Creating your ultimate smart home

Build a smarter home with the best Internet of Things tech and devices
Creating your ultimate smart home

Are you looking to design and build a smart home, complete with connected devices in every room? Are you struggling to choose between an August smart lock or a connected Yale key? Do you even know what that means?

Getting started when setting up a smart home can be a daunting experience. There are just so many variables – and we're not just talking about the plethora of choices when it comes to selecting the connected smart scales for your bathroom.

Read this: The wellness smart home is coming - here's WTF that means

But don't worry – we've got your back. We've got a wealth of smart home guides, features and reviews on hand. So stop worrying and take a look through these.

Setting up the ultimate smart home

Creating your ultimate smart home

The Jetsons smart home of the future may be a way off, but the systems powering the internet of things revolution are getting ever more sophisticated. All of the major players – Apple, Google, Samsung and so on – are competing for space in the ever-evolving new marketplace.

But what's interesting is how it has become less about the "platform" and more about the devices themselves - which is good for the sake of simplicity. That said, there are already a lot of HomeKit connected devices (Apple's platform) and Samsung has its SmartThings platform. But more and more, smart devices are becoming more compatible with one another. We also have the rising smart home assistant superstars from Amazon - Alexa - and Google - Home - which are vying to take control of all your various smart home devices.

As with every other tech genre, the devices on sale are upgraded rapidly and there's always a new, killer, bit of kit around the corner. But you don't have to splash out - you can build a smart home on a budget. The most compelling connected kit is that which justifies its existence by paying for itself and then cutting your costs in half. Also, if you rent, rather than buy, all of this still applies to you. Be sure to check out our guide on building the smart apartment (spoiler alert: it can be done).

Controlling your smart home

What use is your connected smart home if you still have to get up off the sofa to get it working?

Instead, grab yourself a smartwatch and get full control of your life with a quick tap of your wrist. Whether it's your heating, your media or your home security that you're looking to fine tune - there will likely be an app for that. And they're only going to get better, while interesting new ideas like Tapdo's smart button offer other ways to connect wearables with the smart home.

IFTTT connected devices are also brilliant and there are a tonne of great IFTTT recipes already set up for syncing up your wearables with your smart kit. But as we all know, voice is the future, and that's why we've got...

The best smart home assistants

Creating your ultimate smart home

Amazon's doing it. Google's doing it. Microsoft's doing it. Apple's probably doing it. Even Andy Rubin's getting involved. The assistant is one of the big battlefronts of the smart home, and chances are you'll want to look at bagging one of these.

Rated:Amazon Echo review | Google Home review

Amazon's Alexa assistant can be found in the Echo, Echo Dot and upcoming Echo Show. Google Home is powered by Assistant, which also appears on Android Wear 2.0 and some Android smartphones. While they have plenty of other tricks, these hubs can also talk to third-party smart home appliances. So you can tell Google Assistant to turn down your Philips Hue lights, or ask Alexa to lock the door with the August Smart Lock.

The best smart lighting solutions

Wi-Fi enabled bulbs are the easiest place to start if you're looking to overhaul your home.

They're easy to use, fun to show off and they double as a superb security measure while you're away from home. What's more, some can now even be controlled by wearables such as the Apple Watch and ones running Android Wear, and with low power LED tech, they'll save you money over a bad old incandescent bulb. There are some good budget options too from the likes of Ikea and MiPow.

Smart thermostats to install

Creating your ultimate smart home

Smart thermostats are designed to give you more control over your home heating. They will learn your habits for when you really need that burst of warmth, and heating your home intelligently means big cash savings.

Nest may have once been the darling of the smart home, but UK company Hive is now going for world domination with its (clever) subscription service, while Tado, Honeywell and Ecobee are all vying for some space on your wall.

Connected kitchen tech

Creating your ultimate smart home

If your fridge isn't connected to the web, then you're living in the dark ages. If your cutlery isn't Bluetooth enabled you may as well be eating your dinner with twigs.

From connected coffee pots to washing machines that know when to start a load based on you location, the kitchen has never been so cool.

Best sleep trackers

Creating your ultimate smart home

Sleep is one of - if not the - most important things we do in the home, so why not connect up your rest time too? Whether it's wrist-worn like the Fitbit Alta HR or one you keep under your sheets like the Beddit 3, these days there are much better options out there.

Some will share their data with other apps and health platforms you might use, and over time we expect more will get better at talking to other smart home tech too.

Smart home security

Creating your ultimate smart home

Security is important in the home, and as the home gets smarter, it also gets more vigilant. As well as a smart camera security system, you should also consider connecting your door - take a look at the best smart locks to see what's out there.

Read next: The state of the smart home in 2017

Smart locks aren't perfect: there is that rather large question mark about what happens when they crash, and they are expensive. But they are ever-evolving and offer a wealth of features that your regular deadbolt simply cannot. Be sure to check out the best Works with Nest tech too, and if you're looking to HomeKit devices, the D-Link Omna is a good shout.

Connecting the garden

You don't necessarily need to a back yard to enjoy a smart garden. The connected world has caught up with horticulture.

There are handfuls of sensors at the ready which are adept at picking up those key variables like light, temperature, moisture and soil pH conditions, and there's some great kit for indoor and outdoors.

Smart home diary

Last year, Wareable editor-in-chief Paul moved into a new house; a real blank canvas with the opportunity for making it smart from the off. He did all of the boring research so you don't have to.

For 19 weeks, Paul updated his smart home diary with helpful tips, tricks and guides about the best (and easiest) smart home setups. Take a look...

Week 1: Planning the ultimate smart home
Week 2: Getting started with home networking
Week 3: Deciphering the matrix
Week 4: Burying Ethernet cables
Week 5: Not much happened
Week 6: Things are heating up
Week 7: What smart home platform to use
Week 8: Do I really need a smart washing machine?
Week 9: Smart nursery made simple
Week 10: Lock all the doors, maybe they'll never find us
Week 11: There's more to connected speakers than music
Week 12: Plugging the gaps in a connected home
Week 13: Building a Nest
Week 14: Finally moving in
Week 15: Getting my house in order
Week 16: Home security made simple
Week 17: IFTTT recipes gone wrong
Week 18: Sorting out my security holes
Week 19: Final thoughs - over and out


Shop for recommended smart home tech on Amazon

Nest Cam Outdoor
Nest Cam Outdoor
$198.88
Philips Hue starter kit
Philips Hue starter kit
$135.26
Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon Echo Dot
$49.99
Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo
$179.99

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1 Comment

  • ladytx says:

    trying to make my home a smart home 

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