Saving Money By Investing In Smart Home Tech
There are plenty of ways you can save money in your everyday life. Having dinner at home instead of going to restaurants, watching movies at home instead of going to the cinema, or simply limiting yourself in various ways.
What if I told you that you can actually save money by taking advantage of smart home technology?
You might be skeptical about the idea as it can seem daunting to invest in expensive products that can basically do the same tasks as any other normal product. Well, smart home products can be utilized in more ways than you think, one being, you can save money in the long run while also being more eco-friendly.
If you’re already familiar with smart home technology, you know that many of the devices can be quite expensive compared to the usual home gadgets.
However, if you’re in it for the long run and want to continue living in your modern home in a passive lifestyle, you might save more money than you think.
Today we’re going to look at 7 different ways where you can save money by using smart home technology. I will also include examples of products and general information.
You can find more information about some products mentioned along with more general information in my article about smart home tech for beginners.
#1 Smart Thermostats
Depending on where you live, whether you’re in a cold snowy place like myself, or if you’re in a warmer tropic climate, you will have to spend some money on heating or cooling.
Did you know that the heating and cooling element of your home generally accounts for almost half of the power bill for the average US household?
It can often be overlooked as we’re often more concerned about the other things we pay for in our everyday life like food and gas.
There are ways to decrease this cost by investing in a Smart Thermostat. The current major brands on the market include Nest, Honeywell, and EcoBee. What all these brands have in common in their thermostats is that they are adapting to us and our daily needs.
These smart thermostats give you extended control of your home. You can set timers for temperatures, monitor and control temperature when not at home. Also, probably the best thing, these thermostats can learn your daily behavior and make sure it fits the right temperature for different times of the day.
Sure, you could consider making smarter choices in terms of only using your AC when it’s really necessary. However, the point of it being a smart thermostat means you don’t have to constantly think about it as they can be automated to fit your needs without using unnecessary power.
For another upside, using this technology is a green solution as it can result in using less electricity.
A great thermostat and one of the most popular one is the Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen.
#2 Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
This is probably my most usable smart home device. I’m probably not alone when I say that I often forget to turn off the lights before leaving my home.
An interesting question would be, how much electricity would the world save if all our light bulbs turned off automatically as we left the room?
It’s an interesting thought and obviously not possible to go through as smart light bulbs are still quite early in its industrial growth. It is, however, becoming more common and it can help anyone save a bit of money every month.
Apart from setting up timers and controlling your lights remotely, you can also combine these with motion sensors to make your energy saving even more passive.
There are two aspects to smart light bulbs in terms of saving money.
- Smart technology
One of the great things about many smart home devices is that they are automated and act passively without our interaction.
This also goes for smart light bulbs as you can set up systems for automating when the lights turn on and off for example. This can obviously save you money in the long run if you’re like me and often leave the lights on.
- Energy efficient
The newer LED bulbs are also more energy efficient just the way they are, with or without the use of automated systems.
That also means that they are the more green option compared to older light bulbs. So, saving money while doing something good for the environment is a pretty good deal.
A great and affordable set to start off from is the Philips Hue White Ambiance Starter Kit as it includes four A19 LED bulbs as well as a hub that is compatible with Alexa. The fact that the hub is included makes it worth its price as you can add on more lights if needed in the future and pair them up as well.
#3 Smart plugs
Adding on to the previous statement, leaving electronics on while not being used can be an unnecessary add-on to your power bill. This goes for not only your lights but for any electronic device you might forget to turn off.
There are however ways to monitor and schedule your electronics to turn on and off by using a Smart Plug.
By using a smart plug, you’ll be able to save money and also let go of the endless questioning “Did I turn the light off?”. Also, in terms of safety for potentially dangerous devices, you don’t have to find yourself in panic mode when you’re not sure if you unplugged the iron after leaving the house.
Affordable and useful
You might think this is another smart home device that will burn your wallet but it’s really not.
There are options out there for around $50 that can definitely give you a return on investment in the long run with the electricity you will be saving.
I believe that the best and affordable option out there is the iDevices Switch. Not only can you schedule and monitor your electronic devices remotely, but you can also monitor the power usage by downloading the free app for your smartphone or tablet.
iDevices Switch is also compatible with Alexa. So, if you’ve settled down in the couch and forgot to turn off your humidifier, simply ask Alexa to take care of it. No hub required.
The setup is very simple as you simply scan the unique code. That means it saves you the struggle of having to configure network settings to get it to work.
iDevices Switch also comes in an outdoor version with a rugged design that can endure outdoor elements.
#4 Remote Water Management
I personally don’t have any use of this device as I live in the middle of the city. However, I know that there are plenty of people that live in a house with a yard to take care of.
