February 27, 2024

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The best smart home devices to automate your abode in 2024

3 min read

Looking for the best smart home devices? We don’t blame you. If there’s one recent techy innovation that we recommend you stop and take a look at, it’s smart home devices. The industry has moved on leaps and bounds since we were first introduced to robotic vacuum cleaners and video doorbells ripped straight from the Blade Runner playbook.

Take time to check what’s on offer now and you’ll notice smart door locks that come with James Bond-proof digital keypads, speakers that can directly replace any soundbars you have under your TV, and tablets that can display cookery channels for you to watch along with as you rustle up some gourmet dinner.

Basically, anything in your home outside of your boring, non-sentient microwave is connected to your Wi-Fi and can be controlled using just your voice, whether you need to adjust the volume of your playlists, set the right lighting ambience or check to see who’s at your front door without having to leave your sofa.

So how do you start building your new smart, interconnected home? There’s a lot to consider, and not all of it is worth your time, but luckily for you, we’ve tested all the best smart home gadgets around to find the pick of the bunch.

Start small with your smart home

Before you go rewiring your home to accommodate as many AI-powered assistants as you can purchase, keep in mind that it’s better to slowly grow your smart home, upgrading lights and speakers based on what you need. We recommend dipping your toe in with a smart speaker, a set of light bulbs, or a smart plug to get you used to the idea of barking orders at the likes of Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa. That way you can appreciate their myriad delights without burning a gargantuan hole in your pocket.

Are you team Alexa, Google or Apple?

Just like Windows and the Apple Mac, or the iPhone and Android, there are a number of tech giants all vying for control of your home. Amazon’s Alexa is the prevailing standard so far, with the majority of new gadgets playing nice with the voice assistant. Trailing behind Alexa are Google’s Assistant and Apple’s Homekit. You’ll want to grab a gadget that’s already compatible with the gear you already have, such as Apple’s HomePod Mini if you have an iPhone. How can you be sure your new device will work with your existing gadgetry? Check its box for the necessary logo or check its online retail listing.

Don’t be afraid to call in a pro

While setting up a lot of smart home kits is as easy as plugging it in and connecting it to your home Wi-Fi, other gadgets demand a bit more DIY know-how. Equipment such as a smart thermostat, doorbell and outdoor security camera often require this kind of work, so you can pay for a professional installation as part of purchasing these gadgets. Unless you’re an especially proficient electrician, it’s worth shelling out the extra.

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