her free time, Mary enjoys playing video games on a console and tinkering with smart home devices to beautify her home.