7 Smart Home Devices You Should Add To Your Space in 2023

(Original article courtesy of ArchitecturalDigest.com) These tech gadgets can simplify your life, and even help you save $$$ on energy bills.

Waking up and getting to work before the winter light hits is a drag. But with smart home devices, you can automate yourself into a better mood pronto, whether it’s by easily turning on your favorite tunes, lighting up the hallways, or getting the kettle going for a welcoming cup of hot tea that’s ready when you walk into the kitchen. 

If you’re a tech enthusiast, you probably already have a few “smart” appliances. But even if you don’t have any, you likely know someone who does. A report published in October by Parks Associates, an emerging consumer technology research firm, surveyed 10,000 US households connected to the internet and found that 27% had bought a smart home device in the previous 12 months.

Even if you don’t have a smart thingamajig yet, you might be thinking about getting one. That same report found that 44% of American households plan to buy a smart home device in the next 12 months. And a recent analysis conducted by the Underfloor Heating Store, found that “smart home” is by far the most popular home renovation-related trend watched on TikTok, with roughly 4.2 billion views. In comparison, videos related to the second-most-popular home reno term (“enhanced outdoor spaces”) only garnered a relatively paltry 260,900 views.

But while smart home devices are popular, make sure to think about whether a particular device is right for you. Data privacy is something to think about, according to Angus Chen, a lead cybersecurity expert at MITRE. He points out that some of those devices could be listening to your conversations, taking note of your habits. To ensure privacy, seek out smart home devices that “allow opt-in or opt-out data collection, that allow you to configure security options,” Chen says.

And given the costs involved, it’s reasonable not to settle for anything short of revolutionary. But finding the right smart home device can also mean a lot of electronic waste, since not everything bought online and returned will be resold or ever used. That’s partially why TikTok creator Dani Marie of @danimariethatsme suggests interested buyers wait until their trusted channels review the products themselves to eliminate the wasteful guessing game. “If it’s something that you’re going to have in your house for a long time and use consistently every single day, then I would say it’s worth [the expense],” she says.

At the same time, smart home devices come with obvious perks. Chances are your shades won’t magically unfurl themselves just before you wake up each day, making smart blinds relatively more affordable than daily butler service (or bribing your housemate). Automating a task like double-checking that the front door is locked is another smart bonus. 

Plus, it’s hard to put a price on customizing comfort in an instant. The ability to change the color temperature of light bulbs to match your mood is a whole new level of manifestation. And that’s not even considering the resource efficiency gains from some smart tools. For example, using a smart thermostat can result in savings of “approximately 8% of heating and cooling bills” depending on your climate, personal preferences, and heating/cooling equipment, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

All things considered, your values and wallet are going to dictate what type of smart home tech you try. Here are seven smart home devices that can make a difference in your home.

Smart light bulbs

When you jump in bed at night, no one wants to get up to turn it off. And when you’re trying to ease into sleep, you also want your lights to feel dimmer and cozier. Smart bulbs solve both of these inconveniences—plus allow you to program different times of the day to turn on or off—through voice control or app selections. 

Smart showerhead

It’s not easy to be mindful of water consumption—let alone the energy needed to heat it up—when you’re taking a moment for yourself in the shower. But some smart shower heads, like Hai Smart Shower System, can think for you with programmable temperature and water use gauges that blink to different colors when you’ve hit set limits. Plus the stainless steel, groove-free design makes cleaning a cinch, so you’ll use even less water in the long run.

Wifi irrigation controls

Having a lush, expansive garden sounds great—until you have to hose it down on every single hot summer day. Even if you only have a townhouse’s worth of plantable space, installing smart irrigation controls lets you enjoy the bounty without the daily chore of directing the water flow. The Rainpoint Smart Water Timer controls the spigot rotation and allows you to automate the watering—and even pause it if there’s rain in the forecast.

Smart locks

If you don’t want to hide keys under a rock around your house, smart move. But when you need to let someone in and you can’t be home, a smart lock helps save you time and headaches. Never again worry about a pet sitters or friends who need to get in while you’re out. But if you’re going to pick one up, buy a model that doesn’t looklike it’s a smart lock from the outside, to prevent anyone trying to outsmart a keypad, suggests Jason Boyer, the architect and real estate developer behind Karma, a community of smart homes in Phoenix. It should be “invisible, so that if somebody drives by, they can’t target that front door lock,” he says.

Smart thermostat

If you like coming home to a warm house but don’t feel like paying to keep an empty room toasty, look into smart thermostats. Bonus: Depending on where you live, you might be eligible for an efficiency rebate. Washington, DC, residents, for example, are eligible for a $50 rebate for qualifying thermostats.

Smart blinds

Whether you’re snuggled up on the couch ready to watch a movie or just trying to get to sleep, there are plenty of reasons why you might not want to get up to close the blinds. Smart blinds help you avoid that mundane little task and get to what’s important: catching up on The White Lotus during your work-from-home lunch break.

Smart diffuser

For those who like an air freshener on demand, or a penchant for forgetting to blow out candles, a smart diffuser is the way to go. With Pura you can use the app to select between two scents, schedule when the diffuser turns on, and even adjust the intensity. 

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