People around the world are concerned with the effects of work from home and local protectionPandemic. If you are at home 24/7, your ancillary costs may double or even triple, depending on how much time you would spend in the office or at dinner under normal circumstances.
You will likely use more light, electricity and air conditioning while you work, have lunch andon Amazon Prime. All of this adds up to higher bills. Whether it’s an intelligent light bulb or a water-saving, low-flow shower head, there are devices that can save you money in all utilities. Here are some options that we think are worth the WiFi.
With or without smarts, LED lamps are far more efficient than conventional incandescent lamps. If you want to save a lot of electricity, LED lamps are a good starting point. When you are ready to jump Clever There are many affordable options for light bulbs these days.
Use a schedule to make sure the right lights are on or off during the day. If you don’t need a schedule, you can still use itand Integrations for switching off the kitchen light that you have forgotten from your phone or from anywhere in your home or wherever you have an internet connection.
Philips Hue bridges and lamps are still setting the standard for reliable, scalable intelligent lighting. A starter kit with two white light bulbs and the required Hue bridge costs $ 70 (you can also opt for the $ 100 package with four light bulbs and bridges). From there, you can add light bulbs for just $ 15 each.
With the Hue app, you can remotely control these lamps, set schedules, create scenes, and more. Read our full guide to Philips Hue for a deeper look into this robust collection of smart lights.
If this were Family Feud, smart thermostats would be the number one answer on the board for good reason when it comes to energy savings. These connected thermostats manage your HVAC system with several additional functions that you will not get in a model that is not connected.
You can set seasonal temperature thresholds as well as home and outside temperatures that are automatically adjusted based on whether your mobile device is available through location data. If you can only do one thing to make your home smarter and more energy conscious, a thermostat is a good choice.
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Google Nest is in the third round of smart thermostats. The third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat for $ 249 has a larger display, better resolution, and a far-field sensor for showing time and temperature from a distance than previous models.
This thermostat works with Google Assistant and Alexa for voice commands and smart home integration. You can also pick up a battery-powered temperature sensor (sold separately) to determine the climate in your most frequently used rooms.
Read our third generation Nest Learning Thermostat review.
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Like Google Nest, Ecobee has gradually improved its intelligent thermostats. The latest Ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control costs $ 249 including a temperature sensor.
This price is high, but Ecobee added features like a nicer glass surface, support for 5 GHz connectivity, better Alexa integration with digital microphones, improved speaker quality and a redesigned temperature sensor.
This is the thermostat for you if you are a fan of Alexa, as Amazon’s intelligent assistant is directly integrated.
Read our test report for Ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control.
Like smart lights, smart plugs can be turned on and off automatically on a schedule, monitor energy usage, and create scenes. Plug in any device or small device that you normally use in an electrical outlet, and a smart plug will bring it online. If you are not only interested in automation, but also in energy saving, be sure to choose a connector with energy monitoring.
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I admit that the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi connector from TP-Link with energy monitoring is a bit bulky. However, the crowd hides a quality connector with excellent options for energy monitoring, planning, time control and adjustment via the Kasa app.
The app is easy to set up, easy to use and has all the functions you need to control a gadget or a small appliance. You can buy plugs in packs of two for $ 40 and don’t need a hub or bridge to get started, just a solid 2.4 GHz radio link.
This is not CNET’s most popular TP-Link connector, but it does offer the best power settings. For those who can live without information on energy consumption, we recommend the smaller TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini.
Read our test report on Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with energy monitoring.
If you already own smart lights or are ready to set up your first lamps, you should add a compatible motion sensor. A good motion sensor, like the following options, can turn the light on or off. You can turn on a hallway or bathroom light when someone comes in at night, or turn off all the living room lights when no motion is detected.
Tyler Lizenby / CNET
The Philips Hue motion sensor works with the Hue range of smart lights via the Hue app for iOS or Android. The nice thing about this sensor is that Hue contains a daylight sensor. This means that the device can detect when there is still enough daylight to illuminate a room and can ensure that light is not switched on unnecessarily.
The motion sensor is powered by two AAA batteries, of which you can pair up to a dozen with your Philips Hue Bridge. Assembled in a variety of ways, including an option magnet included.
Read our Philips Hue Motion Sensor preview.
The SmartThings system is not for everyone. You really need to shop to get all the benefits. That means a hub for $ 70, this motion sensor for $ 25, and any compatible lights and devices you want to turn on or off.
The motion sensor sits on a ball joint so you can move it for the perfect angle. As with the color sensor, it can switch the light on or off depending on movement or absence. With all SmartThings you can get a pretty good setup going. The system is also compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa for voice commands.
When everyone in your house streams games, motion, music, video conferencing, and school hours, it becomes difficult. A router that can handle the load and help you manage certain devices is a good idea.
With an integrated Google Assistant speaker, Nest Wifi is an excellent choice for family WiFi management. It’s also a fast mesh system with simple setup and numerous controls in the Google Home app. The second generation costs $ 269 for a router and a mesh extender called Point. From there, prices rise depending on how many you need for your space. The built-in loudspeaker is located in these extenders.
You can ask Google to turn off Wi-Fi, set schedules, prioritize game traffic, and more. If you are looking for a network system with numerous smart and customization options, Nest Wifi is a good choice.
Read our Nest Wifi review.
Spring is here and that means lawn care is probably back on your to-do list. Smart sprinklers are a way to save water when your grass gets thirsty. Connectivity and management apps let you plan irrigation and even delay it automatically when rain is forecast. If the water consumption in your home has now increased due to the fact that more people are there during the day, it is a good way to improve the use of the lawn to minimize consumption.
Rachio 3 replaces the controls for your floor sprinklers. This is a great way to do your lawn care routinely. Rachio is also watching your local weather. If you normally water your lawn on Tuesday morning, but a thunderstorm is predicted that Tuesday, Rachio won’t run. This upgrade prevents you from using water when you don’t need it.
Rachio 3 also includes a flow meter that not only knows exactly how much water your lawn is getting, but also turns off the sprinkler when a leak is detected.
Read our preview of the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller.
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This affordable smart sprinkler system has an app that monitors the weather and plans the sprinklers for you. You can also control sprinklers with Alexa voice control through B-Hyve’s Alexa capability.
Sure, the large dial, large buttons, and chunky LCD display may not be crying out for “smart home chic,” but for an affordable outdoor device, the Orbit B-Hyve does the job well.
Read our Orbit B-Hyve review.
Smart home products make our lives easier, more automated and more energy efficient with these devices. Adding a smart thermostat can make a big difference. Smart lights and plugs are also a good way. Regardless of how you start your energy-saving smart home, the benefits will surely add up.