5 New Gadgets for a Tech-First Home

Through AI-powered technology, voice commands, mobile applications and other advancements in smart home tech, homeowners can increase security, optimize entertainment, manage household chores and save on energy use.

On the high end, it can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $15,000 to fully automate a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house. However, with the emerging new affordable technology and self-installation, it’s much simpler to transform your living space into a smart home on a budget. From security cameras to thermostats to light fixtures, these five smart home tech accessories are worth adding to your cart in 2021. 

1. August Wi-Fi Smart Door Lock

Price: $249.99 ($309.99 for lock + keypad bundle)

With a compact design that attaches to your existing deadbolt, this smart device enables you to lock and unlock the front door through remote voice command. The automated Wi-Fi connectivity of this smart lock can be synced with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. In addition, the security features like motion sensors and real-time alerts on your mobile phone offer extra peace of mind. You can also bundle this device with a smart keypad for even more protected, convenient entry.      

2. Wyze Outdoor Security Camera

Price: $49.99 ($39.99 for each additional camera)

This wireless, battery-powered outdoor security camera is more cost-effective than other brands on the market. Plus, it comes equipped with all the necessary surveillance functions. Mount the device on the house exterior, then control it remotely through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. With motion-activated, weather-resistant and night vision HD lenses, this camera will live stream video footage and store the records for two weeks. A built-in speaker also enables you to communicate with anyone outside the door.       

3. Yeelight Smart Dimmable LED Bulb

Price: $29.99 ($52.99 for 2-pack, $104.99 for 4-pack)

Turn light fixtures into energy-efficient mechanisms with these smart LED bulbs that connect to any mobile device through Wi-Fi. Each dimmable bulb has 110 volts and offers 16 million color combinations, adjustable through Android or Apple smartphones and voice assistant. Schedule the lights on a timer to conserve electricity—then adjust their color, brightness and temperature with just the swipe of a finger.

4. Nest Mobile-Controlled Thermostat

Price: $129.99 ($14.99 for trim kit attachment)

Not only is this sleek, attractive thermostat the ideal home décor accessory, it can also save 10–12 percent on your heating bills and 15 percent on cooling bills. The device’s “Quick Schedule” feature allows you to program temperatures from a synced mobile application and make adjustments in real-time. Air and heat preferences can be programmed based on the season and monitor HVAC issues.  

5. ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet

Price: $79.95 for 15 AMP ($99.95 for 20 AMP)

While you might not have room in the budget to purchase all new smart technology and entertainment systems, these outlets can automate your existing home appliances. Plug your television, coffee maker, lamp or any electrical device into one of the Wi-Fi-enabled sockets—no hub required—and operate it from a compatible smartphone or virtual assistant. This outlet comes with a portable USB charger and is available as a 15 or 20 AMP model.   

Get Plugged In

If one of your resolutions for 2021 is to decrease utility bills, conserve energy use and run your household in a simpler, more convenient fashion, then it’s important to invest in this new affordable technology for home automation. Whether you start with a few accessories or purchase every item on this list, the long-term benefits of smart home tech make the upfront costs worthwhile.

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