Make Your Home Smarter With These 5 Apps

Image credit: alextalmon.nl

It’s the 21st century. Smartphones have revolutionized how we communicate, work, organize ourselves, and even fall in love. Your smartphone can also revolutionize the way you live at home, from DIY home security systems to appliances you can control remotely. These smartphone apps and home systems can let you create a fully automated home life – you know, the kind of thing you thought only existed in science fiction. We’re living in the future!

1.Nest

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The Nest Thermostat is a thermostat you install in your home that you can then control through an app on your smartphone. Most people leave their homes at one temperature and forget to change it, and this can result in wasting lots of energy. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to turn up the temperature on a cold winter afternoon while you’re on your way home, so you can come back to a cozy house?

The new Learning Thermostat can “learn” your schedule and set itself to turn on and off accordingly. You can also control it from your smartphone. Programing your thermostat this way can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling bills. Besides a thermostat, Nest also offers the Nest Protect, which is a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that alerts your phone if anything is amiss in your home.

Get the Thermostat and Protect either at the Nest Store, or at Amazon, and then download the app for iOS or Android.

2. LIFX

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LIFX lightbulbs  and the LIFX app can completely change the way you light your home. When I first saw them in action at my friend’s house, I just about lost it – as the party guests started arriving, he turned the lights from bright white to a dim, intimate yellow with a touch of his smartphone!

Besides being an awesome party trick, LIFX lights can also let you save energy. If you leave the house and forget to turn off the lights, you can turn them off from wherever you are with the LIFX app. Want to turn on the porch light while you’re away so it will seem like someone’s home? You can do it from work, or from your friend’s house, or wherever.

After you buy your LIFX bulbs (use a coupon to save some cash), download the app for iOS or Android.

3. WeMo

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WeMo Home Automation from Belkin lets you control a whole variety of appliances in your home. Basically, you can get most Belkin appliances with WeMo, which means they’ll work with the WeMo app. If you don’t want to go out and buy a bunch of new appliances, you can also get WeMo plugs, which let you control regular appliances through the plug.

Imagine: you get the Crock Pot ready for dinner, and then around lunch time you can turn it on from work with your smartphone. Or maybe you’re – gasp! – not sure if you turned off your curling iron when you left for work. You can check it on your WeMo app and turn it off remotely.

You can get started by visiting the WeMo store at Belkin’s website, and then downloading the app from either the App Store or Google Play.

4. Savant TrueControl

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Savant TrueControl was the first app created to give people full control of their homes from their iPhones. With the TrueControl app, you can control everything: security, climate, lighting, media, and even your intercom. All of your home systems are fully integrated into the app and you can see them all the once.

The only downside to TrueControl is that it’s not a DIY situation – you have to find an integrator to get your home TrueControl ready. If you do get your home integrated, or if it already is, get the app for iOS  and feel the power of full control!

5. iSmartalarm

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If you want home security but don’t want to mess with annoying contracts and monthly payments, iSmartalarm is for you. This DIY home security system makes home security simple. All you have to do is buy one of the security kits, install it yourself however you like it, and then set it up with the app on your smartphone.

iSmartalarm has two different DIY security system packages, depending on how big your home is. They include door and window sensors, motion sensors, remote tags, a camera (Premium Package), and the CubeOne, which is the “brain” of iSmartalarm DIY security system.

Make sure you use a coupon to get a discount on your iSmartalarm system, and then download the app for your iPhone or Android phone.

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