Home automation is coming on leaps and bounds with everything from your heating and security to your music and lighting being controlled with a single tap of your phone. Here's our pick of the ideas that could make any home more comfortable this easter.
If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and investing in a few gadgets to get you started with your smart home, these affordable and practical five are a great place to start.
Who knew that the lowly plug could completely transform the way you use your home appliances? Well, the handy Zuli smart plugs do just that. You can connect anything from your kettle to your lamp and use the app to control, program and monitor everything around your home. For example, you could set your lamp to switch on, your kettle to boil and your music to play at the same time when you walk through the door without lifting a finger.
Smart security has never been so advanced, affordable and accessible thanks to faster wireless broadband services and a connected tablet or smarphone always on hand. From HD video recording and facial recognition to night vision and safety notifications, the range of options is pretty impressive. Check out the Netatmo Welcome, which discreetly keeps a track of who’s coming in and out of your home and keeps you, updated so you’re always in control of your home security.
It’s not just harmful intruders or threats that smart gadgets can protect you from. Options like the hugOne measure the air quality of your home and check for any changes in room temperature, humidity and air pollutants while giving you handy updates and notifications to help you improve your environment. And, while it’s doing that, hugOne can help your whole family get a better night’s sleep with discreet sensors that fit between your sheets to monitor how well the family is sleeping. It then lets you know you could all improve the quality of your sleep for a happier and well-rested home.
Blinds are one of those necessary evils that make your house look great and serve their function but can be devilishly tricky and annoying to open or close. Help is on hand with iBlinds, the intuitive DIY kit that gives your smartphone complete control of your existing window blinds. The app pairs with an intelligent blind motor, which, once paired, lets you open, close and tilt from anywhere in the house or even anywhere in the world. Chose whether to control them all at once or one single window and cross one chore of your list.
And no smart home would be complete without a few good tunes to set the mood. The good news is that you won’t need to shell out on bulky, unsightly speakers that clutter up the place or spend hours on installation only to be left with a messy tangle of wires. The latest speakers are designed to blend into your environment, work intuitively with all your devices, and play high quality music whenever the mood strikes you. Check out Sonos, which lets you stream music in every room of your house with access to your favourite streaming apps like Deezer, Spotify and Apple Music while keeping your house fully connected for uninterrupted music streaming.