How to create a smart home on a budget
If you’re thinking about making your home smarter, you don’t have to break the bank to do it. See our tips here...
Making your home smarter doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’ve got just one device in your home that works with a smartphone, you’ve got the beginnings of a smart home. All you need to do is add more products as and when you can afford them.
If you’re still undecided, or just need a little inspiration, let us show you how easy it is to get started…
1. Get some assistance
If you’re serious about creating a smart home, try the Google Home Mini.
Not only can this voice-activated assistant control your other smart home devices, but it can also give you the latest news, weather and travel updates - and answer pretty much any question you can think of - through its inbuilt speaker.
If you want to control your TV with your voice it’s easy – just match the Home Mini with a Google Chromecast, and your home will feel smarter straight away.
2. Make your own speakers smart
The Google Home Mini has its own inbuilt speaker, but if you’re a music lover you might be used to listening to your tunes on something with a bit more oomph. That won’t be a problem here - because you can make it smart too.
Simply plug Chromecast Audio into your speaker, and you can then control it with your voice through Google Home Mini. With a simple command like “OK Google, play Ed Sheeran on both speakers”, your music will play on your newly made smart speaker, as well as on your Google Home Mini speaker.
3. Control your home heating
If your existing thermostat is a little temperamental and not very user friendly, why not get a smart thermostat and take control of your home heating?
The Tado Starter Kit is great value, and it’s packed with smart features to save you money. For example, it can find out the local weather forecast and heat your home less on warm days.
It also uses geofencing technology to calculate your exact location, and start heating things up when you’re heading home.
4. Think about your security
Worried about your home security? Or are you just a little fed up with parcels being delivered when you’re not there? Then the Ring Video Doorbell 2 could be another choice for your smart home shopping list.
When you’re home, Ring lets you see who’s at the door before opening it. When you’re not at home, its motion detectors can give you instant alerts when movement is detected.
You can then use the Ring app on your smartphone to see who’s at the door, and speak to them through Ring’s inbuilt microphone and speakers. The doorbell also comes equipped with infrared night vision, so you can see outside clearly in the dark.
5. Invest in a smart plug
If you’ve still got some money left in your budget, then why not invest in a smart plug, like the TP-Link HS100? You can then control your electrical devices (lamps, fans, heaters, air conditioning or anything else) with your voice, or schedule them to switch on and off at certain times.
If you’re tired of having to crouch down and reach blindly behind furniture to get to your sockets, it can make your life a lot easier.
Interested? Start creating your smart home with us.