How to make your home smarter for under $500

It's 2018 and our world is filled with top technology. If you want to make your home smarter, you'll have to consider the financial burden. Luckily, you can get in the smart home game for less than you think.

How to make your home smarter for under $500
  • According to a new study, renters care more about smart home technology than traditional amenities. Of the gadgets researched, smart security systems took the top spot while electronic payment systems came in second.
  • Kasita is a modular smart home company that is helping solve the lack of affordable housing in growing cities. These adorable homes may be small but they are complete with exceptional storage and lots of smart features.
  • However, sometimes more tech can lead to more problems. Check out what could happen if all these smart homes took control.

There’s nothing like the thrill of being able to efficiently accomplish your everyday tasks with smart home gadgets. John Gomes is an early adopter of smart home tech who feels like he’s living in the future. Yet, living this smart home lifestyle has been cost-prohibitive. From smart mirrors to laundry robots, there are numerous ways to make your home smarter today.

So, when it comes to budgeting, you need to be sure you go for the devices that are absolutely necessary. Smart home technology isn’t just making our lives easier but also safeguarding us from theft, both digital and physical. What does it take to have a smart home? Can you enjoy this technology at an affordable price? Thanks to the modern innovation, not all smart home gadgets are out of your financial reach.

Start with a smart assistant

The big tech industry players have been making it easy to communicate with your smart home gadgets. It’s very important to have a central system in the house that answers to all your queries at once. Whether it’s about turning on the lights or checking the weather, these smart speakers are making it easier than ever to communicate with our devices.

Amazon Echo Plus Alexa Speaker Hub
Pumping out some serious audio, you can control this speaker with just your voice. The Echo Plus uses Amazon Alexa to accurately hear all of your commands. In addition to music, you can ask about the weather, your schedule, call friends, and even hear the news. Price: $149.99

Amazon Echo Plus Alexa Speaker Hub

Amazon Echo Plus Alexa Speaker Hub

Google Home Mini Smart Assistant Speaker
This powerful device employs the intelligent Google Assistant feature. Using your voice, you can access your schedule, the weather, and even control smart devices in your home. The Google Home Mini is delightfully compact. Price: $49
Xiaomi Mi AI Affordable Smart Speaker
This intelligent device bridges the gap between you and your devices. With the Mi AI Speaker, you can use simple voice commands to get what you need. In fact, the device features a whopping six microphones to cover 360 degrees of audio pickup. Price: $45

Smart lighting that doesn’t break the bank

And you said “Let there be light,” and there was light. Smart lights and switches might give you a God complex, but it’s just so satisfying. As innovation progresses, some brands are making intelligent lighting more wallet-friendly.

ecobee Switch+ Smart Light Switch
Featuring built-in Amazon Alexa, you can ask ecobee Switch+ to control your lights as you walk through the door. Likewise, you can ask it to do simple tasks like play music or set a timer as well as control other smart devices throughout your house. Price: $99.99
Kuna – Smart Outdoor Security Light
Before entering, most burglars knock or ring the doorbell to see if a house is empty. Kuna detects visitors and shines bright. Plus, it immediately sends an alert to your phone. You can clearly view the visitor right on your phone through the camera’s live feed. Price: $167.95
Philips Hue Ambiance Starter Kit
This kit includes two bulbs, a bridge, and a dimmer switch to really light up your house. Because they’re all seperate, you can place the bulbs and dimmer wherever fits best in your home. Price: $84.99

Philips Hue Ambiance Starter Kit

Philips Hue Ambiance Starter Kit

Wemo Mini Smart Plug
This miniature device lets you plug in your existing lights to make them smart. Using your home’s Wi-Fi network, you can manage your lamps or other devices using your smartphone or tablet. The Wemo Mini Smart Plug gives you an effortless and seamless connection all without a subscription or a hub. Price: $29.99

Home security made affordable

With an increasing number of break-ins, it’s now vital to consider a smart home security camera and a smart door lock. In fact, burglars are actually less likely to target a house with a security camera. And with a smart door lock, you can always control the access of people entering your home, even when you’re not in town.
Blink Intelligent Video Doorbell
Powered by batteries, this wireless security system gives you a live view from your front door from anywhere in the world. The Blink Doorbell connects to your home’s network so you can always tune in. Price: $99
TP-Link Kasa Cam 1080p Smart Security Camera
With a 130° wide-angle glass lens, this small camera offers crystal-clear footage of an entire floor. It also has night vision with a range of 25 feet, so you can always spot unwanted visitors. Price: $109.89
Canary View Smart HD Indoor Security Camera
Using embedded AI technology, this indoor camera sends alerts straight to your mobile device. Additionally, Canary View identifies important activity and filters out insignificant motion, so you only receive critical alerts. Price: $99

