Thanks to the meteoric rise of devices like Amazon Alexa, turning your house into a smart home is easier than ever. While most people tend to focus on individual smart products like lights, switches or thermostats, automation is the real highlight. Rather than having to tell your smart home what to do, you want it to just do it. The good news is there are plenty of cool home automation ideas out there.
Turn on Kitchen Lights After Grocery Shopping
Automatically turning on lights is one of the most popular home automation ideas and for good reason. Motion-sensitive lights have been around for years. One of the best uses is to automatically turn on the kitchen lights when coming home with two arms full of groceries. So what do you need to make this a reality? First, look for a smart light switch that is both easy to install and can work with Amazon Alexa.
Next, you will want to find a motion sensor that will recognize the moment you walk into the kitchen. To put all of these together, look for a smart hub like the Amazon Echo that acts as the “brain” for all of your automation. Once the motion sensor and smart light switch are connected to the hub, you will be able to set a trigger for all the kitchen lighting to turn on right from your smartphone. Brilliant!
Lights Flash When Using Smart Doorbell
Anyone who has used a Ring Video Doorbell knows they are great products overall with one or two drawbacks. One of the biggest drawbacks is missing the doorbell if you are not on your phone at the time. Fortunately, there is an easy solution for that, and it involves your house lights. To get started, you will want to pick up a smart doorbell with Ring being among the most popular.
Next, you’ll want to download the “IFTTT” app from the App Store or Google Play. Now, the most important step is to choose some lighting from Hue that will light up every time someone “rings” the Ring video doorbell. Once you have accumulated all of the necessities, you can follow these steps from Hue lighting to help you set up the IFTTT applet that will work as the backbone for the lighting alerts.
Morning Coffee Hits the Spot
There is nothing like a cup of coffee first thing in the morning to help get your day started. In a perfect world, that first cup would be ready by the time you hit the kitchen. Thanks to home automation, you can do exactly that. To get started, grab the atomi smart Wi-Fi Coffee maker that is compatible with both Alexa and Google Home. The next step is to download the atomi smart application from the App Store.
Once you have both of these, it is easy to set up recurring times to make sure coffee is fresh every morning. If you have a non-smart coffee maker, that is not a deal-breaker. You can make almost any household appliance smart with the WeMo Smart plug. Plug the non-smart coffee maker into the smart outlet and download the Wemo app to set alerts for fresh coffee each and every morning.
Say Goodbye to the Alarm Clock
For many of us, the jarring sound of an alarm clock is almost the worst way to get up in the morning. The good news is that there is a better way thanks to home automation. With smart lights like those from Philips Hue or Sylvania, you can easily set up gradually increasing lights to help you wake up refreshed. Apps for both Philips and Sylvania include dimming and scheduling options to increase brightness over a short timeframe.
Separately, you can also automate turning off all the lights in the evening as well. The same app can be programmed to automatically turn off the lights at a set time every night. You can also set the time for a little later in the weekend and allow yourself to enjoy some extra sleep.
Never Forget Your Garage Door Again
We have all been there. Your morning is already a mess, and you are late for work. You run out of the house in a flash and realize thirty minutes later you did not close the garage door. Do not worry. There are smart home automation solutions for this exact situation. End your worries with the Chamberlain Group B970 smartphone-controlled garage door opener.
Not only will you receive alerts when it is left open, but you can control the garage door from nearly anywhere in the world. The downloadable app is available on Android and iOS. Alexa support is forthcoming, but the Chamberlain unit is already available with Google Assistant. Just ask Google if your garage door is open and, if so, tell Google to close it. As an added bonus, Amazon Prime members in select cities can work with Chamberlain for in-garage package delivery.
There is no question that these five ideas only scratch the surface of what is possible with smart home automation today. That says nothing of what could be available tomorrow. Either way, these automated features will save you money, time and improve your lifestyle. How can you say no to that?