There are many ways to implement home automation ideas into your house or apartment in 2017. You name it and it and it can probably be automated in one way or another.
The smart home and home automation markets continue to grow year-over-year. You now can automate everything from your garage door to your coffee maker, as well as everything in between.
See also: 9 of the Coolest IoT Consumer Products
Since there are so many home automation possibilities, we have compiled an expansive list of home automation products and ideas. You can use the table of contents below to jump to whichever aspect of home automation interests you most.
Table of Contents
Smart hubs can be an essential aspect of home automation depending on the level of automation you are trying to achieve. A smart hub is a great automation idea if you want a single app to control the different wireless smart home devices around your house. Anything from the lights to the thermostat to the sprinkling system.
Below are the best smart hubs on the market.
- Samsung Smart Things – The Smart Things hub is a favorite among beginners and experts alike. This hub is great because it is extremely versatile and compatible with many home automation devices.
- Insteon Hub Pro W/ HomeKit – The Insteon hub is another absolute favorite and great option. The one drawback hub is that you can only use Insteon or HomeKit devices witht this hub.
- Amazon Alexa Devices – Any device with Amazon Alexa can also act as a great smart home hub. We will go over Amazon Alexa within the Smart Voice Assistant section, but because more and more devices are becoming ‘Alexa Enabled’ they are becoming a great idea for home automation.
While smart hubs can be great for home automation, they are not always needed. There are many home automation and smart home products that do not require a hub at all. Often time your smartphone will act as the hub or controller for the device.
Smart lighting, specifically smart bulbs are often one of the first things that come to mind when thinking of home automation ideas. Controlling your lights based on your schedule can be extremely helpful and important. There are many ways to setup automation using lights around your home.
Smart lighting is great for home security. Connected lights can give the appearance that someone is home when they aren’t. In addition, smart bulbs can be used for ambiance through dimming the lights and changing colors. They can also be programmed to turn on or off based on your location.
Below are some of our favorite smart lights, and most popular among those who have automated their homes with smart lighting.
- Phillips Hue – Possibly one of the most well known smart bulbs is the Phillips Hue. The starter kit is great for anyone looking to automate their home’s lighting right away. A nice thing about the Phillips Hue bulbs is the fact that they work with Apple HomeKit. This means you can control and setup using the already installed ‘Home’ app on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. You can also connect up to 50 bulbs throughout your house or business.
- LIFX – Another well known and quality smart bulb manufacturer is LIFX. The great thing about LIFX is that you do not need a specific smart hub or bridge for them to work. The smart bulbs simply work right out the package using the LIFX app. These bulbs come in standard white as well as a color option. Thanks to IFTTT (IF This Then That), it is very easy to setup many different home automation ideas using LIFX bulbs. Check out our full review of the white LIFX smart bulb.
A smart plug is a device that plugs into a standard outlet and then connects to a smartphone or hub. Once connected you can use the device to automate whatever electronic device you have plugged in. For example, you plug in your TV, coffee maker, bedside, light, or anything else you can think of.
The smart plugs below are great starting points for home automation.
- WeMo Smart Plug – The WeMo Switch Smart outlet is a connected outlet that lets you control your electronics from anywhere in the world. If you find yourself forgetting to turn something off when you leave, all you need to do is plug it into the WeMo plug and you will be able to ensure it is off. Check out our full review of the WeMo Smart Plug.
- TP-Link – The TP-Link is another awesome smart plug and favorite among users. A nice thing about smart plugs is that you can control any electronic around your house. There are infinite ideas for how you could use the TP-Link to automate your home. See our list of home automation ideas and examples at the bottom of this page.
Smart Climate Control
Smart, connected thermostats are another extremely popular aspect of home automation. Smart thermostats not only simplify your life but can also save you money through reduced energy consumption.
Below are the best thermostats for your smart home.
- Nest – The Nest learning thermostat is one of the best home automation ideas you can implement. The smart thermostat not only learns your patterns/schedules but can also work with hundreds of other smart home devices to create a completely connected solution.
- Ecobee 3 – The Ecobee 3 is another extremely popular smart thermostat among those who have implemented this home automation idea. The best thing about Ecobee 3 is the wireless sensors that get placed around your home. The Ecobee 3 then communicates with those sensors to ensure the rooms in your home have reached the correct, and optimal, temperature settings.
Smart Home Security
Home security cameras are excellent for keeping an eye on your home while you’re away. Smart home security cameras can also send you notifications when there is unexpected movement in your home.
A home automation idea that relies on home security cameras is to receive alerts when you are away on vacation. You no longer need someone to watch your house while you are gone. A common example is to check on dogs or cats while away from home.
Below are a couple of great smart home security cameras.
- Samsung Smart Cam – This is a great home security camera. The Samsung Smart Cam will send alerts for motion and sound detection. It can also lock on to a moving target to capture everything that is happening.
