With the gift-giving season come the shopping lists—usually topped by newer, shinier and faster versions of last year’s smart phones. Now, however, it’s time for those smart phones to move aside. There’s a new tech in town that’s not only changing the way we live but the very homes in which we reside.
Smart home technologies are quickly becoming the tech to have. It’s a trend, sure, but it’s one that’s here to stay, and it’s one that can save you money, make you safer and increase the value of your home all at once. With smart home tools at a variety of price points, this year we say go big and go home with these top six tech gifts for the smart homeowner.
Nest Learning Thermostat: One of the most well-known smart home products, the Nest Thermostat learns the temperature you like and adapts to your schedule. In independent studies, the Nest Thermostat saved U.S. customers an average of 10-12 percent on their heating bills and 15 percent on their cooling bills. $249
Nest Cam Indoor (security camera): Nest’s WiFi enabled security camera helps you look after your home when you’re away with 24/7 live streaming in 1080p HD, with Night Vision and motion and sound alerts. If Nest Cam detects an unusual motion or sound, it will alert you via the Nest app. It’s easy to install with built-in stand, magnetic wall mount, or standard tripods. $199
Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm: Nest’s combination smoke/CO alarm tells you where and what the problem is in a human voice, can alert you or be silenced via the Nest app, tests itself automatically and can last up to a decade. $99
August Smart Lock: Your smartphone is now a smart key—and more. Lock and unlock your door, create virtual keys for guests, and keep track of who comes and goes, all from your smartphone. Featuring HomeKit support and the ability to use Siri voice commands, the Smart Lock is installed on the inside of your door so you can keep your existing exterior door hardware and use your traditional key any time. $229
August Connect: An accessory to the August Smart Lock, the August Connect allows you to remotely lock and unlock your August Smart Lock from anywhere. Instantly let guests in remotely, check your lock’s status, and enjoy more peace of mind with instant alerts every time someone locks or unlocks your door, all from your smartphone. $79.99
Case´ta Wireless by Lutron: Lutron’s Case´ta Wireless system lets you control your lights, shades and temperature from an app. Case´ta Wireless works with dimmable LEDs, incandescents and Halogen bulbs, so you can use most of the lights you already own. And it allows for personalized lighting “scenes” like giving a home a lived-in look using a scheduled timer, or for turning on the lights as you approach your home in the evening. It can even be used to create a perfect movie “scene” while watching TV. $255
There’s good reason they’re called smart homes. Not only do they have technology to enhance safety and lifestyle, they’re also smart investments. Consider that 44 percent of buyers who want move-in ready homes say smart home tech is a must. That not only gives smart homeowners a competitive edge when selling, it also means they can demand a higher selling price. And don’t forget about the energy savings, which is good news for your wallet as long as you’re in your home and great for the planet for decades to come. Now that’s what we call smart!
Coldwell Banker contributed to this article.