If home is where the heart is, the living room is where the tech is. Whether it’s your trusty TV of your beloved sound system, the living room tends to be the entertainment and relaxation hub of the house.
If you’re not too sure you’re ready to take the plunge and add smart gadgets to your living room then don’t worry, these are all user-friendly ways of making everything run smoothly so you can just get on with relaxing.
So, here are our top 5 ways to take things up a gear by making your living room smart:
1.Set the mood with smart lighting
In such a multi-purpose room, smart lighting is the perfect way to set the scene for different occasions. Connected lightbulbs like Hue lets you change the ambience of the room through different coloured lights, dimming, create light sequences and automated light cycles that you can control straight from your phone. With just one lightbulb and a few taps on your phone you can instantly transform your living space to make it more in tune with your mood and make movie nights or Netflix binges far more interesting.
Or you can opt for the Incipio Wireless Smart Light Bulb Adaptor, which lets you control your lighting using voice commands and also works in harmony with all your other devices around the home to make home automation seamless and intuitive.
2. Transform your ordinary telly into a digitally connected TV
Access to endless channels, good movies, streaming services and video apps have become the standard set by expensive flat screens and brand new models. But thanks to affordable and versatile gadgets like the Roku streaming stick or Skreens, you can transform any TV into a fully connected smart screen.
Streaming sticks require very little effort to set-up and once you’ve plugged them in you can use your favourite apps like Netflix or Amazon Video on top of your favourite channels and catch-up services. Skreens lets you do the same but with the added bonus of social media and gaming features.
3. Fit your music to your mood
If you’d rather unwind to the tune of your favourite playlists, smart speakers make listening to music far more intuitive and personalised. Options include the MoodBox, which uses emotional intelligence to analyse your speech and behaviour throughout the day to gauge which type of music you’ll want to listen to and play it in high definition at 360 degrees.
Or if that sounds a bit too sci-fi, try bluetooth streaming with the Philips izzylink which you can control from your phone and enjoy the high quality audio and access to your favourite music apps like Deezer, Tidal and Spotify.
4. Replace your old plastic thermostat with a designer one
Smart thermostats are a great way to keep an eye on the amount of energy you are using to help you cut down on bills. They are also a simple way of keeping your living room nice and cosy for those quiet nights in as all you need is your phone to change the temperature, control the hot water and set a schedule. And the latest ones look great too,
If the idea of coming home from a long day to an already toasty living room appeals to you then all you’d need to do is switch it on from your phone on the way home and you’re sorted. Designer options include Hive, which is perfect for scheduling and timing your heating schedule and Nest which can tell when you’re home and in need of warming up.
5. Bring some style to your home security
Smart home security is a surefire way to ensure that you can completely relax and have total peace of mind with minimal effort. The latest smart security systems are small, discreet and effective in ensuring your house is secure with advanced motion sensors and high quality video recording.
The Withings Home security camera is a stylish option for parents with young children as you can set a nightlight, a lullaby and keep an eye on the air quality of your home to protect your whole family.
Or try the Netatmo Welcome home security camera which offers night vision, HD video capture and facial recognition technology to detect strangers.
Their small size and simple design mean you can simply plug one in your living room and stay secure without even noticing all the work it’s doing.