Smart home ideas

It’s easy to think of a smart home as a big, complicated thing that requires time and expertise to set up. The truth is, you can outfit your place with the best smart home devices in a matter of minutes. On top of that, they’re usually easy to use and add immeasurable convenience to your day-to-day life. Upgrading to a smart home can be as easy as screwing in a light bulb — literally — but that’s only the beginning. Don’t miss our testing insights on the Brava Smart Oven, either.

Shop this article: Kasa Smart Plug Two-PackAmazon Echo Glow and Ledvance Smart Bulb Four-Pack

Make life easier with a smart speaker with a screen

Smart speakers are great. If you like to cook, or you want a hands-free way to have video calls with friends and family, get one with a screen. Then you can ask for recipes and get step-by-step video cooking walkthroughs or chat with a loved one face-to-face. All you have to do is use a voice command to ask. Most use them in their kitchens or on their nightstands, but you could put one in every room.

Stay organized with a kids’ smart speaker

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If you have kids, consider getting them a kids’ smart speaker. They can help your kids manage daily routines with alarms and reminders. They can also support their learning with educational apps. Kid-friendly smart speakers come with filters and parental controls so you can curate their experience based on age and need.

 Customize your lighting with color smart bulbs

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Smart bulbs that can change color are fun for everyone. Use them to turn a room haunted house red for Halloween or bring a party to life with changing patterns. There’s no limit to the number of scenes you can create, and they’re also perfect for scheduled routines.

 Upgrade to smart plugs

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If you’re interested in smart lighting but you’re not keen on smart light bulbs, use smart plugs. Then you can control your lighting from your phone or use voice commands with a digital assistant. Smart plugs make sure your lamps are part of your lighting scenes and make it easy to set up voice-activated routines.

Simplify cooking with a smart oven

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A smart oven is a must. It combines the simplicity of an Instant Pot with a touchscreen and healthy recipes, plus it knows when everything is ready. The game-changer here, however, is the versatility that smart ovens bring. They can handle fish, meat, pizza, veggies, and bread and produce incredible results. Make frozen meals and processed food a thing of the past.

The Brava Smart Oven in particular is an excellent choice. Our tester tried many recipes, including ones that need different temperatures and times in a standard oven. All turned out delicious and finished faster than standard cooking methods, as advertised.

 Get a robot vacuum

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Smart vacuums handle everything from mopping to animal hair on their own. There are dozens of different models available and many are for specific use cases. Even if you’ve got an unusual layout or pets that shed, there’s a robot vacuum out there for you.

Close your curtains from anywhere with a smart curtain motor

You can buy motorized curtains but most are expensive, require their own remote controls, and must be paired with window coverings. Smart curtain motors are affordable, easy to set up from your smartphone and work with your existing curtains. With the right smart assistant, you can even create routines with them to close your curtains at sunset and open them at sunrise. This can save you money on heating and cooling bills.

Use a smart garage door opener

A smart garage door opener automatically opens when you get home. You can also set your garage to automatically close if you accidentally leave it open or open it with your smartphone to let someone in while you’re away. Installing or replacing a garage door opener isn’t trivial, so consider working with a contractor when upgrading.

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Jaime Vázquez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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