Make Your Halifax Home Smart(er)

First the smartphone, then the smart TV, and then the smart car. And now, we have the smart home.

Some would say we have reached ’peak smart’ while others would say this is just the beginning. Regardless your take on smart technology, one thing is for certain, devices exist to make your house do things it never could. We at About Halifax have noticed this trend and wanted to explore it further.

After diving into the smart home tech market, we found the five ’must-have’ tech upgrades for your home. Whether your home is already smart, or you’re looking to take the plunge, the following devices are for you! As you look to move to a new house or renovate an existing space, definitely consider incorporating upgrades below.

Smart Home Hub

Before you think about buying anything on this list, you first need a smart home hub. These devices act as the brain to all of your smart home tech, providing a centralized location to access all of your future gadgets. Smart home hubs let you access your devices from one smartphone app as well as allow them to work together. For example, when your doors close via a smart lock, your smart lightbulbs will automatically turn off.

As of December, industry consensus is the second generation Samsung SmartThings hub would be the unit to purchase. Not only does it connect with over 200 smart devices, but it also comes with a battery backup for when the power goes out!

Smart Lightbulbs

One of the most straightforward looking smart devices is one of the handiest as well. Much like smart locks, these bulbs ensure you never forget the lights on after leaving the house. Their main feature allows for control via smartphone, which includes turning them on, adjusting their brightness and setting them to a timer.

Some models offer geofencing which means the lights turn on or off depending on your location in the house. This will make you feel like a celebrity as lights flick on when you enter rooms while reducing overall energy consumption.Though the prices don’t compare to standard light bulbs (yet), the cost continues to decrease. And with an estimated lifespan of 22 years, you’ll be sick of each other by the time they burn out.

Security Cameras

Big news! Security cameras are no longer for the rich and the famous. Yes, it is possible to install your very own security camera(s)! You can link your camera via wifi or Bluetooth to your smart home hub which gives the opportunity to see footage from your phone. The basic models allow you to either record or live stream activity, providing you peace of mind when you’re not present.

The more you spend, the larger the features list gets. The advanced models offer pan and tilt features, 1080p recording, and infrared recording. Some models offer facial recognition, which can open your smart locks when they recognize the face

Smart Showers

This cool, smart home accessory grants you greater control with your overall shower experience. The function goes beyond choosing specific water temperatures, as you can set shower time limits and alarms, which can be super handy if you’re in a rush. They also take up very little space, which is great if you’re trying to minimize your furniture footprint.

One of the coolest features is the pre-heat function. From your smartphone, you can turn on the shower and have it heat to a specific temperature. When it hits the predetermined temperature, it will automatically turn off until you’re ready to shower. This is perfect extra-cold Canadian mornings when the only way to get out of bed is the promise of a piping-hot shower waiting for you.

Smart Locks

This is the perfect gift for both the anxious and forgetful. No longer do you need to worry about forgetting to lock your door or wonder if, in fact, you did lock the door. These new devices replace your existing unit and allow you to lock and unlock your door from anywhere in the world via wifi. Most devices can grant other individuals entry as well as open the lock for specific times of the day.

Though they aren’t cheap, they do provide peace of mind. You should expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $250 for a device that allows control from anywhere and features voice commands.