It’s time to be ho ho home for the holidays, so why not make the most of your time while you are there? Here are five home automation gadgets designed to help you relax in style.


1. Smart Plugs

You remember The Clapper™ right? It’s that wall wart that plugs between your wall outlet and an appliance. With just two claps of your hands, The Clapper allows users to turn their favorite devices on AND off.

Well move over, bacon, now there’s something meatier. Today’s smart plugs offer all of The Clapper’s functionality without all the calisthenics. Using your smartphone or other smart home devices, you can program a smart plug to control Christmas trees, water features, and any other typical home appliances. Here are a few options that work well but won’t break the bank.

2. Smart Bulbs

You’re probably about the click “buy” on the smart plugs I mentioned above. But wait, there’s more! Did you know that you can add special “smart” light bulbs to your lamps that can be controlled individually? It’s like living in the future.

Let’s say you want to turn off all downstairs lights at the touch of a button. With smart bulbs, it couldn’t be easier. You can set up different lighting scenes throughout your home and even tell them to turn on and off at certain times.

3. Wireless Security Cameras

Can you believe it? Before I got my very first home security camera, I didn’t have the ability to look at my driveway from work. But now, due to electricity and science, I can look at that ever-growing oil spot from the incredible comfort of my office cubicle.

While you can spend as much as you want on security cameras, you don’t have to. You can get started with the Wyze Cam Pan for the price of a couple lattes. Then, once “you’ve made it,” you can buy another camera and latte at the same time; you big show off.

4. Smart Door Locks

Wouldn’t it be nice to drive up to your home with a car full of groceries and be greeted by an unlocked door? Or, how about letting a friend into your home from say, the incredible comfort of your office cubicle? Never wake up again at 3 AM wondering if you locked the front door because you can check the status of your smart lock on your smartphone.

Smart door locks can be a little spendy, but the value they can add to your daily routine is cheap at twice the price. Nate has the August Smart Lock Pro and he wrote a review on it.

5. Voice Assistants

If you’re tired of yelling at your kids, I’ve got some good news for you. Technology now gives us the ability to yell at our computers. Voice assistants not only bridge the gap between your other smart devices by allowing you to control them with your voice, they offer a wide variety of features to make them more than worthwhile. You can use them to set timers, play music, tell you the weather, add items to a shopping list, and, I’m not kidding, even tell you a joke. I’ve got several of the Amazon Echo Dots now. Google and Apple both have their own solutions as well.

Home automation technology is always changing. That makes it hard to commit to one smart home ecosystem over another. I would recommend finding products that are affordable but are universal enough to work with a variety of other devices.

Shop around and find what works best for you. But, whatever you decide, smart home technology is the future so you might as well come along for the ride.

Have questions? There’s a good chance we have an answer, let us know in the comments.

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