Make Your Home Smart For Under $1000

Smart Home

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Though they may have gotten a lot of things wrong about how humans would be living in the future back in the 1950s, they were right about one thing, and it\’s safe to say that the technology we live with today has not only met those expectations, but far exceeded them. 

We\’re not suggesting you transform your home into a supercomputer, but there are definitely some nifty tricks and gadgets that can skyrocket you into the next century. 

Smarter Thermostats

Going from relative obscurity to a household name in a matter of years, learning thermostat\’s like Google\’s Nest, are not your father\’s thermostat. The Nest goes beyond set it and forget it, learning what temperatures you like and when (during the day and night), and uses built-in movement sensors to adjust itself based on whether you are home or away. Also neat, you can monitor everything right from your smartphone. 

The third generation Nest is $249, but you can also bundle it with a Cam and Smoke / Carbon Monoxide detector that also issue alerts straight to your phone. 

Smarter Bulbs

If you are going green, you\’ll want to convert the soft bulbs you\’re probably so used to LEDs. LED bulbs are cool for a number of reasons, not least of which because they can change colours, connect to apps and connect to the internet. All the while requiring less power than traditional light bulbs and lasting a lot longer. 

GE came out with Link (which you can pick up for about $15), a bulb that connects via an app on your smartphone that will allow you to control it from anywhere. Forgot to leave a light on so you can see your way home? No problem! You can remotely operate individual lights or lights in groups, sync them with other smart products, and automate them to fit your lighting schedule. The Clapper seems archaic now, doesn\’t it? 

Smarter Locks

Constantly forgetting or misplacing your keys? That problem is a thing of the past with smart locks that boast convenience via keyless entry. While some smart locks require you replace the entire lock system on your door, others simply require you place a smart device over an existing deadbolt.

Schlage offers several locks ranging in price from $200-$300, that feature a touchpad and require a four-digit code for access. You can create up to 19 private codes, and manage the lock from anywhere with your smartphone or tablet, although you\’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee for the convenience. 

Smarter Home Monitoring & Security Systems

You can never be too careful when it comes to home safety, and smart home monitoring offers more than just a security system, it offers peace of mind. While Rogers and other Canadian security firms offer comprehensive home monitoring systems, you can also pick up a smart security kit, like iSmart ($139.99), for a fraction of the cost. iSmart is a self-controlled, wireless system that uses your smartphone to remotely arm, disarm and monitor safety features, alerting everyone on the network of a breach in security via text, phone, push notification and email.

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