10 Upgrades That Automate Your Home & Make Life Easier

by Megan WildNovember 28, 2016

Society is hurtling toward being automated. Cars start at the push of a button and drive themselves. House alarms can be engaged from miles away, too. While the thought of automated everything might be a little intimidating, automation does tend to make your life a bit easier. A myriad of affordable devices and programs provide everything you need at the push of a button.

Here are some upgrades you can invest in to automate your home and your life — making things just a little more convenient. They also make great holiday gifts!

Smart Thermostat

This special device can adapt to your schedule, programming itself to heat or cool the house at certain times of the day. It can even be controlled from your phone.

If you establish early on that you don’t want your house freezing in the summer and burning up in the winter, a smart thermostat will end up saving you a lot of money — and keep you comfortable — without even thinking about it.
Smartphone-and-tablet

BarCode Scanner

This amazing app scans barcodes to help you compile a shopping list. It can even recognize voice commands. The great thing about this device is you can literally think out loud to make your shopping list, rather than having to remember to write every single item down.

Bluetooth Lock

Don’t ever worry again about freeing your keys from the deep abyss of your pocket or purse to unlock the door. With a Bluetooth lock, just a touch will unlock your doors and grant you passage into your home.

The lock uses Bluetooth to detect your phone or a key fob, and once you’re close enough, just the touch will let you in. While it might not be the sturdiest of locks, it’s certainly the most convenient. It can even tell if your phone or keys are inside or outside your house. You can buy them at Best Buy or a similar tech retailer.

Water Saver

A water saver, also known as the Waterpebble, is an extremely innovative yet simple tool that will help you save water. While you’re in the shower, the pebble uses a series of lights to show how much longer your shower should be.
water-pebble-5
If it’s green, you’ve got plenty of time. Yellow means it’s time to start finishing up, and red means shower time is over. This device will decrease your shower time a few minutes at a time, which will amount to lots of time and money saved over the span of a year.

Smart Garage Door Opener

Ever locked your keys in your house? Run out of batteries in your garage door opener? A smart garage door opener becomes a lifesaver in these situations. Using a Wi-Fi connection to your smartphone or tablet, a smart garage door opener gives you the ability to control your garage door from anywhere. It also shows every time the garage door opens and closes.

If you don’t know where to start, try researching The Home Depot for a variety of options.

Video Doorbell

There’s no more mystery as to who’s knocking on your door with a video doorbell with Ring. It gives you the power to see — and video chat with — anyone who comes to your door. You can even look back through the footage of your front porch later to see everyone who came near your front door. The system takes a snapshot every single time the doorbell is pressed. You’ll never feel safer.

Smart Lighting

Everyone gets tired of straining themselves to flip light switches on and off, right? No more! Smart lighting affords the convenience of your house turning on its own lights. With smart lighting, you can program the lights in your house to brighten or dim gradually to either wake you up more naturally in the morning, or to help your body and mind start to relax at night.

And if you feel like achieving a very specific kind of lighting in your own living space, you can use a picture from your phone to set a custom level of lighting.

Egg Freshness Tracker

Easily the most unique invention on this list, the egg freshness tracker is exactly what it sounds like. The only version of it is called the Quirky Egg Minder, and it will store your eggs for you and tell you which ones you should use first based on their freshness — or lack thereof.

Using sensors, the tray keeps track of when eggs arrive and how soon they’ll become expired products. You can sync this device with your smartphone, which will provide an interface to show which eggs are freshest and which aren’t. If an egg is a day or two away from hitting its expiration, better toss that one into the pan. No more wasted eggs!

Smart TV

Smart TV
Get your favorite shows and movies, without having to buy DVDs. Smart TVs allow you to stream your favorite content, play music and even play games. With a regular TV, you would need something like a Chromecast Device or gaming device to stream these apps, but with a Smart TV, the compatibility is built in.

From live sports to the evening news, anything you enjoy watching is just a click away, here’s a comparison of the top brands.

Automation “Mothership”

If everything in your house is going to be automated, you’ll need an automation “mothership.” This device acts as a sort of conduit for all of your automated devices and programs. Also called a bridge, it will host almost any device. It also provides a connection between all of those devices and you. A popular brand on the market is Savant, which works with over 38,000 devices.

Complicated or Convenient?

All this automation may appear slightly complicated at first. But is it convenient to not even think about turning on your lights in the morning or to no longer worry if your eggs are going to expire before you use them? Absolutely.

Whether you go all out or add a little at a time, automating your life has the potential to make it easier.

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About The Author
Megan Wild
Megan Wild enjoys finding easy and low-stress ways to improve your home. In her downtime, she enjoys flipping flea market finds, hanging out with her dog, and writing on her home-themed blog, Your Wild Home. She's passionate about sustainability and environmentalism, and you can find her tweeting about both @Megan_Wild.

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