The future is now, and it’s all about convenience. And as parents always in need of an extra hand or two (or three), we’re here for it!
From lightbulbs to security systems, the Internet of Things (IoT) is taking us closer to living like The Jetsons every day. But not all smart home products are created equal or are even necessary. (Do we really need smart salt shakers?) So we put together a list of the best smart home products that will actually add convenience to your life, some of which we’re already using and loving in our own homes. Read on to check out the list and see what might work for you and your family.
Hue Lightbulbs and Hub from Philips
The Hue Lightbulbs and Hub from Philips are a great way to dip your toe into the smart home water without a ton of upfront cost or labor. You don’t have to worry about switching out whole fixtures, just the lightbulbs. And they have plenty of options, including a white light version with warm and cool color temps in the same bulb or, if you’re feeling festive, a white lightbulb with color options that can liven up any holiday party. Or Tuesday afternoon if you’re feeling it! These bulbs also have a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) which means the white light they give off makes colors in the room look like they would under incandescent bulbs.
These smart lights have a useful scheduling feature so you can have your lights come on at certain times of the day. You can set them to give you a sunrise wakeup with your alarm, turn off at the same time every night for bed, or even turn on certain lights in the evening so you never have to walk into a dark home again. And if you have kids that always seem to forget to turn off the lights, they can handle that, too.
Honeywell Smart Thermostat
We prefer the Honeywell Smart Thermostat over other smart thermostat options because it’s not nearly as pricey but still has a ton of features. You can easily set up a heating/cooling schedule, or you can set it to learn your schedule and handle the heating/cooling adjustments for you. You can also add a few throughout your home and divide your house into heating/cooling zones.
And on the design front, it’s super easy to set the display screen to whatever color you want to match the room.
Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Control
The MyQ Smart Garage Hub from Chamberlain makes the best smart home products list for several reasons. You can retrofit your old garage door opener unit with this smart garage door opener and use it to set a rule so your garage door is never accidentally left open again—perfect if you have kiddos going in and out throughout the day that always forget to close it. Plus, you can use it to let people in remotely, and you can add a motion-activated security camera inside your garage if you need or want extra security.
SimpliSafe Smart Lock
The SimpliSafe Smart Lock is one of our favorites because you can add it to any door or surface, and if you already have a single-cylinder deadbolt, it will work with your current lock and key. All you need to install it is a screwdriver!
With this smart lock, you can create unique access codes for your visitors, contractors, or even Airbnb guests. And with the interactive plan, you can lock and unlock your home remotely. We love it because we don't have to worry about our kids losing their keys or sharing them with the wrong friends.
SimpliSafe also has security camera and video doorbell options you can add if you want the ability to see, hear, and talk to anyone outside your door. Or keep an eye out for anyone who may be past curfew.
Samsung Smart Washer and Dryer
Samsung has several options for smart washers and dryers, but our favorite is the Smart Front Load Washer with Super Speed and the Smart Dial Gas Dryer with Super Speed Dry. Their smart technology alerts your phone when a load is finished so you never have to come down to a smelly wet load of laundry or a severely wrinkled one again. You can also put your laundry on a schedule, and you can use your phone to remotely start or stop loads.
Plus, the super speed function comes in handy for those mornings or late nights when your kids finally remember they need something specific washed that’s been laying on their floor for the last week.
Forti Goods Smart Storage Furniture
Last but certainly not least, one of the best smart home products in our home is our Forti Goods Smart Storage Furniture. Designed with privacy in mind, each piece is outfitted with a lock that contains a patented mechanism with dual, stainless steel jaws, making it able to withstand over 7,000 pounds of pull force. Truly the only way to open it is with your smartphone or a sledgehammer. (We don’t recommend the latter.)
You can use your smart Forti Goods piece to store:
- Plant medicine
- Personal pleasure items
- Prescription medications
- Important documents
- Anything else you want or need to keep secure
With our smart technology, there’s no key to copy or lose. Plus, the app keeps a timestamped log so you know exactly when your piece was accessed in case little hands try to go snooping. You also have the options to use:
- Auto-locking mode so you know your goods are always secure
- Timed-locking mode so you can set it and forget it
- Manual-locking mode so you have complete control over access to what’s inside
Each piece of furniture comes standard with at least one smart lock, but you have the option to add more if you need more locked compartments. And you can customize the color, hardware, and size of each piece to fit your security and design needs. Smart furniture never looked so good.
At the end of the day, the best smart home products are the ones that offer you convenience and peace of mind without compromising your lifestyle or design style. As parents of young children, these are the products that work for us, but they can bring ease and convenience to anyone looking for some extra help.