More homeowners are investing in smart home gadgets to make their lives easier. Whether it’s Amazon Alexa, the popular voice assistant, or a Ring doorbell, smart devices will only become more useful and innovative over time.
It’s expected that the smart home market will reach an estimated $495.15 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.59%. This highlights how quickly homeowners adopt new technologies, such as home security systems and smart appliances.
However, there are plenty of smart home gadgets that you can turn into a DIY project. Not every smart home device needs to be purchased online or in a store — with the right supplies, patience, and some motivation, you can make your own smart home gadgets.
Below are some examples of smart home tech that you can make yourself, including a basic overview of the products and some easy steps to follow.
1. Smart Lights
You can convert a broken or inexpensive light bulb into a smart, color-changing, and smartphone-connected light bulb. By the end of the project, you’ll be able to control the color and brightness of your lights using your phone!
Some of the supplies you’ll need to use are a circuit board, soldering iron and wire, wire cutter, masking tape, and a hot glue gun. There are specific steps you’ll need to follow. Most of the work will include soldering the various components and mounting different materials to a circuit board. You can find recommendations on some of the tools you might need in the HomeTechHacker Shop and in this smart home toolkit article.
2. Smart Garage Door
It’s never a good feeling to leave home and forget whether you closed the garage door. There are some smart garage door solutions on the market, but it’s also pretty simple to turn your garage door into a smart garage door for less than $25.
You’ll need a couple of software and hardware essentials, like the NodeMCU, Relay Shield, a home assistant running with an MQTT broker, and an ESP8266 running MicroPython. This is a great first project to try out if you’re looking to make your home automated. After you follow instructions from the link above, you gain more control over your garage door. And with some more DIY tinkering, you can enhance your garage door even further.
3. Smart Mirror
Have you ever wondered if your mirror could do more than show a reflection? Some smart mirrors are emerging from different tech companies, but you can make your mirror smart by following several steps. Depending on what materials you already have, the project may be inexpensive or pricy.
Essentially, you build a frame and a box, place one-way glass inside, and install a monitor, a Raspberry Pi, and some cables to power the setup. Additionally, the project requires only one code line, making it a simple task. It may take a couple of days to get it working just right, but you don’t need a ton of experience in woodworking or code.
To add a personal flair to this project, try engraving a unique design on the frame of your mirror using laser-cutting technology, or try programming your mirror to display a fun message for you every morning.
4. Temperature and Humidity Readings From Amazon Echo
You’ll certainly need an Amazon Echo to start with this smart hack. The Amazon Echo is already a very popular piece of technology. Still, with a little bit of tinkering, you can make it even better.
There are both hardware and software essentials you have to consider buying before taking on this DIY project. However, it’s certainly worth it because the Echo will be able to tell you about the temperature and humidity measurements around you.
Consider outfitting your smart home with some of the gadgets listed above. Each serves a specific purpose and will make your life that much easier.
While some of the projects listed above may seem daunting at first glance, each of them comes with a set of detailed instructions you can follow to bring the project to completion. These DIY projects will make your home smarter without breaking the bank!
Editor’s note: This is a guest article by Zac Amos. Zac writes about smart homes, artificial intelligence, and other technology topics, and he works as the Features Editor at ReHack.