Smart home devices are all about making your life easier and more convenient. Whether you’re interested in saving money on electricity, making your home safer, or improving your indoor air quality, there’s a smart appliance out there that can help. The hard part is knowing where to start.
If you don’t have a smart speaker and virtual assistant (like Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa), that’ll be your first stop. Your smart hub will allow you to manage your entire network of smart devices with simple voice commands, so you’ll want to make sure all your appliances are compatible with your choice.
Once you’ve got a smart hub, you can start integrating other smart devices into your home routine—and improving your home’s value while you’re at it. From controlling your temperature and lighting to automating your security and cleaning routines, you can find smart technology upgrades for almost every part of your home. Here, we break down some of the best smart home devices to make your life a little easier in 2023.
1. Smart locks
We’ve all been there—that moment about 15 minutes into the morning commute when you seriously start to doubt whether you locked your front door. Normally, you’d have to turn around and go home if you wanted to get some peace of mind. With a smart lock, all you have to do is open your phone.
Smart locks connect to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing you to lock or unlock your door with an app, fingerprint, or voice command. They give you added security with remote monitoring and locking capabilities, as well as auto-lock and unlock functions. Some smart locks also give you the option to create unique entry codes for guests or contractors who may need access to your home while you’re out.
Smart locks can range from $100 to $300 or more. They come in many different styles and finishes, so you should be able to find one that matches your aesthetic and existing hardware. Popular smart lock brands include August, Yale, Ultraloq, Schlage, and Wyze.
2. Video doorbells
Like smart locks, video doorbells are a security upgrade for your home. Depending on the model, a smart doorbell starts recording video when it detects motion near your door or when someone presses your doorbell. You’ll also get a notification on your smartphone, along with real-time camera access. Some smart doorbells come equipped with a microphone and speakers, so you can chat with the person on your front porch from wherever you are.
Smart camera doorbells can be hardwired or battery-powered, and video quality varies between devices. Popular brands include ADT, Nest, SimpliSafe, and Ring. Video doorbells can cost between $100 and $300 or more, and many require a monthly subscription—usually $10 or less—to unlock additional features such as cloud storage for surveillance videos and smart home integration.
3. Smart thermostats
Smart thermostats offer more than just convenience and comfort—they can also help you save money on your energy bill. Simply set your temperature preferences, and the thermostat automatically adjusts the heating and cooling in your home for optimal performance.
Most smart thermostats have multiple settings, so you can adjust your energy use for different daily schedules, weather conditions, and cooling and heating needs. Some have even more advanced features, such as voice control capabilities, targeted heating, air quality sensors, and radar or geofencing to detect when you’re home, almost home, or away.
Smart thermostats generally cost between $75 and $250 or more from brands including Ecobee, Nest, Amazon, and Honeywell. Most have online compatibility checkers, so you can make sure a device works with your HVAC system before buying.
4. Smart light bulbs and light switches
With smart lighting, you control the lights in your home remotely through a smartphone app or smart home hub. Depending on your bulbs, you can dim the lights, set them to specific colors, link them to a motion sensor, and schedule them to turn on or off at specific times. Some bulbs have even more advanced features, such as vacation mode, special lighting effects, and the ability to mimic sunrise and sunset. Smart light switches are small wall-mounted panels that can control multiple smart lights at once, and they can also be controlled by an app or smart speaker.
Most smart light bulbs cost around $15 each, and switches can range from $20 to $50 or more. Top brands include Leviton, GE, Lutron, Wyze, Philips, and Meross.
5. Smart vacuum
Robotic vacuum cleaners can cut most sweeping and manual vacuuming out of your routine entirely. Using an app or your smart home hub, you can control and schedule the device to clean based on a timer or specific conditions (such as when the house is empty). The vacuum navigates your home using sensors, sucking up dust and debris as it goes.
Some smart vacuums can detect and avoid obstacles, return to their charging station when the battery is low, and automatically empty themselves after they finish cleaning. Advanced models have even more features, including the ability to mop, self-clean, and program custom “keep out” zones.
Smart vacuums range in price from $150 to $1,000 or more from brands including iRobot, Wyze, Shark, Eufy, and Roborock.
6. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
A must-have for any home, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monitor the air and warn you of potential danger so you can get outside as soon as possible. Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors go a step further, sending an alert to your phone when they detect smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide (CO) in your home. Most models also send a notification when the battery is low, so you don’t have to worry about being woken up by surprise chirps in the middle of the night.
While nothing’s as important as the health and safety of the people in your home, your house is a pretty significant financial investment. Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can help you monitor and protect that investment while you’re away, so you can take action to prevent damage to your home and belongings when possible.
Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors cost around $40 to $100 or more, and top brands include Nest, Kidde, and FirstAlert.
7. Air purifiers
Though smoke and carbon monoxide are serious issues, they’re not the only types of pollution that can contaminate your indoor air. Allergens, mold spores, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other pollutants can all impact the comfort and well-being of everyone that lives in your home. Air purifiers are designed to clean the air in your home and filter out different pollutants.
Keep in mind, different air purifiers may be more or less effective against different types of air pollution. The technology in Molekule devices allows them to trap and break down gaseous pollutants, particulate matter, bacteria, and viruses. If you’re unsure whether an air purifier can handle a specific pollutant, check the manufacturer’s website.
Smart air purifiers pair with an app, so you can monitor your home’s air quality, adjust fan speed, and track your filter status from your phone. Molekule air purifiers also have a setting that automatically adjusts your fan speed depending on your home’s air quality measurements. Plus, with the newly launched Molekule Alexa Skill, you can now add your air purifier to the collection of smart home devices you control with your smart speaker or hub.
Air purifiers are sold at most price points, from $100 to over $1,000. If you’re looking for a lower-cost option that offers top-of-the-line air purification, the Molekule Air Mini+ is now available at a new, reduced price and can be found here.
8. Making smart home upgrades
Molekule is just one of the many smart or app-enabled home electronics that can seamlessly fit into your lifestyle to improve your comfort, health, and happiness. While upgrading to a completely “smart” home can be costly, it’s not something you have to do all at once. You can integrate new Wi-Fi home gadgets into your smart hub as you go. So, choose which automation upgrades are most important (or most exciting) to you and start there. Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy your newfound convenience and efficiency. To get started with whole-home air purification, explore the Molekule shop today.