Useful home automation gear

Jan 3, 2017 by

Useful home automation gear

Written by Costbuys

The primary drawback of many of the home automation setups available is the sheer invasiveness. Some items require extensive wiring, while others have needlessly complicated set-up procedures. Fortunately, there are still options for home automation while keeping it relatively simple. Home automation is a lot less complex today than it used to be, but it can be difficult to talk to all of your devices.


That’s why, as you search for new devices to add to your existing system, look at how you’ll be using those devices in an everyday setting. Security, lighting and audio systems, for example, would be prime candidates for a mobile application where you could manage all of their settings. Make sure the manufacturers have made these kinds of apps available.


The second approach is the hub, which allows you to talk to one device and have it manage many settings. There are many apps and devices to assist in this as well, such as IFTTT. This popular Internet service allows you to create “triggers” that make certain things happen when certain criteria are met. For example, the Phillips Hue system has triggers for time of day. The more you can automate, the more useful these devices will become.


Here we look at some of the categories that do not require hours to set up that you can pick up discount shopping.



The easiest starting point is the voice enabled home assistant. The two devices on the market today: the Amazon Echo and Google Home are both easy to setup. The Echo, having been on the market longer, has more third party support. Although, Google is catching up fast.


The benefit to voice is that it’s easy to understand, and easy to use. Most people can grasp voice as a method to communicate with a device, and the commands are very intuitive so the device understands what is essentially plain English. If you’re a fan of Siri, or OK Google, then this type of setup is for you.



Smart lights are the easiest home automation device to add to a home. Use bulbs that provide direct control, rather than buying dimmers and switches. Smart bulbs are relatively inexpensive now and are available on any shopping website. Some systems have bulbs that can change color, which is excellent for effect or bias lighting. If you like lighting behind your television that amplifies action, for instance, bias lighting is a nice feature to have.



These devices include cameras and other detectors. The first option is the wireless camera. These can be placed anywhere in the home, providing security and alerts. Then there are the environmental detectors. These monitor the quality of the air and look for indicators of harmful substances. Another one is the smoke detector, which is incredibly easy to install.


All of these items are relatively easy to install and with the right voice controller, will allow central control of everything.

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