- Nest Cam (Indoor/Outdoor) – The Nest cameras paired with the Nest learning thermostat can create a great home automation solution. The Nest cameras not only records in 1080p, but also comes in both outdoor or indoor options. Perfect for covering your entire home.
Smart Garage Doors
If you are the type of person who circles around the block to make sure you remembered to close your garage door..
A smart garage door might be a great home automation idea for you.
- Chamberlain MyQ – Awesome garage door opener that is easy to install and even easier to use. Automating the opening and closing of your garage door is one of the many great features.
- Gogogate 2 – This smart garage opener is another great home automation device. The Gogogate 2 works with IFTTT as well as Amazon Alexa (great feature). Alexa allows you to automate your routine. For example, “Hey Alexa, open my garage.” Or even set a timer so the garage is open when you are ready to leave.
A connected lock offers many benefits such as security and remote operability. Location based locking and unlocking is an awesome home automation idea. Now you can rest assured your doors are locked when you leave the house.
- August Smart Lock – This smart lock connects through Bluetooth and WiFi, and also works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Nest. This alone makes this a very nice home automation idea if you are building a full solution.
- Kwikset Kevo – The Kwikset Kevo is an extremely versatile smart lock. This lock has a touch trigger that allows you to unlock your door much quicker than with an app or standard key. The geofencing option is also extremely nice. Your door will now unlock for you when it knows you are in the area. This feature is especially nice when your hands are full.
Sensors are a good home automation idea as well. It is possible to set up motion sensors, window sensors, heat sensors, door alarms, and more. A good example of smart home sensors is a water/flood sensor. You simply attach the sensors near your kitchen sink and water heater, then are immediately notified if something starts to leak.
- Everspring Z-Wave Water Flood Sensor – This is a great idea for all homeowners or renters. Water damage can cause extreme problems, especially financially. This set of smart home sensors works both indoors and outdoors and will send you notifications through the Z-Wave interface. You can also be notified through an audible speaker.
- Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensors – Great way to keep an eye on your home digitally. You can set so the sensors alert you when doors or windows open, monitor temperature changes, and more.
Voice Assistants are becoming more and more important for our homes and lives in general. As voice technology continues to advance, you will see it more and more applications in different areas/industries. It is becoming easier to control your home through simply asking (or telling) your devices what to do. The main players right now are Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Apple’s Siri(kind-of). These technologies paired with the supporting hardware devices are creating the ultimate smart home hubs and ecosystems.
- Amazon Alexa – Amazon is changing the game and dominating the market thanks to Amazon Alexa. The software, which can be found within many devices, allows you to control many different things. A great idea for using Amazon Alexa for home automation is to connect a smart bulb. This way you can control the lights by asking Alexa. This is just one example of the thousands of ways to use an Amazon Alexa device to automate your daily routine.
- Google Home – This device is a direct competitor with Amazon Alexa devices. Another awesome voice assistant that is great for telling you the weather, your schedule, controlling your smart home devices, and much more.
While every device on this list is a great idea for home automation, there are an array of devices out there that don’t fit solely in their own category. The items below are interesting home automation products that can help you save time and energy while automating your home.
- Click and Grow – The Click and Grow is a smart garden that is almost fully autonomous. All you need to do is fill the water tank with a months supply of water and the garden takes care of the rest. You can also read our full Click and Grow review here.
- Smarter Coffee Machine – Connected coffee machines are awesome for automating your morning routine. You simply set the device to your schedule and then wake up to freshly brewed coffee. Smart coffee machines help you save time in the morning.
- Blossom Smart Sprinklers – You can now completely automate your sprinkling system and control them from anywhere. The Blossom smart sprinklers also keep automated track of weather conditions so you aren’t watering your lawn during a rainstorm. This will help resources and money.
Additional Home Automation Ideas & Examples
Below are some of the top home automation ideas and examples for automating your life.
- Lights turn on when the sun sets or at a set time every day.
- Garage door automatically opens when getting close to home.
- Dim the bedroom lights 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Front door locks on its own when leaving the house.
- Turn the porch light on at dusk.
- Lights automatically dim at night.
- Morning news and weather updates from Amazon Alexa.
- Change the color if your favorite sports team is playing.
- Sprinklers only run if it hasn’t rained recently.
- Coffee maker starts in the morning.
- Automatically turn the air conditioning off when no one is home.
- Motion sensors that will turn on dim lights in the middle of the night.
- Slowly turn the lights on as morning alarm goes off.
- Receive a text message when the garage door is left open.
- Turn on the TV in the morning.
- Automatically turn the heat down between 11:00 PM – 7:00 AM.
- Water sensors that will send a text message if moisture is noticed.
- Doors automatically lock when leaving home.
- Open and close sensors on all doors and windows that will send a text if open.
- Automatically lock all doors after a certain time.
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