Today’s smart home devices deliver convenient features that will have you wondering how you ever lived without them. We’ve put together our list of the 5 Best Smart Home Devices for 2019. If you’re thinking about building a smart home system take a serious look at these 5 smart home devices to simplify your life.
Before we get started, the list is in no particular order. We’ve used all of these smart devices for more than a year, and they’ve all met our strict criteria to make our list. We also don’t receive any compensation, gifts, or anything else from the manufacturers for our opinion. We based our conclusion on real-world experience and use.
Ecobee 4 Smart Thermostat
The Ecobee 4 smart thermostat is, in our opinion the best smart thermostat on the market. First, it’s sleek design looks great in any hallway. The elegant user interface on the app and thermostat make controlling your temperature a breeze. (See what I did there?)
But nearly every smart thermostat on the market looks great, what really makes the Ecobee 4 stand out are the added features the designers really got right with the latest version.
First, Amazon Alexa is built directly into the thermostat. So, you can ask it to read the news, order groceries, and yes — change the temperature.
Another thing that Ecobee got right with the 4th version is the addition of the room sensors. The problem with thermostats, in general, is that they only read the temperature from the thermostat location. Ecobee solved this with room sensors that send temperature and occupancy information, allowing you to keep every room in the house comfortable. Making it the perfect eco-friendly thermostat that will keep you warm and keep your money in your pocket.
Ecobee took it a step further and created a network of contractors to help you with the installation of your new thermostat. You may be able to complete the installation yourself, but in our opinion, it’s better to have a pro do it for you for a couple of reasons. First, it extends the warranty on your new Ecobee thermostat. Second, because the Ecobee must be hard-wired to your furnace, you may need to run a wire to your furnace. If you’re not comfortable doing that, we recommend hiring a pro. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, you can click here to schedule your installation. If you’re outside of the Greater Philadelphia area, click here.
Control4 Smart Lighting
Smart lighting has been around for years, but in the last few years, it has become much more affordable. Honestly, we were a little ho-hum about smart lighting until we started installing it, and subsequently using it. Once installed, you begin to realize the potential of smart lighting in your home. Add beauty to your home, set the mood for any time of day, create scenes, add mockupancy, and conserve energy all at the same time. For those reasons, smart lighting made the list for 2019.
Wireless lighting from Control4 comes in sleek color configurations to complement the style of any home. Your smart lighting installer can customize the buttons so you can control more than just your lighting. (Think music, shades, and more). You can turn on or off the entire house, with a single tap. Do you have young kids with filthy hands? Motion sensors can provide hands-free illumination and automatically turn off when you leave the room.
If you have Alexa in your home, you can add voice control as well. Imagine walking into a dark house with your hands full of groceries, ask Alexa to light the way.
Smart lighting can work outside of your home as well. Light up the deck and highlight water features, the pool and more. Exterior lighting can turn on-and-off with the sunrise and sunset. There’s no limit to what you can do with smart lighting. It’s affordable, doesn’t require re-wiring your home, and can be installed anytime.
Control4 EA1 Controller
Built to deliver home automation experiences around the television, home theater, or whole-home audio video system the Control4 EA1 controller has the processing power that you need to deliver the perfect smart hom experience. The EA1 from Control4 is a smart home automation controller perfect for controlling all of your entertainment devices in one room, then complement it by adding smart lighting, door locks, and thermostats. Much more than a hub made by Google or Samsung, the Control4 EA1 allows all your devices to work seamlessly together.
What really sets the EA1 apart from it’s competition is the remote control that comes with it. The trifecta of in-app control, the SR260 remote control, and Alexa make it easy to control your television, cable-box, blu-ray player, media-player and more, from a comfortable easy to user interface designed specifically for you. It’s cute to have everything built into an app on your phone, but when you want to sit down and flip through channels, we like a hard button remote control. The SR260 delivers.
You can even listen to your favorite music with the Control4 EA1. It includes a built-in music server that lets you listen your your favorite streaming services, or your own music library. Add some speakers throughout your house and you’re on your way to a complete home automation system that you’ll love.
The ring doorbell started a revolution at the front doors across America. Virtually unchanged for decades, Ring has capitalized on the need to want to know who’s at the front door? Now, they’re considered the first line of defense against porch pirates, burglars, and car thieves. We love the Ring for a lot of reasons, it’s easy to set up, the app is easy to use, and it works wherever you’re at for no additional monthly fee.
We do have a complaint about the Ring doorbell. The Wifi antenna is not great. So, if your wifi signal outside your home at your front door is a little sketchy, we’d recommend installing a wireless access point to boost the Wifi signal. Otherwise your Ring doorbell may have difficulty staying connected, and as you might guess, if it’s not connected to your network, no ding-dong.
The problem has been solved with the Ring Elite doorbell. With a price tag of $499 the Ring Elite doorbell connects by POE. Power Over Ethernet gives you the most reliable connection in smart home security, allowing you
to stay online, maintain power, and see who’s at the door from anywhere in the world from. We take it for granted, but that type of technology was simply unheard of a few short years ago.
Ring Floodlight Cam
Leave it to the folks at Ring to re-think something as boring as a floodlight. That’s exactly what they’ve done with the Floodlight Cam. Simply replace your existing floodlights with the new Ring Floodlight Cam and you’re ready to go. Using an app on your phone you can flash the lights, sound an alarm or zoom-in to focus.
See something or someone out of the ordinary? Turn on the microphone and give a warning or sound the 110db alarm. That’s some incredible technology packed into a $249 product.
Smart homes are here to stay. Smart home technology is evolving and the vast majority of systems are already modular, meaning you can add devices at your own pace. If you have any questions, or would like to know more about smart home technology you can contact us here.