Desire for Smart Home Upgrades is on the Rise

The desire to have the latest smart home upgrades is definitely on the rise, not only for new homes in Washington, but across the country.

Here’s an astounding fact, from Charly Tate of By the end of 2016, almost half of all Americans either owned smart home technology or invested in it. In other words, if you’re not part of that percentage, you’re missing out. For a large portion of the available technology, it’s easy to integrate and relatively inexpensive.

This goes with the increased popularity of products like the Amazon Echo Dot, which is a Bluetooth speaker powered by Alexa, the handy voice assistant. Then there are products like the Wink Hub 2, which is a home automation hub that works with devices equipped with Z-Wave, Zigbee, Lutron Clear Connect and many others, which you can access in PC Magazine’s Best Smart Home Devices of 2017 article.

A lot of the technology that you can purchase is considerably expensive, but there are ways to bring smart technology into your home on the affordable side.

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First, there’s smart outlets. These are an extension to your wall outlets that provide better control over the appliances and devices plugged into said outlets. The Belkin WeMo Switch is the most popular one by a long shot, not because it’s the cheapest (it costs $45) but because it hasthe best marketing and promotion surrounding it, plus it’s easy to use and has a great name.

There are other alternatives to WeMo that are less versatile but are also less expensive. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

There’s also smart lighting. While the above smart outlets can control your lamps and light-stands, smart lighting goes way beyond that. A popular choice is the Philips Hue Lightbulb, which uses up to 80 percent less energy than a traditional bulb. Using the smartphone app, you can control it remotely or set it to trigger according to a timer. One bulb is currently priced at $20.

The next focus would be smart sensors, of which there’s many, ranging from motion sensors, to temperature sensors, humidity sensors, and weight sensors. There are some that handle all four, such as the Aeon Labs Multi-Sensor. Best of all? It’s only $49.

Did you ever think about getting a smart gardener? Oh yeah, that’s a thing. It’s a little bit pricey, as it can cost you over $100 for those kinds of devices, but they could take care of the tedious and cumbersome tasks, such as remembering to keep everything watered at the right rates.

Here’s a cool one. Do you know there’s a smart egg tray? You likely are wondering why you would need that, but it’s pretty clever. The Egg Minder Smart Egg Tray can hold up to 14 eggs and has sensors that track how long an egg has been in each spot so you know when eggs are getting stale or going bad. It also syncs with your phone so you know how many eggs you have at home. Best of all, this is only $10!

Probably one of the most popular ways people use smart technology is with smart surveillance. You can set up mobile webcams, such as IP Webcam or any surveillance application on the market. Then you can use Webcam Watcher as a central monitoring hub for your surveillance network. If that’s too basic, there are smart home security devices that offer more, but the D-Link Wireless Surveillance Camera is a good budget option at only $47.

Dentri is not just a temperature-monitoring gadget…it can be used to monitor your home, doubling as a security system. There’s a 360-degree view camera integrated inside the device that allows you to view your house remotely. You can also make a video call to Sentri through its smartphone application. It’s less costly than a traditional security system and you can start using it right out of the box. Definitely worth considering if you’re okay with spending between $199-$299.

For those not concerned so much with cost and like the techie side of things, Goji is an option to consider. It’s a digital lock for your home that is not only smart, but also pretty advanced. It works via WiFi and BlueTooth connection and can send pictures of visitors at your door, allowing you to give them access, even when you’re not home.

What is cooler than having a device that is capable of knowing everything about the condition of your house and reporting back to you through your smartphone, smart TV, or even smartwatch? Ninja Sphere lets you do this and even includes an ‘if this, then that’ rule that can even be applied to other third party devices that you add to it.

For example, if you happen to have tagged your keys, or pets (dogs or cats), Ninja Sphere can tell you when they’re missing and will make sure to inform you immediately.

In today’s real estate market, how important is smart home technology? Here’s some facts, courtesy of

  • 1 in 4 U.S. adults had smart home products in their home, with almost half of the nation’s Millennials using some sort of smart home technology.
  • Of 71 percent of Americans who want move-in ready homes, nearly half said smart home technology is a must.
  • 25 percent of homeowners doing renovations deemed smart home technology very important to extremely important.

So whether you like it or not, smart technology is not just the wave of the future, but it’s the present, not only with new homes in Washington, but across the country. As time goes by, there will be other applications that can do basically anything in your home. It’s an ever-evolving science, and this is your chance to become a part of it.