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Your ultimate buying guide for home automation gadgets

Last week, we brought you everything you need to know about home automation: what it is, how it works and deciding what you want out of home automation. Now it’s time to automate your home. If you’re new to home automation, here’s your ultimate guide on what to buy first. Once you’ve made your decisions, visit our directory of home automation experts to purchase the gadgets!

Start with a kit

The first purchase you should consider making when automating your home is to start off with an actual kit. These bundles include a wide variety of technology that work together to make your home life easier. They include the software you need to connect each device to your phone or tablet, which is essentially the benefit of having home automation. After all, what’s the point in worrying about whether or not you left the garage door open if you can’t check up on it remotely from your phone?


There are quite a few starter kits on the market. Here are a few to consider:

Insteon Hub

One of the first home automation kits to hit the market, the Insteon makes it easy for beginners to transform their home. The kit enables a multitude of home devices to be controlled with the touch of a button on your phone or tablet. It’s compatible with iOS, Android, Windows and Windows Phone. Feature devices include controlling:

  • Light bulbs;
  • Wall switches;
  • Thermostats;
  • Appliances.

The hub enables you to control when a device turns on or off. If you want your lights turning off at a specific time in the evening, use your phone to schedule it.

The kit also includes the most basic home automation features a homeowner should have when automating their favourite spaces.

Does this kit sound right for you? Contact one of the home automation experts in our directory to chat about what’s right for your home.

Source: Insteon.

Source: Insteon.

SmartThings Home Kit

If you’re more concerned about home security rather than turning the lights on and off remotely, then you should consider the benefits of the SmartThings Home Kit. Its main objective is to give homeowners peace of mind when away from home. The kit includes different sensors that enable you to monitor who’s coming and going in your home. Plus, the kit will push notifications to your phone, so you’ll be made aware if there’s a break-in or a flood.

Take a look at this video to learn more about how the kit works!

EcoBee3 Smart Thermostat Bundle

Do you feel like you’re spending too much money on your energy bills? With the EcoBee3 home kit, you can set your thermostat remotely. Leave the air conditioning off during the day and set the temperature before you’re about to arrive home in an effort to keep cool and put a freeze on costly monthly bills! The unit is also smart enough to detect how many people are in a room, so it will automatically adjust the temperature to deliver optimal comfort for when rooms are occupied.

Source: EcoBee

Source: EcoBee

Don’t know what kit to choose? A home automation expert can make that decision easier for you!

Buy what you need

Home automation exists to make your life easier. If you take a walk through a home automation store, you may get overly excited and want to buy every neat gadget you come across. Try your best not to succumb to temptation! Here’s why:

  • Buying too many items at once can be overwhelming since you’ll need to set them up. Start small, and work your way up to more devices as you get comfortable.
  • Home automation tech can be costly. Buy small and upgrade equipment overtime. There’s no rush to automate your home!

When you’re deciding what to buy, it’s important to start with what you need as opposed to what you want. There’s a difference! Here are a few recommendations we think will make your day-to-day life easier if you’d rather buy individual pieces as opposed to a kit.

Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

Forgot to turn off the coffee maker before you left the house but you’re too far from home to drive back? With the Belkin WeMo switch, you can connect your appliances and electronic devices via your home’s WiFi network, so you can turn off that appliance using your phone or tablet no matter where you are. Since it’s compatible with a laundry list of devices, it’ll be easy to retrofit your home with the right tools.

In our opinion, this is a really handy tool, one that can keep your home safe! After all, who hasn’t left the house worrying they forgot to turn off something?

Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Every home should be retrofitted with a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. The Nest Protect bundle protects your home and family members with relentless beeps when it detects smoke. The heads-up that something is wrong can protect you from an unfortunate accident.

You’ll never have to worry about the batteries dying on you because when connected to your phone via WiFi, the device will communicate to you that the batteries are running low. Couldn’t every house benefit from this?

Source: Nest

Source: Nest

Belkin Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker

Thanks to home automation, you can control what time your lights turn off. Why not control what time dinner is ready? This is the perfect gadget for busy homeowners. The slow cooker can be controlled from your phone or tablet, so you can adjust cooking time, temperature and even turn it off. After a long day, you can come home to a prepared meal. It’s also very easy to clean – put the stoneware and lid right in the dishwasher!


Now if only there was a dishwasher that would empty itself? Hmm…it could be in our future!

Splurge on these

Once you’ve had a taste of home automation, you’ll probably want to expand on the different devices you have in your home! We don’t blame you! Here are some other cool gadgets to consider purchasing once you have the basics!

Philips LightStrips

Now these are really cool. Light up your home and furniture with strips of LED light. These strips come in more than 16 million (yes, million!) colours, so you can easily match and personalize your favourite spaces with your current decor. With a strong adhesive, they can be easily placed anywhere in your home. Change the colours by using your smartphone, and control the lights to do what you want when you want it.

They're not really a necessity, but they're so cool!

They’re not really a necessity, but they’re so cool!

SkyBell WiFi Doorbell

Unexpected visitor at the door? Never fear – the SkyBell WiFi Doorbell is here! This smart doorbell lets you answer your door from your phone. It’s equipped with a video camera, motion sensor and a speaker. It lets you see and hear who’s at the front door. It’s not only a great way to keep your home and family safe, but a neat security feature that gives your family control, especially when the device can be added to multiple smartphones.

Source: SkyBell

Source: SkyBell

Want to find out what other cool gadgets are on the market? Scroll through our directory of home automation specialists! Find an expert in your neighbourhood and visit them for some advice. With their knowledge and expertise in the industry, they’ll help you find the right tools to match your home and needs.

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