Canary View Smart HD Indoor Security Camera

Canary View Smart HD Indoor Security Camera

August Bluetooth Smart Lock
Taking things virtual, August offers keyless entry to your front door. It easily slides over your existing deadbolt and the Bluetooth lock connects to the August app. In there, you can lock and unlock your door and even grant access to your friends and family. Price: $149

August Bluetooth Smart Lock

August Bluetooth Smart Lock

Lockitron Bolt Keyless Door Lock
This smart home device gives you the power to enter your home without the use of your keys. It comes with a deadbolt-style smart lock as well as a bridge. Connecting via Wi-Fi, you can lock and unlock your door from anywhere in the world. Price: $99

Automating your home on a budget

In addition to those basics, you also need to consider automating everyday tasks around the house. From thermostats to kitchen appliances, here are some of our favorite home automation gadgets that makes surviving the daily grind a bit more bearable.
Sensibo Sky Smart Air Conditioner Controller
With Sensibo, you can easily automate, monitor, and save energy. Using a single app to control multiple devices, Sensibo can respond to environmental changes to give you the best air temperature. Price: $119
Bond Smart Ceiling Fan Controller
This easy system transforms any remote controlled ceiling fan into a smart fan. The Bond Controller is easy to setup and gives you total access right the app which is available for both iOS and Android. Price: $99
Knocki – Make Any Surface Smart
Be in control of your smart home without having to reach for your phone. With Knocki, you don’t need to mess with buttons or switches. This gadget brings simple and intuitive control right where you need it. Pre-order price: $89
Teptron MOVE Bluetooth Blinds Motor
Teptron MOVE easily fits on all shades and blinds that have a bead chain, cord loop, or cord control. Similarly, the device is easy to install. Simply latch the device onto your existing chain, pair it with the app. and control it from your smartphone. Price: $69
Nest Thermostat E Smart Thermostat
Known for their smart systems, the Nest Thermostat E is an upgraded sleek, stylish, and smarter thermostat. Incredibly, the smart home device comes ready to go out of the box. Simply plug it in, connect via Wi-Fi, and be comfortable. Price: $169

Bonjour Smart AI Alarm Clock
Another incredible invention from Holi, this alarm clock has voice-controlled AI that turns it into your personal assistant. Bonjour features a warm and welcoming female voice to inform you of possible traffic, weather for the day, and can respond to your every request. Price: $179 

Control your smart home

With all this technology in one place, it can be tough to keep track of it all. A smart control hub extends the functionality of your devices and you can even create scenes. For example, your arrival home can automatically set your lights, play your favorite playlist, and even adjust your heat. Plus, you can go for a HomeKit compatible system to also use your iPhone as a controller.

Mixtile Hub Smart Home Controller
Featuring a user-friendly design, the Mixtile Hub offers a unique starter kit that makes it easy to build your smart home. In fact, you can set up your smart home in just five minutes. Pre-order price: $79
Brilliant Control Smart Home Hub
Replacing your light switch, this device gives you instant access to your smart home appliances. This includes your thermostat, speakers, lights, and more. In addition, it features Amazon Alexa. You can ask a question and instantly receive an answer. Announced at CES 2018, Brilliant Control will also integrate with Display Cards by Amazon. Price: $149

Brilliant Control Smart Home Hub

Brilliant Control Smart Home Hub

Deciding which smart home gadgets you and your family need is entirely up to you. But, always remember to consider price, functionality, and integration when adding new devices. For example, if you have Amazon Alexa, make sure all of your smart home gadgets are Alexa-compatible. Simple tips like this will help you save money without compromising your smart home experience.

Did we miss out on any interesting yet affordable smart home gadgets? Let us know in the comments below!

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Meet Ashley Timms

Ashley Timms is an editor at Gadget Flow where she gets to write about the most incredible products in the world. When she’s not writing, she’s producing fine art dog photography.
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