We’ve seen the range of available smart home gadgets expand rapidly over the last decade. Name an everyday appliance or gadget in your house, and there’s a good chance that there’s a smart version of it. If you’ve been thinking about turning your ordinary home into a smart one, there’s a range of essential smart home gadgets that make for an excellent starting point.
You can keep a watchful eye on your home with the TP-Link Tapo C200, a security camera that will feed footage right to your smartphone. When in use, the Tapo C200 provides you with live audio and two-way audio. So if you’ve got a four-legged friend who you suspect is getting into mischief while you’re not home, you can literally give them a yell. This camera also comes with a built-in motion sensor that will automatically send you notifications if it detects anything.
In terms of movement, this handy camera has a full 360-degree horizontal range and a 114-degree vertical range. It can record video in 1080p high-definition and uses a MicroSD for storage (up to 128GB) to record up to 384 hours of footage. The camera can also run a night vision mode, helping you keep watch over your house after dark.
Not everything in your house is automatically smart – but an awful lot of things can be easily lost, and that’s’ where Tile’s versatile trackers can help, especially within the home. While Tile’s reputation was built on community crowdsourced finding of things – anything you can attach a tile tracker to, basically – the Tile trackers can also work through Bluetooth within your home to beep when you need to find your keys, your TV remote, or anything else you’d care to place them on with ease.
This bundle includes a Tile Pro and a Tile Slim – the latter of which can fit neatly into your wallet.
Why not start with the humble alarm clock? Strictly speaking that’s not the Echo Show 5’s only use, but its small size does lend itself to sitting beside your bed, making smart home control, room monitoring and more available with a simple call to Amazon’s Alexa assistant. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the least expensive smart home hubs you can buy, coming in at under $120.
Your home is probably awash with Wi-Fi, but did you ever consider using that Wi-Fi to help you maintain a healthy body weight? That’s where the Withings Body Weight and BMI Wi-Fi scales step in – or more accurately, where you step onto them – to let you easily track a range of body statistics for not only your use, but also up to 7 other family members in total. It’s even capable of tracking pregnancy weight while you’re expecting – and of course then tracking your healthy weight management afterwards too.
Most smart home gadgets rely on Wi-Fi connectivity (although some will work with ethernet), but getting those Wi-Fi signals into the pokier areas of your home, or through brick extensions or other interference factors can be genuinely painful.
That’s where the use of a solid mesh router system like the Amazon eero can really help, making it easy to extend your network in a way that maximises throughput whether you’re streaming Netflix in the bedroom, playing video games in the living room or watching a recipe on your smart display in the kitchen. Amazon also sell the eero in a three-pack, providing plenty of coverage and fallback for even the largest homes.
Smart lighting isn’t just about simple dimming – it can include coloured bulbs for that special occasion, security lighting within zones or just making it easier to get the lights on when you return home, or if you have to make that late night trip to the bathroom without the actual “trip” part.
The Philips Hue system encompasses a central hub that talks to an ever-increasing array of light types, including coverage for Edison or Bayonet type lights, downlights and much more. It’s also superbly flexible, with support for every smart assistant going, so you’ll quickly forget where the actual light switches are.