• Taleen Krug

Must-have Smart Home Gadgets for Long Island Home

Updated: Oct 28



If you're planning to be home for most of the winter on Long Island, you'll need to make sure you have the latest and greatest smart home gadgets.


So, if you still have old gadgets like flat antennas, indoor antennas, a flat antenna, or even HDTV antennae you should think about upgrading your Long Island home. Or at least consider changing your antennae position on your TV so you can get better reception if a smart home is not in your future!


Apps for That

Surely, while being able to keep track, set, and watch what's going on in your smart home with a mobile device or mobile app, there's more to having a smart home than that these days.


Luckily, there are plenty of new smart home devices and gadgets out there that can turn your ordinary home that's still living in the days of indoor antennas, an HDTV antenna, or a flat antenna into a truly smart home.


According to sites like techradar.com, known to be a strategist contributor on all things high-tech here are some of the best smart home devices.


Smart Speakers

Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo Studio are a must. For example, with Alexa built right in, the Echo Studio offers an impressive array of features for music lovers. Its 3D audio capabilities bring new life to your favorite tunes, and its connection to your Amazon Fire TV allows you to enjoy the even better sound quality.


It also acts as a Zigbee hub, which means it can easily be connected to thousands of smart devices right out of the box.


Smart Bulbs

If you're looking for the best smart lights, then the Philips Hue is the most straightforward choice. Just replace your existing lamps with Hue ones, and you'll enjoy a simple setup. You can choose from a wide range of options, including table lamps, floor lamps, ceiling pendant lamps, wall lamps, and light strips. They're responsive and offer lots of color choices and lighting effects.


There's a variety of customizable lighting schedules, including ones that turn lights on at sunset but go out at 2 a.m. instead of waiting for sunrise.


You'll need an adapter (a bridge) that connects to your existing light switches. Then you can connect any bulbs you already own through the same switch. Once connected, you can control these bulbs just like any other device in your house. These bulbs work with Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri voice assistants, too.


Home Security Systems

With its low price tag, the Arlo Pro has plenty of features to keep even the pickiest homeowners happy. But if you're looking for something with better picture quality, consider upgrading to the Arlo Ultra or Arlo Ultra 2.


If you're looking for an easy way to add voice control to your smart home, then the Arlo Pro Camera is a good choice. It comes with built-in Alexa and Google Assistant support, but it requires a separate base station to use HomeKit features.


It is said to record clearly, offering detailed footage in color both during the daytime and at night thanks to its built-in spotlight, helping to keep out unwanted visitors. It has an automatic zoom function and motion detection, so if something moves, it’s automatically tracked.


It has some useful tools for reducing annoying notifications but requires a monthly subscription fee, although you get a free three-month trial.


Smart Plugs

A smart power strip isn't simply a way to control devices plugged into it; it's an entire system for managing your whole house. It’ll help you manage your energy consumption by predicting exactly how much power various items within your house will use. This is terrific if you’ve got a tendency to save money and be more environmentally friendly.


The smart plug works using Bluetooth, but if you have a Siri speaker or an Amazon Echo Dot in your house, you'll be able by using Thread - a wireless technology that is also built into the plug - to control them. Unfortunately, the smart plug doesn't support Alexa or Google Assistant.


Video Doorbells

If you're looking for the best quality camera security system, think about the $99 Eufi2k HD 1080p Wireless Camera Security System. It has the most reliable set of functions at an affordable price.


It is said to capture clear, detailed footage both daytime and nighttime, with a 4: 3 aspect ratio so you can view nearly the whole length of someone on your front lawn. The best part? You can save the video to 16 GB of memory in the included base station. The company says this is about two weeks’ worth of video.


If you need an inexpensive way to let people know when you're available, but don't want to spend $100+ on a traditional doorbell system, then look into buying a wireless doorbell. It's easy to install and lasts for up to six months before needing to be replaced.


However, the doorbell won't work if it runs out of power, and there's no Apple HomeKit support.


Hubs

The Google Nest Hub max is a larger and better-looking device than its predecessor, the Google Nest Hub. However, it's reported to have some issues when using it.


With the Google Nest Hub Max, you can control and manage multiple smart homes using one app.

It seems good enough for a smallish-sized HiFi set-up. Google Assistant appears responsive and the large display area shows you video clips when you're say chopping onions in the kitchen.


Despite having some minor issues at launch, the Google Nest Hub Max is still an incredibly smart speaker and a terrific entertainment device.


Thermostats

One of the first companies to use artificial intelligence (AI) for controlling your home's temperature was Nest, which has become known as one of the best AI-controlled thermostats.


It’s simple to set up, but it’s smart enough to adjust its temperature settings based on how fast your house heats up and cools down.


The Nest Learning thermostat was designed to improve upon Nest’s previous models by offering integration with Google Assistant (but not Apple HomeKit), as well as adding zonal control, which makes it easier to keep everyone comfortable at once. However, it lacks a timer function, making it less useful than some of the top models out there. It also doesn't offer zonal control to adjust room temperature individually, but for most users, this won't be an issue.


Choosing the Right Smart Devices

When purchasing smart home devices, there are several things to keep in mind, so before building your own smart home, you need to think about several factors.


You first need to choose between Amazon's Echo, Google's Home, and Apple's Homekit. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so you should know that not all smart devices support every type of device. If you already have a particular device, that will help you narrow your choices.


You should also consider the cost of installing these things. If you can install them yourself (such as a smart lightbulb), then go ahead and do so. However, if you're considering smart thermostats, you may want to hire someone to install them in your house.


If you don't want to spend extra cash on a smart home system, then you could use an app such as IFTTT (If This Then That) which allows you to link different devices together.


Is it Worth It?

After reading this guide, you might be wondering whether building an automated house is worthwhile. Building an automated house takes lots of time, patience, money, and sometimes even skill, but it will also save you tons of time and energy once it is active.


If you're still unsure about whether smart devices such as smart plugs are right, then perhaps try them out before committing yourself to an expensive purchase.


Smart plugs work perfectly fine for turning lights on and off without any hassle. You can also control them remotely via your phone. Once you've tried them out, you'll never have to worry about leaving your sofa again.


If you want to go further than just using Alexa, add a smart speaker or smart TV minus indoor antennas, having to get the right antenna position and any other weird antennae issues into the equation.


Being able to turn off appliances, lights, or other things you've forgotten about without having to go back home means saving electricity and money at the same.

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