6 smart home updates to make life instantly easier

August 13, 2021 - 4 min read

From video doorbells to voice-activated virtual assistants, advancing technology has reached every corner of the home. Embracing the swathe of “smart” devices that have hit the market in recent years will save you time and money (goodbye, excessive energy bills). “Lighting such as smart LED bulbs and strip lights make up almost 70 per cent of smart home purchases globally, followed by voice automated devices, then security systems,” says David Linehan, Home Automation Buyer at The Good Guys. But with so much on offer, where do you start? Here’s how to start creating a smart home.

Man cooking via instructions from his smart speaker

What is a “smart home” exactly?

Put simply, a smart home is all about connectivity and automation. A smart home is a residential set-up of internet-connected devices and appliances that can be remotely controlled and managed through one networked device – usually, it’s your phone. Imagine turning on your heater as you leave work at the end of the day, so you arrive home to a toasty warm living room. Worried you have left the iron on? Check it from your phone. We’ve compiled the best six starting points to get your smart home started.

Speakers and displays for smart homes

Talking speakers is where it all started for smart home devices, with voice-activated AI technology that can tell you the weather, read you the news and skip the song on demand. While they are all still helpful features, smart speakers have come a long way – they can now be used to control the rest of your smart devices, and some have even evolved to include screen displays.

The Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen is a handy companion to have on the kitchen counter. It’s a great control centre for the rest of your compatible and connected smart devices, it serves as a smart speaker, and can even display a livestream of your Nest Cam security cameras. You can also use it to entertain the kids by streaming their favorite Netflix shows, or to watch cooking tutorials on YouTube. Looking to stick to the audio and keep it simple? Try the Google Nest Audio or Sonos One.

Lighting for smart homes

Early risers rejoice – voice-controlled smart lighting is here to light the way when you’re up before the sun, and it’s as simple as changing a light globe. The latest smart bulbs, such as the Lenovo Smart Bulb White, are compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so all you have to do when you wake up is ask your speaker or display to turn the lights on. They can also be programmed to turn on and off, dim or to brighten at a set time via the Lenovo Link app.

To add a little colour to your home life, try the Cygnett Smart LED Lightsrip Starter Kit. The two-metre long lighting strip can bring a bold statement to your kitchen, bedroom or media room with a full RGB (red, green and blue) colour range. You’ll want the latest version of iOS and either HomePod, Apple TV or an iPad to set-up as a home hub and get full control of the lights.

“Put simply, a smart home is all about connectivity and automation. A smart home is a residential set-up of internet-connected devices and appliances that can be remotely controlled and managed through one networked device – usually, it’s your phone.”

Security systems for smart homes

Feeling safe in your home (or at ease while you’re away) has never been easier, as home security has smartened up. Firstly, replace your keys with the eufy Security Smart Door Lock Touch. Its advanced (bank grade) 3D fingerprint technology means you won’t need a thing to get back in (you can also use a number code, and a bluetooth app on your phone). For surveillance, look to systems such as the Swann 4K Ultra HD 4 Camera 2TB DVR CCTV System, which offers 4k ultra definition footage, heat-motion spotlights and night vision, as well as a livestream feed to your Google or Alexa devices.

Air for smart homes

An appliance that can heat, cool and clean your air is already quite clever, but when you throw in Wi-Fi connectivity, it’s a smart appliance. The Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde is a saviour for those with allergies, removing 99.95 per cent of particles from the air as well as the ability to quickly heat an entire room, or cool you down with a powerful airflow. The best part? You can control how and when the purifier works from anywhere using the Dyson Link app, or with compatible voice assistants like Google and Amazon Alexa.

Power plugs for smart homes

One of the most instant and affordable ways to step up your smarts is with smart power plugs, which can be remotely controlled using your smartphone to switch appliances on and off. The TP-LINK Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Slim fits easily into sockets without blocking the adjacent powerpoint and transforms your existing appliances into modern marvels. Free up your hands with simple voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Home, or use your phone to schedule when your devices switch on or off automatically.

Cleaning for Smart Homes

Hands-free cleaning is a reality. No longer a sci-fi movie plot, robots are finally here to help make life easier. The eufy RoboVac G30 Verge will keep carpets and hard floors clean, and can get to work when you’re out of the house. Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to operate the RoboVac from your smartphone, and special sensors will keep it within boundaries set via the EufyHome app. Drop-sensing technology keeps the machine safe, so it won't fall down stairs or off ledges. And there is no need to even push a button – just tell it to get cleaning with a compatible Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa voice-assisted speaker.

Whatever smart device your looking for The Good Guys has your solution. Visit us in-store or online to find products that can make your every day life easier.

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