I love smart homes for a lot of reasons. I also have all kinds of smart home devices. Smart thermostats, smart plugs, smart bulbs, smart switches, smart speakers — there are so many smart home devices to like. I decided to think about my five favorite smart home devices, and here they are.
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Shelly Plus 1/Shelly 1 Relay
Any list of my favorite smart home devices has to start with the Shelly 1 relay. It’s versatile, inexpensive, integrates with everything, and is extremely reliable. They’ve even managed to improve on the design and capabilities with the Shelly Plus 1. If you need to automate your fireplace, garage door, light switches, bathroom fans, and more, the Shelly 1 is for you.
Furthermore, they have other variations of these devices that contain multiple relays and do energy monitoring.
ecobee Smart Thermostat
- Save up to 26% per year on heating and cooling costs. ENERGY STAR certified. Automatically adjusts the temperature when you’re away to never heat or cool an empty home. Compared to a hold of 72°F.
- Enjoy comfort without compromise. Smart Thermostat Enhanced preheats or precools your home before you arrive, so it’s the perfect temperature the moment you walk in. Automatically adjusts to your desired temperature when you’re home or sleeping to keep you comfortable day and night. Adjusts the temperature to account for humidity so your home always feels like the temperature you’ve set.
What I love about my ecobee is that I don’t even have to think about it. I set it up, and it saves me money and time and keeps the house at the right temperature all year round. Plus, I can have it go in vacation mode and save money when I’m not here. And, you get all kinds of detailed stats about your HVAC system usage
I have the ecobee 3 lite and it even works with my hydronic heating system. All the ecobee thermostats are similar. More advanced models work with a few more systems and have Alexa built in. You should definitely give them a look.
NodeMCU (ESP8266 chips)
- ESP8266 CP2102 NodeMCU LUA ESP-12E WIFI Serial Wireless Module
- Built-in Micro-USB, with flash and reset switches, easy to program
- Arduino compatible, works great with the latest Arduino IDE/Mongoose IoT/Micropython
The nodeMCU is much more than a smart home device. And, it is extremely flexible and easy to program and use. I use it to make dazzling LED displays, air quality monitor sensors, and even a fingerprint-scanning garage door opener. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what it can be used for. Did I mention it’s inexpensive?
Brilliant Smart Home Control
Yes, I know they are expensive. But honestly, they might be the most impressive-looking light switch on the consumer market. And, they have tons of capabilities and integrations. Really, they are like having a light switch, and smart speaker, a smart display, and an intercom system all in one, and in a very convenient location. I’ve had mine for years and I still get compliments on them.
Yale Smart Deadbolts
- Unlock your door without keys by entering your code on the lock’s backlit keypad; Lock the door behind you by pressing any button or by enabling auto relock.Control Method:Voice
- Lock and unlock your door from anywhere by adding the lock to a compatible Z-Wave smart home or alarm system and app (i.e. Samsung SmartThings, Ring Alarm, Wink, etc.). Requires compatible hub sold separately and app – no Yale app is used for this lock
Yale Z-Wave smart deadbolts are extremely important to our home’s security. Having smart deadbolts allow us to be notified when the doors are unlocked and remotely lock them. It also allows us to lock them on a schedule. Additionally, I now have one less key that I need to carry.
You can get this deadbolt and other smart deadbolts that work over Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Bluetooth. You can also get ones that work with NFC and/or fingerprint sensors.
Bonus: Home Assistant Server
What truly makes my home smart is Home Assistant. It ties all of my smart home devices together and allows me to write simple and complex automations that make everyone in my home’s lives safer and easier.
If you haven’t looked into using Home Assistant, I highly recommend that you do. And here is the hardware that I recommend you run it on.
If you are looking for alternatives to some of these devices, be sure to check out the HomeTechHacker Technology Advisor. What are your favorite smart home devices? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.