Are you ready to begin buying smart home products but not sure where to start? Well, I hope that this article will help you make that decision. First, I would recommend thinking about what convenience you would want first. Is it a specific lamp that you want to be able to control with your voice? Do you want to cash in on some of those smart thermostat savings? Or maybe you just want a smart speaker to help you get up in the morning. My guess is as good as yours at this point, but I do have some guidelines that might help you set yourself up for success in the future when you want to get more products. I assure you once you start this journey you won’t look back.
To start, do your research to figure out what smart home ecosystem would benefit your needs the best. There are many options to choose from, but in this article, I’m going to speak specifically about Alexa by Amazon and Google Nest ecosystems. It’s important to choose which ecosystem you want to go with before you buy any smart home products because the path you choose here will limit your options for other products you might want later on down the road. For example, if you love the Ring Doorbell but want to get the Nest thermostat, this is something that might be frustrating later on when you have to open multiple apps to control your home. Couple that with the plethora of smart home companies out there, and this is one mistake I truly recommend avoiding.
In my opinion, Alexa is the champion of the smart home right now and it’s simply because of its major investment in the industry. At the time of this writing, Alexa can do 70,000 different skills, while Google can only do about 4,300. So if you want that Nest thermostat, just remember you are then married to the capabilities of their ecosystem as well. Why do I say this? Because no matter what ecosystem you choose, it’s best practice to stay within that ecosystem. Do not, I repeat, do not buy a Nest thermostat and then buy the Echo Show. The two don’t share an ecosystem, meaning your smart home system won’t be able to live up to its full potential.
Once decided on an ecosystem (Alexa or Google), the first thing to buy is a hub. For $50 on Amazon right now, the Echo dot Gen 4 is a great way to start an Alexa home. If you want to go with Google, opt for the Nest Mini. These small speakers open up the functionality of their companion apps, Alexa and Google Home. Once you have a smart speaker, you also can speak to your home and request things to be done, like asking Alexa to turn off your bathroom lights. My personal gateway to Alexa is the Echo Show 8. Located in my kitchen, it’s a smart speaker with a touchscreen that I use to look at recipes, play audiobooks and watch YouTube while I cook.
To continue to build your ecosystem, I recommend choosing devices based on your preferences. Smart devices, especially thermostats like the Ecobee from Alexa or the Nest Thermostat from Google Home, require wifi that operates up to par so they can do their best jobs. From there, smart bulbs for lamps or smart plugs for devices are a great choice. In my home, I have an essential oil diffuser that is connected to a smart plug. I leave the diffuser on a preferred setting and then program a schedule on the smart plug that turns the diffuser on and off throughout the day. It’s a great way to take a normal product and adjust it to my routine in my office.
Are you ready to make the first buying choice in your home journey? Even if you are still unsure, we’re here to support you along the way. Connect with us today for a free consultation.