Your Smart Home Starter Kit

by | Nov 2019

A homeowner shows off a smart home technology app.


If you’re intrigued by the concept of smart home technology but intimidated by where to start, here’s your beginner’s guide.

Homeowners are embracing smart home technology. If you’re intrigued by the concept but intimidated by where to start, consider your goals. Do you want the ability to dictate functions of your home via voice control? An increased sense of security? Save on monthly utility costs? Knowing your priorities will help you navigate the possibilities and vast array of options.

If you plan to automate your home, start by choosing your virtual assistant and corresponding hardware. Not all products are supported by every virtual assistant so be mindful of compatibility with particular brands you favor.

You can enable smart home technology in your home without automation. Some homeowners opt to manage their system’s features through a series of apps downloaded onto a phone or tablet. This allows you to control functions within your home from anywhere you have a signal.

Here are some picks for products that can also double as fantastic and functional gifts for friends and neighbors.

Philips Hue Starter Kit
What’s to love: Control, time, dim and even define the color of your lights from an app on your phone or automated with your virtual assistant.

Arlo Pro 2 Wireless Home Security Camera
What’s to love: Battery-operated, no hard-wiring required. Seven days of cloud storage included without a monthly subscription fee.

Nest Learning Thermostat 
What’s to love: Enable auto-Schedule for Nest to learn and track behaviors in your heating and cooling patterns to build a schedule of your preferences to replicate throughout the day.

Yale Deadbolt Lock with Nest Connect 
What’s to love: Lock and unlock the door through an app on your phone or tablet from anywhere you have a signal.

Sonos One Voice Controlled Smart Speaker
What’s to love: Wireless speakers you can control with your phone or tablet or automate using your virtual assistant. Connect up to 32 different components to create zones, even integrate them with your home theater system.

Ring Wifi Video Doorbell
What’s to love: A push of the button prompts an alert on your phone, tablet or PC so you can answer the door from anywhere. See, hear and speak to visitors or check in on your home with live view on-demand video.

Simplisafe Wireless Security System
What’s to love: A wireless home security system with peel and stick installation. Upgrade to a more robust system by adding optional m

Sarah Schaffer is an Edina based realtor with Fox Homes


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