11 smart home gadgets you’ll actually use

A Google search for “life hack” yields, uh, only 403 million results. These tips and tricks are there to help you make life easier or try something new. They go viral for a reason. We’re all looking for ways to make life easier, aren’t we?

You are currently reading this article on your phone, tablet or PC. Wouldn’t it be great to get even more out of your everyday technology? Tap or click here for 10 new iPhone tricks. on Windows PC? Kim’s recent column includes five new Windows tips you should know.

Sometimes, life hacks come through with a cool new piece of technology that simplifies an annoying process and does the work for us. Here are 11 smart home gadgets that will have you wondering how you got along without the first.

1. Get Smart (Plug)
Smart plugs are a no-brainer. If there’s one piece of smart home technology you’ve bought, this should be it. They’re inexpensive and versatile, and they’re a helping hand when you don’t want to get up to turn off the lights or fan.

The weather-resistant Kasa Smart Outdoor Smart Plug KP400 has two outlets and works from up to 300 feet away. Use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to control your sprinklers, schedule your outdoor lighting to turn on or off, and more.

Another option, the Kasa Smart Plug HS103P2, works inside your home to control humidifiers, holiday lights, fans and whatever else you plug in. With the KP400, you can use Google Assistant or Alexa to turn your devices on and off or schedule them. To act of his own free will. You can also group tasks together.

2. Lock the Garage From Anywhere
Ever leave the house and wonder if you locked the door? How about closing the garage? The MyQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Door Opener will let you know when your garage door is opening, closing or left open. You can control and monitor your garage door from anywhere through your smartphone. You can also give access to your garage for up to three guests.

MyQ works with all major brands of garage door openers manufactured after 1993 that have standard security sensors. You can also add a sensor to control two garage doors with one hub.

3. An Affordable Smart Assistant
It’s another no-brainer if you want your technology to help you. With a smart assistant, you can control your smart home or ask Alexa to give you the weather, news or jokes. You can also make hands-free phone calls. There’s actually a ton you can do with these little tools. Tap or click for 20 new uses for the Amazon Echo.

Amazon’s tiny smart speaker now sports a watch. The fourth generation Echo Dot has an LED display that shows the time, alarm, and timer. If you want to be reminded, tap at the top.

4. Be comfortable all year round
Stay warm or frosty (and save money) with a smart thermostat. The Google Nest thermostat can turn itself off when you’re not at home so you’re not throwing money away. Anyone in the house can control the temperature with their phone or tablet.

Install the Google Home app on your Android or iPhone to create a schedule so you don’t always get up to adjust the AC or heat. The built-in savings finder offers tips that can further reduce your monthly bill. Tap or click here to improve your HVAC system.

5. Who’s at the door?
The new Ring Video Doorbell is wired using your existing doorbell for continuous power. Monitor your front door in 1080p HD video so you don’t miss anything. You can receive notifications on your phone or tablet when someone is at the door and talk to them through the built-in speaker. Adjustable motion detection and night vision keep you alert of movement through your front door.

Hey, it’s no butler, but it does a lot. You can also connect to Alexa on any Echo device to hear alerts or view them onscreen.

6. Let Vacuuming Do Something Else
This smart home cleaner not only vacuums – it mops too! Do not do any more scrubbing on your hands and knees. Kick your feet up and let this gadget do the work.

The Eufy RoboVac G30 Hybrid uses reusable, disposable mop cloths and plans its routes to clean every inch of your floor as efficiently as possible. When you’re done, use the app to see what RoboVac did. It can also give you reminders and status updates.

You can control this smart vacuum with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

7. Lighten It Up
Smart light switches are a good first step towards a smart home. Control your lights using your voice or your smartphone. Use these TreatLife smart switches to create schedules, monitor your lights, share devices, and control groups of lights.

It’s one of the most satisfying parts of a smart home: adjusting the lights exactly as you want, with just a few words.

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