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Shikha Vivek - Your Smart Home Guide

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List of Smart Home Gadget Categories and some best brands to consider


I have listed below some of the smart home gadget categories and few popular brands which you can consider for automating your home. I keep updating this article when I find new products and brands, so do visit again later!

Before getting started, If you are a beginner in home automation, then do read my article "How to go about automating your home". You can check my article "Things one need to consider while buying smart home gadgets”.

Coming back to the topic, there are many categories of smart devices that you can consider for automating your home. Here are few of them.

Categories

1. Smart Lights - Smart Lighting System is an essential part of Smart Home. Not only they are the most popular choice, but is a must have gadget when it comes to Smart Homes. Smart lights also offers an enhanced level of security by allowing you to turn on and off lights remotely while on vacation or automatically turn on when you walk in the door. Smart Lights mainly come in two colour options - White or Colour (RGBW). RGB light supports multiple colour which you can set as per your mood. Smart bulbs comes in different type of bases (B22, E27 etc), so you need to be careful when buying one. Most of the Smart Lights can be controlled using voice assistants like Alexa (echo), Google Assistant (Google Home) etc. There are many brands available in market now. So you don't have to depend on any particular brand. You can purchase them as per your budget.

Philips is one of the most popular brand in this category. But it is little expensive considering you need to buy a hue bridge as well. WiFi based lights like Wipro, Syska, ZemiSmart, TPlink are also a good options and easy on your pocket. To know more about Smart lights you can read my article "Things to know before buying Smart Lights". Also watch my videos on YouTube to know more.



2. Smart Plugs\Switch Plugs - Smart Plugs & Sockets are the most widely used smart home gadgets which make your non smart devices into smart devices very easily without much effort. It is more a plug and play device which can be used to remotely turn on/off your dumb devices by connecting them to a smart plug. You can also set schedule on your smart plugs to automatically turn on/off connected devices. They offer capability monitor energy consumption. Most of them you can control using voice assistants like Alexa (echo), Google Assistant (Google Home) etc as well. You can watch my videos on Smart Plugs & Switches to know more

D-Link & TP-link are good brands in plug n play category, Sonoff is a good cheaper option that require wiring to be done.



3. Smart Speakers - When it comes to Smart Speakers, Google Home (Google Assistant) and Amazon echo (Alexa) rules this space. This one gadget we strongly recommend that everyone should buy. With voice assistant enabled speakers, you can ask any questions, control your smart home devices with your voice, search the internet and do much more with smart speakers. Both Google home and Amazon Echo (Alexa) are good when it comes to voice assistant. Google Home is my personal favourite and provides more accurate results. To know more about Smart Speakers you can watch my videos on YouTube.



4. Smart Security Cameras - Keep your home secured by installing Smart Security Camera which can monitor your home 24/7 when you are away & alert you when there is any activity or motion. Some of them you can access using voice assistants like Alexa (echo), Google Assistant (Google Home) etc.

Wyze, Dlink are some good choices.



5. Smart Sensors like Door sensors, Motion sensors, Gas sensors etc - Smoke, Gas, Door, Water, Motion Sensors comes handy to detect & provide early warnings & alerts which can be a life saver! Some of these can work with voice assistant and integrate with smart hubs.


Dlink is one of the popular brand in this category.



6. Smart Robotic vacuum cleaner - Robotic Vacuum Cleaners frees you from the hectic tasks of cleaning your floor & saves your time & effort. They are either vacuum only, mop only or supports both. Most of the new models are self charging ones and you can set daily schedule to clean. They can connect to your WiFi & you can control them remotely through app.

iRobot is one of the popular brand in this category. They have Roomba 900 series which is a good choice. To know more about robotic vacuum cleaners you can watch my video on YouTube.


7. Smart Thermostats - Control/Adjust your home temperature automatically or remotely, set schedules using smart thermostats.

Nest is one of the popular brand in this category.



8. Universal remotes - Control all your IR, RF devices using Single Universal Remote. You can watch my YouTube videos on Universal Remotes to know more.

BroadLink is one of the popular brand in this category.




9. Smart TV or Cast Devices for existing TV - With Smart TVs surf Internet, Control your home using Smart TVs with voice control and integrate with other connected devices in the home, including lights, door locks and other sensors. With Streaming devices turn your TV into Smart TV and surf the internet. Stream video & audio from laptop/phone to your TV.
You can check - Smart TVs to see the latest Smart TVs

10. Smart Door Locks - With Smart Door Locks you can track who is opening the door even when you are away. You lock/unlock door remotely as well. Some of these can work with voice assistant and integrate with smart hubs.

August and Yale are the popular brand in this category.



11. Smart Hubs - Smart hubs is the brain of your Smart Home. Control all your WiFi, Zigbee, Z-Wave devices using Smart Hubs. It is good to have a central smart hub when you have multiple smart home gadgets from different manufacture. Make sure the smart hub you choose supports multiple manufactures and the devices you own !



12. Smart Air Purifiers - Breath clean air. Indoor Air Pollution is more harmful & dangerous as you spend most of your time indoors. With pollution levels rising everyday it is a good idea to buy a purifier for your home. I suggest you buy a HEPA Filter one. Honeywell and Mi are the popular brand in this category. Some brands/models offers smart feature which allows you to control them through Phone, Google Home & Alexa. Please double check if those features are available before buying products from the list below.



The list goes on. Request you to do proper due diligence before buying the products. Please come back later, I will be updating this list soon! You can watch my "Things to check before buying Smart Home Gadgets" video series.


Here is a good website that lists most of the latest smart home products - https://www.smarthomegadgets.in 




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