Tagged With gizmodo’s 2016 smart home guide

To say I'm a fan of smart homes is an understatement. Being a renter I'm limited somewhat as to what I can have in my apartment, but that hasn't stopped me from integrating as many smart devices into my environment as humanly possible.

One thing I've discovered a long the way -- not only have I saved a lot of effort (regular light switches are for plebs, you guys), but I've saved time, money and kilowatts on my energy bill. Here's my top recommendations for doing the same at your place.

Between classic appliance made smart and multiple new types of helpful household robots, smart gadgets are popping up left and right that will make your work around the house a little easier. Whether you prefer to use them individually or as part of a smart home ecosystem, here are some of the best smart household devices on the market -- and how they can help you.

What does your dream home look like? It is a log cabin in the mountains? A sleek design on an ocean cliffside? Whatever the overall look, if you're hoping to integrate smart features that will control the entertainment, lighting and heating systems in your home, maximise energy efficiency or simply have that futuristic edge, here's some inspiration from around the globe.

Walking up to Gizmodo's imaginary smart house is rather an anticlimax. A modern house powered by smart technology looks like any other home. There are no Jetsons-esque robot maids, jetpacks or levitating buildings. Voice control is getting better, but it's still no Jarvis. So don't expect anything radical. What a smart house really is, is just a more frictionless existence.

If you're building a new home, or renovating your existing one, you have a great opportunity to update and future-proof your home's wiring -- not only for power (like adding USB sockets to your wall outlets) but also for networking. Putting a bit of thought into how you set your home up can save you from the woes of dodgy Wi-Fi connectivity, unwanted buffering and black spots throughout your living space.

If you're thinking of building yourself a smart home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you get underway. We've got a few tips and tricks that will help you make sure your smart house doesn't get overly complicated, and that it only serves to make your home life that little bit more efficient.

"Internet of things" is, at face value, a pretty meaningless buzzword. It refers to the multitude of tiny, energy-efficient gadgets with Wi-Fi connectivity that are filling up our lives -- 'net-connected kettles and powerboards and sprinkler systems.

But it also refers to the broader technology standards and infrastructure that allow these devices to exist, and to talk to the Web and to each other -- and it's this infrastructure that lets you build yourself a home from the future.