Sprinklers are great, it takes a load off from us walking around with a hose and it keeps our grass green and healthy.
Although sprinklers help us a lot, for the people living in their home house, water is another cost you have to consider each month. For saving money, you can start by taking shorter showers, turn off the water while brushing your teeth and making small improvements in your everyday life.
Smart home sprinkler systems
There are smart home devices you can use when it comes to sprinklers, saving you money while still remaining passive. With these, you can schedule occasions for when to enable the sprinklers and allow it to adapt to your yard.
There are a few options out there and after doing research and comparing some of the devices, I recommend Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller because of its smart features.
Apart from allowing you to schedule and monitor your sprinkler system with their customized app, you can also connect it with Alexa or Google Home. It also has a feature where it will connect over Wi-fi and act upon predicted weather conditions coming up.
Like many smart home devices, using a sprinkler with smart features will both save you money and also leave less of a carbon footprint.
#5 Damage Cost Prevention – Smart Water Sensor
Other than saving money by using smart sprinklers, there are also options out there for safety aspects and prevention. Having a water leak inside the house that goes unnoticed can cause a massive amount of damage that can cost thousands.
Water sensors have been available for a long time but there are also smart home systems that can alert you in case of a leak. You can place them under the sink, by the water heater or wherever you want to monitor.
One of the popular water alert systems on the market is the Wasserstein Smart Water Sensor that will monitor your home and alert you if there is a nearby leak.
While being easy to set up over Wi-fi with the free app, it is completely wireless and comes with a CR2 battery that will last you up to 6 months. By using the app, you can also monitor the battery level to ensure that nothing goes unnoticed.
Also, it comes with a 3-month warranty that allows a full refund without questions if not happy with the product.
Many security systems require a subscription fee, but this product is a stand-alone device that doesn’t cost you any more than it’s purchase price and a battery every 6 months.
They are very affordable and might just save you thousands when you least expect it.
#6 Outdoor Smart Solar Lighting
As we are in 2019, we really shouldn’t be using any internal powering for our outdoor lights.
If you still are, I will try to convince you to invest in solar lighting that won’t cost you any money after purchase.
Solar is becoming more common as personal solar devices are increasing on the market. The truth is, they are not as expensive as you might think and they work great.
As they’re cheap and don’t require any internal powering, I can’t see any downsides to upgrading to solar lights. You can use these in your driveway and in your yard without increasing your power bill at all. All while leaving less of a carbon footprint in our world.
What solar light should I get?
It will depend on where you want to put it.
If you’re looking for a strong light to put outside your garage, you might want to have a look at the Aootek Solar Light that comes with a built-in motion sensor.
You can choose between three different settings for this light.
- Turn out automatically at night and turn off in the morning.
- Dim lighting and enabling bright lighting when motion is detected.
- Stand-Off and enable bright lighting when motion is detected.
#7 Damage Cost Prevention – Smart Security Cameras
I have mentioned a few ways you can save money with smart home devices, however, there are some areas that go in the “what if” category.
One of these is the potential break-in, package theft or destruction of property. If one of these were to happen when you’re not home, having the option to see it live and get notified about it to call the police could save you a lot of money one day.
As you have probably seen, there are a ton of security cameras out there.
I will once again recommend the Ring Spotlight Camera because of its features.
You can find many useful features with this camera as it’s not only a camera but an overall security system in itself for your home.
Apart from being a security camera, you can choose to be notified by motion sensors. There’s also the option of talking to whoever is outside as this device includes both a little speaker and microphone built-in. (notifications and live conversations can be monitored by using their app).
This camera is also compatible with Alexa.
You can also enable an alarm to scare off intruders if you see someone attempting to do something harmful to your home.
If you’re scared off by the price tag because of future powering, you have the option of using solar panels to connect with the camera to decrease the cost in the long run even more. There are also cheaper varieties if you’re looking for the sole purpose of having a simple security camera.
As you can see from the above options, there are plenty of smart home devices you can use to save money in the long run. There are many options and varieties of similar products and while they’re often seen as expensive, there are affordable options out there.
Just because you want to get started with smart home devices, doesn’t mean you need to have it all. I believe that we should continue to strive towards a more automated lifestyle since it gives us more freedom. However, my take on it is that we use it as a supplement, rather than a replacement.
Humans can do some things better while automated systems can do other things better. In terms of saving money, it’s not all about relying on systems but also about changing our habits and learning to live more green and consider our actions in our everyday life.
I hope this article has given you some more insight if you’re unsure about the costs of smart home devices. As I mentioned earlier, you can also find more general information about smart home technology for beginners in my other article.