Don’t be put off by the thought that setting up a smart home might mean spending hundreds and hundreds of pounds – even thousands. Sure, there is a cost involved, and that can increase depending on exactly how you set things up (for instance, ‘wiring in’ smart doorbells and the associated cost of ‘chipping out’ walls to hide cabling, and then replastering and redecorating, etc). But it is possible to set up at least some smart functionality and get some cheap smart tech for less than 100 of your precious English pounds.
Once you’ve seen how brilliant this technology is, and how it can positively impact your life, you’ll want to add bits here and there. But, in this article, we’ll give you a few ideas of how to get yourself started off.
Let’s begin with these small but perfectly formed smart devices, always affordable (see here). Basically, a smart plug is a remote-control power plug, which you plug into an electricity socket in your home, just as you would with a ‘standard’ plug. Whatever device or appliance you then plug into it will then become ‘smart’. That means you have the ultimate control of that device through your home’s Wi-Fi. The way you interface with the tech, and keep control, is a smart app, accessible through your smartphone or tablet, laptop, PC or home hub.
Think of the potential uses!
- Lights!: You can plug in and set up an on-and-off system for lamps around your home. They’ll switch on or off at pre-determined intervals, giving the impression that someone is at home at all times, or you can control them remotely through your smartphone or tablet. You can go on that weekend break without worrying about how secure your place is. Proper peace of mind.
- Temperature!: Get a heater plugged into smart plug and you’re up and running as far as keeping warm goes! Set it to come on a little bit before you wake up – or if the temperature turns nasty while you’re away from home, switch the heating on from your device and you’ll return home to a toasty welcome!
- Brew!: Set it boiling just as you wake, and by the time you get downstairs that necessary morning coffee is mere seconds away. No more standing around staring at the kettle willing it to boil more quickly!
You can connect anything – a toaster, a radio or a fan for example – and control it from anywhere. Even if you’re travelling home from work, out at your mate’s house or sitting in a coffee shop, you’ll be able to turn on a lamp from the other side of town, and you’ll be able to make sure that the slow-cooker is on and getting tea cooked up nicely.
A moment ago we spoke about lights… And there’s actually another way you can control the lighting in your home. That’s by inserting smart bulbs.
With smart bulbs, it’s possible to have control over the lighting in your home from an app on your phone or with a remote-control unit (provided, when you buy the bulbs)! You simply insert these bulbs into the light sockets, as you would a ‘normal’ bulb, and connect up to your Wi-Fi. Once connected, you’ll be able to switch the lights on and off directly from your smartphone (or tablet or other app-enabled device). Smart bulbs can also be brightened or dimmed – so you can achieve all sorts of mood lighting effects. Amazing!
There’s another piece of incredibly useful cheap smart tech which you can get for less than £100 – and that’s a smart video doorbell.
Although there are brands and models of smart video doorbell which are above the £100 mark, there are some perfectly adequate ones which are below. Okay, that’s most of your budget in one swoop, but video doorbells are a great way to begin building your smart home. The benefit of a smart doorbell is that you can see who’s at your door, without even having to be home to answer the door.
Some video doorbells allow you to speak to visitors through an intercom system. So if you’re having a parcel delivered, you can direct the delivery driver to the place you want them to leave your parcel! Being able to keep an eye on your front door whilst you’re away is a great security move and will provide you with absolute peace of mind.
Smart plugs and smart bulbs (and some smart doorbells) are a really cost- efficient way to begin setting up a smart home for less than £100. Obviously, there are many other smart devices which you can buy which will cost you more – the chief example being a smart TV.
But as a basic starting point – and a great way to ‘sample’ living in a smart home – plugs and bulbs in particular are the way to go. Don’t forget, Ebuyer stocks a massive array of tech items, not just cheap smart tech!